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LisaGModerator
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First Look Review: HTC Touch Dual for US
      #30376 - 06/06/08 03:47 PM


Update, June 11: Please read our full HTC Touch Dual review.


Several months ago, HTC launched the Touch Dual for the overseas market. This sibling to the original GSM HTC Touch added a slide-out 20 key keyboard and addressed several of our complaints with the original Touch such as low memory, slow CPU and microSD card location. Alas, like the Touch, the Touch Dual was still a triband phone lacking the 850MHz band used by AT&T in the US and by T-Mobile US for roaming (yes, there are rumors that the phone might really be quad band but we won't go there) and it had no US 3G. *sigh*. Not unlike the recently announced HTC Touch Diamond, US users were initially left out in the cold.





But then at the end of May 2008, HTC, one of the largest manufacturers of Windows Mobile phones, announced a US version of the Touch Dual with a quad band GSM radio and US 3G! Oh happy day for WinMo fans . The Touch Dual is currently sold exclusively by Best Buy for $549 unlocked for use with any GSM carrier. They carry it in some of their stores and online at BestBuy.com. This is a US phone with a US warranty (no gray market issues) and Best Buy has a 30 day return policy should you decide the phone ain't for you. The price is high because there's no carrier subsidy-- that's the price you pay for not signing a contract for a locked phone.


This little phone rocks. It's running Windows Mobile Professional 6.1 on a 400MHz CPU. Gone is the laggy behavior we saw at times on the original GSM Touch (note that both the Verizon Touch XV6900 and Sprint Touch CDMA versions also have more memory and a faster CPU).




With double the memory, we didn't find ourself constantly using HTC's handy task manager to kill programs. There's 128 megs of RAM on-board and 256 megs of flash storage. And the microSD card slot is located on the Touch Dual's lower left edge with its very own dedicated door. No need to slide the back cover off just to access the slot.





The Touch Dual has a flush screen and it features HTC's TouchFLO user interface. Not as fancy as the Touch Diamond's, it's still a usability improvement over straight Windows Mobile and supports gestures to bring up HTC's home screen and launcher (and it supports finger scrolling in apps like Word Mobile and IE too). The UI is responsive and doesn't bog down the device. The screen requires a harder touch than the iPhone but is more accurate and responsive that some of the haptic touch screen phones currently on the market.

We enjoyed fast HSDPA connections on AT&T's network and web pages load relatively quickly thanks to 3.5G, the fast CPU and speed improvements in IE Mobile under WinMo 6.1. We suggest you download the free technical preview of the NetFront 3.5 web browser that runs superbly on the Touch Dual and supports touch-- just drag the page around with your finger.

The 20 key keyboard is similar to the BlackBerry Pearl's, where most keys are assigned 2 letters. The phone uses xT9 rather than SureType for predictive text and it works quite well. When entering URLs, the phone defaults to multi-press since dictionary prediction doesn't work well in that context. As with all WinMo devices there are on-screen input methods too: handwriting recognition, on-screen QWERTY and HTC's 12 and 20 key software keyboards.

The camera is a 2 megapixel model with an autofocus lens and focus speeds are decent by camera phone standards.

The Touch Dual comes with MS Voice Command 1.6 which works with Bluetooth headsets and directly with the phone (press and hold the volume up key to start voice command).


Like the overseas Touch Dual and the Touch, the smartphone has a soft-touch finish and curves that feel great in hand. It's heavier than the Touch but still relatively light and compact.


Stay tuned for our full review in the coming days! Please feel free to post questions in the meantime.


--


--------------------
Lisa Gade
Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview

Edited by LisaG (06/11/08 08:11 PM)


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thomasz
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Reged: 03/25/08
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Re: First Look Review: HTC Touch Dual for US [Re: LisaG]
      #30377 - 06/06/08 09:48 PM

Thanks info.

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blakemster
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Reged: 06/07/08
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Re: First Look Review: HTC Touch Dual for US [Re: thomasz]
      #30384 - 06/07/08 10:56 AM

do you have one? i was thinking of waiting for the se experia x1, but i desperatley need a new phone. would you recommend the touch dual ... i need it as a business phone and i am a heavy user...

thanks blake e


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LisaGModerator
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Re: First Look Review: HTC Touch Dual for US [Re: blakemster]
      #30385 - 06/07/08 11:08 AM

Yes we have one! I've also played with the xperia and it is a very sexy device. In fact it's a little hard to compare the 2 because the xperia brings so much to the table in terms of hot looks and lots of features. But of course 1) it's not available yet and SE hasn't provided a date to us yet for availablility 2) it will likely cost more than the Touch Dual.

So far I've found the Touch Dual to be a good business class phone with good signal strength on 3G, the usual good HTC voice quality and good Bluetooth headset compatibility. It's easy to use, easy to pocket and the tweaks and improvements in WinMo 6.1 make web browsing better and etc. If you need a phone now and are into Windows Mobile, it's definitely a good choice. And the US warranty is comforting.

--------------------
Lisa Gade
Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview


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blakemster
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Reged: 06/07/08
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Re: First Look Review: HTC Touch Dual for US [Re: LisaG]
      #30391 - 06/08/08 05:16 PM

thank you!

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