Along with the Touch Viva, the HTC Touch 3G is one of two relatively recent additions to HTC's Touch range of handsets.
Despite being the smaller of the two, the Touch 3G is a much more grown-up affair, with built-in GPS, a better camera and, as its name implies, support for 3G data downloads.
The Touch 3G is available for around £320, SIM-free.
The Touch 3G is an attractive phone, especially by the chunky and boxy standards of most other smart phones. Its petite dimensions make it feel much more pocket-friendly than the iPhone, for example. We had the blue version of the phone, but it's also available in black, gold and brown.
As with all Touch handsets, this one is built around the Windows Mobile operating system. The standard Windows Mobile menu system is a pig to use so, instead, HTC has loaded the 2D version of its TouchFLO interface over the top. This is very easy to use and allows you to access most of the phone's main features using just your finger. There are, however, still some times when you'll find that you need to reach for the stylus, which is tucked away in the top right-hand corner of the phone.
For surfing the Web, HTC has pre-loaded the Opera web browser -- a big improvement on Internet Explorer -- and, as the phone supports both HSDPA, for high-speed data access on the move, and Wi-Fi, for when you're at home or at the office, surfing the Web on the device is, unsurprisingly, very fast.
In fact, the phone generally feels very responsive, thanks, no doubt, to its speedy 528MHz Qualcomm processor. With 256MB of ROM and 192MB of RAM, plus the ability to add extra storage via microSD cards, it's unlikely you'll run out of storage space quickly.
There are plenty of other good features, such as Bluetooth 2.0 and onboard GPS, which worked well with the free Google Maps software. Battery life was also impressive, as we got around two and a half days of use out of the phone before it needed a recharge.
Although the Touch 3G is, on the whole, relatively easy to use, and the 2D TouchFLO interface is responsive, when you use the phone for a while, it becomes obvious that TouchFLO is merely an add-on, rather than the native interface for the operating system. There are just too many occasions when you're rudely dumped from the finger-friendly menus of TouchFLO into the cluttered menus of the original Windows Mobile interface, demanding the use of the stylus.
The screen is also relatively small compared to most other touchscreen phones on the market and can feel rather cramped when browsing the Web. It's also annoying that there's no accelerometer, as this means that you can't tilt the screen to switch it into landscape mode for viewing Web pages.
Another minor annoyance is the lack of a standard headphone jack. Instead, the supplied headphones connect to the phone's mini USB port, and this means you can't listen to music while the phone is charging or syncing with your PC.
The Touch 3G is a good handset with some impressive features. Apart from the addition of 3G support, however, it's not a great leap forward from HTC's original Touch handset. It also costs roughly the same as the iPhone on a pay-as-you-go deal, but hasn't got as good a screen or as intuitive an interface, so it's only really going to appeal to die-hard Windows Mobile fans.
Edited by Charles Kloet