HTC Touch CDMA Review
The Touch runs Windows Mobile 6 Professional, which means it can do just about anything. Out of the box the phone has a great Today screen. The main plug-in (HTC Home) has four tabs: Home, Weather, Launcher and Sound. The Home tab features a large digital clock, and a graphical representation for emails, text messages and missed phone calls. The Weather tab is a two-stage tab that gives you current conditions, and if you touch it you will be shown the four day forecast. The Launcher allows for nine user-assignable shortcuts, and the sound tab lets the user quickly change the ringer profile between Normal, Silent, Vibrate and Automatic. Simply put, this home plug-in is wonderful.
Also on the Today you will find HTC Home Sprint plug-in, which is a simple launcher bar for the phone, Sprint Music Store, picture album, Live Search and Sprint TV. These shortcuts cannot be changed. Lastly is the calendar, which shows upcoming events and appointments.
HTC has added a unique twist on Windows Mobile with their TouchFLO interface. The user simply slides their finger upwards, starting at the Sprint logo and the three sided Touch Cube is launched. Two sides act as launchers, one with three icons (Sprint Music, Sprint TV, and On demand) and the other with six (Software Store, IM, Internet Explorer, SMS, Comm Manager and Mailbox.) These are preset by Sprint and HTC, and cannot be reassigned. The third side offers 12 visual speed dials that can be customized with pictures. The bottom of the screen has a shortcut to the phone, recent calls, contacts and speed dial removal. While TouchFLO does not have the “wow” factor on the not-rival iPhone, it is a cool and functional feature that makes the device easier to use.
Being a PDA device the Touch has a robust phonebook. The user can store as many contacts as the memory can hold, and given the small amount of data needed for a contact the storage is basically unlimited. Each contact can hold 11 numbers, which includes items such as Work and Home Fax. There is a multitude of extra information that can be stored, such as Company, Department, Job Title, Customer ID, Spouse, Children and many others. There is a space for 3 email addresses and IM names, and the user can be assigned a unique ringtone and picture for caller ID. There is a tab where notes can be stored, as well as a spot for birthday and anniversary information. Suffice it to say that anything you need to store about a contact can be stored with Windows Mobile. Contacts are searchable and it will partial match items, meaning searching “oma” will return “Thomas,” and users can search both first and last names. Of course, all this information can be synced with your home PC via the included ActiveSync software.
calendar, task list, notes and alarm. The calendar, notes and tasks will all sync with Outlook, and a trial copy of Outlook 2007 is included with the Touch. The calendar offers just about any feature you would need, including recurring appointments, reminders, attendees, location, notes and the option to sort the appointment by user-definable categories. Notes and Tasks are simple programs that do exactly what they say.
The user can set up to three alarms. Each alarm can be set as one time or to recur in any pattern, for example the user can set an alarm for 7AM that goes off Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, or simply an alarm for 5PM every Friday. Alarms can be named, and are turned on and off by simply checking the box next to each alarm.
Voice dialing out of the box is a disappointment. It uses Cyberon Voice Speed dial which uses recorded voice tags instead of true voice recognition software. The user does have the ability to set voice tags for advanced items such as applications, but when you have several hundred contacts in your phone book recording voice tags for everyone is impractical to say the least. To add true voice recognition we purchased Microsoft Voice Command 1.6, and the $40 price tag is worth every penny. Again, the flexibility of Windows Mobile allows us to customize the device to our liking.