Log in

View Full Version : My Experience with the HTC s710 Smartphone

Mike Temporale
12-17-2007, 03:30 PM
A couple of our readers expressed some concern about my comments about the Vox (HTC s710) and their recent purchase of this phone. So before I start talking about my new device, I thought I should cover off some of my experiences with the Vox and why I just couldn't use it any longer. <br /><br /><img border="0" alt="" src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/500/spt/auto/1197028327.usr3.jpg" /><br /><br />The keyboard is one of the things that I felt would grow on me the more I used the device. However that just never happened. In fact the more I used it, the more I grew to hate the layout and feel of the keyboard. If you look at the keyboard layout you'll see that the Q, A, and Z keys are not lined up. The Q is one column to the left of the A and Z keys. Time after time I found myself hitting the shift key instead of the letter A and then all the letters from the middle row would be wrong until I actually stopped to read over what I had typed. Another problem with this keyboard is the blue backlight. For some reason, I find it hard to use in a dark place. My eyes have a hard time trying to adjust and see the keys. <br /><br />The slide out keyboard is a great idea, and the rotating screen is pretty cool. The problem is the time it takes to adjust when you open or close the keyboard. I had to learn to take a pause after opening the keyboard or else I would lose whatever keystrokes I made during the screen rotate process. With the keyboard open, you can still use the number pad and the direction pad. That's a neat design and makes the keyboard layout more functional. However, the direction pad and numbers are on the left hand side of the phone. For some, that might not be a problem, but I'm right handed and found it really awkward to navigate the menus with just my right hand. Plus, the left and right softkeys located on the keyboard panel are right up against the top of the phone making it hard to press. They need a little more space between the keys and the top of the phone to make them usable. <br /><br />The issues I've mentioned so far, are all design related and I'm sure that everyone will have a different view on those issues. Unfortunately, my problems with this phone don't stop with the hardware design. When I first unpacked this device and took it out on the road with me, I noticed that I was missing the notifications for all my calls and emails. I played with the volume settings, but they all looked fine. I played with profiles, but again there was nothing wrong with that either. The problem turned out to be the actual sound files. The phone was setup to use audio files that were not on the device! Once I got all that fixed up I was finally able to catch phone calls as they came in. Imagine my surprise when I couldn&rsquo;t hear the person on the other end of the phone. After much investigation, I found that they could hear me just fine, but I couldn&rsquo;t hear them. Again, I checked all the usual things without any luck. In the end, the problem appears to be that the phone was stuck in Headset mode. There was no icon in the title bar of the phone to indicate this. Also, plugging in and removing the headset didn&rsquo;t fix the problem. I had to actually pair a Bluetooth headset and then reboot the phone to make everything right. This problem would show up a couple times during my use of the phone. Each time, the only way to fix things was to pair a Bluetooth headset with the phone and then reboot. Oh, and in case you&rsquo;re wondering, turning on and off Bluetooth had no effect on the device. It got to the point where I was using speaker phone in public because I didn&rsquo;t have a headset handy to run through the whole process. <br /><br />So, is it wrong for you to buy a Vox? No, I wouldn&rsquo;t say so. It depends on your needs and wants from a Windows Mobile Smartphone. I know this phone is extremely popular with a lot of our readers, and I haven&rsquo;t seen anyone mention having these problems with their devices. So I have to think that my problems may be related to an early revision of the ROM or pre-production issues. However, I didn&rsquo;t think the phone I had was a pre-production unit. If you&rsquo;re looking for a Smartphone that&rsquo;s more phone that messenger device and something that&rsquo;s can easily fit in your pocket or purse, this is a great fit. Just be sure to put it through its paces before the return period ends. <br /><br /><br />

12-17-2007, 04:11 PM
I know a lot of people from "the other thread" will appreciate you spelling out what you didn't like about the Vox.

Personally, I don't think my question from "the other thread" has been answered yet: why not consider the s730? Seems like most of the problems you mention have been fixed with that model? Maybe the Vox scared you for life on that form factor?

Jerry Raia
12-17-2007, 05:55 PM
I liked the keyboard but I must say the slowness of the device, especially when the screen would rotate, was frustrating me. I did like the form factor but sometimes when I would pick up the phone I would find it sliding open a bit. Now that it it is gone I don't really miss it. I like the Q9 h much better overall.

Mark Larson
12-17-2007, 05:56 PM
Personally, I don't think my question from "the other thread" has been answered yet: why not consider the s730? Seems like most of the problems you mention have been fixed with that model? Maybe the Vox scared you for life on that form factor?

Don't reward HTC when they messed it up that bad?

12-17-2007, 08:30 PM
I've had the S710 for about a year now, and I have to say I love it.

I just some weeks to get used to the keyboard and to use my left hand navigating when in landscape, but after that I've just loved it.

I've discovered that when you use the WLM plugin on the Home screen, the device slows down a lot! But when I'm not using themes with the WLM plugin, the device is pretty fast.

Yes, it's still a bit slow when rotating, but I don't find it that irritating.

What I've also discovered is that Agenda One is a LOT faster than Microsoft's built in calendar, especially when rotating the screen.

I'm seriously considering getting the Q9, but it's got more to do with wanting to try it than replacing my S710.

12-17-2007, 10:30 PM
I have mixed feelings...

On one hand, I love the S710 since I finally have a "REAL PHONE" with all the Smartphone features I love.
I used to carry a 'Pocket PC' phone which was an uncomfortable brick in my pocket... now I finally have a slim cell and when I want to reply to emails, I pull out the keyboard.

On the other hand, I completely agree with all the complaints about the rotating screen... IT IS SOOOOO ANOYING!! SOO SLOW!
I am also disappointed with the processor speed, lack of G3 and ohhh, yes... the design of the keyboard.

I am now curious to know if this has all been fixed in the 730 model??

Mike Temporale
12-19-2007, 04:22 AM
I know a lot of people from "the other thread" will appreciate you spelling out what you didn't like about the Vox.

Personally, I don't think my question from "the other thread" has been answered yet: why not consider the s730? Seems like most of the problems you mention have been fixed with that model? Maybe the Vox scared you for life on that form factor?

Fair enough. The s730 won't address the problem I see in being more of a messeging person than just a phone user. I really get tired of the Turn/Slide/Wait/Reply process. I really think I could live with something like the Samsung i620 which is a slider but doesn't require the turn or wait part of the equation.

The 710 is thicker than I liked and the 730 is even thicker. It may only be a little thicker than the 710, but I find the 710 is too thick to be comfortable in my pocket.

The keyboard on the 710 seems loose. The Shadow is very different feel to the slide-out keyboard. But on the 710 it giggles and wiggles a little. Enough so, that the vibrate more makes an annoying rattling sound as the top and bottom bump up against each other.

Finaly - and these are in no real order, I found the quality of voice and speaker on the HTC to be less than that on the Samsung. This is one reason I really wanted to try the Motorola. I wanted to get a good feeling for how other phones sound.

Does that help answer your question?

12-19-2007, 04:31 AM
I have been using the Vox for close to 3 months now and I'm loving it! The issues that Mike mentioned (not receiving notifications, headset auto on, etc.) seem to be issues with that particular unit, coz i've never faced them so far. Mike made a good point about the layout of the keyboard. I too found it a bit strange for starters, but got used to it within a week of owning the device.

Yes, the device is slow in switching modes, and although i've seen worse speeds across brands and platforms, that is no excuse!!

The initial user feedback from the S730 users is far from positive. GPS does not seem to work out of the box, and there are memory-related issues. Most power users are now hoping for HTC to come out with a new ROM already!

For anyone wanting to try out a new device, Moto Q9h seems to be a good option. But I'd still recommend very strongly to go thru user forums are read about the issues faced by real life users before buying any device.

12-21-2007, 03:36 AM
Guys, guys....

Like I posted in the prior topic, overclocking resolves 90% of all Vox problems. Why is everyone running this at OEM speeds? It's practically useless at stock speeds.

Get this overclocked to 228mhz or even 252mhz and the Vox really does become quite viable.

I wish it had a 400mhz CPU and 3G. But until HTC gets that speed in the same (or thinner) form factor, the S710 will do the trick for me.

12-21-2007, 07:06 AM
mike, do you actually have the version of the phone pictured above? i couldn't find that black keypad version anywhere. i was told that it was a pre-production device, aside from the uk orange version.

if you do have the pre-production device, that would definitely explain why you had so many issues. my boss and i both bought s710's and have been very happy with them. (except for the lack of 3G and slow screen rotation!)

anyway, i'm leaning towards the s730 now, mainly cuz i want a slightly faster processor and 3G will change my tethering lifestyle!

12-21-2007, 03:25 PM
Hey guys,

All of this talk about the slowness of the S710 is really kind of moot when there's a proven, stable solution for it: Overclocking.

In fact, after much research, I only decided to invest in this phone with the knowledge and guarantee that I could overclock it reliably as a permanent solution.

And I have, and it's a new phone.

It's so critical to this phone's usefulness, that I put together a complete guide to doing it here (http://www.modaco.com/index.php?s=&showtopic=260495&view=findpost&p=851387).

And the video of some guy's S710 overclocked is here (http://rapidshare.com/files/39001729/vox.wmv). It was only after seeing this video (in combination of seeing no problems anywhere with long-term reliability) that I decided that this phone had the right set of compromises and form-factor for me.

I only wish it had 3G and a 400-600Mhz chip and it were .3" thinner. When that comes out, I'll trade up!