Smartphone of all trades, master of some
The HTC Touch (or MDA Touch if like me you have the T-Mobile version) has been heralded as the Windows Mobile answer to the iPhone. Well I am here to tell you it is no such thing! This is neither good or bad, just a fact!
The Touch is a smart phone running Microsoft’s latest CE implementation, Windows Mobile 6.
Dimensions (W x H x D) – 58 x 100 x 14 mm
Resolution – 240 x 320
Processor – 200mhz
Memory – 64mb shared between storage and programs
Wi-Fi, BlueTooth, USB (via mini USB), GPRS
So as you can see this is not the fastest or most feature laden of phones. It has no 3G and has a really slow processor and is slightly limited in memory.
So why release such an under powered device, there must be somehting good to say. Well there is. This is a lovely little phone. It is small, light and has a reasonable battery life (Charge every 2 days with pretty heavy use).
What makes it stand out is its intuitive TouchFlo interface. This is basically a rotating cube that can be brought up with the swipe of a finder and contains most of the important phone features. There is also the clever scroll feature. The Touch knows if you are using a finder or a stylus. Use your finder and you can drag the screen around or flick it to make it scroll.
Sadly you still need the stylus. the TouchFlo interface is just an add on and does not change the basic applications included with Windows.
The Touch comes loaded with software; Pocket Outlook, Pocket Word, Pocket Excel, Pocket Powerpoint, Acrobat LE and more. All of these work well, but with the limited storage you will want to stick in a memory card (microSD). Luckily it comes with a generous 1gb microSD card!
HTC have included a decent set of media tools, so the Touch is no slouch when it comes to music or video. Sadly they have used some proprietary headphone set up which seems a bit stupid as the included headphones/hands free kit are not all that good. The camera is ok, nothing special and the lack of flash make it a pain in low light.
There is only one assignable hardware button, which is annoying. There is a volume slider on the side, but this is very hard to move with your thumb as it is so smooth!
The Touch is a good phone, once you get used to it. The interface is good and with the addition of the essential and free PocketCM (a finder friendly contact app) and PCMKeyboard (a finger friendly software keyboard), I have found it a joy to use. Power users may have some problems, you will definitely need to overclock the processor and do some clever memory management. But at the end of the day this is a phone with pda functions and it does a damn good job sitting in the middle ground.
So not an iPhone, but who cares, this is a good solid all rounder!
A video of the Touch in action from the superb MSMobileNews.com site
The Bad: Slow processor, limited memory. Only one assignable button