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O2 XDA Orbit 2 smartphone

Rather good?

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There's no slide out keyboard, but that's not really a problem as text can be entered at a fair old clip using just your finger and the rather nifty new virtual keyboard.

The user interface is pretty much as per the HTC Touch and Touch Dual only now the TouchFlo 'cube' has a fourth side. So instead of one face presenting a 4 x 2 grid of application icons, you now have two 3 x 2 grids. The extra icons fire up CoPilot, Yahoo! search, the FM radio, Office Mobile and the alarm clock. The remaining faces of the cube are reserved for media management and contacts.

Xda Orbit 2 smartphone

Why oh why won't HTC fit its devices with a 3.5mm socket?

Sadly, O2 has seen fit to have dispense with the HTC home screen. Sure the big LCD-ish clock looks a little odd and the built-in weather application can leave something to be desired in the accuracy stakes, but it lets you get to a fair number of functions easily and isn't an unpleasant thing to look at. The bog standard Windows 6 Professional home screen on the other hand is an unpleasant thing to look at and doesn't really lend itself to stylus-free operation.

With this is mind, users may want to consider buying Spb's Mobile Shell software, which is a sort of TouchFlo on steroids. We reckon £15 is a small price to pay for a home screen that no longer looks like it was designed in 1995. As luck would have it, the screen control to launch Mobile Shell is a down swipe from the top while the control to launch the Touch Flo cube is an up swipe from the bottom. So both will work on the same device at the same time with no clashing. Bonza.

The Spb software gives you another 15 contact short cuts to add to the nine that Touch Flo provides and also means that you as the user are even further away from having to get down and dirty with the underlying Windows GUI.

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