HTC has also beefed up the hardware in this new version of the Touch, with the Touch Plus Sporting a 400MHz Qualcomm 7200 CPU as opposed to the 201MHz OMAP850 chip seen in the original Touch. This makes the Touch Plus noticeably more responsive than its predecessor, which is no bad thing considering that Windows Mobile is far from the swiftest operating system out there. RAM size is also up to 128MB from 64MB, while flash memory capacity is also doubled to 256MB, giving it a useful storage advantage over the original Touch. This means that the Touch Plus has almost 120MB of storage space free after the OS and applications are loaded, while the original Touch only had 32MB.
The power/activation button is located on the top edge just like the original Touch, wile the stylus pops out of the top right corner – also the same. Likewise, the camera shortcut button on the right edge and the volume control on the left edge also mimic the older model. The only major layout change, is that the mini-USB port is located on the left edge on the Touch Plus, as opposed to the bottom edge on the original. Oh, and the lanyard eye has moved from the bottom left corner to the top right corner, but anyone who hangs their phone around their neck should be ashamed of themselves.
The first thing that struck me about the Touch Plus when I picked it up is how comfortable it feels in the hand. Yes, the original Touch had a nice rubberised, tactile finish too it, but it always felt a little wide in the hand. The slightly narrower design fits perfectly in my hand, whether the device is open or closed. Even though I’m a dedicated iPhone user, I’ll freely admit that the Touch Plus is a far nicer device to use as a phone.
Again, like the standard Touch there are basic navigation controls directly below the screen. Here you’ll find green and red Call and End buttons, along with a four-way pad with a select button in the centre.
On the original Touch, sliding the back cover off could be a bit of a chore, especially since there was no indication on which direction you were supposed to slide. The Touch Plus resolves this by having a cut out on the bottom edge that allows you to prise off the rear cover with your thumb nail. Also the micro-SD card slot is far more accessible in the Touch Plus – it’s covered buy a rubber bung at the bottom left edge.
One of the best features on the Touch Plus is the shortcut menu that presents itself as soon as you slide the device open. From here you can jump straight to new SMS, MMS, email, Contact, Appointment, Note or Task. The most useful option in the list is without a doubt new SMS, which is probably why it’s top of the list, allowing you to simply slide open, select SMS and then type your message via the keypad. If you simply want to make a phone call, you can just ignore all those options and start dialling straight away.