I checked out the HTC Touch back in June and thought the device had some very cool features and could satisfy those looking for a very small touch screen smartphone. HTC is planning to make some announcements in Europe this week and the first device to be revealed was the HTC Touch DUAL that adds a slide-out phone keypad to the HTC Touch innovative design with TouchFLO technology. I think this slide-out keypad will address a couple of concerns that many touch screen smartphone (Phone Edition) users have with dialing, text entry and phone functionality.
The 16-key keypad also has a few additional keys and functions that make it a 20-key QWERTY keyboard with each key serving up options for two characters, similar to the RIM BlackBerry SureType keyboards. This is the first I have ever seen on a Windows Mobile device and I look forward to hearing more details and seeing how well this works on these devices. If this keyboard works well, then I can see this HTC Touch DUAL really becoming quite popular with the beefed up specs and innovation.
There is now a full product page for the HTC Touch DUAL where you can check out more photos of the device and all the specs. The Touch DUAL supports 3.5G wireless networks (HSDPA) as well as UMTS/EDGE/GPRS, has a 400 MHz Qualcomm processor, 256MB ROM, 128MB RAM, Bluetooth 2.0, 2 megapixel camera, 1,120 mAh battery, and microSD card slot. Notice there is no WiFi in the detailed specs and I find that devices with HSDPA really don't need WiFi since you are not handling gigs of data with a mobile device anyways and the battery consumption of WiFi makes a device that much less mobile.
The HTC Touch Dual™ will be available to customers across Europe later this month. The HTC Touch Dual™ will launch with either a 12 or 20-key keypad across Europe, depending on country and operator choice. The first pan-European operator partner to launch the HTC Touch Dual™ will be Orange, which will launch it in the UK, France, Romania and Poland as part of its Signature Series, and in Switzerland as a non-Signature device.
If you have an HTC Touch you will also be pleased to hear that HTC is listening to their customers and there will be a free download for you that gives you a full screen keyboard for better text entry on the device. Check the HTC Europe site for the download when it becomes available. HTC also announced that an Arctic Silver version of the device will be coming soon.
HTC also made an announcement about their 4th quarter lineup that includes the long-awaited release of the HTC Shift (Windows ultra-portable PC), the HTC S730 (enhancement to the S710 (aka HTC Vox) with 3.5G and 400 MHz processor), and the HTC P6500 (new enterprise focused device).