HTC has recently updated its handheld range, which now includes the Touch Viva. The Viva is designed to bring HTC's TouchFLO interface to the masses. There's nothing particularly innovative about it, but it's certainly attractively priced: we found the Viva SIM-free online for £239.99 (inc. VAT) at Expansys, for example.
The Touch Viva looks very much like the original HTC Touch. Its clean lines are pleasing, and there's a minimalist approach to buttons. Beneath the screen you'll find just a D-pad and two small Call and End buttons. A side-mounted volume rocker and top mounted on/off switch complete the controls. This is a small and lightweight device measuring 59mm wide by 104.5mm tall by 15.75mm thick and weighing 110g.
The Viva's core operating system is Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, but, as usual with HTC handhelds, this lurks beneath the TouchFLO interface. TouchFLO comprises a series of screens you can sweep with a finger to access information. For example, when viewing photos you can sweep vertically to move though on-screen thumbnails, tap to choose one for full screen rendering, and then sweep again to see a slideshow.
The slightly recessed screen bucks the trend for flush-fitting displays, but this doesn't hamper the ability to work with TouchFLO. Indeed, HTC appears to have done some work on its sweep-and-swipe interface, which seems more responsive than we've found it in the past.
The Touch Viva's specifications are reasonable for the price. It's a quad-band GSM handset with GPRS/EDGE support, but no 3G and no GPS. Wi-Fi is present, along with Bluetooth and A2DP for stereo wireless output.
There is 128MB of ROM and 256MB of RAM. After a hard reset, our sample had 116MB of free storage, which can be augmented via a microSD card slot. Unfortunately the latter is inconveniently located under the battery. At the back, there's a 2-megapixel camera.
The Touch Viva is an appropriate upgrade for users of the original Touch and could attract those seeking a trendy touch-interface phone at an affordable price.