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HTC Salsa review

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HTC salsa review

The HTC Salsa is yet another impressive Android phone from HTC, with its polished Sense interface as smooth, reliable and feature-packed as ever. The only flaws here are the phone's puzzling lack of internal memory and a camera that occasionally gets itself awfully bogged down.

If you can live with the above foibles, the HTC Salsa's an excellent choice for those who find today's four-inch "superphones" too big to handle.

We liked

The Salsa's battery life is superb – one of the big advantages of opting for a mid-sized screen with an average processor. If you've found the limited uptime of the bigger smartphones frustrating to live with, the Salsa will be a godsend.

HTC's hardware is once again excellent all round. The metallic case is sturdy, the screen responsive, the capacitive buttons reliable and trustworthy. Having a proper, soft-touch camera button makes it an excellent replacement digital camera, too.

The output of the camera is pretty nice for a 5MP sensor, producing colourful shots relatively free from digital mess. Video is also much better than produced by the Wildfire S, with the wide 720 x 480 output sharp and smooth.

We disliked

The camera app struggles, with quite a bit of lag slowing down the menus. It's not always laggy and is never totally unusable, but sometimes the icons take a second or two to scroll and the digital zoom can get itself horrendously bogged down.

The Facebook integration could seem a bit useless to some if they're more enamoured by the price point and looks of the Salsa rather than the FB button.

While it's nice to have one-button access to post status updates if you're a serious social networking people-botherer, HTC's own Facebook pages look awful and don't update as reliably as the official app. You'd be better off just using the Facebook app and its widget – although generally we found an increase in our Facebookery using the phone.

The lack of Flash Player support is offset by HTC's own Flash Lite app that manages to play many embedded videos, but without full Flash Player support the Salsa loses one of Android's key differentiating features. No iPlayer here. But then that's also the BBC's fault.

Once again, HTC has skimped on onboard storage. Simply installing our essential "day one" Android apps caused the Salsa to complain about low space. Giving users a shameful 150MB of storage space for downloaded apps and games just isn't good enough in 2011.

Verdict

We love the hardware and HTC's Sense interface runs exceptionally smoothly on top of Android 2.3, plus the Salsa works very well indeed as a mobile web browser and can handle the demands of Angry Birds' physics code with ease.

If the camera worked a little more smoothly and if there was a touch (well, a lot) more app storage space, it would be the perfect mid-sized Android phone.

It's a well-made phone that's enjoyable to use and a breath of fresh air in the world of bland black slabs – but today's app-hungry smartphone users will find its lack of onboard memory a daily frustration.

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