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The new Touch HD from HTC will change the way you look at videos, documents, and websites thanks to its large screen. You can give this phone a go if you hate looking at small screens and want an easy-to-use smartphone, although be prepared to shell out a hefty sum for it.


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The Touch HD’s screen is just as big as my credit card. The 3.8-inch widescreen VGA screen (480 x 800 WVGA) is perfect for the TouchFlo 3D interface: icons were larger and easier to press, while various Windows icons were not as hard to access. Photos and videos were crisp, with the Touch HD being able to change orientation (from portrait to landscape) instantly by rotating the unit.

The unit only has three hard buttons: the power/standby switch located on the upper right had side of the Touch HD, and the volume keys on the left side. A 3.5mm audio jack is found on top of the unit (finally!), while a mini-USB port for charging and synchronisation is found at the unit’s bottom. The unit’s 5-megapixel camera, microSD card slot, and SIM card slot are found at the back of the device, while four touch keys (end call, pick up, home, back) and secondary camera are found up front.

Since the unit is a Telstra-exclusive smartphone (as of this time of writing), HTC has decided to change a couple of icons on its TouchFlo interface. It still has the Home, People, Messages, My Email, Photos and Videos, Music, Settings, and Favourite menus but now has a Downloads section (giving users access to Music, Games, Tones and Pics, Caller Tones, Applications, and Bigpond service), a Telstra Applications menu (containing Scan Code, Yellow, Call1234, Whereis Trading Post, CitySearch, Blog and Photos, My Account, My Sync), TV menu (with Entertainment, Sports, News and Docos, Kids, Music, Active, Foxtel, TV, Live, Movies), News and Sport (access to News, Weather, Finance, Sport, Alerts, BigPond, AFL, NRL, V8, Horse Racing), and Internet and Search (launches BigPond, Sensis Search, Yellow, Web, and YouTube).

 


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Despite its large profile, the unit fits comfortably in our hand. The TouchFlo 3D is more responsive now compared to last year’s Diamond, thanks to its 528Mhz Qualcomm processor and 288MB RAM. The unit runs on Windows Mobile 6.1 and comes with pre-installed programs like Office Mobile, Adobe Reader, ActiveSync, RSS feeder, Jetcet Print 5, Windows Live Messenger, and a Remote Desktop Mobile software.

The unit also comes with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and can quickly download or upload files as it is HSDPA-enabled.

Despite the unit allowing us to view photos and videos in landscape, we found it strange that the unit cannot change the orientation of our spreadsheet and word documents. It may not be an issue for some users, but after seeing the Samsung Omnia being able to display spreadsheets in landscape, HTC should have done the same.

The Mobile Foxtel service can be watched in full screen, which is great for mums and dads who want to keep their kids busy for a couple of hours. Music sounded great, with the 3.5mm jack adding more versatility as it allowed us to use our favourite headphones. HTC has also included an FM tuner in case you want to listen to your favourite FM station.

 


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Despite sporting a 5-megapixel sensor, the HTC Touch HD was unable to deliver, providing us with bland photos despite taking shots on well-lit places. And don’t even think about taking shots at night: this smartphone does not have any built-in flash.

Thanks to its 1350mAh battery, the Touch HD lasted for about three and a half days with moderate use. The company claims that it has a talktime of up to 420 minutes and a standby time of up to 680 hours, which is good for a unit with a large screen.

HTC has set the bar high this year with its Touch HD. This new phone is bigger, faster, and is very easy to use. The only problem is that you have to shell out $1,499 upfront or $0 upfront on a $150 member plan with a repayment option of $62.45 per month over 24 months for this unit, making it difficult for some to afford this kind of luxurious phone.

See page over for product specifications and final rating.

 

HTC Touch HD Specifications:

Chipset: Qualcomm MSM7201a 528Mhz
Internal Memory: 512MB flash; 288MB RAM
Display: 3.8-inch widescreen VGA screen (480 x 800 WVGA)
Software/OS: HTC TouchFlo 3D with Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
Camera: 5-megapixel with auto focus
Network: WCDMA 850.2100 MHz and GSM: 850/900/1800/1900, HSDPA 7.2 Mbps and HSUPA 2 Mbps
Memory card: microSD memory card (SDHC capable): 8GB card included
WLAN: 802.11b/g
Bluetooth: 2.0 with EDR with A2DP
GPS: Built-in GPS
Interface: HTC ExtUSB (mini-USB and audio jack in one; USB 2.0 High-Speed)

Battery: 1350mAh
Talk time: WCDMA: up to 420 minutes / GSM: up to 480 minutes
Standby time: WCDMA: up to 680 hours / GSM: up to 440 hours

Size: 115 x 62.8 x 12mm
Weight: 146.4 grams

HTC Touch HD | $1,499 |  | www.htc.com

For: Large screen; Big icons; Responsive TouchFlo 3D; Telstra launch icons; 3.5mm audio jack; Good browser; Connectivity; Battery life; Comes with 8GB card
Against: Spreadsheets and word documents cannot be shifted to landscape; Very expensive
Conclusion: Big is beautiful with HTC Touch HD

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