We were lucky enough to get this device before the launch. However, I’ve got
a confession to make. When the box arrived, I opened it up with all the excitement and
haste of a child at Christmas and inadvertently tossed the HTC P3450 / HTC Touch to one side thinking
that it was the battery.
Yes, it’s that compact.
Through this review you’ll see two different coloured devices – we were actually
lucky enough to review an early demo model and the final device too. Both
colours are available to buy – the green one is called "Wasabi Green" and
certainly stands out. It’s actually quite a different colour when compared to
other devices on the market.
The specs? You’ll get Windows Mobile 6 Pro powered by a 32bit
Texas Instruments OMAP 850 processor running at 201 MHz with 128 Mb ROM and 64
Mb RAM. The display swallows up a large amount of the unit and is the usual
240×320 you’d expect.
In the side is a MicroSD card slot for extra storage and
you get a 2 megapixel cam plus all the Bluetooth action you need. Connectivity-wise you’re hooked up to a tri-band 900/1800/1900 GSM / EDGE connectivity (no 3G) and WiFi.
Let’s get started with some comparison shots because it’s probably the best way to show the
As you can see, when compared to the Orange SPV M600 – which has always been considered as a
“compact Pocket PC”, the HTC P3450 / HTC Touch is slimmer and shorter.
When compared to the virtual monster that is the Orange SPV M5000, the
HTC P3450 / HTC Touch seems to
have been on a massive fitness regime. It’s like one of those “before and after” shots you
see in slimming magazines. :)
There’s a rounded and pebble-like finish to the device and it almost feels like you should
be wearing it around your neck. Indeed, there’s a small loop-hole to let you do just that…
On the front of the device are just two buttons. They’re the call and release keys and,
apart from the navigation control, that’s it. Seasoned Pocket PC users will no doubt be
poking their stylus at it in disbelief, but – after fathoming out that a ham-fisted prod at
the bottom of the screen pretty much works the same – you may not miss those soft keys.
After playing with the device for a few moments you’ll soon begin to realise who the target
market is. I’m thinking that it’s the younger, trendy people who want a good looking, useful
device. This isn’t a keyboard-sliding power horse, it’s a slim, stylish device with
functionality and looks. The clues are all there – a minimalistic design, an MP3
editor on board to create your own ringtones from your favourite tunes, heavy Bluetooth
integration for sharing files with your mates.
The mobile phone industry, at least here in the UK, is changing. 18 and 24 month contracts
are now starting to appear and customers are becoming wary of entering into such long terms
with one operator. Instead you’ll find more and more “Pay As You Go” deals being taken up –
especially in the younger market. This is where the HTC P3450 / HTC Touch fits in – you can put any SIM
card into it and it’ll even set the network settings for you. Clever huh?
Talking about the SIM slot, it’s not exactly where you’d expect.
First you have to take the back off, which is done by sliding the rear panel up.
Normally you’ll need to take the battery out, however there’s no need – to put a
new SIM or MicroSD in you simply lift the side belt out and slot it in. Nice and
If you get stuck and accidentally remove the battery then you’ll
see a helpful sticker letting you know what to do…
Oh yeah, there’s the code-name just at the bottom of the picture
above. This is the HTC Elf 0100.
The device itself has a matt finish to the majority of the bodywork with
that shiny silver belt
around the middle. This polished silver is picked up around the phone on the outside of the
navigation controls and the camera, which help to give it a classy finish.
On the bottom of the device you’ll find the usual miniUSB port. This is now default across
pretty much all the HTC devices and – for those upgrading from other HTC phones – it’ll mean
your existing charger / cabling works the same. The reset button and microphone is located
here along with the hole for the strap.
Remember that word I mentioned earlier? “Minimalist”. This device cuts back on the short-cut
Buttons? Who needs buttons? The left side of the device is a prime example. We’ve got the
volume control… and…… that’s it..
At the top there’s a power button, which turns it on…and off.
Then on the right side we’ve got the stylus, which is in one size and slides out nicely like
….then there’s the camera button for snapping people.
Talking about that camera, here’s what it looks like. It’s your usual 2 megapixel shooter
and there’s no flash, however it is jolly good in low-light conditions so you may not need
that. You get a mirror so you can take photos of yourself if you feel the need.
To the right of the camera is a rather throaty external speaker
for listening to MP3 or switching to speaker-phone.
That’s pretty much it. The navigation pad at the base of the screen works well and the
screen has a slight “bounce” to it giving you the confidence to poke around with
or without the stylus. The screen is actually level with the front of the device too.
Inside the HTC P3450 / HTC Touch
Firstly we’ve got the homescreen, looks good huh ? This is worlds away from the
boring Windows Mobile "Today" screen.
If you insert a new SIM –
it’ll automatically configure the network settings for you so that you can
browse and send MMS messages correctly. Good stuff. Here you can see that I’ve
inserted an Orange SIM card – the HTC Touch will set up all the MMS and Internet
Settings for you so that you can just click and go.
You will also find a nice task manager on the top right. With this you can
easily close programs that run in the background and suck your memory or CPU
As a new owner I’ll obviously want to add my contacts. This can, of course, be
done on Outlook and then simply synchronised across with the supplied cable,
however it’s easy enough to add new people in when you’re away from your
Below you can see all the SIM contacts, handily signified by the little SIM
pictures. There’s a raft of options to let you MMS, add voice tags, filter,
send, delete, copy and vCard these contacts, plus loads more besides.
Let’s go through the process of adding a contact. First the phone will ask you
what type of contact you want. I’m going to choose an Outlook Contact and then
add the appropriate details. Again, there’s no shortage of fields to fill in and
you can enter stacks of very useful information about your contact.
I’m going to funk things up and add a picture for this person, plus a
personalised ringtone. The picture can be chosen from any of your snapped shots,
so it’s a good way to get a visual if – like me – you’re not good at putting
names to faces. I’m also going to add a special ringtone – Beyonce and Shakira
(Beautiful Liar) which I’ll show you more about shortly.
It’s easy to locate contacts before you call – just start typing their name like
When you find your contact you can add notes too, or add them later when you
call them. Have a look below – I’ve just brought Joes’ contact details up and
called him. I can easily stick him on Speaker Phone, flick to my Contacts List
(to maybe find a number that Joe might need) or …
…I can add a note, or record a brief audio message to say, "Told Joe about
the merger." with the mini keypad, then I’ll scribble some additional notes
with the stylus.
You can add a reminder / calendar appointment about that meeting, but first I’ve
got to add something more important. Once added this shows up in the whizzy new
Windows Mobile 6 calendar which has smooth scrolling. There’s several viewing
options and you can choices as you can see below…
The Start program list reveals the fact that Windows Messenger is on board along with a Bluetooth Explorer for easy file
sharing and – something new – an audio manager. This software is incredibly easy
to use and lets you load an MP3 and create playlists. It’s all done through "fat
finger" presses too. You can also create your very own ringtone from the MP3
you’re listening too – you can even trim it down so that you only the best bit
of the song is used as your ringtone instead of the first 30 seconds or so. Why the heck hasn’t this been included in every Windows Mobile
ever huh ?
Here’s the screens I get when I click "Set as Ring Tone" I can simply save the
song to my ringtone folder or go ahead and save it as the default ringtone. When
I click "Trim"
This is a great addition and it took me just mere seconds to snip out an
appropriate bit of the Beyonce / Shakira song as and set it as my ringtone. Just
set the start, then set the end and bingo – you’re done.
The full Office suite is on board, letting you work on the move and create /
Here’s a quick look at the available Programs available. There’s Solitaire and
Bubble Breaker in the "Games" folder plus Activesync to syncronise your
contacts, appointments and other data with your desktop computer or Exchange
server. Make a change on the phone or the computer and ActiveSync will ensure
that it matches up.
Adobe Reader, always an essential in my book, is on board, plus there’s a
Bluetooth Explorer – this is accessible from here or the File Explorer program.
With the Bluetooth Explorer you can obviously move data around to other handsets
and devices, then you can edit / delete and rename files and folders.
You also get a nice "fat finger" Comm Manager where you can turn on your various
communication capabilities. Here’s a look at Windows Live Messenger, where you
can communicate with your friends and colleagues. Again, in my book Messenger
should be included in all Windows Mobile handsets.
Towards the bottom of the Program list we’ve got a SIM Manager, Streaming Media
viewer, Tasks application and Voice Recorder for adding audio notes when on the
move. There’s also a Voice Speed Dial facility so that dialling is even easier.
It’s good to see Zip and Windows Live on here too.
Internet Explorer includes many screen size, font size and viewing options and
renders quickly on the device. Don’t forget that you can also see the screen in
it’s wide-screen mode if you prefer.
The camera is a 2 megapixel device and you’ll notice a spruced-up camera
interface letting you alter settings quite easily with the pop-up menu at the
bottom. You can also enter the more advanced settings and start tweaking
resolution and more.
The camera seems similar to the
HTC s710 we
reviewed earlier and reacts well in low light. I took several shots to show the
camera in action – all of these are taken with the highest resolution setting
and you can see the original images if you click each picture.
The HTC TouchFLO Technology – The "fat finger" test
Let’s have a look at the TouchFLO technology now. The TouchFLO system
operates in many ways. You can touch and hold your finger near to the bottom of
the screen and drag up to activate the main menu from any page to activate the
menu. But wait, let’s have a look at that home screen again. As you can see
there’s a nice big clock and it’s showing me the amount of messages, missed
calls and upcoming appointments I have. I like this – it definitely passes the
"fat finger" test.
You can then tap one of the three icons in the middle – there’s "Home",
"Weather" and "Launcher". Here’s the Weather application – I’ve set it to
Manchester, which is as close as I could get as there’s not many cities in the
UK available, however if you tap "Manchester" (or whatever town you have listed)
you can switch to another city. If you tap the cloud (or sun etc), you’ll get a
longer forecast for the next few days. This is another HTC plugin and works
On the third screen is the Launcher application. You can put your favourite or
most-used applications in here for quick "fat finger" access. Here you can see
my list of applications. They’re changeable by pressing the "X" on the lower
right. Hit this and you’ll get the screen to the right. Here you can choose for
a shortcut to be removed.
I’ve removed the shortcut now and I can choose for a new program to be inserted
in its’ place. Here’s the screen where I do that. Again, this is a HTC addition
and works really well. The idea is good, the design is good and the looks are
To get a better look at this system I’ve done a YouTube video. Have a look at
this – it’ll give you a better look at this HTC home screen …
Right, let’s have a look at the main TouchFLO system. To access the menu system
you press your finger at the bottom of the screen and then slide your finger up
quickly. Here we’ll be opening up the most-used contacts screen. Here I’ve got
my contacts – some of them at least – this screen gives me quick "fat finger"
access into the people I call the most. Like the "Launcher" application we’ve
got similar functionality – you can click the "X" on the bottom right to delete
people and add new people.
You may notice some more buttons at the bottom – they’ll give you quick access
into the call history or regular dial screen.
Again, it’s probably best to show you this in action, so here’s another video
showing off the contacts screen and how easy it is to move people around – all
without the stylus!
As I mentioned earlier there’s three menu screens to scroll around. You can get
scroll around these by pressing down
your finger on the left and wiping to the right, or vice-versa to scroll the
other way. Here I’ve gone into the Music / Photos and Videos section and I’ve
started to play some music – when I do so it’ll go into the HTC Audio Manager
application and it’ll also show me the progress of the song on the menu screen.
Good huh ?
Again, the best way to show you this is through the power of video…
Here’s the third menu screen – we’ve got six options here and they give you
access into more heavily used applications. Whilst this is good, it will just
drop you into the standard Windows Mobile applications and you’ll probably need
to get your stylus out on applications like SMS / MMS etc.
What’s good though is the "scrolling" technology on applications like Internet
Explorer, Contacts and other screens listing items – you just jab and slide to
make the screen scroll up or down. Again, this is best viewed through a video.
This is the smallest, cutest Pocket PC I’ve ever had the pleasure to use. The addition of the
TouchFLO system means that this is going to do more to push the Windows Mobile
Pro platform out of the "business and geek" user-market than any other handset.
It looks good, it works well and I love the TouchFLO system.
What does get me is the huge level of work the HTC have done on this handset –
there’s a huge new technology, an excellently integrated menu system, a
brilliant set of quick-start features and a fantastic scrolling system when
browsing etc. But, the annoying thing is that Microsoft don’t appear to have assisted
much – the shortcuts that HTC have implemented either take you to HTC
applications that work fantastically well with the "finger", or they’ll take you
to standard Microsoft applications that simply don’t. What I would’ve love to
have seen is a tweaked messaging application which makes use of larger buttons
or a T9 system etc.
The HTC tweaks do breathe new life into applications such as Internet Explorer –
being able to glide sideways, up and down by simply touching the device is
really good. I also love the fact that HTC have sidelined Windows Media Player
in favour of the HTC Audio Manager – it works better and integrates more. I
almost get the feeling that HTC would’ve loved to have continued on an maybe
make their own messaging application, their own photos and videos application
and more. This is possibly HTC’s greatest device – it’s thin, it’s sexy and it
works most of the time without a stylus. It takes good pictures, it lets you
create your own ringtones, look at your pictures, browse the web, watch videos
and play music – all whilst walking around and jabbing at it with your fat
Get this device at
devicewire.com for £319.99. The device will be unlocked, so you can put your SIM straight in and go!