A smart phone with high Web surfing bills

HTC’s S720 smart phone, available from Telus Mobility, packs an amazing amount of functions into such a small device. But I would not recommend it unless you want a device that plays the most annoying tune you ever heard, at full blast, even when you set it to “silent.”

If you’re going to use The S720 to surf the ‘Net, you need to have an unlimited expense budget, because this device does not have Wi-Fi, which means you need to use EV-DO, which is expensive if you want to download more than a few dozen kilobytes. What’s nice about the S720 it has a phone keypad, unlike an earlier HTC smart phone, the P4000, which has a slide-out keyboard but requires a stylus to dial the numbers on the touch screen. It’s relatively easy to find what you need (except for a command which silences that stupid opening tune).

The box comes with a CD, which does not contain a user manual, but a link to Telus Mobility’s Web site, from which you can download a 110-page user manual in PDF format.

At the top of the screen is a menu that includes contacts, calendar and Internet Explorer. The phone itself, with text messaging, works well and the CBC Web site rendered well on the small screen. It’s also a few hundred kilobytes, which will cost you a few dollars — each time. With Office Mobile, you can use the S720 to edit documents, and Word documents render very well on this small screen.

It has Adobe Acrobat version 2.0, and when I loaded a 15 KB file, it only took a few seconds to open it but it took a minute and 15 seconds to open a 2 MB file. Excel Mobile does a good job of rendering a spreadsheet but you cannot read comments made in Excel 2007 if the file is downloaded to the S720. This is a major disadvantage, as one the reason a worker would want Office Mobile would be to read Office documents.

The S720 is a great device, suited for those with large Web browsing budgets and a love of loud music.