I have a sinking feeling about HTC at the moment. Once my temptress, it seems to be stuck in something of a rut and other than its celebrated TyTN series, here is yet another example why.
The HTC Touch 'Cruise' expands the company's (quite frankly, rather poor) Touch line and while once again it is competent, I really can't summon the desire for more enthusiastic adjectives.
Like all HTC handsets to date (Android models will come next year and hopefully shake things up a bit), the Cruise runs Windows Mobile (version 6 in this case). It offers the perfunctory 2.8in QVGA display, usual 128MB RAM, every so predictable wireless b/g and HSDPA along with a 400 MHz CPU which has been around since the original TyTN. Basically, it is everything we could have found on an HTC handset 18 months ago when it was breaking boundaries.
Attempting to prod me gently from my slumber then are the integrated GPS, FM radio and 3MP camera but sending me quickly back off to dreamland are the continued lack of a 3.5mm jack, ugly spare tyre-esque design and still horrendously superficial TouchFlo interface.
Am I being too harsh here? I think not. Sure, it's a competent - perhaps more than competent - feature set but housed in what: the same old boxy casing with the same old interface issues. Where is the style and panache? Why does every HTC handset from the last three years look the same? Why do I have to look down a detailed spec list for a differentiator?
I have loved you HTC, I really have, but - and I hate to say it - you're getting boring. The Touch Cruise goes on sale this month and will be priced from free dependant on contact.
Time to swap all that perspiration for a little inspiration guys before you get lost in the pack...