HTC Touch2 in-depth review -

Look and feel

Compact and sleek, the HTC Touch2 is a good-looking phone that sits well in the hand.

Ease of use

Thanks to HTC’s TouchFlo overlay, this is one of the easiest WinMo phones you’ll come across. For much of the time you need never bump into the on-board Microsoft elements, which can only be a good thing.

Features

The camera is average, and has no flash, but the 3.5mm headphone jack means you can listen to your music satisfactorily, and 3G, Wi-Fi and GPS make this a well-connected smartphone.

Performance

Stick to TouchFlo and this is a responsive, quick phone, though the resistive screen is less satisfying to use than a pricier touch-screen. Novelties like the zoom bar work quite well.

Battery life

Battery life was average, with around 400 minutes’ talktime.

 HTC Touch2 Review -
4

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:57:30 PM

8

out of 10

Performance

8

out of 5

Look and feel

8

out of 5

Ease of use

6

out of 5

Features

6

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Compact size and good looks complement HTC?s excellent TouchFlo software.

Cons:

This uses the latest version of Windows Mobile available, but it?s still far from enjoyable.

Windows Phone 7 Series is still some time off, but you don’t have to simply make do with Windows Mobile 6.5. Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC is skilled at making phones look their best, and the company’s TouchFlo software overlay is a neat way of upgrading a WinMo handset in the short term.

TouchFlo

First impressions are good – it’s a sleek, highly pocketable machine with a decent, though not outstanding, screen that dominates the handset, plus five hard keys near the bottom: Send, End, Home, Back and Windows Start. Most WinMo phones have resistive screens, which lack the sharpness of capacitive screens, but at least you can use them with your gloves on or with a stylus. This phone has a slim stylus built into the casing; you won’t want to use it extensively, but it’s OK.

It seems silly to complain that resistive screens require more finger pressure than the pressure-free capacitive kind, but waking the screen by sliding the Windows Mobile padlock to one side often takes a couple of tries, which is annoying.

TouchFlo does a lot of things with style, like the animated weather screen, which has become HTC’s calling card. A carousel of shortcuts at the bottom of the display guides you to the camera, messages, browser and more.

The Touch2’s 2.8-inch screen is by no means expansive. But since resistive screens can’t manage the multi-touch capabilities that let you pinch in and out to zoom (think iPhone), HTC has another solution. At the base of the screen is a touch-sensitive magnification bar. Swipe your finger across and the page displayed zooms in fast.

There’s also a choice of keyboards for entering text. There’s the regular 3x4 keypad for predictive or multitap texting, a compact QWERTY with two letters per virtual key and a full QWERTY. This has small keys but there is a strong predictive text suggestion function so you can type quickly. A landscape-oriented version with slightly larger keys would have been welcome though.

WinMo 6.5

Of course, sooner or later you will have to make contact with Windows Mobile 6.5. It’s easily reached thanks to the Windows physical button, though once there the tiny fonts on the calendar and the dated look to many programs may drive you away again.

But there are some very useful items, like Microsoft MyPhone, which synchronises contacts, calendar entries, music, photos and more on your handset with a remote Microsoft server. It’s like MobileMe on the iPhone, though this one’s free whereas Apple’s costs £60 per year.

The HTC Touch2 thankfully has a 3.5mm headphone jacks – a surprising number of smartphones don’t, but it means listening to music through your favourite cans is a possibility. The 3.2-megapixel camera is workmanlike, though a hardware button to take you straight there would have been good. Instead, you launch it through the Photos and Videos shortcut. There’s no flash, so you’ll want to snap in decently lit environments or be prepared to endure lengthy shutter lag and below-par results. A free trial period of CoPilot Live is on board to make the most of the phone’s GPS strengths. In our tests it took some time to grab a satellite signal, but held on to it and worked well.

Conclusion

The best Windows Mobile phone available is the HTC Touch HD, and the forthcoming HTC HD Mini looks impressive, but if you want a WinMo handset that’s small, light and inexpensive, this is the best you’ll find.