If you are looking for a mid-ranged Android smartphone that may fulfill your basic smartphone needs, without putting a hole in your pocket, then HTC Explorer might be worth checking out. While there are also cheaper smartphones in the market from other brands, such as the Samsung Galaxy Y, however, it can be arguably said that the 600 MHZ Cortex A5 CPU provides better performance then Galaxy Y’s 830 MHz ARMv6. Furthermore, HTC Explorer beats Galaxy Y in every aspect, including a better 3 MP camera, more ROM and RAM space, as well as loads of other features, including HTC Sense UI.
HTC Explorer Shape And User Interface
HTC Explorer has a stylish Pebble shaped body, with a rubber casing. It has a small 3.2-inch screen and is 12.9mm thick. HTC Explorer weighs only 108g and has a nice round edged shape. It runs Android Gingerbread 2.3,and comes with HTC Sense 3.5. HTC Explorer has seven fully customizable home screens that can be used for adding widgets and shortcuts for useful items such as apps and folders.
HTC Explorer Screen Brightness
The small 3.2 inch screen has decent brightness and good visibility in sunlight. In fact, the visibility is much better than most mid ranged smartphones, as one does not get blinded in bright sunlight, when trying to view the screen.
HTC Explorer has a fully loaded 512 MB ROM, with a number of handy widgets and built-in applications for Facebook, Gmail, Gtalk, YouTube, etc. It also provides 512 MB RAM and good processing for a 600 MHZ processor. Furthermore, it has a 3 Megapixel camera, which provides decent picture quality. When compared to similar mid ranged smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy Y, the RAM, ROM, Camera and overall features are much more enhanced, with a minor price difference. As mentioned earlier, the brightness and visibility of the screen is also quite commendable, and delivers good visibility in bright sunlight.
The seven customizable home screens provide ample space for creating handy shortcuts for apps, folders and widgets to fully customize your smartphone.
The display screen appears to be way too small and hinders navigation. This is particularly true when one is browsing the internet. Furthermore, the usable internal memory is around 90 MB, which is way too small. Users can have a headache keeping the internal memory free, since some apps cannot be transferred to the Micro SD card in HTC Explorer. The most noticeable among them are Dropbox and SugarSync. However, I was successfully able to transfer Ubuntu One to the Micro SD card.
Another downside of this smartphone is that it runs the ancient Android Gingerbread operating system, with no apparent way to upgrade to ICS. Even if one can upgrade the device to Ice Cream Sandwich somehow, the hardware might not be good enough to provide a good experience. While the overall processing is good for a 600 MHZ processor, however, the phone does lag occasionally and gets stuck for a second or two, which is quite annoying. I also faced random reboots from the device initially, however, that problem did not occur later on.
Unless you can find a good hack to sort out the internal memory problem, such as a custom ROM that can help transfer more apps to the MicroSD card, it can be hard to use this device. However, if you are looking to buy a cheap Android phone and do not require viewing emails on your mobile device, (as the default mail client only uses internal memory) and other internal memory consuming apps, then HTC Explorer is a pretty decent smartphone.
HTC Explorer Technical Specifications:
Dimensions: 102.8 x 57.2 x 12.9 mm
GPU: Adreno 200
Processor: 600 MHz Cortex A5
OS: Android Gingerbread V 2.3
Battery: Standard battery, Li-Ion 1230 mAh
- Screen Type: TFT capacitive touchscreen, with 256K colors
- Screen Resolution: 320 x 480
- Size: 3.2 inches
- HTC Sense: 3.5
- RAM: 512 MB
- Internal Storage: 512 MB ROM, 90 MB free
- Extendable Storage: 32 GB via MicroSD Card
Camera And Video Recording:
- Primary Camera: 3.15 MP
- Secondary Camera: None
- Video And Recording: Yes, (480P)
Sound And Audio:
- Audio: 3.5mm Jack
- Audio Enhancements: SRS surround sound enhancement
- Radio: Stereo FM radio with RDS
- Proximity sensor
- 2G Network
- 3G Network
- Bluetooth 3.0
- MicroUSB v2.0
Stereo FM radio with RDS