Thursday, July 19, 2007

A touch of convenience

For anyone eyeing Apple's iPhone in this part of the world, HTC's Touch is the only game in town so far. We get a feel for it and wonder if it'll leave us hungry for more.

Under its new HTC banner, the former Dopod company has just released the Touch, a Pocket PC phone that tries to be a little different from the rest.

What makes the Touch different is that HTC has redesigned the usual Pocket PC interface to be a little more finger-navigation friendly.

This means that comparisons to the also just-released Apple iPhone, which shares a similar finger-centric design, are inevitable.

It might actually be a coincidence actually, since product development cycles are such that it would be next to impossible to design and ship a product like the Touch from the date of the iPhone announcement.

However, as we'll see in the review, finger navigation is where the similarity ends, since the implementation of the interface in the Touch is completely different from the iPhone's.

Also, both products have a completely different operating system from each other.

Touch me

Setting aside the interface enhancements for the moment, I have to say that the Touch is a very pretty device – it's very small (smaller than any Pocket PC that I can think of) and so thin that it is slimmer than most candybar-style cellphones.

Then there's the finish. The Touch comes with the silky, matte-black finish found on Motorola's RAZR phones, which means you can not only get a good, non-slip grip on it, but it is also a hard-wearing finish that can withstand scratches.

The other thing you'll probably notice is that unlike most Pocket PCs, the Touch's screen is flush with the rest of the body.

This makes it easier for fingertip navigation since your finger is never stopped by a raised bezel on the side of the screen when swiping, but this also means that the screen is pretty much unprotected if the phone ever falls to the ground.

Look closer and you'll be forgiven for thinking that the Touch doesn't have a memory card slot – actually it does but you first have to slide off the battery cover at the back, then open a silver door on the side of the device to access the MicroSD card slot.

It is a bit of a hassle, but thankfully you don't have to turn off the Touch to gain access to the memory card slot.


1 comment:

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