This article has been written by our community member WouterN
The HTC Touch2 is just out. I have the device in use for a while now described my findings an experience in this review. This little Windows Mobile phone runs on Windows 6.5 and has almost all the features you could want. But, can it live up to my expectations?
Normally I use my iPhone 3G which I have already for quite some time. Sometimes I also use a Palm Treo Pro. Now and then I switch over to my HTC Hero whenever I am fed up with my iPhone. Apart from the Palm Treo Pro, I’ve hardly seen any Windows Mobile devices come out that seemed to be worthwhile. Until October 6. That day, during the launch of Windows Mobile 6.5, the HTC Touch2 (indeed, the successor of the HTC Touch) was presented. This unit is equipped with Windows Mobile 6.5 and available in store for a while now. I have tested the device hosted by t-mobile. The price of the HTC Touch2 was around € 280.00 at the moment of my review.
I will not focus that much on the possibilities of the new Windows Mobile 6.5, but will more focus on the device itself.
What’s inside the box?
The box contains all the necessary information including manuals and warranty certificates. Obviously it includes a data cable and a charger which you can connect to each other. You don’t get a separate charger and data cable but in order to recharge your HTC Touch2 via the normal grid, you should connect the two. Furthermore, the box includes a headset, two earphones and a clip.
The successor of the HTC Touch looks sleek, compact and strong. I like the shape: no frills but a simple rectangular shape. The size of this phone is also very pleasant and is, in comparison to my iPhone, small. Unfortunately the screen is not so big but has a good resolution.
In order to get started I have to go through quite some steps that explain me how to use the keyboard as well as setting up multiple email accounts. Installing our Google Apps account with the Business Touch2 HTC is very easy and my contacts, calendar and e-mail are easily synchronized.
The TouchFLO 2.0 interface, has less impact on the processor than the TouchFLO 3D interface that is used amongst others on the Touch Pro2. The Touch2 interface is very fast. More about the interface later on.
I am very impressed with the look of the HTC Touch2. Everything is spot on and sleek.
Front We start with the front. It has a speaker for the phone at the top covering the entire width of the device. Wit gives the impression that this is also the music speaker, but this is not the case. Just below the speaker the QVGA screen is placed. The screen includes the zoombar, which I wil review in more detail later on. At the bottom you can find the control buttons: answer incoming calls, home, menu, return and hang up / turn on and off.
On the left side you can find the volume button at the top. Logically, in order to increase or reduce the volume you need to press this button either at the top or bottom . Next to this you use this bottom to turn the sound on or off and to put the device on vibration mode. In the middle you find the microSD card slot to plug in your much needed extra MB’s. The access to the Micro SD slot is not user-friendly as you have to remove the back cover first before you can get access to it.
The back of the HTC Touch2 is actually the cover for the battery and contains a the lens of the 3.2 megapixel camera. Also the music and hands-free speaker can be found at the top.
The bottom contains no more than the mini-USB connector and a microphone for the call.
HTC TouchFLO 2.0 Interface and operation
The operation of the HTC Touch2 is easy with or without stylus: you can operate it with your fingers easily. This is primarily due to the fact that because of the use of Windows Mobile 6.5 the icons to launch applications are much larger. The HTC Touch2 is supplied with the stylus but I have not used it so far. However, I occasionally “accidentally” press with my finger on some application and notice I am suddenly calling someone I do not want to call, start up an application I do not need, etc. In short I very sensitive screen or my own fault perhaps?
The start screen of Windows Mobile 6.5 is the replacement for Touch2 HTC TouchFLO 2.0. It is very similar to HTC Sense used on the HTC Hero that runs on the Android operating system. By default a large digital clock and the weather forecast are displayed. Next to that a brief overview of your calendar items is shown, so you are aware of upcoming events. The scroll bar at the bottom allows you to go through all applications easily and start up quickly. Next to that, it is smoothly and without delay. As the most important applications are directly accessible via the scroll bar, without having to run through various sub menus and settings, the HTC Touch2 is very user-friendly and convenient.
The TouchFLO 2.0 is also active when using drop-down lists which are generated with Windows Mobile 6.5. The scroll bar becomes one big button that you can use with your finger to navigate through the list. Examples like this make navigating the HTC Touch2 much simpler.
Using the hardware buttons at the bottom of the device you can always quickly return to the start and application overview. Only the use of the return bottom needs to improve drastically and requires attention from the developers. This bottom normally allows you to browse back one screen. However in some applications it does not work properly and you end up where you did not intend to go to. This definitely needs improvement.
Several applications are pre-instelled on the HTC Touch2. As expected Office Mobile, including Word and Excel, YouTube, Adobe PDF reader and ActiveSync are ready for use. Next to some additions are pre-installed as well. Examples are RSS Hub, which allows you to read RSS feeds, Audio Booster that allows you to optimize the audio of your headset and the Opera browser that is standard pre-installed by HTC.
CoPilot Live Navigation The navigation application ‘CoPilot Live\ is available on the device. This application uses the built-in GPS receiver and can be used free for two weeks. At startup you get the message that you need to download maps via the PC. After logging on a website you get a link containing the download data from the cards. I opted for Benelux maps, but several other countries are available. The Benelux maps are 135Mb and are, as I said, can be used free for 14 days. After that period you pay € 29.99 for Benelux or € 69.99 for entire Europe.
As I use the car very little my review will not go deep into the use of CoPilot Live as I would lack fair judgment.
Marketplace Using the Windows phone marketplace you can install additional applications. At the time of writing this review there only five applications were available in the marketplace including a local news paper application.
Using the buttons at the bottom of the device you can at any time start up your menu by the leftmost button. On display you’ll find the dial pad as well as the your latest contacts. You can easily add new contacts or access more detailed information. Via the smart-dialer you easily find contacts by typing in (part of the) names.
The quality of the sound is fine when calling normal, with headset or hands free. Only hanging up takes a little bit too much time in my opinion: 2 or even 4 seconds after pushing the button. An improvement point for the future? However I have noticed this flaw already on several other devices running on Windows Mobile and it does not seem to be specifically attributable to the HTC Touch2.
Dialing and hanging is done by sliding a button on the screen from left to right. During the you can access several applications that are related to your contact person.
Mutlimedia is a critical point for this device. The sound from the speaker, which is placed at the back next to the camera, is not good. It is pleasant to listen to. My iPhone is a lot better. However, the sound through the headset fine.
Via the music player, which in fact is Windows Media player, you can access your multimedia files such as MP3 and video. You can manage your playlists and create new playlists. You can synchronize your lists with indows on your desktop. From this menu you can set songs as your ringtone and specify the starting and ending point of your choice. An option I really appreciate.
No problem with playing movies, but given the size of the screen I would suggest another device in case you want to watch movies on your mobile often
The HTC Touch2 include WiFi, GPRS and HSPA which gives you have access to the mobile Internet virtually anywhere. The device logs which operator you use and at start up it directly correct HSPA and GPRS settings are applied. Through the TouchFLO 2.0 menu, you can easily change the WiFi settings and set the correct access point.
Internet connection via WiFi In order to share internet connection via WiFi you need to install separate tools. Via an USB cable and Bluetooth PAN (Personal Area Network) you can share Internet with this device.
Opera A plus for HTC devices is the fact that by default the Opera browser pre-installed. Although with the HTC Touch2 the browser starts very slowly (very annoying), it works perfectly. Loading web pages, both mobile and ‘normal’, is fast and smooth. The Opera browser is set as default browser on this device. Through the TouchFLO 2.0 menu it is possible to directly access favorite bookmarks before starting the browser.
Internet Explorer Internet Explorer has been improved drastically in Windows Mobile 6.5. It can compete with other mobile browsers easily. It starts very quickly, loads pages fast and is easy to use. As with almost all mobile browsers you can double click / touch / tap to zoom in on the content and with the same action zoom out again. The browser supports Flash so you easily visit flash websites.
Camera and Video
The camera on the HTC Touch2 is a 3.2 MP version and does not have the ability to focus. It does not make really good. What I personally think of as a loss is the lack of a hardware button for the camera. I am now forced to through the TouchFLO 2.0 menu first.
The camera software assumes the device is always used form the same position. This is the case in both photo and video mode and I have not discovered an option to changes this somehow. As a consequence, the icons on the screen are always in same direction. Other options within the camera software are present like, adjusting the white balance, brightness, ISO value, self-timer and resolutions.
The video recording is reasonably good for a camera like this. So nothing special but not bad. To record a quick video this camera is fine and the video player is doing fine. It is a pity that no option is available to directly upload your movies to for example YouTube. You are only able to share them via email.
Below you can find a photo taken with HTC Touch2.
The battery lasts easily one day using WiFi and HSPA/3G all the time and checking my e-mail every five minutes. Is that good or bad ? It is certainly better than the battery of the HTC Hero which needs to be recharged every half a day. The 1100mAh battery does a good job. An I should make a note here that I am a heavy user of text messages, Twitter, e-mail and Internet use on the HTC Touch2.
The HTC Touch2, the successor of the HTC Touch is a very compact device that runs on Windows Mobile 6.5 and has features including WiFi, Bluetooth, Camera, GPS receiver and the special HTC TouchFLO 2.0 Interface.
The device is ideal for people who want to have many features but like a compact device.
It has all the basic capabilities to play music and videos, take pictures and record videos. For mobile internet freaks it has it all. From Mobile Internet browsers (Internet Explorer and Opera) to an RSS reader and YouTube. Many software is pre-installed so you can start immediately. The battery can keep up quite good but you would need to recharge it on a daily basis. Although a stylus is included, the device can be operated almost entirely with your fingers.
- Small and compact
- Included Software
- Access microSD slot
- Camera Software
- Operation return button in applications
- Slow hang