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HTC Tattoo Review for Vodafone

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

I have been testing the HTC Tattoo mobile for a few days now. I am liking it a lot. Many of the features of the HTC Magic have been improved upon.

A few people find Android a bit of a challenge, especially if they are used to using a certain brand of handset.

HTCTattoo Menu buttons

The Menu buttons on the HTC Tattoo are metallic and feel robust yet quite light, enhancing the overall feel of the handset. The HTC Tattoo offers the same selection of buttons as the HTC Magic, but are more visually appealing.

HTC Tattoo Vs HTC Magic

A comparison of the sizes of the HTC Magic and the HTC Tattoo. As you can see, the HTC Magic has a larger 3.2" screen than the Tattoo's 2.8". This should cut down on some cost, as well as improving battery life. The HTCTattoo is smaller, which makes it a great phone if you do not like chunky smart phones with massive screens. The Tattoo also has no annoying 'lip' on the bottom like the Magic.

The HTC Tattoo sits perfectly in your hand, and is very comfortable to use. It doesn't feel big, or too bulky, but it does feel well manufactured and the standard of quality is high.

The HTC Tattoo has a shiny large button where the Magic's trackball is, I much prefer the design of the tattoos new style buttons, they feel better quality to me.

Another thing about the tattoo is that it comes in any colour you want (within reason) due to its removable cases, whilst the Magic is predominantly white. The freedom of changing the case harks back to the Nokia 3210 & 3310 years when third party cases were all the rage. Now though this concept may be considered behind the times by some, it seems to be making a comeback. Another example of a new phone with removable cases is the Samsung Genio Touch. This may be an indication of the market which HTC and Samsung are aiming at - the 16-24 demographic.

The HTC Tattoo seems to have a lot more apps as standard on the handset, and even allows you to setup your Mail Exchange server upon first setup. I didn’t get a chance to test this functionality but it is good to see, as this was missing from the HTC magic.

You can get lots of apps on Android, so if the iPhone's many apps appeal to you but you cannot stomach the cost, then this could be the handset for you! I have light sabres, pull my finger, twidroid, and lots more. The handset is also great for Youtube and Google searches - this is a Google operating system after all!

Interface and Display

The Interface on the HTC Tattoo is a step up from the HTC Magic, and overall looks simpler and slicker. There is also more room on the home screen for widgets and icons (7 pages compared to the HTC Magic's 3 Pages) which is a very useful addition.

There is one downside with the HTC Tattoo however, and that is the display. The quality of the display, visually, is fine, the resolution seems a little lower than it could be and the colours don't quite pop like they do on other similar handsets, but overall it is still better than average. The let down with the display is the touch functionality.

The touch screen on this phone does seem to lack response, which can be frustrating at times. In comparison to Apple's iPhone the touch screen is terrible and one could mistake it as faulty. On closer inspection I found that instead of using simple controls like swiping across the screen to change between pages, you find yourself physically having to push and swipe at the same time, I know it’s hardly rocket science, but it does mar the overall appeal of the HTC Tattoo. It is no different to the HTC Magic which works well if you are not an iPhone user. The iPhone is a £500 handset or so, but I reckon the Tattoo could be bought for a little over £100, so fair play to HTC here, as it is still a good effort when you consider the value.

The cases are removable and allow the user to create their own unique style using various combinations of the three separate parts. The cases that come with the phone in this instance were limited to the standard dark grey/black design as seen in the image below, and a design featuring a cyclist.

The grey/black case does look particularly stylish and fits the phone well, where as the cyclist case looks a bit tacky and I can’t imagine it being a huge hit. Surely in time, third party companies will offer their own versions of these cases at affordable prices.

The cyclist case seen below and above features a glossy, plasticky finish which doesn’t sit too well with the overall design of the handset, whereas the grey/black finish is matte and looks very slick.

All in all the HTC Tattoo is a welcome addition to the smart phone market, and does have some desirable features. Although this phone is built to a budget in some senses, it really doesn't show. In fact I would go as far to call it well built, with the one exception being the touch screen. It could be improved, but overall this phone is worth having as your first smart phone, or as an upgrade to an ageing device. A great introduction to the Android operating system, with its downloadable apps. I would love to see a HTC Android mobile on Vodafone within the year with a much better camera with a flash, HINT HINT! Although the Android interface has been improved, .there is not enough of an improvement in hardware for me to consider trading in my Magic for a Tattoo.

Above is a little video I recorded, trying to show some of the functionality. Apologies about the poor quality here! I am demonstrating changing the 'scenes'. Scenes are a powerful tool which enable you to set up different themes for work / play and more. This means you could have one when you travel with two clocks, a work one with work email and a play one with youtube and facebook aps!

View More Info about the HTC Tattoo on Vodafone Discounts.

Currently available to pre-order on Vodafone for £25/month with Free handset & unlimited internet.

The handset is due out tomorrow - 8th October 2009!

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By Keet at 17:46


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. I was thinking of getting a Magic, but will hang on for the Tattoo as it seems to be a bit better. Also sounds like it's more portable, which is nice. I've used my mate's Magic and the touchscreen isn't too bad, so I'm not put off by that.

7 October 2009 at 15:26  

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