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Apple's iPhone: still unavailable but nonetheless casting an enormous shadow over the smart-phone business. How, rival manufacturers ask, can we possibly respond? If HTC's new flagship phone, the Windows Mobile 6-based Touch, is anything to go by, the answer is imitation, not innovation. HTC Touch HTC's Touch: slick looks You …

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Anonymous Coward

Same old same

I thought I was going to rush out and upgrade to this phone...until I read the specs.

I have had the KJam and currently the Tytn. It seems that the 'Touch' runs the KJam hardware with the Tytn's extras. I mean, why go back to the 200Mhz processors? The Tytns 400Mhz only just makes the phone feel usable.

Other than a few specific apps I doubt that there will be many takers. I suspect these will be free phones on mid range tarrifs only.

HTC need to realise that they need more onboard RAM other than the std 128 they always ship (and yes I know you can add extra ram, but thats usually fiddly). And the USB headset its a joke. Bring back the 3.5 jack.

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Apple does not invent everything

There are many valid criticisms in your article, e.g. the finger prints and the continuing need for the stylus. However do you have to compare everything to the Iphone, which is not even out yet, and you appear to idolize already?

The HTC president said they have been working on this phone for two years, and there is no reason to disbelieve him. You can simply NOT get a phone from concept to release in 6 months - its simply impossible. Your comments about HTC telling their staff to copy the Iphone is frankly offensive, and shows that you look down on this innovative Taiwanese company.

Your conviction that HTC copied its cube from Apple software frankly marks you out as an i-fanboy. Again, implying that HTC could not have come up with this simple interface on their own is offensive, and may even be racist.

You know how well this phone works, you do NOT know how well the Iphone works. This phone is here and now, and you can buy it. The Iphone will only get to UK by the end of the year. Please review the device on its own merits next time, and stop letting your Apple bias show.

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It's no iPhone?

How can you know it's no iPhone? Is it perhaps because it exists to be tested? What if the iPhone has the exact same faults? Will you revisit this review and say "Nice idea but actually yes, it exactly as good as the iPhone"?

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Got mine delivered on Saturday

Well got mine delivered Saturday for £320 and it is lovely.

Basically it's the HTC P4350 chassis without the keyboard, so is surprisingly slim and light.

If you end up leaving dirty fingerprints all over it can I suggest you wash your hands, mine is no worse than any other smooth/shiny device.

Is the SIM/SD card slot badly designed? Well yes but quit being so tight spend £16 buy the maximum size 2GB SD card and leave it in gees.

The new 3 panel display "Today" screen is very good and is the main jump in point I use, the weather screen is slick and the whole thing looks very OS X gadget like.

Moans about the lack of keyboard are a moot point there are plenty of software keyboard updates with larger keys/layouts etc. If you want a physical keyboard why would you buy this device?

Alternatively there are plenty of small Bluetooth keyboards around if you want to type out dissertations.

In my opinion the Blackberry 8800 though sexy is out as it has no WiFi or camera, the 8300 has an average camera but no WiFi so you'll pay for every piece data you get. The only real options are the HTC P4350 the HTC 620 and the Motorolla Q9, the later which lacks WiFi, the P4350 is much better than the old version but still chucky and fairly heavy just for the keyboard, the s620 is a larger device if about 25% the thinner, but neither have the screen real estate the Touch has.

The stylus isn't the usual cheap plastic thing and with the devices very good build quality it just feels very tactile and comfortable in my hand.

My only gripes thus far:

1. WM6 is still pretty ugly and it stands out a mile with the new TouchFlo stuff. WM6 is no more responsive than 5 unfortunately, and the TouchFlo screen cube is much more responsive than the main OS.

2. Internet Explorer is as unresponsive as ever - I haven't had a chance to get Mozilla's Minimo installed yet. Though it has the same processor as the 4350 so I don't expect much difference.

3. The slide-in case it comes in is fairly tight and the cutouts make it awkward to remove the phone, and increase its overall pocket size.

So far that's it, it's really WM6 that if anything holds the device back, but then really that was a key reason I bought it. If it had a decent mobile OS rather than the unresponsive Window Mobile 6 I would happily give it a 9/10

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nice

Nice phone, WM really does need a new front end and until Microsoft pull their fingers out I find this a nice intermediate.

Alas we must now await the inevitable misinformed rants of the Mac users.

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Anonymous Coward

3rd Party Software on WM 5

Why not just get a standard WM5 model, and then chuck on some 3rd party software, like SPB Mobile Shell. You can then change the colour scheme to look a la WM6 plus get the fancy large button interface of the HTC.

Granted your still have a fingerprint smudged mess in your hands....

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re. It's no iPhone?

Rich: if the iPhone performs like the Touch, I'll slam the iPhone too - probably more so, since the Apple product promises even more than the HTC does.

Surur: I'm sorry, I don't believe the Touch was not influenced by the iPhone. I'm sure the hardware was been in development for some time, but I'm convinced that if Apple hadn't announced the iPhone, the Touch would appear as the P3450 - which is its default Bluetooth ID - with a standard WM6 UI.

If TouchFlo has been in development for two years too, I would hope it would extend deeper into the underlying OS than it does.

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The Touch is not a poor Iphone copy

Tony, thank you for responding. In return I would like to point out:

1) The touchflo needs a special kind of touch screen not seen on any other device yet. The device uses new hardware, which one can not just magic up in 6 months.

2) Whats the point of developing hardware which can differentiate between fingers and styluses if you do not plan to use a finger and gesture based interface? Clearly the two goes together.

3) Leaked road maps for the HTC Trinity showed a device with a similar type of screen last year. When the Trinity eventually shipped it had a normal screen. To me this strongly suggest the intention was to use the touchflo even then, but the technology was not ready yet.

http://mobile-sg.com/news/htc-trinity.jpg

4) The LG Prada has the same type of screen as the Iphone, but was shown publicly in November last year, before the Iphone unveiling. Do you believe they also copied Apple in some way, or can you acknowledge some ideas come to fruition simultaneously?

5) Lastly, the HTC Touch actually uses gestures, and was designed to be used with a thumb. Ironically the Iphone still uses buttons, only virtual ones, so in that way the Touch is more user-friendly than the Iphone.

In short, there is no basis for your belief this device is a bad copy of the Iphone, and specifically no basis for your belief HTC would make a device with a special type of screen and not release it with a new interface, were it not for the Iphone. It just does not make sense.

If you have any deeper basis for your beliefs I would like to hear them.Thank you for your time.

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Damn right it's no iPhone!

Tony, I found your review extremely single minded. Your focus seemed not to be on showing what the Touch is and what it does, but instead, how it relates to the iPhone. That in itself is a very flawed stance, since HTC has not even positioned this device to compete with the iPhone. If they intended to compete with the iPhone don't you think they would at the very least, release is in the USA where the iPhone is being released? Secondly, if they did want to compete with the iPhone why on earth would they handicap the Touch by intentionally designing it without the 850mhz band that has become so important to the North American market?

You made a very amateur statement about the Touch becoming a mess of fingerprints. This can be said of ANY touch screen device, BUT, it can also be corrected with the use of a screen protector.

I'm sorry Tony but I have a hard time accepting anything in this review because I'm not entirely sure what is bias and what isn't. You probably make a lot of good observsations but they are lost when bias become so evident. I can fine dozens of reviews on this and other devices from other sources where I will come away feeling I've been given a far unshadowed view.

Take the Touch for what it is. It's hardware is meant for the average user. It's new TouchFLO interface is a great new and needed interface for Windows Mobile, which is going to be widely available throughout the mobile sector in the coming months. Not just from Apple, or HTC, but from many others as well. After all this isn't a unique idea from Apple. It's been around for quite some time.

Dave

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HTC Touch - Great Little Beauty!

I received mine yesterday - and yes I agree the screen picks up your finger marks, but that's not really a problem.

I am replacing a Nokia E61 - it worked well but really wasn't as useful as my old WM5 device from IPAQ that I changed it for, but I have missed WM, so am expecting WM6 to be a bit better.

The HTC Touch is quick -syncs well, can do my email roving via GPRs and using a soft SIP client I can make calls when I'm in a WIFI zone r on my home LAN for next to free - plus it aslo holds enough music for my tatses with a 2Gb card.........

Add to the unit with either Bluetooth Headphones and Tom Tom and well what more can you say!

It looks neat too!

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