HTC’s Touch HD has taken mobile display to the next level. For the vidiots like me a display this large sporting the kind of resolution it does is a godsend. I have to admit I was anxiously awaiting its arrival to the Indian market place and was proactively trying to get a handset to test even before it got here. Though that didn’t work out and disappointment was an understatement, I got it! The big question I was asking when I un-boxed it was – does it manage to deliver on all fronts and actually make the high price tag of Rs. 43, 000 seem like money worth spending? That’s what I’m here to help you decide.
The only word that comes to mind is ‘Sexy’. The slim black design that houses this ‘powerhouse’ of features is all snugly fit into a 115 x 62.8 x 12 mm dimension casing. The large 3.8-inch TFT LCD touchscreen display sports a 480 x 800 pixel, 65K color resolution which is the highest to be found on a mobile handset on the market. This is also the first truly totally touchscreen mobile there is with touch sensitive controls for answering and ending calls and also returning to the Home page.
It’s a very simple and yet stylish design. The only external controls that are actual physical buttons are the volume controls on the side and the power/screen off button on the top. The HD also has a standard 3.5mm earphone socket on the top. The bundled handsfree is all you’ll need though, but it’s good to have the open option. The 5MP camera is located at the rear of course with a secondary camera placed above the display. The two disappointments in design are – No flash for the camera and the rear panel HAS to be opened for a memory card to be accessed. An odd shaped USB 2.0 port is located at the bottom, but it still manages to easily accommodate a standard miniUSB connector.
The drawback of having a screen this large is of course the space it takes up in your pocket as the handset, slim as it is, is still a bit big and weighty at 146g. But that’s expected of course, so we’ll just have to live with it. Like some of the other HTC handsets the HD tends to get unusually hot after charging and while on long calls. The HD also tends to get a little warm when applications that you may be unaware of are running in the background. It was on more than one occasion that I was quite worried why my thigh was freakishly warm on a cold night.
Features and Performance
While I was mesmerized by the large display, let me just begin by saying that what comes after this note is quite depressing, but I’d just like to add that I’m willing to concede that some of the issues could be singularly with this particular test handset I received, then again, like I always say, why would they give a reviewer a handset that’s not running at it’s optimum capacity? Forward at your own risk.
If you’ve used or seen the HTC Touch Diamond with its TouchFlo 3D interface, the HD has nothing different to offer except a better laid out view considering the display. I do like the TouchFLO interface as it gives quick and easy access to all relevant functions and features with simple finger control. It can also be customized to user requirements which is perfect. The down side is that the sensitivity couldn’t be adjusted and that could sometimes be a bit of an issue. Other than that the regular Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional OS and UI remain very standard.
What really ticked me off was the fact that the accelerometer is absolutely useless for screen rotation when it comes to any of the screens expect the browsers. I had to install a third party application to rotate the display. The QWERTY keyboard could not be used in landscape mode when trying to send messages or emails. While the handset offers multiple options for data entry including a regular WinMob QWERTY keyboard, Transcriber, Block and Letter recognizer, alphanumeric and half QWERTY, the large screen is not always very effective. Except for the Half QWERTY and alphanumeric keypad the others will take some getting used to more so than these.