HTC Touch Viva Review

Introduction and Design

Last year, HTC announced a small device, known by the name of Touch. It’d eventually become the godfather of a whole family of mobile phones, including Touch Diamond, Touch Pro and Touch HD. Recently, the family has welcomed a new member, the budget-oriented Touch Viva, which we’ll closely examine in this review. Similar to the rest of the members it’s been designed for easier use with fingers, and for that purpose it’s been equipped with the latest version of the TouchFLO interface.  Here we’re not talking about TouchFLO3D, but rather TouchFLO2D. No, there’s no mistake. Although it looks a lot like the interface found on the big brother Diamond, the 3D animations are missing here and it’s not quite as polished as TF3D.  This is most likely due to the modest 200MHz processor, but more on this later.

In the box you’ll find:

  • HTC Touch Viva
  • Charger
  • USB cable
  • User manual
  • Software CD
  • Screen protector


The Touch Viva’s specifications are very similar to the original Touch, but there are some differences in design aspect. To begin with, the little device has in fact grown up in every direction; this is somehow strange, since its bigger size doesn’t lead to anything new. The screen is 2.8”, running in QVGA resolution, but it doesn’t find its place exactly on the same plane the front side is, which makes it different from the other devices of the series. It’s a bit concave, which spoils the overall appearance a bit, but the main reason to mention it, is that in Windows Mobile most of the screen buttons are situated over the angles and edges, to which you can’t reach very easily using your fingers only. The display boasts bright and saturated colors, but this is only until it falls prey to the noxious direct sunlight. When this happens, the image becomes pale and hard to read.

You can compare the HTC Touch Viva with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

Like most touchscreen phones, the Touch Viva is also not very generous when it comes to physical buttons. On the front you’ll find only the send and end keys and the luminous 5-way D-pad. They are comfortable to use, but the main instrument for navigation throughout the menus remains the touch screen. Other physical buttons include the volume rocker on the left side and the power button on the top. The bottom houses only the miniUSB port, which is also used to plug in the headphones. We are aware that HTC are capable of putting 3.5mm jacks on their devices and the proof of this is the Touch HD. It’d have been nice to have one here so that we’d have been able to test the sound through headphones, since there aren’t any included in the box.

Okay, we became familiar with what, where and how, but is it comfortable? The answer is “Yes”. The rounded shapes of the body, in combination with the compact size, make it quite convenient to hold. It fits well in one’s pocket as well, and you won’t get the chance of being asked “Is that a phone in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”

HTC Touch Viva Video Review:

HTC Touch Viva 360 Degrees View:


The HTC Touch was the first phone of the manufacturer, using the personalized TouchFLO interface, and the Touch Diamond was the first one with TouchFLO 3D. The Viva uses TouchFLO 2D, which lacks the 3D animations and transitions of TF3D, taking a bit of its charm away, but on the other hand, it compensates by working really fast. As you can see from the screenshots, the digital watch from the “Home” tab has been changed with an analog one, which isn’t such a great alteration, but we decided that it was worth mentioning. The “People” tab is with a slightly different appearance. You can store up to twelve contacts in it, as you are able to see only six of them and in order to see the rest, you’ll have to slide your finger vertically over the screen. If the person you want to call isn’t among these twelve, you’ll have to tap on “all people”, which will take you to the classic WM phonebook.

You will find that almost nothing has been changed in the music tab. From there, you have access to the music library, but you can only examine it through the music player. We won’t describe the rest of the tabs, since they are the same as in the Touch Pro and the Diamond. Only the 3D effects are missing.

Lately HTC has been turning to Opera Mobile as the default internet browser in their devices and the Viva is not an exception. We speak favorably of it in every review, mentioning how well it renders even complex pages like, but it definitely deserves it. It features a new element, which we witnessed in the Touch HD, namely the bar for zoom adjustment. It’s a nice and useful feature, which gives you additional control over the amount of information that’s being displayed.

Let’s take a look at the Viva’s multimedia capabilities. You have two options in order to listen to music, Windows Media Player and HTC Audio Manager (the latter of which is integrated in TouchFLO’s music tab). The first one is rather well-known, so we’ll just put it aside and examine the other one. It features a simple and handy interface, so one can easily interact with it by fingers. In the center of the screen you’ll see the album cover, and the ones from the ID3 tags are also recognized. Of course, you can filter your music by artist, album, genre, composer and you can also create playlists on the phone, but unfortunately it lacks the equalizers. As we mentioned on the previous page, you won’t happen to find headphones in the box, so we aren’t able to tell you how it’d sound, and the volume and quality of the loudspeaker are about the average.

Enough with the music, let’s pay some attention to the video capabilities. The H.263 and H.264 videos play smooth, as long as they are a 320x240 resolution. When we tried with higher res (640x272), the phone couldn’t cope with it and the video began lagging. This is not such a significant problem, since the screen resolution is QVGA and there is no clear point in playing videos with higher res. In addition, you have our beloved YouTube player on board, but whether the videos are going to lag depends thoroughly on your internet connection.

The camera of the Viva is 2-megapixel… yes, that’s all it offers. The interface is absolutely the same as in the Diamond, and it’s convenient for use with fingers. Unfortunately, the shots you can take with the Viva aren’t very high-quality. They lack the noise, but also lack the details and as you can see from the sample images, the leaves of the bushes almost merge into one another, instead of being easily distinguished. Besides taking pictures, the Viva is also capable of shooting videos, but the QCIF (174x144 pixels) resolution narrows their use totally, making them mostly suitable for attaching to MMS messages.


The Touch Viva is equipped with the outdated 200MHz Texas Instruments processor, TI OMAP 850. That’s why we thought that it’d be a clumsy device, in spite of the 128 MB RAM. Fortunately, these thoughts of ours turned out to be unacquainted, and it’s clearly faster than the other TouchFLO phones, thanks to the lightened interface.  For those of you who had either a CDMA or updated GSM Touch, with the faster processer, you’ll quite simply be amazed at how smooth TF2D runs on this gimped processor.

It’s time now to look at the Viva as a phone. The sound is loud on both ends of the line, but it’s also very sharp. This can be fixed by turning the volume down, but in that case you’ll have to be in a really quiet environment in order to make out what’s being said to you. If you feel like using the loudspeaker, you’ll be disappointed. The quality is low and there is a lot of crackling, which makes it almost unusable.


Hopefully you’ve formulated your opinion of the Viva as you were reading this review, but still we’ll give you ours. As a whole we like the device and, despite its outdated hardware, it worked really fast without any lagging or crashing. But let’s also not forget that in this class it has a competition in the face of the Eten X610, which has GPS, but at the cost of a slightly slower performance. So, it seems that your choice depends only on what appearance and interface type you like the most.


  • Enjoyable and handy to use
  • Pocket size
  • TouchFLO interface
  • Fast performance, in spite of the slow processor


  • Very sharp sound during a call
  • Low-quality loudspeaker
  • Mediocre camera
  • No 3G

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