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HTC adds real, virtual keypads to second-gen Touch

3G Touch Dual launched

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

HTC has introduced a version its Touch smartphone - reviewed here - this time with the company's trademark slide-down keypad.

HTC Touch Dual
HTC's Touch Dual: slide-out keypad on board

The Touch Dual sports the regular Touch's finger-operated user interface, updated with a full-size soft keyboard to augment the mobile phone-style keypad that drops down at the bottom of the handset.

Why add a physical keypad when you're trying to drive users to a touch-sensitive interface? To help those users who're a little unsure about touch controls, said Florian Sieche, the head of HTC's European operations.

Incidentally, HTC said a software update would bring the virtual keyboard to the original Touch.

HTC Touch Dual
HTC's Touch Dual: now with HSDPA

Like the Touch, the Dual has Wi-Fi (nope, it's not in there after all) and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR on board, but it also features HSDPA 'super 3G' high speed download technology. The new handset also incorporates a front-facing camera for video calls. Tri-band GSM/GPRS/Edge connectivity is present for 3G-less locations.

The 120g Dual has a two-megapixel main camera. The screen is a 2.6in, 240 x 320 panel. There's 256MB of Flash and 128MB of Ram - and a Micro SD card slot for more.

The Touch Dual is due to go on sale across Europe at the end of this month, initially through Orange. The carrier's UK wing will offer the handset at various prices down to nothing at all if you're willing to take out a £35-a-month subscription. HTC did not disclose SIM-free pricing.

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