The HTC Explorer is the manufacturer’s first foray into the “economy” smartphone market since the popular Wildfire last year. The Explorer provides plenty of impressive features though, and although it may lack the power and flair of its big brothers like the Sensation and Desire HD, it is unmistakably HTC.
In this article I will take a closer look at this smartphone, so you can decide if it is the right handset for you when choosing you next mobile phone.
First things first; as mentioned, this is aimed at the budget smartphone market. Whilst it has HTC Sense, Android v2.3 etc, do not expect the world when it comes to processing power. With a 600 MHz chip under the hood, users can expect a decent level of performance, but should not hope for that provided with higher end smartphones. For most users though, the users though, the processor should provide ample power and allow for a responsive touchscreen.
One of the first things you will notice about the HTC Explorer is its compact size. At just 102.8x 57.2x 12.9mm it is similarly proportioned to the HTC Wildfire. Naturally, its small size also means it is lightweight, tipping the scales at 108 grams.
The front of the handset houses a 3.2 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen within which a resolution of 320x 480 provides decent levels of image display quality making it a good phone for multimedia use such as viewing photos and web pages.
If you like to keep music and photos on your phone or like to download additional apps, then storage capacity is an important issue. The HTC Explorer comes with 90 MB of onboard storage to start you off, but most users will want to take advantage of the microSD slot. This requires users to insert a memory card of up to 32 GB, and is a relatively inexpensive way of greatly improving the available storage.
The HTC Explorer is a decent web browsing tool for what is essentially a budget smartphone. In fact, in areas with 3G coverage, it has the same data download speeds as some more premium HTC handsets like the Sensation. Along with Wi-Fi internet connectivity where access to wireless networks is available, web browsing is certainly one of the strengths of this phone.
The HTC Explorer, as a camera phone, could in all honest be better. But again, this is pitched as an entry level smartphone so this is unlikely to be a major concern to its target demographic. The camera itself operates at 3.15 megapixels and comes with face detection and autofocus and not much else. It would be nice to see a flash, but if the specifications of the camera are a major concern, then it is fair to say that this is not the phone for you, and there are devices out there that will be better suited.
Android v2.3 (aka Gingerbread, the latest version) is the operating system of choice, and the innovative HTC Sense UI is also included. So the software side of this phone is actually very impressive. If only the hardware matched it, the HTC Explorer would be a much better phone, but when all is said and done, this is a budget smartphone.
In my opinion, this is the best budget smartphone available, as it builds on the HTC Wildfire in terms of software, and hardware wise it is not that different. The price of this phone will surely be a major contributing factor to the success of the phone, especially considering that many UK networks are offering the handset for free on selected tariffs.