HTC's Latest Smartphone Prioritizes E-Mail

Known as the Snap, HTC uses CTIA's annual wireless conference to debut the new smartphone, which features a dedicated button on its large, domed keys that allows users to preselect e-mail senders. Will it be enough to stand out in a crowded smartphone market that already includes Apple's iPhone, various RIM BlackBerry models, T-Mobile's G1 with Google Android and the pending Palm Pre?

HTC's latest smartphone, dubbed the Snap, focuses on users who want to simplify their mobile e-mail, featuring a dedicated key to bring up e-mail from a preselected group of users.

The Snap, boasting a QWERTY keyboard, made its debut April 1 at CTIA's annual wireless conference in Las Vegas.
Employing the Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 platform, the Snap comes with the usual package of smartphone features, including a 3G connection, GPS and a camera, but it is the device's e-mail handling capabilities that HTC is touting as a difference maker in the heated smartphone competition led by Apple's iPhone and Research In Motion's BlackBerry series.

For images of the HTC Snap, click here.

According to an HTC-commissioned study, 44 percent of U.S. adults are often "overwhelmed" by the amount of e-mail they receive, with 55 percent of prioritizing five or fewer people with whom they communicate via e-mail.
"Recognizing that people are being overwhelmed by an avalanche of e-mail, the HTC Snap introduces Inner Circle, an HTC innovation that makes it easy for people to prioritize messages from the most important people in their lives at the press of a button," John Wang, HTC's chief marketing officer, said in a statement.
The Snap is expected to be available in select U.S. channels during the next 90 days, with a global rollout by the end of the year. An unlocked version supporting HSDPA at 850/1,900MHz for the U.S. market will be made available under the name HTC S522 during the summer. HTC did not reveal pricing for the Snap.
The Snap hits the scale at 4.23 ounces, measures less than a half-inch think, and comes with a fully exposed QWERTY keyboard, large domed keys and a jog ball. Users can remotely sync e-mail, calendar and contacts with Microsoft's Exchange. The device has 192MB of RAM (expandable with an SDHC-capable MicroSD card slot). HTC claims the 1,500mAh Lilon battery offers up to 8 hours of talk time.
"The HTC Snap represents the latest step in HTC's mission to create a range of innovative smartphones, each with specific benefits designed to both surprise and delight our customers," Wang said.