We got our first play with the HTC Touch 3G today and it's interesting for two reasons. First, it's one of the latest phones to convince us Windows Mobile might just be a serious contender in the world of Web browsing, GPS, and multimedia fun phones. Windows Mobile comes out of the, ahem, closet
Sure, we've been impressed with HTC's Touch Pro
, with its QWERTY keyboard and impeccable Exchange connectivity, but the idea of Windows Mobile for "fun" is becoming more believable with the Touch 3G.Lightweight, slips in your pocket
For one thing, it's not as chunky as the Touch Pro, or as heavy at 96grams, which is featherweight compared to the iPhone or Touch Pro. The Touch 3G also has a decent sized 2.8in screen.
Fancy interface, but it's responsive
|HTC's TouchFLO interface gets an update with the Touch 3G, and it's snappier.|
HTC's TouchFLO interface has had its critics (us included), but there's no doubt the slick touch-OS is getting slicker with every new phone release. The latest version, slightly tweaked compared to what you'll see on the Touch Diamond
, is faster than ever, with none of noticeable lag we saw in its first release.
Photos look gorgeous, and the ability to skim through messages, photos, and contacts with the swipe of the finger is classy. There's also a camera (3.2MP) and music, but no 3.5mm headphone jack.
Easier on the hip pocket
|Beneath the cutesy curves lies Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional|
The other reason the Touch 3G is interesting is the price - at $799 for the 3G version, or $599 for the 2G handset (slightly fatter screen, and no GPS), this isn't cheap, but it's much less than you'll pay for a top end do-it-all model like the Touch Pro.
Importantly, there's no physical keyboard on this, unlike the Touch Pro. Other entry-level smartphones like the $299 Palm Centro
do come with physical keyboard, but not 3G or WiFi. The Touch 3G is well-equipped for mobile Web, with 7.2Mbps HSDPA, WiFi, GPS (on the 3G model), and can be used as a 3G modem for your laptop.Conclusion
At these prices, the Touch 3G is a good fit between entry level phones and higher end multimedia handsets like the Nokia n96 and iPhone (both of which comes with 16GB onboard storage for music, photos and video, whereas the Touch 3G relies on microSD).