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HTC Explorer review

 Review: November 2011  

Rating: 3 stars

In a nutshell: The HTC Explorer is a mid-budget Android phone designed for smartphone newbies.

Today's best buy: HTC Explorer Sim Free Smartp ... from Amazon (£54.99)



The HTC Explorer is HTC's most affordable Android smartphone to date. It's very similar in many ways to the HTC Wildfire S, which retails at just a few pennies more. The two phones are practically the same in fact, with just one or two differences.

Firstly, the Explorer's camera is of lower spec than the Wildfire S's. Secondly, the styling of the Explorer is more modern, reminding us of the big budget HTC Sensation. Thirdly, the Explorer uses a newer version of HTC's custom-designed user interface, called HTC Sense. This is version 3.5 and includes one or two updates, such as a new lockscreen that lets you access your contacts, mail, camera, and messages in one swipe even when your phone is locked. It's a version of Sense that's been adapted for entry-level handsets, so despite the Explorer having a relatively slow 600 MHz processor, the user interface still manages to run quite smoothly by missing out fancy graphics and animations.

The Explorer is clearly designed to bring the power of an Android smartphone to new users. So, if you've not used a smartphone before, or if this is your first phone, you'll find it a relatively inexpensive introduction to smartphone functionality. We're big fans of HTC Sense, and this latest version makes it very easy to access all the goodies that Android offers, without having to be very techy. There's a simplified home screen and some of the apps have been modified to make them easier to use. Whether it's browsing the web, catching up with your friends on facebook, or just smarter text messaging and mobile email, you'll find that HTC Sense makes it all easy. For example, Friend Stream shows all your friends’ Facebook updates, Tweets and Flickr photos on a single screen. Caller ID shows not only the caller's name and photo, but also their Facebook status and birthday too. The News App delivers personalised news feeds directly to your phone. The Explorer runs the 2.3.5 Gingerbread version of Android.

The Explorer is a compact phone too, by smartphone standards and will easily fit in a pocket. Nevertheless, the screen is a good size at 3.2 inches, and has a high resolution of 320 x 480 pixels, making it a better option for web browsing than, say the Samsung Galaxy Y.

The Explorer has much to offer, including all the phone basics of a comprehensive contact manager, messaging and internet. There's also a music and media player, enabling full screen playback of video clips. There's assisted GPS with Google Maps, enabling you to find your location and view a map of your surroundings. There's a very basic camera and video recorder too. And of course, being a smartphone you can download apps - including thousands of free games such as the famous Angry Birds - from the Android Market.

Remember that this is a budget phone, so there are compromises in the hardware. The processor is underpowered for a device of this type, and this can lead to lags at times, in particular when web browsing or any other graphic intensive work. The 512MB of built-in memory is adequate for the job though, and you can expand this to 32GB by adding a microSD memory card.

Connectivity hasn't been compromised at all, we're pleased to report. The Explorer has quadband GSM, so you can use it in any country, plus 3G with up to 7.2Mbps download speeds on a HSPA-enabled network. For even faster data access you can use the phone's Wi-Fi to connect to a home computer or a wireless hotspot. There's also Bluetooth, USB and a 3.5mm audio headset connector.

Battery life is always a challenge for Android phones, and the Explorer is no different. With a modest 1230mAh battery, you might find you need to charge every couple of days - more frequently if you make full use of the phone's features.

So the Explorer makes an excellent starter phone for someone trying out Android for the first time. It gives you all the functionality of a high-end smartphone, but scaled down to meet the budget. Plus HTC have made efforts to simplify the experience for the smartphone novice or occasional user. It's ideal for the non-techy who doesn't want to spend a lot of time learning how to use the phone. But it isn't the only option. If cost is your priority, you'll find cheaper Android handsets like the Samsung Galaxy Europa or Galaxy Mini. Or you could spend a little more on the HTC Wildfire S if you want a better quality camera.

HTC Explorer features include:

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HTC Explorer Sim Free Smartp ...
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HTC Explorer SIM Free Smartp ...
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HTC Explorer user reviews

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Average rating from 14 reviews:

Reviewed by ann from london on 14th Jan 2014
I hate htc explorer.don't make the mistake I made by buying it that company should be illegal!! It lags,no memory,always needs a rebooth,grainy camera,fat.to tell u what I would rather have a chunky motorola.cheap skates!!

Reviewed by Kyle Leroy from united kingdom on 22nd Nov 2012
HTC explorer is a cool phone i already have it nd ordered from prepaymania.co.uk best online shopping website for cheaper phones and accessories..

Reviewed by Bruno from France on 6th Apr 2012
Very, very good phone for the money.
It can even run high profile games like Anomaly Warzone Earth or ShadowGun without a hiccup.
Very impressive little phone.

Reviewed by Caglar Cakmak from Turkey on 19th Mar 2012
Amazing ! Low Price High Performance !

Reviewed by Astroboy from UK on 3rd Mar 2012
Best phone I've owned, small, simple to use, lots of features, fast, reliable, light, compact. Very impressed with HTC after having used Nokia and Sony in the past. Only things missing: longer battery life (it lasts up to 3 days after optimisation with moderate use), better camera and flash.

Reviewed by steve from england on 10th Jan 2012
I have just bought this phone, and i must say, it is brilliant, the best phone i have ever had. I am definately going to give this phone 5 stars,I have taken some wonderful photos with it,and my friends are envious, and also want one. It is also dead easy to use, I have also put a lot of apps on it,and battery life isnt to bad. Go ahead and buy it, you wont be dissappointed.

Reviewed by graz from italy on 9th Jan 2012
i got this mobile 2 days ago i m loving it. It sounds a cool and useful phone. Internet on wifi works very fine and all seems ok. Good but not gigant smartphone!

Reviewed by wil from wales on 5th Jan 2012

Reviewed by denis morton from england on 4th Jan 2012
like the phone but cannot get the telephone calls history deleted, any one help, have tried most things , it will be very simple but at the moment I am lost

Reply by paulines from cumbria on 28th Jun 2012
if you havnt been able to clear your list yet heres how : 1/ tap phone icon on home page 2/ tap call history bottom right corner 3/ tap the icon with 4 small lines 4/ tap the bottom right "remove call history" 5/ you can either delete all by tapping the very top square, then bottom "delete" bottom left. Hope this helps you.

Reviewed by jessica from miami on 29th Dec 2011

Reviewed by william from united kindom on 20th Dec 2011
i just got this phone and wanted to learn about it so here i am saying thanks!!

Reviewed by Natasha from England x on 19th Dec 2011
This phone is amazing! I love the Android & the fact that it works in any country! I would certainly recommend this phone to anyone! xoxoxo

Reviewed by Sally from Cornwall on 19th Dec 2011
My daughter has got this phone and i think it is a really good phone. It has a n amazing camera and apps. The internet is very good too. I would defantily recomand this amazing phone to anyone.

Reviewed by Anurag from India on 13th Dec 2011
i purchace explorer, looking stylish, screen clarity very good, screen resolution 320x480 says in specification. but, it support 480x640 resolution videos. internet speed average, youtube working very poor and buffering very very long time in 2g, compare to samsung star5233 is better working and not buffering youtube videos in 2g. camera good zooming low. headset not in box. Downloding speed average.

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