HTC Touch Dual Review
HTC Touch Dual is a Windows Mobile 6 Professional based device, but similarly to its predecessor it is different from the rest using the same OS with a personalized interface. As a good successor it develops the ideas and is equipped with a second generationTouchFlо. With large fields and being able to distinguish movement on the screen, this function is intended to facilitate operating the phone. But still, if you have previously used such type of smartphone, you will be always familiar with menus such as phonebook, organizer, messages etc.
The Home screen we know from the last model is changed. It is still divided in two parts, but the top part has four tabs now. Here you will find information about calls and messages, the Weather application, Launcher with 9 shortcuts and Profiles, allowing fast witching between separate modes and choosing a ringtone. The lower part contains information on the upcoming appointments reminding a WM6 phone.
The entire Start menu is bigger so it’s easier to operate with fingers. The last five applications started, show up in its upper part. This function, combined with the variety of programmable shortcuts, allows you to get to the app desired by 1-2 clicks.
1) Shortcuts to Email/Messaging/Internet/Organizer;
2) Shortcuts to nine speed dial contacts and phone functions
An interesting addition made is that when you hold the end button a Quicklist opens giving you fast access to the Airplane mode/Lock/Terminate Data/Vibration mode.
When in the Contacts menu the virtual keyboard does not appear, since it is a slider phone and it has a hardware one. If you still prefer to use the phone while closed, you have five different options. The old tabs filtering by the first letter, have been exchanged for a vertical scroll with all symbols. They enlarge when you run your fingers through them making choosing a letter easier. That reminds us of the iPhone and is far more convenient than the other WM6 phones.
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.
Receiving a call from an unknown number happens often. If you want to add such a number to your phonebook, you should open the call history to find it. Touch Dual tries to save you some time and after each call received from an unknown number a message appears for a few seconds, inviting you to add the contact. Unfortunately it lasts only 2-3 seconds, and it would’ve been better if it gave you 7-8 seconds to react.
a number can be done through the virtual or the hardware keyboard. While inputting digits you will see the info corresponding to the number (from the Call history) or the names (from Contacts), which is typical for this OS.
We note a useful change in Call history as well. You can divide it into separate tabs – incoming, outgoing, missed or all together. This is more convenient compared to the other WM6 models, since the lists are shorter.
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.
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.
What do you think is the reason for the repeatedly mentioned slider to be added? For text and digits input of course. Wouldn’t it be logical, to do just that, once we open it? When sliding it up in stand-by mode a menu appears for a few seconds, combining the most frequently used options, such as Messaging (New E-mail, New SMS, New MMS), Organizer (New Appointment, New Task) and New Contact. In first place, we would like to have the dialing option, which is not even present here, but if you are going to do that or something else, you have to either press the end key or wait for five seconds, for it to hide.