HTC Touch Review
HTC Touch is Windows Mobile 6 Professional device and as a whole, its software and possibilities are almost entirely identical to the other phones using the same operating system. If you know it, then the possibilities offered by the phone including phone book, organizer, messages, media player, etc. won’t surprise you and will be familiar to you. Therefore you should bear in mind that certain problems and positive features of theirs are valid not only for the phone or make’s models, but for the models using this operating system (WM6 Professional), too.
What is new with Touch is the technology called TouchFlo – the simplest explanation is that certain actions can be performed by various movements over the screen. Run a finger or a stylus from the bottom upwards and the new shortcut interface will open, containing three separate pages which you can scroll by a similar movement from left to right or vice versa. The pages contain 1) functions to email/messaging/internet/organizer; 2) a shortcut to the contacts and phone functions, and 3) a multimedia page.
home screen split in two through the middle. The upper part contains 3 tabs with clock/messages/calls, Weather application and Launcher (9 shortcuts).
The lower part contains information on the upcoming appointments reminding a WM6 phone.
TouchFlo in the case of Touch only adds a shortcut menu and does not change radically the way you handle the phone. The only change used globally in the operating system is the possibility for a new scrolling – just run your finger from the bottom upwards over a page containing a vertical scroll. It works in a similar way for horizontal scrolling.
The phone book of WM6 is not much different from the phone book of WM5. It has no restriction on the amount of contact that can be added, depends only on the memory available. When you open the phonebook all contacts are displayed as a list; each field consists of the name and the number of the contact, while a letter placed beside them indicates what the type of the number is (w – work; m – mobile, etc.). Pictures are not displayed even if there is one attached to the contact.
search field, which starts searching through the names and numbers on entering a symbol – the more symbols you type, the more accurate the match is – it’s quite useful! This one searches all names entered for the contact, but if you want to find by other field like “company” for example, you have to use the “Search” application. There are tabs with different letters (divided in groups of three) just below it. This way you can arrange the contacts so that only the ones beginning with a given letter are displayed. These two search features are quite handy and they make finding a particular contact in the phonebook very quick.
Too bad that’s not the case when adding a new name to the phonebook; the device offers way too many capabilities, including multiple work and home numbers, but there’s only one for mobile –something quite inconvenient as that’s exactly where we wanted to add multiple numbers to. The numerous address, e-mail and other address fields confuse you even further – it would have been a lot easier if the most frequently used fields are highlighted in some way. We would choose this to be done with the Name, Picture, Mobile number and e-mail fields and thus finding them would have been easy, eliminating the need to go through the long list.
Personal photos and ringtones can be assigned to each contact; there’s no restriction on the size of the pictures but they are visualized in very small size even on an incoming call – we think they are useless. You can also add a note to each contact.
The problem of WM5 because of which you couldn’t add an unknown number from the call history to an existing contact, is eliminated here.
You can dial a number not included in your contacts by inputting its numbers. Since the phone does not have a digital keyboard, a virtual one is visualized on the additional screen on which you can input the desired number. To display this keyboard you have to press the green receiver once. You will see information on the last dialed number and you can call it by pressing the green receiver again.
Pressing the buttons you will start imputing the digits of a possible number, but at the same time you will search the phone book as if imputing a text by a predictive text input system. So, to call John you can press 5-6-4-6 and the matching contacts will be visualized in the list.
Alarms can be directly accessed through the home screen, by tapping on the clock. They are three, and they all can be configured to be active for certain days of the week, and you can also assign names and different sounds to each of them. All alarms can be active simultaneously, and overall they are easy to use and do what they are supposed to. We are rather disappointed that their number is limited to three, as it was in the previous version of the OS.
The next tab in this menu is the clock; there is a field called Visiting next to it which can be used as a World Clock – select another location and the phone starts using its local time. The clock has an option to be displayed on the title bar of all the menus, which is handy.
In the phone menu you can find your electronic calendar where you can save your appointments. They have fields for subject, starting/ending time/all day event, location, notes. You can use options like: reminder (PRIOR NOTICE 1/5/10/15/30/45 minutes, 1/2/3/4/5/6 hour/day/week), recurrence (Once, Every (same-day-of-the-week), Day (same-date) of every month, Every (same date-and-month) for every year, sensitivity (normal, personal, private, confidential). You can also add attendees (required or optional) from your contacts where e-mail addresses have been added and where meeting requests will be sent.
Examining the calendar can be done by day/week/month and you can choose starting day for the week and the week duration (5-6-7-day week). The appointments for the day are clearly shown in their time limits, so you can see your free time at a glance. This is one of the new things of WM6 compared to WM5.
Tasks menu, where you can add to-do items. For a given Task you can set subject, priority (normal, low, high), start/due date, reminder (to be notified if it’s due), category (business, holiday, personal, seasonal) and note. The Task can have recurrence (Once, Every (same-day-of-the-week), Day (same-date) of every month, Every (same date-date-and-month) for every year and sensitivity (normal, personal, private, confidential). Examining the tasks in a list you can easily see which of them are finished and which are not. The tasks options can be: sort by (status, priority, subject, start date, due date) or filter (all, recent, no categories, active, completed).
The Calculator is simple but its buttons are relatively big and can easily be pressed with your fingers. Features like scientific calculator and unit converter are still missing.
‘Notes’ are simple notes in which you can input text by the keyboard or by hand as an image. They can be synchronized with outlook.
Search is an application searching in all files in the phone. You can specify certain types of files (calendar/contacts/excel/messaging/notes/etc), but the best option is All Data which will rummage everything in your phone.
File Explorer is the mobile alternative of Explorer in Windows environment with computers. We use it to view the phone memory, including the system folders of the device which feels like working on a PC.
The voice recorder can record without limitations of duration but the microphone is not good enough for the purpose and even if you hold the phone next to your head you will not hear clearly. It is not of any particular use.
The HTC Touch doesn’t have a good voice commands system but only a possibility for voice dialing of contacts which you have to input in advance. This is quite an inconvenient, clumsy and old system and it’s a pity that the manufacturer has not used something better. The Eten and Nokia smartphones for instance, have a speaker-independent voice commands/dialing system.
1. abjeroen (unregistered)
Hi people, I totally agree that the new interface of the touch is really usefull. also i think the negative side is that underneath it all, you're still opening standard microsoft tools. very unhandy to write a sms or e-mail without a proper qwert keyboard (even the tiny virtual one doesn't work with fingers, you need a smaller pointer like a stylus.) overall i think the phone gives a whole new way of user interface, but I really need a phone wich is nice AND fast, which the touch is'nt.
2. Jon (unregistered)
I really liked this phone for JUST over the 1 month period. Now the phone will not ring on incoming calls when the screen goes blank. The forums are filled with this same issue. Sprint will not do ANYTHING to try to resolve the issue, simply saying the I have to deal with HTC directly. Sprint CS/TS sucks. They simply say that it is in need of a firmware upgrade and that HTC will release one - SOMEDAY. In the meantime, I have to guess when I have an incoming call - totally unacceptable - BUYER BEWARE!!!
This phone is garbage. When talking on the phone it will go into Comm manager mode and turn phone off. It will also make phone calls and answer incoming calls when you have locked the key pad. While talking on the phone it will also start taking pictures. This is the worst touch phone ever. Although, the internet is fast, sending an email or text is horrible. Save your money!!! Don't buy this phone. Also Sprint will do nothing for you if you have this phone and hate it.