HTC’s Touch HD smartphone has a huge, lush high-res screen -- twice the resolution of the iPhone 3G's.
HTC’s ever-growing family of touchscreen phones will gain another member next week when the much-anticipated Touch HD is launched to the Australian tech media on Thursday January 22nd.
HTC’s local PR agency Upstream Australia has cannily chosen the State Theatre for the press kick-off. It’s a venue in keeping with with Touch HD’s stunning 3.8 inch display, which is only slightly larger than the 3.5 inch panel of the iPhone but pumps out the pixels in 800 x 480 WVGA (Wide VGA) mode.
Compared to the iPhone’s 480 × 320 Half VGA screen, that’s like jumping from standard definition TV to hi-def – hence the Touch’s HD moniker.
That eye-popping panel will of course bring videos to life, while the 800 pixel picture width should be a boon for mobile Web browsing – a task for which we’re hoping HTC will continue to offer a choice between Opera Mobile
and Internet Explorer, which is a mandatory inclusion with the Touch HD’s Windows Mobile OS.
Hopefully HTC will produce a version of the phone with Google Android on it too, for people who are not fans of Windows Mobile.
Previously codenamed Blackstone (chosen either because the mock-up concept looked like a small square slab of black stone, or maybe because it was just an uber-cool cypher) the Touch HD complements the big screen appeal with a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack, 5.0 megapixel camera, videocall support via a second front-facing lens, Wi-Fi, GPS and an FM radio. Oh, and there’s no keyboard – the Touch HD is touchscreen all the way.
As with several previous releases in the HTC Touch family including the Touch Diamond
, the Touch HD is tipped to be exclusive to Telstra’s Next G network at launch. At least this will give the HD’s 7.2Mbps HSDPA circuit a chance to stretch its legs to full gallop.
Also in common with its HTC Touch cousins, the HD will sport the swish TouchFLO 3D interface overlayed onto Windows Mobile. Hopefully the HD’s 528MHz ARM processor and 288MB of RAM will be up to the task, as many Windows Mobile add-ons deliver a sweet UI at the expense of speed and clunkiness.
HTC has amped up the battery to a fat 1350mAh cell in order to offset the increased power drain of the high-res screen and the expected high usage of the HD as a personal video player in addition to just your plain old mobile phone.
But to indulge in movies or even music on the move you’ll have to load up a microSD card – the HD’s internal memory is a meagre and quite frankly WTF-invoking 512MB, which is sufficient only for basic smartphone operations, installing third-party apps and keeping current documents on hand.