Sleek, stylish and sturdy
Those who have handled the iPhone won’t be unfamiliar with the feeling, others might at first be under the impression they are phoning with a cake spade. This being said, the design is good. The Touch HD is on the slim side, wider indeed but by all means thinner.
The handset is a smart one with a glossy black shell and a rubber-plastic back. The front is all display, with four touch sensitive buttons (call start and end, home and back) discreetly at the bottom. A simplicity we prefer to the much too fancy allure of the Touch Diamond.
At 3.8in, the screen is 0.3in larger than the iPhone and has a 480 x 800 resolution (480x320 for the iPhone). This does provide extra comfort when web- browsing (on Opera Mobile 9.5) as it displays most webpages in full. What’s more, managing bookmarks is simple, there is a convenient zoom functionality and you can copy/paste. Watching videos on this large, bright and clear screen makes it a pleasant experience.The handset has a good build and a solid aspect.
Touch HD responds rather well to finger-control, something that came across rather as a surprise considering Windows Mobile is the operating system.
The device reacts quickly to touch screen commands (though not as fast as the iPhone). When in the Windows Mobile 6.1 menus, you will have to resort more often than not to the stylus. Thankfully HTC’s Touch Flo interface (inaugurated with the Touch Diamond) is quite easy to use and has some nice features which allow you to escape from Windows Mobile. But don’t get too carried away: in order to add or change a contact for example, you will have to return to Windows Mobile and it can be a bit tricky.
The Touch HD does not come with the Diamond’s performance issues and the new version of HTC’s software skin has certainly been improved.
Sadly it is impossible to go into landscape mode when entering text for SMS or mails, but you can do so to type web addresses.
Decent multimedia features
The audio player is easy to use, but does not stand comparison to the iPhone. Performance is decent, but do not expect any full rounded sounds. Unlike the Touch Diamond, the Touch HD has a built-in 3.5mm audio jack, so it is compatible with other audio equipment.
The HTC Touch HD features a built-in GPS receiver but despite its hefty price tag, doesn't have a GPS navigation application pre-installed, so you have to purchase one separately. Thanks to its large screen, the display is close to that of a dedicated sat nav.Google Maps will get you to your destination but of course without any voice guidance.
Conversation quality is very good. Battery life will take you through 12 hours of audio, and over a day and a half in moderate use.
- fast interface
- sleek an stylish design
- good software skin running on top of WM
- big and vivid screen
- built-in 3.5mm audio jack/ web-browsing
- camera and video shooting
- little memory for a multimedia device
- no consumer app download platform
- virtual keyboard
- only one speaker
The Touch Flo skin is efficient and pleasant to use. Windows Mobile (not adapted for touchscreen interface) is rather well hidden. However it still remains the operating system running the Touch HD, so you will have to make do with menus that are not always the most user-friendly and options that dont really apply to the average consumer.