HTC Explorer review
We review the new HTC Explorer, a micro-sized Android smartphone
The Explorer is a new mid-range compact smartphone from HTC and one for which the company has placed great emphasis on its simplicity and ease-of-use.
There are three things which immediately struck us about the Explorer - its small-size, its sturdiness in the hand and the overall high level of build quality.
This is one solid phone with not a hint of tacky plastic or creakiness anywhere to be found.
The rubber-textured back panel closely hugs the device and feels really comfortable to hold. As part of an increasing trend, the Explorer has a sort of homage to the 90s trend of interchangeable coloured back covers in case you feel like going a bit crazy.
We were impressed by the brushed aluminium camera surround on the rear of the handset – in the past we've found HTC's use of aluminium detailing utterly unappealing. But its done okay this time with a much better looking dark grey finish.
We're not exactly in love with the overall form factor as it closely adheres to the typically generic HTC conveyor belt design – ‘candy bar' format with heavily rounded off corners.
One final criticism of the external design relates to the button controls. The four control keys at the bottom of the handset are capacitive and work fine, but the physical power button on top and the volume rocker on the side are oddly embedded into the device.
This makes them nicely discreet but the price is they're awkward to use with not a lot of feedback. It's a clumsy experience at the best of times.
The screen is quite small and, frankly, doesn't provide the best image quality with some noticeable blurriness. And this isn't good – especially on such a small display.
It's a 3.2-inch TFT capacitive touchscreen and in fairness the touch sensitivity is very good indeed. The 320x480 pixel resolution provides a pixel density of 180 pixels-per-inch (ppi).
The camera is also distinctly mediocre thanks to a rating of 3.15-megapixels which, as might be expected, produces fuzzy images and video at a lacklustre 480p. It is quite well-catered for in the camera features and functionality department, however.
The handset sports a digital zoom, though we wouldn't recommend using it, given picture quality being what it is. On top of this, the Explorer is equipped with a self-timer, self portrait mode, capture effects (sepia, greyscale and so on), exposure control, white balance, ISO control, geo-tagging, auto-enhance, face detection and autofocus.
|UK Launch||Available now|
|Frequency||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, HSDPA 900 / 2100|
|Additional Memory||Up to 32GB via micro SD|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Hotspot,Bluetooth 3.0, microUSB 2.0|
|Screen Size||3.2 inches|
|Camera Resolution||2048x1536 pixels|
|Speaker||Yes, SRS surround sound|
|Battery Standby||Up to 445 hours|