Following the high-end Dream and Magic smartphones, HTC hopes the entry-level Tattoo with its new ‘Sense’ UI will drive Android into the mainstream.
HTC may be taking centre stage alongside Microsoft at this week’s launch of Windows Mobile 6.5
, but the Taiwanese smartphone supremo continues to be a vital partner for Google’s competing Android OS.
Its latest release is a budget-minded Android phone named Tattoo, although it was previously known under the cypher of Click.
Yet the Tattoo doesn’t skimp on features, apart from shifting from a capacitive touchscreen to a resistive panel. The resistive panel is possibly cheaper, although HTC explains the reason for the change being that capacitive technology is less accurate for multi-touch on the Tattoo’s relatively small 2.8 inch (240 x 320pixel) display.
The trackball of the Dream and Magic makes way for a more conventional five-way navigation pad. And on the whole, the curvy compact Tattoo undeniably packs more consumer appeal than the Dream and Magic.
The rest of the recipe certainly passes muster: GPS and a digital compass, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 3.2 megapixel camera and HSDPA on the 2100MHz 3G band.
Inbuilt memory is 256MB of RAM with a microSD card slot; the OS sits on 512MB of ROM. The battery is a decent 1100 mAh cell. There are even some added creature comforts like a 3.5mm headphone jack and an FM radio.
The Tattoo also packs HTC’s new Sense UI overlay, which seems to be more of a ‘user experience’ than a stand-alone UI in the mould of the TouchFLO interface developed for Windows Mobile phones.
For example, HTC says that Sense “integrates your communications and applications including voice calls, emails, texts, photos and status updates into one consolidated view”.
This is expected to include integration between your address book and each person’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, for example, as well as links to their Flickr photo albums.
HTC is also promoting Tattoo’s scope for personalisation, with swappable covers in a range of colours and designs, including a facility for customers to create and order their own case.
HTC has not divulged a timetable for release of the Tattoo onto the Australian market.