HTC Tattoo review: Your phone, your ink

Your phone, your ink

GSMArena team, 12 March 2010.


The HTC Tattoo wants to redefine smart in smartphone. This affordable little thing was among the first droids to go mass-market. But run-of-the-mill specs don’t mean a boring personality. The HTC Tattoo wears its heart on the sleeve and a shirt for every day of the week means no shortage of sleeves. What do you know, HTC are busy running a tattoo shop.

The Android Market is a huge part of the deal with every droid phone. The HTC Tattoo has two: a beauty shop and a food store to go to. Back at launch, the QVGA screen resolution wouldn’t let the Tattoo make the best of the Android Market. Things should be different a few months later with more QVGA droids around.

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HTC Tattoo official photos

The HTC Tattoo is the unlikeliest of phones to be bored with, but there’s more to this than the custom-designed covers: the Tattoo will be getting the Android 2.1 Éclair update. Nice one, we say: some happy users and a review that’s at least remotely on time. Here go the full specs to get us started:

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
  • 3G with HSDPA 7.2 Mbps
  • Heavily customizable: exchangeable covers
  • Android OS v1.6 (Sense UI), upgradeable to 2.1 Eclair
  • 2.8" resistive touchscreen of QVGA resolution
  • Qualcomm MSM 7225 528 MHz CPU, 256 MB RAM, 512 MB ROM
  • 3.15 megapixel fixed-focus camera
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g and GPS receiver
  • Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate
  • Standard miniUSB port for charging and data
  • Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP)
  • microSD card slot, up to 8GB support (a 2GB card in the box)
  • Standard 3.5mm audio jack
  • Direct access to the official Android repository
  • Smart dialing
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS

Main disadvantages

  • QVGA resolution doesn’t do Android/ Sense UI graphics justice
  • No video-call camera
  • Camera lacks auto focus, flash and has a rather basic UI
  • CIF@15fps video recording (352 x 288 pixels) is below par
  • No voice dialing
  • No DivX or XviD video support or a third-party application to play that
  • Poor MP4 playback performance - barely watchable in video resolution above QVGA
  • No Flash support for the web browser
  • No Bluetooth file transfers (not without rooting)
  • No TV-out port

It’s the custom-designed covers that make the HTC Tattoo a unique package, a phone for users who want to express themselves. The unique customization is the right thing perhaps to make an otherwise average smartphone stand out – and inspire mass users to endorse a new platform.

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HTC Tattoo live photos

The top-notch connectivity aside, the HTC Tattoo is a standard smartphone package. This is a first-gen Android with all the inherent weaknesses. On top of that, you get a smallish low-resolution screen. Well, that’s one part of the deal you sign for. But it’s still all fair and square we think when you throw in the reasonable price tag and the chance to express your artistic self.

So, is the Tattoo really your kind of phone? You know, even if it’s not, that’s easier to fix than any other phone out there. The HTC Tattoo has been around long enough but it’s keen to offer a new experience every time. Let’s see.

Reader comments

  • AnonD-646030
  • 19 Feb 2017
  • rKV

One of my favorite phone I have ever use

  • hamidreza1338
  • 24 Nov 2014
  • HIN

Please new software for download .

  • peggy
  • 27 Dec 2012
  • N7A

I want to know if the htc tattoo upgrade is out.