Friday, November 14, 2008

HTC Touch HD Reviews Pour In (Verdict: Best Win-Mo Phone Yet, But Still Win-Mo) [Htc Touch Hd]


HTC is not releasing the Touch HD in the United States. Which still seems a little crazy to me, because few other phones have received such a favorable and envious reaction online recently. Despite the fact that you probably won't ever want to import one (no US 3G pretty much seals the deal), the Touch HD is still a useful indicator of where HTC, one of the biggest mobile players there is, is going. Now that the phone is available in the UK and Europe, the reviews are starting to hit, and while pretty much everyone continues to be wowed by the hardware, there's that pesky little Windows Mobile thing that keeps coming up.

Hardware wise, there is of course the 480 x 800 screen which is the centerpiece—everyone says what the pictures and videos have been telling us since the beginning: it's beautiful. Less fantastic, though, is the resistive touch screen (which is cheaper and less-responsive than a capacitative touchscreen like the iPhone 3G's). HTC goes with resistive on almost all of its phones to ensure they'll be accepted by the Asian market, in which recognition of complex characters written with a stylus is key (styli are the only thing that doesn't work quite as well on a capacitive screen).

TouchFLO, HTC's custom Win-Mo GUI has a ton of room to be awesome on this screen, and makes Windows Mobile look as good as any other phone out there now. But there's one huge problem: unless you stick with making calls, taking photos and using a few of the built-in widgets like weather and stocks, you'll often find yourself dropping back into Win-Mo 6.1's default interf! ace, whi ch looks MUCH less pretty on the HD's beautiful screen. That means getting your media on the phone and accessing it is still just as painful as on any other Win-Mo piece. Ahem, HTC? Android? Think it's about time.

So yeah, given that this phone is useless on all of the US 3G networks, the import market will be next to 'nil. But here's hoping the Touch HD is merely a prelude to a similar device running Android, complete with luscious US 3G bands, sometime soon.

[Mobile Tech Addicts, CNET UK, Slash Gear, Phone Arena]