updated 04:30 pm EDT, Wed October 24, 2007
HTC Touch Hands-On
Americans are often the first to receive import phones, but with the recent release of the HTC Touch on Telus, that changes: the Canadian cell provider has a weeks-long advantage over Sprint, and we at Electronista have managed to obtain a unit ahead of our US counterparts. Read on for our first take on the controversial but successful smartphone as well as an early photo gallery.
An initial impression of the phone may depend entirely on how you use it and whether you focus on the hardware or software. In the hand, the HTC Touch feels "just right:" the device is just large enough to be comfortable but is thin and light enough to fit into our pockets. The rubberized texture and almost perfectly smooth back also make it very easy to hold without fear of the device taking a tumble. The touchscreen is not especially sensitive, however, and requires a much more conscious press to activate than an iPhone or iPod touch.
Windows Mobile 6, however, has provided mixed results. Calling on the device is easy and makes good use of the touchscreen. Unsurprisingly, e-mail and text messaging work well -- both being expected given Microsoft's focus on business users with the OS. Whether or not HTC's custom add-ons to the interface will be useful are uncertain, however: we found ourselves appreciating the shortcuts to messages and some features like ringtones from the HTC Home menu, but other elements either appear to be alternative methods rather than shortcuts. Some of the TouchCube (HTC's add-on, swipe-based touch interface) is not much quicker for reaching programs than the stock Windows Mobile interface.
We hope to have a full review of the device -- and a comparison to its most obvious challenger from Apple -- within the next week.