HTC Tattoo review

Barry de la Rosa
2 Jul 2010
HTC Tattoo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

A snappy little Android phone with a decent camera and HTC's Sense software, it's overshadowed by Samsung's better-value Galaxy Portal



Android 1.6, 2.8in 240x320 display

The HTC Tattoo is a cute little Android phone that's available free on contract for £20 a month. Despite its budget price, it has all the features you'd expect on a smartphone, including GPS, FM Radio, Bluetooth and WiFi.

It may not be as sleek as HTC's other Android phones, but the Tattoo's curved chin and large, round central button give it character. All the controls are located on the phone's chin, with only a volume rocker on the side. A 3.5mm headphone socket is located on the top edge, while a mini-USB port, for charging and data transfer, is on the bottom.

The Tattoo's 2.8in screen is a bit cramped, and the resolution of 240x320 isn't very high, so the graphics look a bit pixelated. That said, the screen is clear and text is readable. The screen uses a resistive touch interface, but it's sensitive enough and overall we found the Tattoo very responsive. Battery life is better than average, but you'll still need to charge regularly if you use WiFi and 3G data a lot.

HTC has opted for the older 1.6 version of Android, so the Tattoo doesn't have support for multiple Google or Exchange accounts. It does, however, have HTC's Sense software, that adds some decent interface tweaks and apps. The People app is the highlight, with its ability to merge contact details from multiple accounts, and display all details for each contact in one window.

The Albums app can import photos from Facebook and Flickr, but strangely not from Google's Picasa. Photos taken on the Tattoo's 3.2-megapixel camera are surprisingly colourful, although they show lots of noise in dark areas and aren't up to the standard of shots taken on a compact digital camera.

With a fast enough processor and a responsive touch screen, the Tattoo is easy to use, and HTC's Sense software does much to make up for the older version of Android. You may find some newer apps won't work on the Tattoo, but for £20 a month it's great value. However, Samsung's Galaxy Portal is available on contract for the same price, has Android 2.1 and a much larger AMOLED screen.




Main display size2.8in
Native resolution240x320
Second DisplayNo
CCD effective megapixels3.2-megapixel
Video recording format3GP
ConnectivityBluetooth, USB, WiFi
Internal memory256MB
Memory card supportmicroSDHC
Memory card included2048MB
Operating frequenciesGSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 900/2100
Wireless dataEDGE, HSPA, WCDMA


Operating systemAndroid 1.6
Microsoft Office compatibilitynone
Email clientPOP3/IMAP/Exchange
Audio format supportMP3, AAC, AAC+, AAC-LC, AMR-NB, WAV, MIDI, WMA
Video playback formatsMPEG4, H.263, H.264, WMV
FM Radioyes
Web BrowserWebkit
Accessoriesheadset, data cable, charger
Talk time5.7 hours
Standby time21.7 days
Tested battery life (MP3 playback)13h 31m

Buying Information

SIM-free price£199
Price on contract£20-per-month, 18-month contract

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