The phone runs Windows Mobile 6.1, but as it’s built by HTC it comes with HTC’s own TouchFlo software that sits on top of Windows Mobile and provides a more finger-friendly interface for accessing the phone’s key features. It does a good job of hiding away some of WinMo’s deficiencies, but you’re still dumped back into the standard, fiddly WinMo menus form time to time and the difference between these and TouchFlo is quite jarring. The Guide also lacks an accelerometer so it doesn’t re-orientate itself when you rotate it from portrait to landscape.
Naturally the Guide includes a rear-mounted camera, but it’s nothing special as it has a limited resolution of 3.2-megpixel and lacks a flash or autofocus. However, when working outdoors it takes decent enough pictures as it manages to capture a good amount of detail and with natural looking colours. Indoors, it’s a different story. It really struggles in low light conditions to the extent that you end up with lots of digital noise in your snaps. One neat feature associated with the camera, though, is HTC’s footprints software that lets you use the onboard GPS chip to geotag your photos as you go.
Of course, perhaps the Guide’s key feature is its navigation capabilities mentioned earlier. In the box, O2 provides a suction cup cradle for your car’s windscreen that’s sturdy and holds the guide in place without any problems, plus a car charger for powering the device form your car’s cigarette lighter. The Guide comes with the latest version of the Co Pilot Live 7 navigation software with UK maps pre-loaded on a 1GB microSD card.
The Co-pilot Live software is easy to use and has an interface that’s dominated by large finger-friendly buttons that makes route planning pretty straightforward. You can switch between 2D and 3D map views and the maps seemed pretty up to date when we used them around East London, but of course this can vary from area to area.
As you travel, the green route line is easy to follow even from a quick glance at the screen and as you would expect there are also voice prompts to keep you on track. These are pre-recorded rather than synthesised so the software can’t call out full street names.