updated 08:30 am EDT, Tue August 26, 2008
HTC this morning countered moves by Nokia through the launch of the S740. The smartphone has the all-black, stylized look of the Touch Diamond but gives up the touchscreen for a smaller 2.4-inch LCD and traditional hardware controls, including a number pad; the change lets users dial or text more easily one-handed, HTC claims. A slide-out QWERTY keyboard as with the Touch Pro gives the S740 full-speed typing when necessary.
Apart from the control scheme change, the S740 loses little of the features of either newer Touch model; it keeps the 3.2-megapixel camera, real GPS and Wi-Fi of the touchscreen phones as well as a directional-pad version of their custom onscreen interface. It swaps out the 4GB of built-in flash on the Diamond for a microSDHC slot and also gains battery life, running for up to six hours of calls on 3G and seven hours on GSM.
The Windows Mobile 6.1 device will ship first to Europe in September with prices that vary by the carrier. It supports quad-band GSM and thus will work in North America as-is, but currently limits its 3G calling and data support to 3.6Mbps and 7.2Mbps HSDPA networks in Asia and Europe and so is unlikely to ship to the US without a feature change.