HTC Fires Touch Smartphone Across iPhone’s Bow

With this week’s launch of HTC’s Touch smartphone, the race to get smartphone users fingers to do the typing and navigating just got more crowded.

There’s Multitouch from Apple for the iPhone, ClearPad for the LG Prada, and now HTC’s own TouchFLO technology for the Touch. While most folks, especially those who do a lot of messaging, probably aren’t about to give up their QWERTY thumb-keyboards or even their numeric keypads any time soon, advanced touch interfaces are fast becoming all the rage among mobile device makers.

The iPhone-like Touch (code-named the Elf), like Apple’s famous upcoming uber iPod/phone combo, features a type of fingertip control for screen navigation.

The Windows Mobile 6 Professional (formally known as Pocket PC Phone) smartphone is capable of recognizing and responding to the sweep of a finger across the screen, according to HTC. It is even supposed to be intelligent enough to distinguish between finger and stylus input and then respond accordingly.

Sweep your fingers across the display to launch an animated, three-dimensional interface comprising three screens: Contacts, Media and Applications. The interface can be spun by swiping a finger right or left across the display, providing what appears to be easier access to these features for consumers than a normal Windows Mobile interface for most.

TouchFLO also delivers finger touch scrolling and browsing of Web pages, documents, messages and contact lists.

As a Windows Mobile Professional device, the HTC Touch offers Outlook Mobile, Office Mobile for editing and reading native Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, Pocket Internet Explorer and Windows Live. With it, you can view HTML-formatted e-mail and push e-mail in an Exchange environment.

The GSM/GPRS/EDGE Tri-band HTC Touch measures only 3.9 x 2.3 x 0.5 inches (99.9 x 58 x 13.9 millimeters) and weighs 3.9 ounces (112 grams). While it apparently lacks 3G, Touch has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

There’s a 2 megapixel camera, 64MB of RAM, 128MB of ROM and a microSD slot for extra storage. HTC will ship Touch with a 1GB expansion card.

Its 2.8-inch display sports a 240 x 320 pixel (QVGA) resolution and supports 65,536 colors. Touch’s Li-Ion battery specs out to last 200 hours standby and up to 5 hours of talk time.

HTC says Touch will come in two colors – “soft black” or “wasabi green” (see above image) – at launch, which is set to happen later this month in Asia and Europe. The North and Latin American edition won’t ship until the second half of this year.

Pricing has not been revealed yet.

Story courtesy of SmartPhoneToday.

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