A while ago, I wrote some initial reactions
to the Touch Plus (aka the HTC Touch Dual) so thought it would be a good idea to go back and have another look with the benefit of having had the device for a couple of weeks.
As I mentioned, the device is a lot slimmer than the Vario II and I don't even notice it sitting in my pocket; this was one of the reasons I was considering the device in the first place and I'm glad I made the move. The phone is very comfortable to hold and using the on screen keyboard with two thumbs is possible but one handed typing is preferable. One issue I do get with the phone, perhaps it is just the way I hold it sometimes, is that I accidentally hit the camera button with the palm of my hand when on a call. Using Slide Actions to lock the buttons while on a call sorts this out.
It's been so long since I have used a "normal" phone that I am really struggling to get used to the hardware keyboard. That's not a negative against the phone, more my being spoilt by the QWERTY keyboard on the Vario II. The keys themselves are not too cramped, and responsive so anyone used to T9 texting will be fine. It's a shame that the 20 key version of the device is not available in the UK as the hardware equivalent of the on screen keyboard would be great.
You really notice the increase in memory over older devices (256MB ROM, 128MB RAM) when in normal phone operation as it feels snappy with little delay in switching between applications. You do, however, notice slow performance when scrolling large web pages as described by the HTC Class Action website
. I haven't tried playing any video content on the phone yet so don't know how that behaves.
The Touch Plus has full SDHC memory card support and I am running it with a 4GB card so have plenty of room for MP3s etc. There is no problem accessing the card as you would expect - part of the SDHC spec is fast access. There is one slight annoyance though, audio seems to glitch for a fraction of a second every now and then and this may be related to the drivers issue the Class Action site is trying to address. HTC have stated that the affected phones are not sold as multimedia devices but they are designed to run Windows Mobile which is able to perform well enough on other phones. We'll have to wait and see what happens here.
Rumours have been rife of updates and even a new ROM based on Windows Mobile 6.1 but there has been no definite confirmation from HTC yet. Even if HTC release a new ROM there is no guarantee that T-Mobile will also release it so we could be waiting a while for any changes.
Shortly after getting the phone I managed to drop it in the bath - it had a good soaking. Fortunately, the phone still works fine but took about 3 days for the LCD to fully dry out. It just goes to show that if you turn it off and get the battery out quick enough that the device is hardy enough to take a dunking. The only problem is that there is a water detection strip inside the phone which turns red when it gets wet. T-Mobile/HTC will use this as an excuse not to repair or replace the phone as water damage is not covered by the warranty.
Overall, I am pleased with the phone which is just as well seeing as how I am going to have to live with it for the next 15-18 months. With more use I am getting quite proficient at using xT9 with the on screen and can tap out emails pretty quickly. Once you start adding some custom words and enable all of the xT9 options the typing experience is quite good