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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

HTC salsa review

The HTC Salsa features a pretty standard 5MP sensor with LED flash, which outputs photos at a maximum resolution of 2952 x 1728.

The camera app has a limited collection of filters, just your usual pointless Negative, Sepia and the other usual photo-ruining suspects no one ever, ever uses, such as this one:

HTC salsa review

...although there are more tinkering options available in the HTC Salsa's standalone image editing tool. You also get a self-timer, geo-tagging on/off toggle, face detection, shutter sound toggle and the standard white balance and exposure level gauges.

Open up a shot in the Gallery and you're able to apply a greater number of filters, with the Auto Enhance option doing a very nice job of lowering the brightness and boosting contrast levels, giving shots a much more impressive, less washed out look.

HTC salsa review

You can also have the Auto Enhance feature automatically applied to all images via a toggle in the camera app, if you like its effect on the output.

HTC salsa review

Also of use to the socially networked is the Auto Upload toggle, which enables you to sync all of your photos from the HTC Salsa to Facebook or Flickr.

HTC salsa review

Rather cleverly there's an option to do this either immediately or once a day, plus you can make it only happen via Wi-Fi – and specify privacy settings for the ones that go to Facebook. A very nice feature for social nuts.

HTC salsa review

Facebook integration has also crept into the Salsa's photo gallery, with separate tabs featuring images collated from the social network.

HTC salsa review

Click here to see the full-res shot

The Salsa's camera includes a digital zoom. Here's a photo...

HTC salsa review

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And here's the same scene snapped at maximum digital zoom. It all goes a bit blocky when viewed at actual size, but when shrunk down to social network proportions it's something you could live with.

HTC salsa review

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The Salsa's flash does a good job of illuminating dark scenes, although output does tend to suffer in quality. There's a lot of visible over-emphasised coloured pixels when viewed at full size.

HTC salsa review

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There's no specific macro option, but the Salsa manages to sort out close shots itself. As ever, close-up shots produce the most impressive results.

HTC salsa review

Click here to see the full-res shot

Unfortunately, the camera's menu screens can get bogged down and laggy while you're fiddling with settings, which ruins the experience. It's not always jerky, but every once in a while the camera will come grinding to a halt for a few seconds.

On the plus side, the two-stage physical button makes taking shots easy, although there's a slight pause between press and image capture – so you have to hold still for a little longer than you think.

Also handy is the way that holding down the shutter button launches the camera no matter what you're doing on the phone, which is another second-saving interface change for the better.

HTC salsa review

Click here to see the full-res shot

One thing the Salsa's sensor is noticeably good at is capturing scenes that include bright and dark areas. Rather than being either too bright or too dark, it's usually just right.

HTC salsa review

Click here to see the full-res shot

The HTC Salsa also does a pretty good job of maintaining the detail on shots with hair and grass, which a lot of poorer smartphone cameras turn into blotchy messes.

Overall, it's a pretty standard HTC mobile camera that produces good enough results to use and print, with that essential flash for when you stay out past dinner time.

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
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.3 Gingerbread
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Radio Tuner TypeFM
Call FeaturesCall Log
Height109.1 mm
Width58.9 mm
Depth12.3 mm
Radio TunerYes
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