HTC Touch Cruise Review
- Block Recognizer – handwrite block recognition
- Keyboard – full QWERTY
- Letter Recognizer – handwrite letter recognition
- Touch Keyboard - 20-key on 2/3 of the screen
- Touch Keyboard - 12-key on 2/3 of the screen
- Transcriber – handwrite whole words or phrases on the entire screen using the gesture control to edit (delete, copy, paste etc.)
We think that the full QWERTY keyboard is the fastest and most convenient way to type a message, but if you train the other methods, they can also be quite handy! Combined with the T9 predictive system, entering text with the phone is pretty quick.
Just a few steps away, is the option to add your e-mail account (POP3 or IMAP) and to use it on your mobile phone. Very nice extra is that the phone can try to get the email settings automatically from the internet, and so we configured our Gmail Account by entering only the username and password. Windows Mobile 6 already supports HTML formatted e-mails.
The client is very similar to the Outlook on a computer, you can filter your inbox to see just some results, reply to a message, or forward it to other person. The support for attachments allows you to download or send one, in addition to the text body. The phone can be set to synchronize with your company Exchange Server.
As standard, Windows Mobile comes preloaded with the mobile version of Live! Messenger (MSN). Windows Live account will be added in Messaging when you add your e-mail account. You can add third party application for other popular instant messengers like AIM, Yahoo! Chat and ICQ.
Connectivity and Data:
HTC Touch Cruise is a quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), with a tri-band 3G (850/1900/2100 MHz), which makes it capable of global roaming and you won’t have to wait for months, till there is a version of the device suitable for the area you live in. For an Internet connection, you can use not only the high-speed 3G, but the built-in WiFi support as well. It can actually save you some money if you are not on an unlimited data plan.
For local connectivity, you have the Bluetooth 2.0 and the miniUSB slot. In case you go with the second option, ActiveSync or Windows Mobile Device Center must be installed on your computer, depending on the OS it’s running on (XP/Vista). The application allows fast and easy synchronization between the phone (contacts, e-mail, organizer) with Outlook.
Like in every WM6 phone, we have the mobile version of Internet Explorer present here. Unfortunately, the name is the only thing that relates it to the PC version. Large pages can be loaded, but it happens slowly. That’s where the agony begins: you have three options for visualization, One Column, Fit to Screen, Desktop. The first two deactivate horizontal and allow vertical scrolling and the last one tries to show the page as a PC. It performs ok and does the job. Navigation though, is not comfortable. You cannot zoom out or pan, for easier repositioning (like the iPhone), and if more text is present, be ready for constant scrolling in both directions, since there is no option to fit the text to the screen (as in S60).
If you don’t like this internet browser, you can try the Opera 8.65, which is also installed. It looks quite like Internet Explorer, but is faster. Besides, page navigation is much easier, since it only takes couple of finger taps to look around all over the place. This reminds us of the technology used in the iPhone. There is another considerable advantage Opera has and that is the ability to open various pages in tabs like in Mozilla Firefox. This function allows you to have a few pages open at the same time, reading one while another one is loading, for example.
If you don’t like either of the browsers, you can still install another one. That’s the beauty of owning a PocketPC. Unfortunately, currently, there are no good alternatives. Only a few expected soon programs sound like, they’ll have what it takes, but they are still in beta versions: Opera Mobile 9.5, SkyFire, and even Microsoft’s own DeepFish.
Of course we had to try Skype! It is very stable, but there was some lag when switching between the separate tabs. We made a few calls using an 8 Mbps WiFi connection, and there were no delays or interruptions.