Windows Mobile smart phones can be rather expensive, but if you just need the basics, the HTC Touch Viva might be for you. At £245 SIM-free, it's relatively cheap and is compact enough to easily fit in your pocket. A no-frills approach means the Viva doesn't pack many features: there's no 3G or GPS, for example, but you do get Wi-Fi, a microSD slot and a large touchscreen.
In essence, the Touch Viva is very much like the original HTC Touch -- which was hampered by a frustrating interface -- but it runs much faster and smoother than its forebear. We've also noticed that the screen is more responsive than the original Touch and works much better using just your fingers. The casing seems sturdier too and the screen is locked firmly in place.
On the back, there's an uninspiring 2-megapixel camera that takes acceptable pics for MMS messages, but don't expect great things in low light, as there's no flash or LED photo light at all. There's no 3.5mm headphone jack, disappointingly, so you're stuck having to use the mini-USB charging port and proprietary headphones, which don't even come in the box, or an adaptor that you'll also need to buy.
A new version of the TouchFlo interface offers a similar experience to TouchFlo 3D, minus a few fancy effects, and we think we prefer it. Everything seems much more snappy and there's little to no lag when using apps. It's a shame there's no 3G, but if all you need is to send and receive emails, text messages and calls, this is worth checking out. We'll have a full review for you as soon as possible.