HTC Touch Dual Review
It is obvious that HTC have not accented on the multimedia functionality. In contrast to some Nokia smartphones, Touch Dual cannot be competing in the cameraphone marathon.
However, the camera is 2-megapixel and can be useful if you want to snap an interesting picture or the image of a loved one. Unfortunately, there is no auto focus and flash.
The pictures are saved faster than with the Touch (about 7 seconds between two pictures), but is still slow. Here we also have large and easy to tap icons, but the settings interface has been changed. They are divided in two tabs, which are more than enough to accommodate the few camera options.
The outdoor pictures in broad daylight would do, to show where or with whom you have been, but do not expect anything special. The lack of auto focus and flash is notable – in artificial lighting, the pictures are quite blurred, and if the light is dimmed, you get almost black screen. The situation is pretty bad when recording a video – the obsolete resolution of 176x144 pixels cannot be used for viewing on a computer.
Overall, the camera can be relied on for recording a memorable moment than anything else. If the meteorological conditions allow it, that is.
Viewing the pictures taken is very different from the previous model. The possibilities of the new TouchFlo are revealed here. Now, by running a finger/stylus across the screen, you can do the following:
- Moving left/right – previous/next picture
- Semicircle – rotation of the image, depending on the direction (unfortunately there are no custom angles, but only a 90 degree one)
- Circle – zoom in/out, depending on the direction (what is interesting here is, that the zoom in/out factor is proportionate to the size of the surface encircled)
- Continuous pressing – pan view (allows moving across all over the image after zooming in)
- Double tapping – fit to screen
After being familiar with these extras, they are not so impressive, but are still convenient and make the phone interesting.
The following video formats are supported: MPEG4/H.263, WMV and 3GP. As we expected, they are watched in full screen with good quality and no lag, the sound being perfectly synchronized.
The buttons of the Windows Media player are very inconvenient and we (HTC as well) recommend you using the Audio Manager for playing music.
Its interface allows the easy control with fingers on the screen. You can sort music in your playlist by artist, album, genre, and composer.
The music output has never been one of the strengths of the PocketPCs. HTC Touch Dual is not any different. There is only one low quality speaker. The sound is very loud when playing music or ringing and you’d hardly miss a call. There are crackling noises when the volume is at the maximum level, and it won’t be any different if you lower it to 80%. Unfortunately, using the headset included in the set does not change anything. It is beautiful and comfortable with elegant controls and only when it is plugged in, you can take advantage of the Audio Booster option (which is a type of software equalizer). If you turn the volume to the max though, you’ll probably have to go and visit your favorite otologist. In other words, if you want to listen to your favorite music you'd better invest in a music player.
Touch Dual has 256 MB ROM (four times more than its predecessor) and 128 MB RAM. The memory can be expanded via the microSD slot.
WM for PPC provides unlimited capabilities for installing software. The only restrictions are the memory available and the hardware of the phone. The first problem is easily solved by getting a memory card, as there are microSD cards with capacity of up to several GB. Every WM6 Professional phone comes with programs that are modified, “pocket” versions known PC applications. Such programs are the mobile versions of (Microsoft) Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Internet Explorer, Explorer, Media Player, etc. The Office applications allow you to view and edit documents of the most-used types and the phone opens them without any error. Even a complicated Excel document with a few sheets is not a problem. Touch also has Adobe PDF Reader preloaded, which like the Office works flawless. We opened a big document (1.5MB) and scrolling through pages, when zoomed to 100% is almost immediate. Many more programs could be downloaded from third party sources.
There are numerous programs created for this platform, almost as much as the ones intended for PCs with Windows operating system. The most popular are the various utilities for personalizing the PPC, multimedia players, file explorers, Instant Messengers, etc. You can download third party applications to be used instead of the preloaded ones.