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Old 10-13-2007, 11:33 AM   #1
HarryT
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Thumbs up New Smartphone / bookreader

I've been looking for my "perfect" combination of smartphone and "backup" bookreader that I can always have with me for a while now, and I think I've finally found it in the form of the "HTC Touch" Smartphone.

I've uploaded a picture with my mouse alongside just to show how incredibly small it is - about half the size of my iPaq Pocket PC! Runs Windows Mobile 6 so, as the picture shows, my first action was to install Mobipocket Reader onto it, which works great. The 2.8" screen is big enough to be readable, but small enough to comfortably carry in your pocket.

It's a device with absolutely "minimalistic" controls. There are only three buttons on the front of the machine - a central 5 way rocker/enter switch which is the main control switch, a "talk" button on the left (for making phone calls) and a "hangup" on the right, which also takes you back to the main "Today" screen.

The really nice thing about this device is that they've replaced the standard "Today" screen with a custom version that shows a large clock, a local weather forecast, and a rapid application launcher. All works amazingly well.

Another neat thing, and the reason for the "Touch" part of the name, is that there's custom software which interprets "finger wipes" on the screen in various ways. For example, in the contacts list you can scroll up and down the list just by pulling your finger down or up the screen. The machine does have a stylus, but what HTC have done is to ensure that you can access all the phone and PDA functionality without having to use it. You really only need it if you load an app with a "standard" Windows Mobile user interface (like MobiPocket, in my case).

All in all, a very impressive machine. Looking forward to using it.
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Old 10-15-2007, 09:52 AM   #2
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Cool!

So what's the verdict? How long until tears show up? Do you have text size limits?
The text looks as small as on a Nano.
Do you scroll through a book or click page turns? Does it memorize your page when you turn it off?
'D'love to try it.
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Old 10-15-2007, 10:17 AM   #3
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Cool!

So what's the verdict? How long until tears show up? Do you have text size limits?
The text looks as small as on a Nano.
Do you scroll through a book or click page turns? Does it memorize your page when you turn it off?
'D'love to try it.
Hi Yvan,

It's the standard MobiPocket Reader I'm using on it, so you can select any font and any text size you wish. The size that's shown is just what's comfortable for me. No real size limits - the machine uses MicroSD cards, and I've got a 1GB card in it. Mobi will either "autoscroll" or use manual page turns - I prefer the latter.

It remembers your position in each book you're reading on it (separately).

Because it's a Pocket PC, there's lots of choice of bookreaders for it - Microsoft Reader, MobiPocket, uBook, and lots of others I've never tried. The Pocket PC probably has the widest selection of bookreaders of any platform.
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Old 10-15-2007, 10:34 AM   #4
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That is very interesting. I bet Mobi access was the biggest choice feature for motivating your acquisition of this device, was it?

Manual page turns is the best on a small screened device. With the Nano it's scroll only, quite hallucinating after a while.
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:09 PM   #5
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I've used Pocket PCs for as long as they've been around, so I'd always choose a Pocket PC over something with a different operating system (eg Symbian).

You're right, though - as I've said elsewhere, I've "standardized" on Mobi as my personal preferred choice of eBook formats. It's a lot easier being able to read the same books on all my devices, rather than needing a separate format for each one.
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:14 PM   #6
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Is this phone only available in the UK? How expensive is it?
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:32 PM   #7
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The web site I bought it from:

http://www.expansys.com

sell all over the world. It wasn't particularly cheap - £260 (about US$520) - but I bought it as both a Pocket PC and a phone, so for me it's worth it.
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:29 PM   #8
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I manage the mobile business (or headache) in our firm (you know, ordering phones/lines for our employees, all that), and I recently tried the HTC Touch for a few days to evaluate it... it is really, really nice, much better than the HTC P3300, for example, and several other smartphones/Win Mobile terminals I've tried. I actually miss it now.
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Old 10-16-2007, 10:53 PM   #9
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I have the HTC-6800 which I believe is the same, or similar, screen. Also Windows Mobile 6. It's a bit thicker, though, because it has a slide-out QWERTY. Some folks over on xda-developers.com actually even ported the Touch-Flo interface over to it but I haven't felt motivated to try it yet. It's helping to keep me from jumping into a reader until I find one I love. I still have e-ink lust, but this isn't bad at all. It's so nice to have a few books with me when I'm out. I'm sure I'll continue to use it for that even after I have an e-ink reader to call my very own.
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Old 10-17-2007, 02:30 AM   #10
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Having used it for a couple of days now, I have to say that it makes a very nice bookreader indeed. It's small enough to always have with you, but the screen is large enough to be very easily readable. I'll still do my main reading on my iLiad of course, but the HTC Touch is great as an "always have it with you" bookreader for those odd moments, or for when you're away from home overnight.
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Having used it for a couple of days now, I have to say that it makes a very nice bookreader indeed. It's small enough to always have with you, but the screen is large enough to be very easily readable. I'll still do my main reading on my iLiad of course, but the HTC Touch is great as an "always have it with you" bookreader for those odd moments, or for when you're away from home overnight.
How is your assesment of it compared to what you know of Apple's iPhone?
BTW I liked what I saw on that little UTube video ot it.

As far yet as I've been looking for info on it, it seems that there is no way I can use it as a phone in Québec.
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:15 AM   #12
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Do you have a CDMA phone system in Quebec, Yvan? There's a CDMA version of it shown here - it's the model called the "Vogue". It appears to be exactly the same phone, but with CDMA rather than GSM.

I'm sure the iPhone is very good, but it's not what I want personally. As I said before, one of my main requirements is the ability to read MobiPocket books on it, and I couldn't do that on an iPhone .
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:47 AM   #13
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I've never been a fan of HTC's hardware. It always seems cheaply built and plastic like.

I've had Samsung PDA phones for the last 4 years. The i500, i700, and i730 (my current phone). They've all felt sturdy and well contrsturcted. The Samsung i760 (http://www.phonescoop.com/phones/phone.php?p=1108) should be coming out Friday, and I will be buying that. It's not the prettiest thing at first glance, but it grows on you...
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:54 AM   #14
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I was wondering about something concerning FBReader. This wonderful software is available on Windows XP, would it be somehow possible to port it on Windows Mobile devices ?
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:56 AM   #15
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It is indeed plastic, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with modern plastics as a construction material. In this case, the case is made of a plastic with a "rubberised" surface, so it's a very good grip. Seems sturdy enough, but time will tell. All the buttons are metal.

You're right of course - there are lots of excellent devices are there. As I said earlier, I have a liking for Windows Mobile devices, which influenced my choice. I have several Windows Mobile applications which I use regularly and wouldn't like to be without.
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