HTC, the company behind many of today's most popular Windows Mobile <a href="http://reviews.cnet.com/4566-6452_7-0.html">smart phones</a>, has unveiled its latest project, and some are already pitting it against the yet-to-be-released <a href="http://www.cnet.com/4520-13271_1-6685260-1.html">Apple iPhone</a>. Take a photo tour of the <a href="http://reviews.cnet.com/smartphones/htc-touch/4505-6452_7-32465595.html">HTC Touch</a> and find out what makes this Windows Mobile smart phone special.
The HTC Touch features a technology called TouchFlo that allows you to operate the smart phone just by swiping your finger on the touch screen. HTC has also revamped the menu interface, but under the hood, it's not much different from other Windows Mobile smart phones.
The HTC Touch is on sale now in the United Kingdom (in black or olive green) and will ship in the rest of Europe and Asia later this month. U.S. availability is expected during the second half of the year, but there's no official word on pricing or carrier.
Obviously, the TouchFlo interface is the biggest story, but the HTC Touch also is the smallest touch screen smart phone that we've seen in recent memory. It also features a soft-touch finish, which makes it comfortable to hold and easy to grip.
With TouchFLO, you can drag your thumb from the bottom of the screen (around the HTC logo) to the top, which will take you to a screen where you can cycle through a 3D interface of three menu choices--Applications, Contacts, and Media--by swiping your finger left to right or vice versa. To get back to the home page, just sweep from the top to the bottom of the display.
The Touch isn't just a pretty face; it's a full-fledged smart phone. It runs Windows Mobile 6 Professional Edition and has support for push e-mail, integrated Bluetooth 2.0 (A2DP supported) and Wi-Fi, a microSD slot, and 128MB ROM/64MB RAM.
It's also equipped with a 2-megapixel camera and like other Windows Mobile devices, it can synchronize with your computer's Windows Media Player content and is compatible with PlaysForSure online stores.
HTC added new launcher menus to make it easier to access your messages, the Web, and more. With its touch screen capabilities, it's inevitable that some will compare the Touch with the Apple iPhone. Not having spent any time with the iPhone, we can't say which is better, or if you can even compare the two. We will say that we're concerned about the text input method on the HTC Touch. For text messages and e-mails, there's only a small virtual keyboard, and pecking at it with a stylus does not sound fun or efficient.