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>> Bonnie Cha: Hi I'm Bonnie Cha, Senior Editor at CNET.com and today we're taking a first look at the HTC Touch Cruise. This is a Windows Mobile Smartphone that has some advanced navigation capabilities and is actually the second version of the handset that HTC has put out. The company did a really nice job of slimming down the design on this one. It's smaller and thinner so it fits comfortably in your hand and you should be able to fit it into a pants pocket with no problem. Even though the Smartphone is smaller the screen size is the same at 2.8 inches. The touch screen is pretty bright and clear but it's definitely not as sharp as some of the other Smartphones I've seen. Also when I was using it in a car as a GPS device I found that the display washes out in bright sunlight and it's also pretty small. So I relied heavily on the voice prompts for directions. Below the display you've got some navigation controls including talk and end keys, a navigation wheel and shortcuts to co-pilot live and HTC foot prints. The last 2 applications is what makes the Touch Cruise different than other GPS enabled Smartphones. Co-pilot live is a navigation software that comes on the device so you don't have to subscribe to a monthly service to get turn by turn voice directions. Plus is offers some other useful extras like the ability to send your location to friends and family via text message and local search. HTC ships the Smartphone with 2 Gigabyte micro SD card that's preloaded with maps of the United States so you don't have to worry about downloading any maps. The only downside is that it restricts the expandable memory a bit. There's only about 850 megabytes of storage left on the card with all the maps on there. So you can't put a ton of your files on there. You can always switch out the cards when you're not using the maps but still kind of annoyance. The other application I mention is HTC Footprint. This allows you to not only view geotech [assumed spelling] that you take with the Smartphones 3.2 megapixel camera but it also allows you to add notes and audio recordings to the photos and them send them to friends or family as virtual postcard. The rest of the features is pretty much standard for a Window's mobile device. You get Wi-Fi Bluetooth and support for AT&T HSDPA bands. Call quality was pretty good but there was some sluggishness to the overall performance of the Smartphone. The HTC Touch Cruise definitely isn't for everyone. I think it's a good device if you're on the road a lot for work or pleasure and want to minimize the gadgets that you carry with you. The HTC Touch Cruise is available unlocked for around $500 which is pricey but remember that you're getting full navigation software and maps for that price. I'm Bonnie Cha this has been your first look at the HTC Touch Cruise.
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