Hands On HTC Touch Dual (Nice, but Still WinMo)

HTC's Touch Dual is now officially headed to US markets, and after a brief hands-on with it, I'm a fan of the hardware. But at the end of the day, it's still a WinMo phone. The phone pairs the form factor of the HTC Touch with a slide-out SureType keyboard in a (relatively) light and thin package. And though they gave it the TouchFLO interface and WIndows Mobile 6.1 Professional, it only covers up WinMo's shortcomings to an extent.

Hands On HTC Touch Dual (Nice, but Still WinMo)

Hands On HTC Touch Dual (Nice, but Still WinMo)

Hands On HTC Touch Dual (Nice, but Still WinMo)

Hands On HTC Touch Dual (Nice, but Still WinMo)

Hands On HTC Touch Dual (Nice, but Still WinMo)

Hands On HTC Touch Dual (Nice, but Still WinMo)

Hands On HTC Touch Dual (Nice, but Still WinMo)

Hands On HTC Touch Dual (Nice, but Still WinMo)

Hands On HTC Touch Dual (Nice, but Still WinMo)

My favorite part of the phone is the addition of a SureType keyboard, which I think is a suitable texting alternative when QWERTY keyboards won't do (for the record, I hate T9 texting on a 0-9 pad). The hardware is minimal in design, and has a stylus-based touchscreen that gets the job done.

However, I'm no huge fan of the Windows Mobile platform, and my gripes with it still stand. The camera application kept freezing on me and required a hard reset to get it working correctly. It makes poor use of touchscreen functionality and is far more complicated than it should be. While more responsive than on other HTC offerings i've used, the interface slightly lagged and was a bit choppy. TouchFLO only fixes this so much, generally bringing you back to WinMoLand within one or two screens. The thumb swipe gesture to activate TouchFLO is somewhat difficult and requires too much effort.

In short — good looking hardware, ho hum software.