Wednesday, August 11, 2010

HTC Smart Philippines launch

Yesterday I went to this product lauching of HTC’s newest smartphone; the HTC Smart.

HTCI was already thinking of backing out, but then again I don’t have anything interesting to do anyway after work, so I decided to get to the event.

Because of traffic and stuff, I got there a few minutes late, but I was just in time to witness the unveiling of the new HTC Smart. It looks pretty cute and slim too. Sadly I never got a chance to picture the unit as there were no demo units to try it out. Instead, we had a Q&A session with HTC’s newest spokesperson; Ms. Rhian Ramos. Here she is shown signing the contract with HTC as their newest brand endorser.

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She’s all smiles as she is photographed by the media (me included) as she happily becomes part of HTC. Then, after the contract signing, she went ahead with the Q&A about the phone, detailing many of its features. She particularly focused on one feature that she loved the most; the Friend Feed; which streamlines her twitter feed, text messages, emails, etc. all under one window. She mentions its pretty convenient as she doesn’t need to switch from one window to another to check her text, twitter or emails. A pretty sweet feature indeed. Oh and yeah, apparently Rhian is a twitter addict.

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However, in the middle of the Q&A, other media people started to change the topic and questions started to become more “showbiz-centric” and less about the phone. Rhian was all game and she was alright with it, but for us peepz who simply wanted to know what’s new about HTC Smart and how it can challenge the already dominant presence of Nokia smartphones and Apple’s iPhone, that part of the Q&A was simply a waste of time really…

After the Q&A, HTC made a surprise announcement that a few lucky people from the media would be getting their hands on an HTC Smart unit free. Sadly I never got to win anything, but that’s perfectly fine by me.

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Man, they sure are lucky to be bringing an HTC Smart home. After awarding the media folks with their own HTC Smart, HTC announced the names of the 10 lucky testers who will go home and try out HTC Smart for a period of 1 month with free 1 month’s worth of unlimited dataplan. These lucky testers also get an additional bonus, where the top 3 testers will get to keep the phone for free, while the rest will be able to avail of a 50% discount to the phone. Not a bad deal indeed. Here’s the pics of the winning testers:

Image0855Congrats to the winning testers!! After the awarding, there’s another Q&A session with Ms. Rhian Ramos where thankfully this time its more related to the product, and not some showbiz crap. I mean seriously, I came there for a product unveiling and not finding out who’s Rhian’s current flame sheesshhh showbiz media people. Anyway, after the Q&A Rhian was nice enough to have a pictorial with her adoring fans.

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And ofcourse, I wouldn’t pass up an opportunity of having my picture taken with a celebrity such as Rhian. So here’s yours truly with Ms. Rhian Ramos:

Image0871After the Q&A and the mini photoshoot, the event started to become a party complete with loud disco music, dancers, and stuff. Yeah, its getting rowdy, noisy, booze being passed around and alot of people are starting to get to party alright. Too bad I ain’t got much cash to spend and have a few more drinks of my own before heading home.

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There were also models posing with the unit, but its more of look don’t touch. Damn how I’d want to get my hands on those 2 babies… the HTC Smart I mean:

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Then afterwards, I got a chance to talk to Ms. Rhian Ramos again backstage and I asked her more about the phone this time, as there are still lingering questions in my mind about the phone. Rhian seemed to be very much happy with HTC Smart that she actually challenged me to name a particular smartphone brand and she’ll give her thoughts on how it compares with HTC Smart. And here’s what I found out:

  • Compared to the Apple iPhone – Rhian told me she used to have an iPhone and she STILL prefers an HTC Smart. One of her rants about the iPhone was the fact that she hates the messaging system and its auto-correction feature where when she tries to type something in tagalog, she gets to get a different word altogether.
  • Compared to the Nokia N900 – Rhian mentions this was her previous phone before she got an HTC Smart. She admits to being someone who isn’t a techie person and she hates over sophistication in her devices, and if you guys remember my review of the N900’s Maemo OS, it definitely confused her alot. Another thing she hated about it was it lags or crashes every now and then.
  • Compared to the Blackberry – Rhian told me that since she’s a twitter addict she used to have a Blackberry unit of her own. And while she does admit that the Blackberry is excellent for twitter, she hated the small screen and the browser speed.

I’m surprised that Ms. Rhian Ramos was actually nice in person. I have this notion that most celebrities are snobs and are fake, but as we are talking at the back she seemed very sincere and was very nice. She’s also very down-to-earth which also added more to her bubbly appeal. So before I go, here’s another picture of me and Ms. Rhian Ramos backstage after I had a little chat with her about HTC Smart:


Hopefully one of these days, I can get to try out HTC Smart myself. XD

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