MWC 2009: Live Report

HTC, the most successfulmanufacturer of Windows Mobile based phones announced and showcased twonew devices. The TouchPro2 and Diamond2 are both successors of two very popularphones and thanks god HTC have not decided to use superscript similarto how Samsung names their products.

Both deviceswill initially be available with Windows Mobile 6.1 and then freeupgrade to WM 6.5 will be offered to those you have purchased it. Bothdevices have several commons design characteristics – gone are thed-pads and the only buttons are the send, end, back and the Windowsone. Also, the area below the screen is touch sensitive and used tozoom in/out in various applications such as during Internet browsing,e-mail and picture viewing.

HTC TouchPro2

The designlanguage of the new TouchPro2 is new. The corners are rounded, with a metal trimaround them. The display size is increased to the whopping 3.6 inches.The four keys are very near the phone’s edge so, it might beinconvenient for some people to hold the phone and press them with onehand at the same time.

Increasing the screen sizeof course requires larger resolution, which is now 480x800 pixels.Unfortunately, the extra features have let do increased weight andsize. Still the device can be comfortably held in hand.

Somefolks were slightly disappointed with Touch Pro not featuring screentilting as on the Tytn. We are happy to report the screen tilting isback on the Pro2! The whole sliding action of the keyboard was not verysmooth, but this should be because of the early prototype status of thedevice we tested.

The actual keyboard left us withvery positive feelings. The keys are well spaced out, with good tactilefeedback.

A new feature, called Crystal Talk isincorporated into the Touch Pro2. In an essence it is an integratedemail, voice and speakerphone experience.  For better voicequality, the phone is equipped with dual-microphones. For corporateusers, the transition from e-mail to conference call is made very easywith a single push of a button.

Turning the TouchPro2 over reveals large speaker, situated on its back. The idea here isagain to offer superb (we’ll see how really good it is when we have ourhands on it) speaker-phone performance. Niftily situated on the back isthe microphone mute button.

Despite of the largerdisplay, the battery talk/stand-by times are kept almost exactly thesame as on the first Pro.

HTC TouchDiamond2

Theoriginal Diamond was a huge seller for HTC and it was just a matter oftime before its successor is introduced. The keys are the same as onthe Pro2 – send/end, back and the Windows, but are not positioned soclose to the phone’s edge, so is easier to hold the phone and pressthem.

The screen size has grown to 3.2”, has increased resolution of 480x800pixels and now features ambient light sensor, for automaticallyadjusting its brightness. Even though the device still bears theDiamond name, its back lacks the diamond facets and is flush.

When it comes to features, the new Diamond2will boost 5-megapixelcamera and will feature microSD memory slot, which was missing in thefirst one.


The new phonesalso come with upgraded version of the TouchFLO 3D personalized interface, making iteven better than before. Here are the changes/newfeatures:

• A new Calendar tab on the home screen,allowing you to view either the while month or a separateday.

• The People tab is slightly updated, now withfour shortcut icons below the picture of the person – call mobile, callwork, write message, write email.

• The in-callscreen is slightly changed and unlocking it for additional options isdone with a vertical swipe.

• The Start menu isreplaced with a list of shortcuts to applications.

•The onscreen keyboard has been redesigned, for better performance.

• The fields in the contacts list are now largerand caller ID photos are displayed. Selecting a contact will show apersonalized screen with their information, and additional tabscontaining threaded messaging history (with option to reply directly),emails and call history.

• Adding/Editing a contactis also done via an optimized interface. It shows the most commonlyused fields in large size and if you want to see all options, you’llget back into the original Windows Mobileinterface.

HTC Magic(Vodafone)

We went to the show, secretly hopingthat we will finally get a chance to see the much-anticipated successorof the legendary G1,which has been the first phone to incorporate Google’s open-sourceoperating system, Android. And indeed, a little surprise had beenwaiting for us at the Mobile World Congress, but, sadly, it wasn’t theG2. However, passing by HTC’s booth, we spotted a device, incorporatinga pretty familiar design - thoroughly white. We can even describe itas… snow white? That’s it! HTC has indeed come to introduce thesuccessor of the G1. Ladies and gentlemen, please meet the HTCMagic

What you see on the pictures is aprototype device that was available at the MWC event. The Magic isHTC’s second phone to run Google’s Android OS, but it also comes with anumber of improvements over the original handset. We can’t help butnotice the great changes that have been made to the design. It is now alot thinner, which is due to the lack of a hardware QWERTY keyboard.One very significant improvement has been made to the body and itrefers to its build quality, which is now much higher. When in one’shand, the device doesn’t feel cheap at all, which used to be a featureof the G1. As you may have noticed, we have avoided shooting thehardware buttons on the front side, since HTC representatives told usthat changes in the design of these elements are still to be made. Thescreen size, however, will stay the same – 3.2 inches with resolutionof 320x480 pixels.

Some of you mayremember that one of the main drawbacks of G1’s camera was the totallack of video capturing, which is somewhat strange for such a device.This issue has been fixed, and now the Magic is proud to have a3.2-megapixel camera plus video capturing capabilities. Well, thehardware side-sliding keyboard may have not made it outside the drawingboard (if it has been a subject of discussion at all), but this willsurely be well compensated by the newly added on-screen QWERTY keyboard(such has not yet been developed for the G1). In addition, users willnow get features like MMS attachments and A2DP profile forBluetooth.

When it comes to availability, the HTCMagic will be a quad-band GSM and a dual-band 3G device, which will beoffered by Vodafone in Europe, starting this April. At what price?Remains a mystery for now.


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