For those of us less inclined to dreams of grandeur, a smartphone lies somewhere between a "normal" cellphone and a PDA.

However, as soon as you slide open HTC’s S710, you’ll quickly realise that this pretty thang ain’t just a phone.

The stylish design of the phone, coupled with a sense of sturdiness, impresses immediately. The large screen also further adds to a building sense of anticipation of what the S710 can do.

And deliver it sure does — it’s capabilities reads like a rap sheet: Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.0 operating system, 65K TFT LCD display, 2 mega pixel digital camera, 7 hours talk time, 175 hours standby, auto-sliding keyboard, WMA/WMV/MP3/ACC player, video recorder/player, Windows Media Player, WLAN, GPRS/EDGE, Bluetooth, USB, WAP 2.0, microSD slot, Java, voice memo recorder, Pocket Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, PDF viewer), games… and the list goes on.

Impressed? I certainly was.

In fact, so impressive is this phone’s capabilities, that it gets frustrating. After half-an-hour’s playing around with it, I was aching for a phone that can just make and receive calls and smses.

The slide-out keyboard is, in a word, great. Although the keys are a little small for my manly hands (cough), one quickly gets used to the layout and from there on in it’s a pleasure. If you can type blind on a computer keyboard, then the key to getting some speed out of this small keyboard, is to just switch of your brain and not try to think where the keys should be, but to just press the buttons instinctively.

There are, however, a number of things that the S710 could have been better at.

First and most importantly is the speed of its processor. The S710 has a TI OMAP 850, 200 MHZ processor, which sounds pretty fast, doesn’t it? Wrong. It’s slow, dead slow. Or let me rather say it’s dead slow on this phone.

But maybe it’s got to do with Windows Mobile 6.0… which is a great operating system, to be sure, but the phone’s processor is really struggling to keep abreast with it. Or maybe I just don’t like waiting.

However, even though the processor speed might seem slow, it’s not slower than other smartphones on the market. It’s just not on the level that one would be comfortable with yet.

Windows Mobile 6.0 is not bad at all, although the layout of the menus are sometimes a bit illogical and activation of certain functions could have been more straightforward.

Still, with the amount of functions that this baby has to offer, one or two detours can be forgiven, if not always understood.

So who needs all of the stellar features on the S710?

For a business executive who needs a little more oomph than what a normal cellphone delivers, but doesn’t really need PDA-capabilities, the HTC S710 is ideal. Those who enjoy being at the frontlines of new gadgets will also find it of interest.

For the rest of us, this might just be complete overkill.