>> Bonnie: Hi, I'm Bonnie Cha, Senior Editor at CNET.com and today we're taking a first look at the HTC Touch 2; this is one of the first Smartphones shipping with the Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system, which brings a few new features in enhancements but isn't a major overhaul of the OS. One of the things that Microsoft wanted to achieve with Windows Mobile 6.5 is to create a more touch-friendly interface and one that will be more appealing to consumers. So if you look at the TA screen you'll see this new layout that's a little like the Microsoft Zune. A slide bar lets you scroll up and down through the various apps, which are spelled out in clear and large font. You can also swipe sideways to see more information. For example, if you're in the calendar section you can see upcoming appointments or create a new event. Also, the start menu has a new honeycomb layout so there's more spacing between the icons and you can now rearrange the shortcuts to however you like. All you have to do is do a long press on an icon and then drag it to wherever you'd like on the page. The most useful improvement to me though is the new lock screen. It shows upcoming appointments, missed calls, messages and date and time right on the screen even if you've got your phone locked. What's even better is that you can tap on each notification to go directly to the app after entering your password or pin rather than unlocking it, checking notifications and then launching the appropriate programs, so it cuts out a couple of steps. As far as features there are 3 major additions to Windows Mobile 6.5 and that's the Windows Marketplace, Microsoft's MyPhone Backup Service and a new Internet Explorer Mobile. Windows Marketplace is Microsoft's new app catalogue but it wasn't officially open for business so I wasn't able to check it out fully. MyPhone is a service that backs up all your phone's information such as contacts, text messages, email and photos to a web server that you can access from your PC by logging in with your Windows Live ID. Last but not least Microsoft has finally made some improvements to Internet Explorer Mobile. First you now get Flashlight support so you can view a Flash content right from the browser. You can also choose between a desktop or mobile view of the web pages as well as the ability to scroll and pan. And zooming in and out of pages is also easier with the added toolbar here, but you can also use the touch sensitive zoom bar that HTC added on the Touch 2. Jessica Dolcourt from Download.com digs deeper into all the features of Windows Mobile 6.5 in her review so be sure to check that out. But I just wanted to kind of give you a brief look at some of the highlights. Overall I think Windows Mobile 6.5 makes some baby steps towards progress and definitely offers a more user-friendly experience than in the past but Microsoft still has a lot of catching up to do in terms of usability and functionality, which we'll hopefully see with Windows Mobile 7. As far as the HTC Touch 2 itself it's really a nice successor to the HTC Touch and Touch 3G. The design is a nice balance between the Touch and the Touch Diamond 2 and it's really nice and slim. It's an entry level Smartphone though so you're not going to get some high-end features like a high resolution display or accelerometer. Also, with just an on-screen portrait keyboard this isn't going to be the best messaging device. It does offer WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS but no support for US3G Bands so right now the Touch 2 isn't offered through a U.S. carrier and unfortunately I don't really foresee that happening in the future as well. You can, of course, buy it unlocked but I'd just wait around and see what other Windows Mobile 6.5 devices will come out here up first before paying a high unlocked price for this entry level device. I'm Bonnie Cha and this has been your first look at the HTC Touch 2.
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