I have to say I totally disagree with guybrush's post:
I have to say that I am somewhat disappointed with this device. I have been patiently waiting for a new Windows Mobile Standard (WMS) device from HTC. While the specs of the S740 handset are pretty impressive, I am not sure that this device has a market. I do not believe that the WMS market needs a QWERTY keyboard on its handsets, and I think that this is a serious design flaw.
I believe that HTC (with S710, S730, S630), Motorola (with Q-series) and Samsung (with SGH-i640) have already proven the opposite. QWERTY WMS phones have their market and that market is comparable to, if not bigger than, non-QWERTY WMS market.
This device blurs the line between WMS and Windows Mobile Professional (WMP) devices. There should be a distinction between WMS and WMP devices, both in specs and in price point. Because this device tried to be more that it should be in terms of specs, it missed the target on the price point, and that this a serious stumble that has repeated for most WMS devices.
Why should there be specs and price difference? WMS is alternative
to WMP. It's not an underdog for some poor people from developing countries that cannot afford WMP device. I'm happily willing to pay for WMS as much as I would for WMP (if the specs are worth it). Besides - pricing for S740 has already been announced and with price tag below 450€ it's cheaper than Touch Pro and Touch Diamond.
If Microsoft wants to conquer the mobile phone market, it needs devices that are small, simple, and cheap. This device is thick, bloated, and will very likely be expensive. It simply misses the point of the WMS platform.
WMS is simpler than WMP in its nature - and that is - no matter how many radios it has. And talking about S740's dimensions - it's thinner and narrower (although a bit longer) than my last smartphone - HTC S310. And that one I certainly wouldn't call big. And once again - it won't be expensive - it's very much comparable (or cheaper) to other smart devices.
While the WMP platform is designed for touch devices that are spec heavy, relatively large, and mainly targeted to business users, media heavy users, and serious net mobile surfers, the WMS platform is/should be designed for devices that are minimal in specs, candy bar or clamshell in design, with simple 12 button keypads, and no QWERTY keyboards. WMS devices should be targeted to the everyday user or as a companion to the de facto business device (i.e., the Blackberry).
This could have been true some 8 years ago. Today the situation is very much different. With WMP devices becoming smaller and smaller and WMS devices becoming more and more powerful it really only comes to your preferences - if you like to use touchscreen device (with WMP interface) or non-touchscreen device (with WMS interface). And about Blackberries - sorry, but those are just outsiders compared to WM for such a long time already.
The everyday user needs a phone to mainly make calls, send SMS messages, check and update a schedule and a To-Do list, take simple notes, take the occasional picture, check non-time-sensitive e-mail, and look up something every once in a while.
A user you describe is dumbphone user - such user would never buy a smartphone. My 4-year-old Sony Ericsson K700i could handle all the things you have mentioned.
WMS devices (and the OS itself) should be designed to make these tasks as easy and as accessible as possible. The typical WMS device should not (in 2008), therefore, have GPS, 7.2 HSDPA, QWERTY keyboards, or other bells and whistles.
I really see how having many features contradicts being accessible and easy. They just sit there - and you are not forced to use them if you don't feel like it.
WMS devices could have such features and more, but not on the main line of devices by Windows Mobile handset manufacturers (which on last count, Samsung and HTC standout as the only active and serious players).
Motorola, Asus and lately also HP are active in WMS department as well. But that doesn't really matter for the sake of our topic.
Before the WMS and WMP platforms succeed, Microsoft and Windows Mobile device manufacturers need to determine which market segment to attack. They can choose from the mainstream mobile phone market (where Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson mainly play), the media and net surfer market (where the iPhone wants to dominate), or the business market (where Blackberry is currently king). I believe that with a little tweaking and with appropriately specced devices, the WMS platform can easily beat the offerings of its competition in the mainstream market (if not get embraced by the very manufacturers in that market). As for WMP, it appears that it is becoming a serious contender in the media and mobile net surfer market, as well as the business market. The devices are getting better and the OS is becoming easier to use, so WMP appears to be on the right track.
I believe that one of the greatest things about WMS devices is that they can easily represent each of 3 market segments you mention. They are accessible and (usually) look like mainstream phones, have no problem with media and net (like, well, iPhone) and yet offer full feature set for business users.
If HTC has a couple of more WMS devices up its sleeves that do not have QWERTY keyboards, and that are simple, thin, and cheap (see Samsung SGH-i200), then the state of the WMS platform could be saved. Otherwise, I am not sure where WMS goes from here, if anywhere.
Like every other market - WMS market needs diversity. HTC have proven in the past that it can deliver cheap low-end devices (such as S310 I have already mentioned). But I don't see how bringing high-end WMS devices destroys platform as a whole.
And a few words to the end: I was a very happy user of HTC S310. The only thing that really bothered me was screen resolution. Therefor I decided to switch to newer device. I have eagerly awaited S730, but when it came out it had quite a few deal-breakers for me. It's been very thick, quite slow, had memory leaks and lacked GPS.
Therefor I went for TyTN II which just came up and seemed to pack everything I could ever need in a reasonable form-factor. I was never satisfied with it as much as I was with S310. TyTN II, despite having much faster CPU, is slower and less responsive. And quite a bit bigger as well. And WMP interface has always been kind of too much PC-oriented for my taste.
I have, however learnt two things:
1. I am definitely WMS guy. And I don't prefer WMS devices because they tend to be cheaper, but because of their great, responsive and easy, yet extremely powerful interface in package very similar to standard phone.
2. I would never again buy a phone (or PDA) without QWERTY keyboard. It is just so much comfortable to have full key set to type SMS messages, e-mails etc.
HTC S740 is the device I have been long waiting for. And if it doesn't include some hidden (such as performance) problems, I will buy one. Every device I have been deciding to buy or not had at least one major drawback for me. In this sense S740 is IMO almost perfect (two minor glitches I see are non-AF LEDless camera and smaller capacity battery).