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HTC beats Apple to the touch

The Apple iPhone will be here at the end of June and I have to admit after watching the latest TV ads that the speed and coolness of the device has me lusting after the device. It seems there may be a solution to take the edge off of the iPhone desire for those of you in Europe with the surprise announcement by HTC (the world's leading provider of Windows Mobile-based devices) of their revolutionary HTC Touch device. The Touch uses their TouchFLO touch screen technology that allows you to sweep your finger (flick it) up the display to launch an animated, 3D interface comprised of Contacts, Media (photos, music, video), and Applications (email, web browser, etc) so that you can get nearly instantaneous access to your device. The HTC Touch is designed to maximize usability without requiring the consumer to manipulate the standard Windows Mobile interface which can be a bit daunting at times for new users who are mobile enthusiasts like us.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

The Apple iPhone will be here at the end of June and I have to admit after watching the latest TV ads that the speed and coolness of the device has me lusting after the device. It seems there may be a solution to take the edge off of the iPhone desire for those of you in Europe with the surprise announcement by HTC (the world's leading provider of Windows Mobile-based devices) of their revolutionary HTC Touch device. The Touch uses their TouchFLO touch screen technology that allows you to sweep your finger (flick it) up the display to launch an animated, 3D interface comprised of Contacts, Media (photos, music, video), and Applications (email, web browser, etc) so that you can get nearly instantaneous access to your device. Apparently, this touch functionality is different than a standard touch screen and recognizes a difference between a stylus and a finger. The HTC Touch is designed to maximize usability without requiring the consumer to manipulate the standard Windows Mobile interface which can be a bit daunting at times for new users who are mobile enthusiasts like us.

In addition to the TouchFLO functionality, some other very cool features of the device are the new interactive Today screen that comes with a free weather client so you can view the weather for cities throughout the world with a cool GUI. You can quickly flip through different pieces of data on the new Today screen. The HTC Touch also has a completely flat display panel with no bezel like you have seen on every other Pocket PC Phone Edition device so it has a slick design as well.

The HTC Touch comes in black and wasabi green and the black model has that cool rubberized feel found on the Dash and Wing. Specs include Windows Mobile 6 Professional, 201 MHz OMAP processor, 2.8 inch LCD with 240x320 resolution, 128MB ROM/64 MB RAM, GSM/GPRS/EDGE tri-band (not intended for AT&T users with the 850 band), 802.11 b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0, 2 megapixel digital camera and microSD card slot (a 1GB card is included with your purchase). The device is very simple with a minimal number of hardware buttons, but is also very thin at only 13.9mm thick. The device is available now in the United Kingdom from Orange and T-Mobile and will be available in Asia and throughout Europe over the next couple of weeks. North American and Latin American versions are planned for a second half 2007 release and most likely will include an 850 MHz band. No pricing data was available in the press release. Check out the HTC Touch website for flash demos of the interface and an image gallery showing the wasabi green and black models.

I am picking up an HTC Touch to evaluate later today and will be posting video of the device in action, particularly the TouchFLO functionality, along with lots of photos for your viewing pleasure. I think the HTC Touch may help those of us who are not going to join AT&T and get an iPhone. The Windows Mobile 6 Professional operating system is also extremely powerful and has been around for several years so it is refined and stable. This is the type of device that my wife and daughters would love to use and I look forward to the eventual US release.

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