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HTC Touch 3G review

Niall Magennis



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HTC Touch 3G
  • HTC Touch 3G
  • HTC Touch 3G
  • HTC Touch 3G
  • HTC Touch 3G
  • HTC Touch 3G


Our Score:


HTC's Touch franchise seems to be expanding at a rate only matched by Subways. The Touch 3G brings the total number of handsets in its current range to nine. So what does the 3G add to the fold? No stars for guessing that it supports HSDPA, but there's also onboard GPS and perhaps most importantly a fairly affordable price tag, as the 3G sits neatly between the cheapo Touch Viva and the wallet bashing Touch HD.

In many ways the 3G can be seen as a direct update of the original Touch phone that HTC launched way back in June 2007. Like that model, its petite dimensions make it very pocket-friendly - much more so than the larger Touch HD and even Apple's iPhone. Although the 3G's body is made from plastic, HTC has given it a great looking metallic finish and this combined with its sleek, curved edges make it very appealing to the eye. The fact it's available in multiple colours including brown, gold and blue, is also a refreshing change from the usual ‘any colour as long as it's black' smartphone rule.

Thankfully, the screen on the 3G is flush with the case so it doesn't suffer from the same 90s smartphone look of the cheaper Viva. Nevertheless, the screen is rather small for a smartphones in this price range. It's narrower and about an inch shorter than the display on Apple's iPhone, for example, and at 320 x 240 its resolution is also lower than Apple's wonder phone. That said, the smaller physical size of the screen means that text and graphics still look very crisp and sharp, so it's only really when you're viewing webpages or work documents that the lack of screen real estate makes its presence felt.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut


February 4, 2009, 10:42 pm

Disappointing review. I have had one of these phones for a few months and really like it. The review score seems based on everything the precious iPhone can do that this can't. Well I like it for what this can do that the iPhone doesn't - it is fast, runs car navigation software, multitasks, has office compatibility, has cut'n'paste and voice control (not sure if iPhone has this), all wrapped up in a small very sleek bundle at nearly half the price of an iPhone. If this only deserves 7/10 for its shortcomings, then the precious iPhone certainly doesn't deserve 10.

The Doctor

February 5, 2009, 2:00 am

"The closest handset in HTC’s range to the iPhone"

Eh? What's the Touch Diamond then?


February 5, 2009, 3:41 am

Gotta agree with the above comment. The reviewer is far too hung up in discussing the iphone instead of giving this device a fair and honest review.

For example, when discussing its sceen, which is pretty standard and good resolution for a midrange phone and works just great, the reviewer drags out an irrelevant iphone comparison.

However, and curiously, then mentioning the medicre performance of the camera in this phone, the reviewer was clearly not interested in mentioning that the iphone has an even more mediocre camera.

Any dicusson of MMS capability? No? No mention of iphone either. Hmmmm.....why is that? I think we all know.

Mapping programs, the same.

Would be better if you focus on reviewing the device at hand in a fair and focused mannner - instead of what seems to be almost an iphone addvertisement. This is not really supporting the concept of "trusted" reviewing.


February 5, 2009, 4:30 am

@ Kanu and Interpleb

The interesting thing here is that all the points you guys are making are brought up by Niall and he agrees on what the positive and negative aspects are. It's actually just the scores that are causing the upset and there is perhaps an argument for upping the overall to 8/10.

However, two things:

1. There is nothing particularly special about this phone. it's an alright mid-range smartphone and the review reflects that. You've got to remember the 10/10 score for the iPhone was given when it was reviewed. So to keep brining that up nearly 8 months after it was reviewed is nonsense.

2. where you get the idea the HTC Touch 3G is half the price, I do not know. On pay as you go it's almost identical and the cheapest I've found it on contract is 㿅 a month. All told, over an 18 month contract, an 8GB iPhone would end up costing you 𧼩.73 while the HTCTouch 3G would be 𧹺 (based on the two cheapest tariffs I could find). For the sake of approximately 㾶 a month extra each month, we'd not hesitate to recommend the iPhone, assuming you can afford it. If you can't, it's a no brainer to go for the cheaper option, but that doesn't mean it's a better device.


February 5, 2009, 12:48 pm

Not everyone wants a contract. Personally I use ASDA mobile's very cheap PAYG service, and bought the Touch 3g for 𧷤 pounds.

I am not saying that the iPhone isn't a good device, and dependent on the needs of the user, in a lot of ways is superior. When the iPhone 3g was announced as having GPS, I was really excited, but then the reality transpired it just has a google maps style service, it dropped of my radar and I decided to stick with Windows Mobile as an overall more powerful platform but one that lacks the glitz of the iPhone.

I am not saying the Touch 3g is perfect, it certainly isn't, but it does pretty much everything I need in a nice small package that doesnt scream "nerd" as soon as you get it out.


February 5, 2009, 3:19 pm

Well, It's not fully fledged GPS but it is useable for on-the-go navigation. Besides, you have to pay for proper turn by turn sat nav software for WinMo, so it's hardly fair to compare.

Also, as I said, on PAYG it's almost identical in price.


February 5, 2009, 5:20 pm

It is fair to compare car navigation software when there are several packages available for Windows Mobile and none for the iPhone. Maybe you want to carry around a Tomtom and a phone, but some of us want just one unit that does everything.

The iPhone may do some things better than WinMo, but there are plenty of things that WinMo has been doing for years that the iPhone can't.

It is blinkered reviews like this that do a disservice to the title of your site.


February 5, 2009, 5:53 pm

It's just as blinkered to think that difficult to use and half-baked features are better than none at all. I've had WinMo devices in the past and have simply never got round to using half their features because they're more hassle than good. About the only thing I regularly miss on the iPhone is copy and paste but I'd rather not have that and have good sound quality, a better screen, a really easy to use interface, a wealth of easily accesible apps...

Ultimately, it's not just the hardware that makes the iPhone so beloved, it's the whole package.


February 5, 2009, 10:32 pm

"So to keep brining that up nearly 8 months after it was reviewed is nonsense"

Just to play Devil's advocate - The iPhone was 1-2 years behind a lot of other manufacturers as far as hardware features and(well reported)software exclusions at it's launch.

Still, I agree...this HTC is a so so phone, with good features. Ho-Hum, let's all wait for the Pre and the iPhone MK3 to do battle. I *wonder* who will win that one!

pssst...it won't be palm :)


February 5, 2009, 11:34 pm

Personally waiting for the HTC phones to come with TEGRA platforms, I like the iPhone but it doesn't have a big enough focus on media playback (it's basically an iPod so the weak format support and average quality hold it back). Which is why I purchased the Cowon S9 recently, and after seeing the demonstrations of TEGRA last year I am really hopeful for the platform as the first true integration of phone and media. Which is simply much more convenient for me.

*crosses fingers for a cross between TEGRA, HTC Touch Diamond and Touch HD.


February 6, 2009, 12:50 am

I wonder if anybody at HTC actually sits down and really uses their product. Specs aside, they are utter rubbish. I've burnt my fingers several times and have eventually gone back to my Nokia E71.

I wouldn't have an HTC phone if it was free.

I just wish they'd stop making them and save everyone's time and money.


February 8, 2009, 6:50 pm

I've had a couple of HTC phones now, my latest one being the Touch Diamond. I genuinely do not know what's not to like. Sure when it comes to features, the phones are all different and it is what we make our choices on. Some people prefer the iPhone's features, some other prefers the HTCs features. It is all down to choice. In my opinion, the edge of the iPhone over the HTC is fashion statement. The phone has been made so popular and hard to get that it has become the must have accessory. Even I want one, but I'll personally wait until they make a 32GB or higher model with higher battery life, but that's just me.

That said, the HTC Touch 3G looks like a decent phone, not a perfect one but decent enough, and I am sure there are some people out there who will like this particular phone for its features.

If I may add, HTC is one of the few manufactuers I know that are not coming out with a new handset every week unlike Nokia or Sony Ericsson. When they bring out a new handset, they make sure their phone is packed with most of the latest features (I wouldn't have a Nokia phone if it was free and I wish they'd stop making then and save everyone's time and money).


June 7, 2009, 8:16 pm

I've had an iPhone and just purchased the HTC Touch 3G. If I'm honest the iPhone has almost become a bit 'chavvy', it is more bulky and almost old hat now. If I had wanted something like an iPhone then I would have purchased the HTC HD, a far superior phone in my opinion and at least I would have stood out a bit from the crowd. Now no-one looks twice at an iPhone, it's almost like 'oh another one who has one of those phones'.

When I pull out my HTC 3G everyone seems to find it an amazing phone and quite rightly so. It's sleek and has so many features but in a smaller and more convenient package.

How anyone who knows anything about mobile phones can award this little marvel a pultry 7/10 must have been smoking wacky backy whilst they were reviewing it ;-)

It almost seems like the iPhone has some kind of power over certain review sites, the iPhone is a good phone but not that good, it no longer stands out from the crowd and it is a bit cumbersome because of its size.

For anyone who is reading this review and is thinking of buying a Touch 3G please don't be put off by this review, the phone is worth far more than a silly 7. In the real world this phone is worth a minimum 8 out of 10, possibly a 9 out of 10 if you've already had an iPhone. Believe me, stand out from the crowd and buy one now ! You won't regret it I promise.

It oozes style, it isn't bulky, it is pretty much fully loaded for most people's needs and not everyone and his mother has got one. In fact when you own one everyone else seems to want one too. Well done HTC !

Maybe soon reviewers won't be so bias and come back down from the iPhone's back side and return to the real world ;-)


August 14, 2009, 6:40 pm

I think its a great phone BUT be aware that if you buy it with Orange then it comes with their own WIFI program called Unique which is a replacement of the standard Windows Mobile WIFI software and with Orange you WILL NOT be able to access the internet through your own router.

As Orange says themselves:

"When you browse the internet on your phone, your service plan data charges will apply, even if you are connected using the Unique service. Unique is designed to boost your mobile call coverage and wont connect you to the internet through your home broadband"

Incredible really, whats the wrong of having a phone with WIFI if you cannot access the internet through your own broadband???

On top of that the TouchFLO Weather gadget/applet has a limited list of cities to pick from and there is no such things as an XML file you can amend to add your own city or town.

Very poorly thoughtout on both points.


August 21, 2009, 3:02 am

I am having the same problem. My htc is locked to Orange and unfortunetly can´t get acess to my home wifi. Does anyone knows how to overcome these settings?

Mike 32

October 17, 2009, 3:38 am

This is the first time I've been on this site as I was looking for reviews of the HTC Touch 3G. I do agree with those that have mentioned it that there is a bias towards the I-Phone on here, but as I currenty own an I-Phone 3G, it is very, very hard to come across other phones that measure up to it. I've had my 3G for over a year now and planning to change it as, to be honest, I'm bored of it now. The 3GS has no appeal to me as the additional stuff on the 3GS is not something that particularly appeals to me, and I'm actually now beginning to dislike the size of the i-phone. To get to my point, I've been offered a brand new HTC Touch 3G for my year old i-phone, and I'll also be looking at the HTC Hero on contract. Reading this review of the Touch 3G, it's obvious that I'll be disapointed in the phone because of previousy owning an I-phone.


November 23, 2009, 6:06 pm

I've had this phone for 11 months and wanted to clear a couple of issues before warranty expires so contacted HTC support - not getting much joy. The problem is that, if the display is dark it can be because it's in "sleep mode" - in which case a quick jab of the power button should wake it up - or because it's switched off, and that should require holding the button for a second or two. With my phone the slightest jab switches it back on. That can be a problem if you're in a situation where you want to surreptitiously check whether it's on - the darned thing switches on c/w bleeps. HTC Support first said it should work; then said mine was working correctly then sent me the manual and said that it should work as per the manual: the manual actually says that to power it up you hold the button down for a "couple of seconds". This is ongoing. Has anyone else had this kind of problem?

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