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HTC Explorer announced: Sense 3.5, 3.2-inch touchscreen

HTC has taken the wraps off of the Explorer, confirming much of what we’d heard previously from leaks and rumours. It’s a smaller, mid-range phone that’s aimed at a similar slice of the market that the Wildfire S caters for, only with less fancy curves.

The Explorer comes in three versions – metallic blue and black and a textured rubbery ‘active’ black (above) that provides a measure of grip. Like the fashion-conscious HTC Rhyme before it, comes with HTC Sense 3.5 installed. The emphasis here is on straightforwardness and usability.

HTC Sense on the Explorer brings you the expected weather widgets and FriendStream social network aggregation but also chucks in the customisable lock screen widget that we first saw on high-end phones like the HTC Sensation and Evo 3D. The HTC Explorer also throws in a Smart Dialler, a one-touch menu for easy speed dialing and a data management app, to make sure you don’t stray over your monthly data plan.

Small and Sense-ible

You get a 3-megapixel camera (no flash) and a 3.2-inch HVGA touchscreen. Processor-wise, there’s a 600MHz chip handling the proceedings. Yep, the Explorer isn’t going to come first in any benchmarking tests. But that’s not really its raison d’etre.

Despite the lowly specs, HTC says that you get Flash support with your web browsing and the Explorer should handle ‘nearly all’ of the apps found in the Android Market.

Speaking of Android you get 2.3.5 Gingerbread here, one version above the more secure 2.3.4 but thankfully not 2.3.6, which has been playing merry heck with our Nexus One this week.

The built-in web browser also features quick URL prediction including automatic URL corrections – useful for when you mistakenly type in, or something.

All sounds pretty good for a mid-ranger; we’ll of course be putting the Explorer through its paces when our review model turns up to see how big a punch the little fella packs.

Arriving in ‘Q4 2011’, with sources hinting at a November release, expect to hear pricing and contract availability for the HTC Explorer soon.


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