Monday, December 21, 2009


One of the first smartphones including the latest Microsoft operating system for mobile devices, Windows Mobile 6.5 - HTC Touch2 is a Pocket PC for average budgets. The phone’s appearance was preceded by numerous rumors since the beginning, when information about the entire line of HTC for 2009 were disclosed on the Internet.

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With the code name HTC Mega, the smartphone was officially launched this autumn, under the official name of HTC Touch2. Touch2 has a beautiful design, having the same lines as his older predecessor, HTC Touch. The test equipment that we received included an earlier version of the new Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system, so I will try to focus more on its new features, and less on their functionality.

Announced in September 2009, HTC Touch2 is available on the market from October 2009. HTC Touch2 is available in three colors: black, brown and silver.


At a first look, HTC Touch2 is small and quite thin, just the kind of phone that fits in any pocket. The compact form also makes it resistant to easy falls, but I do not think it is an extremely durable device, because it is a phone for average budgets. The front of the whole phone is covered by a 2.8-inch touch screen, while the back of the phone includes only a 3 megapixel camera. Below the screen, there is a set of keys to improve the user interaction with the interface of the phone. Starting from left to right those are Accept calls, Home, Menu and Back, Reject calls. On the bottom of the screen, between the screen and the keys mentioned above, there is a graduated scale, which is used to make the zoom in / out when you open the interface of the camera.


HTC Touch2 has a resistive touch screen, so you will need a stylus, which was placed in the right corner, on the bottom of the smartphone's. There is also a miniUSB port near the stylus slot and a 3.5 mm audio jack port on the top of the phone. The left side of the device includes a microSD slot and a long volume key. The camera on the back of the phone does not include other options like flash, but it appears to be well protected with a metal plate surrounding the module. There is also a small speaker near the metal plate that protects the camera module of the smartphone. The dimensions are 104 x 55 x 12.9 mm, while the phone's weight including the battery is 110g. The plastic used in its manufacture does not seem cheap at all. However, the smartphone is surrounded by a strip of silver plastic, which will certainly peel after an intensive use. Certainly, this will make the phone look pretty ugly. However, HTC Touch2 benefits from a simple, yet elegant design, which will almost certainly attract most customers.


HTC Touch2 benefits from a TFT resistive touch screen of 2.8-inch that supports 65,000 colors and a resolution of 240x320 pixels. Being a resistive screen has some disadvantages such as low sensitivity to touch, lower functionality of finger control, low visibility under strong sunlight, and lack of the multi-touch function. However, this type of screen lowers the price of the phone, making it cheaper. Yet that deprives him of several more functions. HTC Touch2 does not have the accelerometer function, so users will not be able to rotate the image of the phone in landscape or portrait modes. In addition, the quality of the displayed image is a bit mediocre, since the contrast is not so good and the colors are a bit dull.

The 3 megapixel camera is easy to use, because it does not benefit from advanced features. Basically, you will need to direct the module towards the subject and just press on the button. Even if there is not a dedicated button for the camera, you can use the touch button that appears on the screen. You can zoom in / out passing your fingers on the graduated scale from the bottom of the screen.

The interface of the camera is simple and easy to use. The maximum resolution that you can use for images is 2048x1536 pixels. Video clips can be recorded in CIF mode at a maximum resolution of 352x288 pixels. Unfortunately, there are no features like autofocus, flash or others, even standard, but only the basic settings, such as White Balance, ISO, Brightness and Effects. The obtained images are decent, but do not expect more than average quality.


HTC Touch2 is running the new Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional operating system, and the second version of the HTC TouchFLO interface. The HTC TouchFLO interface was stripped of any transition animation effects for the messages menu, email, gallery, music, weather, and more. The test terminal that we received has an older version of the operating system - build 21839, version that has been improved.

Even if the HTC TouchFLO 2.0 interface allows navigation through the menus by the "swipe" method, the lack of the accelerometer function limits its functionality. Thus, you will be able to navigate using "swipe" more as you scroll, and less when you move from one menu to another. However, this model introduces a new way to navigate through menus. The small icons from the bottom of the Homescreen will help you reach your desired application or function very quickly. Hold your finger down on any of these icons and then move your finger left or right until you reach the window you are looking for.

The main menu of Windows Mobile 6.5 does not impress me much, but at least the boring white background from the earlier version of the operating system was removed. Instead, the icons of the settings, functions and applications contained in the operating system are now presented in three columns, spaced winding. Strange at first, but I found no real advantage or disadvantage. Of course, there is an aesthetic side, but as tastes differ, you may enjoy this new settlement of the icons in the main menu or you may not.


The navigation is easy with no need for a stylus, using only finger swiping to the right or to the left of the screen, just as I described above. The Start menu no longer contains the frequently used programs list, but it will send you to the main menu of the smartphone. To facilitate the method of writing and to help those who use different methods for entering data, HTC has introduced three types of keyboards: telephone type keyboard, compact QWERTY keyboard and full QWERTY keyboard. For the business people, HTC has included Office Mobile package, which now includes also the OneNote Mobile application, in addition to the usual Excel, PowerPoint and Word.

The Notes application can not be accessed when talking on the phone, unless you click on the Menu button on the screen and you choose Create new note. The touch screen offers a number of interesting features like zoom (zoom in / out) when browsing the Internet or when viewing pictures. This is done by double-clicking on the screen. The Internet Explorer browser was equipped with Adobe Flash Lite 9.0, but we had some problems with some websites. I think the new version of firmware corrects the errors that I experienced while browsing.

The remaining included applications are standard for a Windows Mobile device, with a few exceptions. Touch2 includes standard productivity tools: Notes, Tasks and Calendar, Mobile Office suite with Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Adobe Reader (version 2.5) to view PDF documents, Voice Recorder, and the same boring games, Bubble Breaker and Solitaire.

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