The HTC S310 is a low cost Smartphone designed for those on a budget and it certainly shows as soon as you take the product out of its box. The device comes in a series of colours ranging from black to grey - which we received the grey version for review. It's certainly a small unit measuring 108 x 47 x 18.5mm and weighing 105g but the light weight reflects its plasticy feel more so than an engineering feat.
Looking at the device you get a series of small buttons to the left hand-side of the unit to control the earpieces volume and to the right you get a camera shortcut, with a USB interface at the base for your Mains/USB cable (there is no seperate headphone socket so you will have to use the supplied headset or a pair of Bluetoth headphones). Though the keypad and small thumbpad have a plastic feel, they are responsive and we found it easy to text.
To keep the costs down further the screen quality has been reduced, the S310 offers a 220 x 176 display which is not the best we have come across, but will be ok for short periods of use. However the smaller screen does make it harder to view full websites, videos or office style content.
Talking of content the HTC does come with a good selection of software to get you started. There is a suite of document viewers (ClearVue) for reading Microsoft office programs, plus a copy of Adobe's PDF reader for Smartphones and of course you have your standard applications such as Outlook email, calendar, notes, tasks, Windows Media player etc.
Connectivity options are also reasonable, though don't expect to see 3G technology here. But you do get Bluetooth 2 (supports A2DP), Quad-Band GSM/GPRS/Edge and push email support, all of which are controlled by the handy connection manager.
We did find its initial boot sequence a bit sluggish but the OMAP 850 200MHZ CPU coped well once everything settled down. Memory is another area that has been compromised as you only get around 10MB free to play with and the mini-SD expansion card is held underneath the hard to remove battery cover.
The camera is only 1.3mp which will enable you to take 1280 x 1024 images (which looked ok when viewed on our test PC) but it has no fancy bells and whistles - such as flash support - and with hardly any memory to play with the expansion card is needed asap in order to take images.
More impressively was the inclusion of a 1150 mAh Lithium-ion battery, which is quite good for a product of this size, it has a standby time of 145 ~ 220 hrs and a talk time of 3.5 ~ 8 hrs, this will of course be drained quicker if you connect to the internet or watch videos.
Its call quality was not brilliant either, it sounded distant when we spoke, with a touch of background interference being visible during our conversation.