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HTC has been always reminded me of Apples iPhone. After all the company even managed to sneak out the original Touch before Apple had time to get the first version of the iPhone to market. But now HTC has got even more competition on its hands with the likes of the Samsung's impressive Omnia on its trail. Its response to this is the Touch HD, a phone with a screen that's so crisp and sharp that it is head and shoulders above the displays on rival devices, leaving them looking blurry and out of focus. Is the HTC capable of holding its own against the iPhone and the Omnia?
First of all, the Touch HD looks terrific. The styling is quite minimalist, partly because the front of the phone is almost completely taken over by the big screen. However, other details such as the four control buttons beneath the display are nicely suited and even the stylus tucks neatly away at the bottom edge of the handset. Unlike the iPhone, the back of the gadget slides off to reveal both the replaceable battery, and also a microSD card slot for improving on the 288MB of onboard RAM.
However, it's the screen that everyone notices on when they first lay eyes on this. And what a screen it is. It's a huge screen taking up almost the whole length and width of the handset. At nearly 4 inches, it's larger than the iPhone's (even though both devices are almost identical in size). Colours look rich and powerful, and this combined with the high resolution nature of the display means that films and pictures really seem to leap out at the user.
However, as good as the screen is, it's not all fautless. As with other HTC devices the company has had to go with a standard touch panel, rather than the alternative type used on the iPhone. The reason for this is that the HD has to be able to deal with the stylus as well as your hands when it comes to control and capacitive screens simply don't work with a stylus. However, a standard touch panel just isn't as responsive as a capacitive screen when it comes to finger control and the effect is easy to see.
I would recommend this to buyers, not necesarily at a hiked price as now, but if you have the cash, a good buy in my opinion.
Anyone who's used the iPhone will find the HD's screen hard to use and not nearly as reliable. Sometimes you have to touch it several times to get it to register what you want it to do, while other times it selects an area of the screen slightly off where you were actually pointing at. You get used to its foibles over time and can adjust the way you use it to make it more reliable. However, the point of a good user interface is that you shouldn't have to get used to it - it should just work without any problems and that's not the case here.