Although we like the slide-out keypad, the new shortcut menu and finger-friendly on-screen keypad, the TouchFlo interface is still only skin deep and defaults back to the Windows Mobile interface most of the time. This ultimately leads to the Dual's stylus needing to be used, a feature we would happily do without.
The Dual's slide-out Qwerty keypad does have good-sized keys and is easy to use, but it looks very cheap, in our opinion. Given that we think the Touch is one of the most attractive Windows Mobile handsets out there, the Dual's keypad really spoils the overall look. It might also have been better to put in a full Qwerty keypad instead.
Equally we're not keen on HTC's decision to take out Wi-Fi, especially given that the original Touch had it and most Touch users had gotten used to it. We do like HSDPA -- we're not complaining about that -- but it would have been nice to have the option of both.
Another connectivity-related issue is that HSDPA, if left on all the time, drains more battery power than a GSM phone. Most people leave 3G or HSDPA on without realising the consequences and in the Dual's case that will mean a two hours less of talk time. It's not necessarily a weakness but definitely something to look out for.
In many ways, the HTC Touch Dual delivers all the things we wanted in the original Touch. There's a mechanical keypad, more processing power, HSDPA and a few extra interface details that make it easier to use with just your fingers. Unfortunately, we think that HTC could have taken it even further by adding things such as Wi-Fi, a full Qwerty keypad and a better camera.
Of course, specs-wise, that handset already exists in the form of the HTC TyTN II but in terms of design, we really prefer the Touch. A combination of those two devices would be amazing, but for now you'll have to settle for either of the two. We're also hoping that with the possible introduction of Windows Mobile 7 soon, devices like these aren't just finger-friendly to a point but offer a complete stylus-free environment.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Shannon Doubleday