Hands-on with the HTC Touch HD

Hands-on with the HTC Touch HD
We are eager to show off – we’ve got the Touch HD, HTC’s top notch product , in terms of specifications. The “HD” in the name reminds us of High Definition – high-resolution video, and with its huge 3.8-inch screen the Taiwanese monster clearly states its desire of being a leader in entertaining. On the phone’s screen, from the picture on the box, you can see a dynamic moment of a soccer match – “Oh, it has television!” - this thought crossed our minds, but then we quickly remembered that this is not mentioned in the specs. It’s a pity, it would have been great, but it seems that V900 stays the leader in this aspect. We stopped thinking about “what it isn’t” and opened the box, in order to take out the big, but thin phone. The word “big” doesn’t have a negative meaning here, since the border around the screen is so tiny, it’s hard for Touch HD to be any smaller. We plugged-in the battery and began waiting for Windows Mobile 6.1 to load for the very first time. In a few minutes TouchFLO 3D welcomed us – nothing special, it’s almost the same as on the previous models. We experienced a bit of lag in the beginning, but after all the phone had just been started, it’s normal. We turned on the Wi-Fi immediately and tried to enter the password… unfortunately we accidentally clicked somewhere else, but after some time wandering through the menus we managed to connect.

Well it doesn’t have television, but let’s watch YouTube – yep, the clips are looking good, but we are wondering why it lags a little when the settings are brought on. Is this a temporary problem? After all this is HD – YouTube isn’t good enough for an 800x480 resolution display, we’ll play our high-def clips. We plugged-in our microSD card (by the way the slot is underneath the battery lid) and began searching for the video player icon on the TouchFLO screen – we couldn’t find it because such is actually missing. Well OK, we have used WM6.1 phones before, so we found our file by hand and tried to run it. Too bad, HD, but plays neither DivX, nor XviD clips straight out of the box… At least we managed to open an MP4/H.264 high-resolution file, delivering some decent quality. The display is huge, making it terrific for watching videos, but the sound was a bit quiet, so we tried to turn it up and realized that the volume rocker is on the left side, i.e. it remains on the bottom when the phone is turned horizontally for watching videos – quite unpleasant. Even after turning up the volume, the sound wasn’t loud enough, but the device has a 3.5mm headphone jack at least.

We spent some more time with the menus and couldn’t find any interesting new features. Maybe HTC are relying on the hardware for the success of this model, or maybe on the hope that someone’s may optimize Android OS for it. However, for now we’re going to test it with the preinstalled OS – Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional and will soon tell you if it’s worth it in our review – expect it!


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