Conclusion: The Touch Dual couples HTC's TouchFLO interface shell with a fast processor and enough RAM for running third-party programs. But at this price, the handset's lack of Wi-Fi, GPS, and a decent software bundle are troubling.
Pros: Unlocked. 3G-capable. Good video playback performance. TouchFLO interface looks good and speeds up common tasks.
Cons: No Wi-Fi or GPS. Weak software bundle. Cumbersome Windows Mobile 6 interface lurks just underneath the TouchFLO surface.
Summary: If you're a world traveler looking to avoid a contract, you'll appreciate the HTC Touch's voice quality. However, while the TouchFLO interface itself is smooth, overall this Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional phone is slower than we'd like. If you loved the HTC Touch, you'll appreciate the Touch Dual and its added keyboard. But some may prefer to wait until the Touch Pro--basically the Touch Diamond with a full QWERTY keyboard--hits the market.
Conclusion: I have too many phones on my desk, including a Nokia N95-3 , LG Vu , iPhone , HTC Touch Diamond, Treo 750 , Samsung BlackJack II and more. Yet I find myself gravitating to the Touch Dual thanks to it's comfortable and pocketable design, fast 3G, Windows Mobile power/tweak-ability and HTC's TouchFLO "classic" which speeds access to common tasks and adds an element of fun without bogging down the device.
Pros: Fast, TouchFLO is smooth and responsive, good looking, soft-touch finish keeps the device safely in hand and doesn't require constant polishing (though the display might). Stable, very fast 3G HSDPA speeds on AT&T, strong reception, good voice quality and volume. MS Voice Command is a plus as is voice command over Bluetooth and A2DP Bluetooth stereo. Good video playback performance, very good sound quality for music playback. US warranty. Good battery life for a 3G PD...
Summary: If you're an HTC Touch fan, then you'll like the Dual's mechanical keypad that makes texting and dialling a lot easier, plus the new shortcut menus. HSDPA means much faster access to the Internet, and the faster processor and more RAM means that it doesn't lag when using or opening applications.
Pros: Faster processor; HSDPA; new one-click access menu.
Conclusion: By introducing the slider, HTC has been able to hide various Windows Mobile shortcut buttons, so the front of the casing only has Call and End buttons and a navigation key. This makes things look pretty sleek. One other thing to note about the general look and feel of the Touch Dual is that the screen is quite small. At 2.6 inches corner to corner, some might find it a bit squint-inducing.
Conclusion: The HTC Dual Touch is a good looking, adaptable phone that is unlike anything on the market. Practical users will be annoyed with the overbearing options and abundant functions, but hardcore phone lovers will be happy to discover all its little tricks.
Pros: Lightweight; multimedia friendly; easy keyboard to use
Cons: Tricky touchscreen; average music capabilities; too many options
Conclusion: HTC Touch clears the path for the WM6 Professional line of fashion smartphones. Dual is another way to say “slimmer-faster-newer.” The manufacturer should be given credit, not only for adding a slider, but for developing most elements of the interface too. TouchFlo marks serious progress making the phone more similar to the cult iPhone. We should not forget the HSDPA support either, which provides extremely fast internet, wherever there is coverage.
Pros: Beautiful and elegant design, Effective TouchFlo function, 3G (UMTS/HSDPA) support
Cons: Mediocre playback quality, Lack of Wi-Fi, Not a global phone
Summary: So, this wraps up the first part of the review. In the next installment we will take a look at the phone’s most intriguing features, particularly its interface and how it fares in standard applications – calls, messaging, etc.
As far as design is concerned, HTC has tried to keep the looks of the original Touch intact in the Touch Dual, although they have altered its dimensions a tad and put the hardware keypad underneath the top slide.
Summary: The Touch Dual’s reception quality was never an issue in our tests; the loudspeaker’s sound volume was pretty average, and so was the communicator’s vibro alert, although we had no trouble feeling it in our pockets. The call quality delivered by the phone was also good, with no noises or static; our calls were loud enough both indoors and outdoors.
Now let's see what the future might hold for the Touch Dual and what sort of competition it is up against.