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HTC Touch2 review

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HTC Touch2
  • HTC Touch2
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  • HTC Touch2
  • HTC Touch2
  • HTC Touch2
  • HTC Touch2
  • HTC Touch2
  • HTC Touch2
  • HTC Touch2
  • Touch 2 Mobile Phone (WM 6.5 Prof. 528 MHz 2.8-inch TFT-LCD Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE BT Wi-Fi microSD)

Summary

Our Score:

7

Not that long ago, it was common for us to be lavishing the latest Windows Mobile (WM) smartphones with awards. However, that all changed three years ago, when the iPhone suddenly showed us what could be done with a touchscreen and how a phone didn't need a cumbersome physical keyboard anymore. Ever since then, WM smartphones have felt decidedly backward. It's thus astonishing, even for Microsoft, that it has taken three years for WM to get a significant update to address some of its fundamental user interface issues. Today we're looking at the HTC Touch2, which uses this brand new operating system.

From a hardware point of view, it's hard to describe the Touch2 as anything but underwhelming. Sure we welcome the more manageable size compared to many other touchscreen phones and the use of a matt finish on the back and sides is a welcome practical alternative to the predominance of scratch- and fingerprint-attracting glossy plastic. However, the buttons look a little messy, the speaker grill feels incongruous, and there's just nothing to get excited about design-wise. We do at least like the chrome trim around the edge.

Turning to more practical considerations, there's a headphone jack on the top so you can easily use your own headphones for listening to music. Sound quality from it is very good and we welcome the fact it pauses music when you unplug your headphones.

On the bottom is the ubiquitous mini-USB data and charging socket so you should seldom have trouble finding a spare cable for charging. Next to this is where the stylus is stored, while on the left we find a volume rocker and microSD slot, which rather annoyingly requires you to take the back off to access.

Once the back is off, the battery is revealed and it's an 1100mAh unit. HTC quotes impressive battery life figures of six hours talk time and 20 days standby but we found this translated to a good three days between charges, which is decent.

The camera is only 3.2-megapixels and lacks both autofocus and a flash so its uses are limited. However, it can take photos very quickly, managing a photo every two seconds. It can also record video so usurps the iPhone 3G in that regard.

The screen measures 2.8in diagonally, which is quite small by today's standards so, when combined with a resolution of just 240 x 320 pixels and less than impressive viewing angles, it leaves a lot to be desired as a multimedia player. It never feels particularly restrictive in everyday use as a phone, though, and it is at least quite sharp and colourful. Below the screen sits a horizontal touch-sensitive strip that you can swipe left and right to zoom in and out of web pages and pictures.

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Chris

November 2, 2009, 10:50 pm

Hi Ed,


Thanks for the review.





You say it's got a standard mini USB socket on the bottom, but that looks a lot like the proprietary HTC connector I've got on my Hero...

Chris

November 2, 2009, 11:08 pm

... unless you meant that it's HTC's ExtUSB which is compatible with mini USB, in which case you can ignore me :)

m memmory

November 2, 2009, 11:19 pm

I thought the Hero used a micro USB connector...either way it definitely takes a mini USB as I use an old mini USB charger on my Hero and it works fine.

DrDark

November 3, 2009, 6:26 am

I'm 90% sure the hero uses a standard mini-USB... but I'll confirm tomorrow just to be sure.

DrDark

November 3, 2009, 4:23 pm

Yep, standard mini-USB cable works fine with it.

Chris

November 3, 2009, 5:02 pm

Just to confirm, the Hero (one of which I have in front of me right now) does not have a standard mini USB port on the bottom. It has an HTC connector called ExtUSB, which carries audio and (in some cases) video connections as well as the standard USB pins.


However, it is USB compatible, as you can plug any mini-USB cable into it and it will actually work. This isn't a coincidence, it's a work of pure genius on HTC's part. It brings the extended capabilities of a proprietary port while retaining compatibility with a standard port. Best of both worlds.


I'm just saying it looks as though the Touch2 has the same port on the bottom.

DrDark

November 3, 2009, 5:44 pm

@Chris:


Thanks, duly noted. Totally forgot about that as I've never used it.


Apologies for the mix-up. I'll go find a banana skin to slip up on next if that helps...?

Chris

November 3, 2009, 6:08 pm

@drdark:


It would help, thanks. :)

GT

November 3, 2009, 10:49 pm

@Chris


And this explains why the blackberry charging cable works on the HTC hero but not vice versa... mystery solved!

DrDark

November 4, 2009, 4:33 pm

@Chris: Ow, my back! *picks self up*


Oh, I should just point out I meant I'd never used the ExtUSB connector, but have used a Hero.

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