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HTC Touch Dual

 HTC Touch Dual Available October 2007
1st October 2007

The original HTC Touch was a pretty impressive device - but it was somewhat flawed because it had no 3G support. So, HTC have now come up with an different version - the HTC Touch Dual. This is now a 3.5G device with HSDPA high-speed data, UMTS (i.e. 3G), EDGE and GPRS connectivity - this is certainly something the old model needed.

HTC have also included a slide-out keypad that comes in two variants - a 16 key "conventional" number pad or a 20 key hybrid QWERTY/number pad similar to the layout of the BlackBerry Pearl. In our view the standard number pad adds very little to the HTC Touch Dual, and the 20 key pad will be more useful. It's not clear which carriers will be offering what versions of the Touch Dual, however.

 

We very much wanted to say that the HTC Touch Dual was an improved version of the Touch - but there are a couple of catches. The first problem is that the Touch Dual has ditched WiFi, a feature that the original Touch had. And then the screen has shrunk to a 2.6" panel from a 2.8" one - that might not sound like much but that will be quite noticeable if you put the two versions side-by-side. Despite this, the HTC Touch Dual is slightly heavier than the original Touch, probably mainly due to the keypad.

 HTC Touch Dual with keypad extended HTC's TouchFLO interface has been praised for its ease of use, but really it's just an add-on to the existing Windows Mobile 6 operating system, unlike the iPhone which was designed for "finger use" from the ground up. Still, it's much easier to use than the standard Microsoft operating system by itself. Windows Mobile 6 Professional is a pretty familiar operating system so we won't dwell on that.

Other features on the HTC Touch Dual are a 2 megapixel primary camera, a secondary camera for video calling, microSD expandable memory to add to the 256MB of internal memory, and Bluetooth 2.0. The sharp-eyed amongst you will spot that the publicity photos actually say Touch Slide rather than Touch Dual due to a late rename of the product (Touch Slide does sound a little confusing) - the production models will be labelled Touch Dual.

Despite our reservations, the HTC Touch Dual seems to be a pretty good device, just perhaps not quite the iPhone killer that we were hoping for. Still, if 3G and 3.5G are more important to you than WiFi, then this is certainly a device worth considering.

HTC say that the Touch Dual will be available on Orange in Europe from October onwards, with other carriers following later.

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HTC Touch Slide at a glance

Available:

Q4 2007

Network:

GSM 900 / 1800 / 1900
UMTS 2100

Data:

GPRS + EDGE + UMTS (3G) + HSDPA

Screen:

240x320 pixels

Camera:

2 megapixels (main)

Size:

Medium PDA-style device
107 x 55 x 16mm / 120 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes

Memory card:

microSD

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Limited

Battery life:

3 hours talk / 7 days standby (3G)
5 hours talk / 10 days standby (GSM)

 

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