Can Touch This
By Seow Tein Hee
Two years and four months ago, HTC stepped forward with its very first HTC Touch. That first Touch represented the many baby steps that HTC took to take on the ever growing mobile device market. It's been a long time coming but we are now finally looking at the true successor to the Touch, the aptly named HTC Touch2.
The Touch2 does have a slight semblance to its predecessor. It sports the same build material as the original Touch, with no glossy surface to attract unsightly fingerprints. Compact as it may be, the Touch2's 2.8-inch QVGA screen won't give users the necessary video quality that's quite common among the newer breed of smartphones.
There is a bit of facelift in its form factor, with less curves along the edges. Weighing just as light and easy on the hands as the Touch, the new Touch2 also comes with an improved button layout. Each individual key may seem flushed, but they all have great tactile feedback. What got us riled up however is the microSD slot. Once again, you'll need to remove the battery cover before it's even possible to access the microSD card.
The Touch2 comes with a few upgrades, such as the Zoom bar that's already seen on the HTC Touch Diamond2. We definitely appreciated the inclusion of a 3.5mm audio jack at the crown of the device. What we did not appreciate, is once again, the lack of a camera button. The 3.2-megapixel camera rendered some average looking shots, but depend not on the Touch2 for good quality images. The absence of an autofocus and flash on the camera immediately puts it at a disadvantage against similar devices.
New Phone, New OS
Once again, the Taiwanese company is laying claim to a few first in its portfolio. The Touch2 is the first device to be shipped with the new Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.5, and the first to sport an updated TouchFlo 2.0 to its consumers. The specifications though didn't place the Touch2 anywhere within the high performance range. And that was definitely felt when it became sluggish with multiple applications running alongside each other.
With up to a full day of usage, the Touch2 came to a standing halt after we pushed it with constant data feeding through the HSDPA and Wi-Fi networks, on top of its Bluetooth connectivity being active.
The TouchFlo 2.0 interface does enhance the user experience and enables greater ease of usage. Its compact form factor gives it the edge over the average smartphone. But the tradeoff for that snazzy TouchFlo interface is a slower device, and that is something we aren't too pleased with. However, we do have to give credit to HTC for its pricing strategy, with the Touch2's S$618 price tag as a prime example of the company's competitive streak in recent months.