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HTC Touch Dual smartphone

Good to see HTC back on track

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Review The folks at HTC must still wonder how they got the original HTC Touch so wrong. Luckily since then they've staged a comeback. The TyTn II was nothing short of superb and now we have the Touch Dual.

In the hand the Dual is similar but not identical to the original Touch. At 107 x 55 x 16 it is just a shade taller, narrower and thicker, while at 120g including battery it is also some 8g heavier.

HTC Touch Dual Windows smartphone

HTC's Touch Dual: similar to the original in look and feel

The main body of the phone is again covered in a smart-looking black rubberised plastic that provides plenty of grip in the hand and is stylishly offset by a highly polished chrome strip that runs around the handset. Centre stage sits a 2.6in, 65,536-colour, 240 x 320 TFT touchscreen, some 0.2 of an inch smaller than the screen on the original Touch.

On the whole it is a very fine looking device, and feels well bolted together in the traditional HTC manner. The 3mm reduction in width makes a greater improvement on how the phone feels in the hand than you might expect.

The major difference between the Touch and the Dual becomes clear when you push the top half of the phone 'up' with your thumb and a 16 (or on some versions 20) button keypad is revealed. Not only does this allow you to input numbers and text without recourse to the touchscreen and virtual keyboard but it also serves to extend the phone, putting the earpiece and microphone closer to the places they should be when you are talking into a phone; your mouth and your ear.

The slide mechanism is perfectly weighted, and opening and closing the handset with the thumb of either hand is supremely easy thanks to that rubber-style coating.

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