HTC Touch Review
Nowadays it is almost impossible to see a phone without an inbuilt camera; these are either models designed for people who cannot bring in a camera-phone to the place they work at, or ultra-budget solutions. But Touch does not belong to any of the two groups and has lens for a 2-megapixel camera on its back. There is a small ‘mirror’ next to the lens but there is no photoflash LED.
Its interface is started 4 sec. after pressing the shortcut on the right side. It is similar to the interface of other models (P3300) but it has an optimized section with large buttons so that they could be pressed by a finger. 3 seconds after pressing the shutter button the photo is done and after recording thereof is instructed, it needs another 6-7 seconds which gives an interval between two shots of a total of 10 seconds. This is very slow bearing in mind that no time is required for focusing since the phone is with fixed focus.
We were surprised by the results when we looked at the photos taken by HTC Touch because they were quite strange. When we took photos of objects at a greater distance such as buildings and the like, we noticed that the greater part of the photos (almost everything but the center) were blurred as if not focused, but it is not logical for the central part only to be in focus since the phone DOES NOT have an automatic focus but a fixed one. There were problems with the white balance and in bright sunlight some of the photos were with purple tinge; as a whole color rendering is not good and the colors are not saturated enough in most cases.
During the test indoors we shot from quite a closer distance and obtained better results. Under strong light the details are much more than on the remote photos but still noise appears in the darker zones which blurs them. When decreasing the light the device tries to compensate for it by changing the shutter speed and the photos are again quite light but more blurred. The noise reduction system takes care for them not to be covered by much noise.
You can record video clips with sound, too, but their size is 176x144 pixels only, which renders them unusable. A size less than 320х240 pixels is of no use for computer viewing and 176х144 is exactly 3 times less as resolution.
HTC Touch is equipped with the standard mobile version of Windows Media Player. It is a multimedia player for music and video files. MP3 format is supported, as well as WMA and WAV. After updating the library with files, all supported types are found, and they can be added to playlists. This function is not well implemented and organizing them is quite hard. Songs can be viewed by artist, album and genre, as these are taken from the ID3 tag of the files.
The supported video formats are MPEG4/H.263, WMV and 3GP, while the quality of the latter is pretty low. They can be viewed in fullscreen and the picture quality is quite good and looks very nice on the almost-three-inch display. Although the processor is not very fast, we are happy that no frames are skipped. Unforunately you can not playback video in MPEG 4/H.264 format which gives the best results.
The options buttons (next/previous, Play/Pause, etc.) are small and inconvenient both during Music and Video playback. When audio files are played, the video visualization window is still displayed, which is a lapse as it only takes up place on your screen. You can have these problems solved by adding new skins for the Media Player or by using another music player.
Audio Manager which is for music only. Its interface is so made as to be more convenient for working directly with fingers on the phone screen. You can sort your music in play-lists, by artist, album, genre and composer. While listening to music, the interface has comparatively large and easy to press buttons.
Listening to music is not the strongest side of Touch – it has only one small play speaker which is weak even at maximum volume where it crackles and you have to turn it down to about 85% where you hear it even poorer. This could be expected from a phone which is not designed for music in the first place, so we switched on the earpieces of the set with the hope of making things better. Unfortunately we were disappointed – although looking very good, with solid cables and shiny surface, the earpieces sounded just terribly: the music sounded flat, no low frequencies whatever were heard, the middle ones were hard and the high – unnatural and intrusive when present. This is definitely not a device to replace the iPOD, since connecting of other earpieces must be done either via a miniUSB-3.5 mm adapter, which is not that easy, or via the A2DP, of which, although convenience is a compromise, you cannot expect excellent results in terms of sound quality. We hope this battle will be won by IPhone without any problems!
The Touch has 64MB ROM and 128MB RAM that is normal, compared to other similar models. Internal memory capacity can be expanded through the microSD card slot . It comes preinstalled with Task manager, which is located on the top right corner of your homescreen. Here you can tap and close the loaded applications in a second, in order to free RAM memory.
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.