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HTC Salsa review

How many "likes" is HTC's latest Facebook phone going to receive?

Our Verdict

A very nice piece of hardware that performs well, but we shouldn't be running out of app storage space on day one

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 512 MB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 9 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 480 x 320

View full specification

For

  • Well designed body
  • Interactive lock screen
  • Responsive screen and buttons
  • Glitch-free home screens
  • Clever Facebook integration

Against

  • Laggy camera
  • Ugly HTC Facebook pages
  • Woeful onboard app memory
  • Earpiece volume too quiet

There's a slight lack of high-quality action in the mid-sized Android phone section. The big manufacturers are focusing their attentions on creating monstrous, high-end "super-phones" with entire LCD monitors stuffed in their cases, while the smaller phone makers concentrate on offering budget handsets with smaller screens and lower specs.

Thankfully the HTC Salsa has appeared to fill that touchscreen gap, and comes as a throwback to 2010's lovely little 3.2-inch HTC Legend, trying to be the perfect compromise between performance, price and screen size – with added Facebook integration and a larger 3,4-inch HVGA screen.

With pricing expected to be around £20-£25 per month on contracts, could this be an affordable mass-market winner for HTC?

HTC salsa review

Physically, you get a tough, matte, metallic body, with HTC for once opting to use a colour other than black – the Salsa comes in a shimmering lilac. However, if you're a male user, you could get away with calling it a more macho "bluey-grey". It's certainly a relief to have something from HTC that isn't a dull, black, plastic rectangle.

HTC salsa review

The form factor is similar to that of the HTC Legend, with a similar flared "chin" that used to be HTC's hallmark design feature plus the same four capacitive touch buttons.

The optical trackpad has, once again, been binned, as with HTC's Desire S and Wildfire S 2011 updates, making the Salsa a few millimetres shorter than the Legend despite the screen size boost.

HTC salsa review

One of the finest physical touches is the Salsa's camera button. It's a proper, soft-touch button of the sort you'd find on a standalone digital camera, with a distinct two-stage press that makes focusing and shooting much, much easier than usual on cheap phone buttons, helping keep shots free of motion blur.

HTC salsa review

The Salsa is just as sweet looking around the back, with the bluey-grey metal nicely topped and tailed by grippy rubberised chunks.

HTC salsa review

The bottom rubber section is removable, after a bit of a struggle and worry, to reveal the phone's insides, with the battery, SIM and SD card held in place by a locking plastic bar.

HTC salsa review

The HTC Salsa feels very nice in the hand, well-balanced and pleasingly heavy, with metallic side buttons and logos giving it a touch of class. The capacitive buttons and the physical Facebook one are all backlit, so there's no struggle when using it in the dark. Plus they make it look nice.

HTC salsa review

Everything else is as we've come to expect from one of HTC's 2011 Android range – a 3.5mm headphone jack and the power button along the top, silvery volume rocker and USB connector to the left. And it's every bit as robust as most HTC phones these days.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory512 MB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourOcean Blue
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameHTC
Battery Talk Time9 Hour
Product ModelSalsa
Screen Size8.6 cm (3.4")
Screen Resolution480 x 320
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)120 g
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.3 Gingerbread
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height109.1 mm
Width58.9 mm
Depth12.3 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time445 Hour
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameSalsa Smartphone
Processor Speed800 MHz
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeG-sensor, Digital Compass, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Accelerometer
Manufacturer Part Number99HNB014-00
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.europe.htc.com
Marketing Information

People are the most important feature

With the HTC Salsa, you can stay connected with the people that are most important to you. The new Facebook widget lets you select the friends and family whose updates really matter, so you can always see them right on your home screen. Stay close even when you're apart.

One touch to Facebook

One touch to share what you're up to. HTC Salsa has a Facebook button that lets you share just about anything with just one touch. Take a photo - straight to Facebook. Make a video - straight to Facebook. Show whatever, whenever, at the touch of a button.

Limited Warranty1 Year