HTC TouchHD Comments

A friend of mine had this to say about it…
The HD is lovely. It is a great size and weight and feels just right in your hand. The screen is fantastic and the touch usability is excellent. However, TouchFlo is just a bolt front end that only temporarily hides W6.1. Eg texts ‘arrive’ on a touchflo screen, but as soon as you click on reply, you are in nasty W6.1. It would be good if HTC developed TouchFlo to do all of the main phone functions instead of just pretending! W6.1 doesn’t respond to the accelerometer, so in most screens, turning the HD on its side makes no difference. W6.1 seems to have ‘improved’ some things over PocketPC 2003 (which I think my old ipaq is on) and in the process made it worse. A small example is the alarm clock feature. I use my pda as an alarm clock and on the old version of WM when the alarm goes off, a big screen appears asking ‘dismiss or snooze?’, which is logical. On the new WM6.1, when the alarm goes off, the only way to enable snooze is to fiddle with the menu and then select the length of snooze required. Whilst this is an excellent way of waking me up, it not what a snooze feature is supposed to be! WM6.1 is basically pda software with the mobile phone bits added as an afterthought, so for example emoticons, which now most mobiles support do not display. The TouchFlo keyboard is nice and easy to use and is a massive improvement on the W6.1 version which can only be used with a stylus, but it is nowhere near as nice as the iphone one in which the keys ‘grow’ as you touch them to show you which letter you are typing – surely this cannot be copyright and is such an obvious thing to do.

I realise that these are all minor things compared to all the good things it does do, but it frustrates and annoys me that manufacturers produce software with such disregard for finishing touches. It is a bit like a car manufacturer designing a beautiful looking car that has a fantastic engine and bodywork, but with windows that do not fully close.

The only REALLY annoying thing about the HD is the camera software. I am used to the Sony Ericsson cameras which are SUPER quality. Excellent software and brilliant results. I often used my mobile as my main camera (even though it is only 3.2 mp), because the results were so good. The HD allegedly has a 5mp camera, but what is the point in this hardware if the software is shit. The autofocus takes an age to settle down, and the shutter speed seems to be extremely slow. Most of the pix I took over Xmas seem blurred with dull colours, whereas in previous years the pix I took with the SE were colourful and sharp. HTC need to majorly rethink their attitude to cameras if they intend including them in high end units. I will carry on experimenting with the camera, but at the moment it is a huge disappointment.
Overall, I am pleased I went for the HD.
For me, the choice is defined by quick access to the main tools I use – twitter, web browser, text messaging, family contacts (calling) and music. But the camera is becoming more and more important to me. So the comment about the camera being a bit poor is a concern. iPhone no better though – so maybe the Nokia N96 would be good.

Apparently the Google Android G2 is coming out end of Jan 2009. That is going to have Touch HD hardware with G1 keyboard etc.

OMG! What’s the big deal anyway – just a ******* phone and it’s not like I travel the world every week. I’m rarely more than 30 minutes from a computer!


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