ROAD TEST

SMART JUST GOT SMARTER

Finweek English Edition - - Communication & Technology - FRIK ELS

SMART­PHONE MAN­U­FAC­TURER HTC is clearly on a roll. Apart from the fact that the Tai­wan-based com­pany – sup­ported in South Africa by Leaf Wireless – was the first to build and sell a well-re­ceived phone on the new Google phone op­er­at­ing sys­tem called An­droid, it’s throw­ing down the gaunt­let to the likes of Ap­ple and Sam­sung’s Om­nia with its Touch se­ries of touch screen smart­phones.

Its lat­est model is the HTC Touch Pro, which adds a slide-out Qwerty key­board to the HTC Touch Di­a­mond. Like the Di­a­mond, the Touch Smart Pro’s touch screen in­ter­face sits atop a Win­dows Mo­bile plat­form (Sony Eric­s­son’s new X1 fol­lows the same prin­ci­ple) and the ad­di­tion of a key­board is great news for those who found the Di­a­mond’s ges­ture con­trol and on-screen key­board just a bit too fid­dly.

The Touch Pro is filled to the brim with fea­tures: A stereo FM ra­dio with RDS is a first for this re­viewer in a phone, the YouTube client shows that not only the iPhone can do the web prop­erly and the TV Out con­nec­tion is nifty. The HSDPA In­ter­net con­nec­tion sup­ports the fastest speed avail­able at 7,2Mbps. Not yet avail­able in SA but could well be be­fore the end of a two-year cell­phone con­tract. Packed into the Touch Pro is a long list of fea­tures and, thanks to its Win­dows un­der­pin­nings, synch­ing with your PC is seam­less.

Where smart phones with so much hap­pen­ing on board usu­ally fall down is in the speed depart­ment and bat­tery life. No mat­ter what cut­ting edge applications you have avail­able, those frus­trat­ing split sec­ond de­lays to open a menu or ac­ti­vate a con­trol will soon add up. The Touch Pro, al­though not blis­ter­ingly fast, per­forms more than ad­e­quately and time be­tween recharg­ing is ac­cept­able in this seg­ment of the mar­ket.

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