HTC Smart Calls to Budget-Minded Smartphone Users

The HTC Smart, says its maker, is no ordinary smartphone. Pairing HTC's Sense design philosophy with Qualcomm's Brew MP OS and a modest processor, the Smart is being positioned as a low-cost, high-design mobile device for people around the globe.

HTC introduced the Smart on Jan. 7, which the company insists is a new type of smartphone: easy to use, inexpensive and globally accessible. It will arrive in Europe and Asia in the spring.

The Smart runs Qualcomm's Brew MP (Mobile Platform) operating system and has a 300MHz processor, which it pairs with a 2.8-inch TFT (thin-film transistor)-LCD touch-sensitive screen with a QVGA resolution, as well as HTC's Sense interface-or, as HTC refers to it, its Sense "design philosophy."

Sense, also included on the HTC's HD2, focuses on three principles: Make It Mine, Stay Close and Discover the Unexpected. Handsets can be customized for their users in ways drawn from these principles, providing easy, intuitive access to users' data and the details of their friends' and colleagues' lives.

Under the Make It Mine umbrella, for example, are Scenes-various "moods" or modes that users can deploy at different times, as for the workday versus the weekend. Stay Close features include offering a single view of e-mails, texts and Facebook updates, instead of requiring the launch of several separate applications.

"HTC has always focused on listening to customers and setting the stage for new mobile categories, and HTC Smart is the response to customer demand around the world for an easy-to-use, affordable smartphone," HTC CEO Peter Chou said in a statement. "Just adding a touch interface doesn't mean a phone is a smartphone. The integration of HTC Sense brings an unparalleled smartphone experience for people looking to do more on their phone."

The Smart measures 4.09 by 2.17 by 0.50 inches, has 256MB of ROM, 256MB of RAM and a MicroSD slot for adding more memory. It's compatible with HSDPA/WCDMA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access/Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) and quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE (Enhanced Data for Global Evolution) networks, and additional connectivity comes from Bluetooth 2.0. There's a 3-megapixel camera, support for several video and audio formats, and a 3.5-millimeter stereo audio jack.

The Qualcomm OS should help keep the price low, though HTC has yet to announce what that price will be, in the United States or elsewhere.

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs added to the statement, "We are pleased to be supporting HTC as they utilize the capabilities of Qualcomm's Brew Mobile Platform open operating system to offer high-end capabilities and a compelling mobile user experience at mass-market price points."