HTC Touch Cruise review: Happy cruising

GSMArena team, 04 February 2008.

Contact management is fine

The Windows Mobile OS has an unlimited contact list with a vast number of available fields for each entry. Synchronization with MS Outlook is simply seamless.

There is also a letter-by-letter search available in the phonebook so you're not going to get lost even if you had hundreds of contacts.

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Searching in the phonebook and looking at a contact on Windows mobile 6.0 Professional

Sending and receiving messages is done through the centralized Inbox. It has separate folders for SMS, MMS and email. SMS length is virtually unlimited, as well as the memory available for received and sent messages. Inside the multimedia editor you will find the useful option to create multi-page messages containing more than one slide with a melody, image or text of your choice.

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Messaging menu and typing an SMS to our friend Dexter

The Outlook Mobile email client supports POP3 and IMAP accounts. You can have multiple accounts and you can set the client to do automatic checks in regular time intervals. It has full support for sending and receiving attachments. There is also support for Direct Push.

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The email client does well

What Direct Push support basically means is that instead of checking mail at regular intervals, your messages are delivered to you immediately once they are received by the mail server. The only condition is that your company's Microsoft Exchange server supports Direct Push. Windows Mobile 6.0 offers some upgrades to the email client over Windows Mobile 5.0 - now you have integrated search, plus support for HTML emails.

There are several text input methods with the HTC Touch Cruise, all of them based on typing on the screen. The classical on-screen QWERTY keyboard is available and there is also handwriting recognition. The Block Recognizer allows handwriting with single-stroke characters and gestures, so you have to learn how to write that way (writing is done in a special on-screen box). The Letter Recognizer offers a more natural way to write, as you can input normal characters (writing again is done in a special box). With Transcriber you can write wherever you want on the screen in whatever style you may wish.

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Some of the available input methods

There are also two virtual keypads available to the Touch Cruise's users designed by HTC themselves. One is a 12-key phone-like layout, the other is an implementation of the RIM's SureType, with 2 letters per each key in a QWERTY layout. These are quite convenient to use with the keys large enough to be easily hit with either a finger or a stylus.

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The virtual keypad and the virtual keyboard are the two most interesting input methods on HTC Touch Cruise

File explorer does a good job

The built-in file manager of the HTC Touch Cruise is the standard Windows Mobile variety. It does a good job finding the files you are looking for. The File explorer as the application is called, can create new folders, copy and move files, set tracks as ringtones or simply send files to other devices.

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The file explorer application

The Picture gallery of Windows Mobile is an application called Pictures&Videos and, as the name implies, you use it to browse the multimedia files in question. As far as pictures are concerned, you can zoom in and out, as well as preview them in landscape mode. The files are shown as either thumbnails or as a plain list. There's a shortcut that allows you to turn on the camera directly from this application. You can even do some basic editing on the images.

"...However HTC Touch Cruise has a second and much improved picture gallery. It is accessible through the TouchFLO cube and supports various gesture controls. It allows natural controlling of the pictures with various gestures acting as commands for zooming in and out, panning and changing the currently selected picture..." <#AdRectangle#>

However HTC Touch Cruise has a second and much improved picture gallery. It is accessible through the TouchFLO cube and supports various gesture controls. It allows natural controlling of the pictures with various gestures acting as commands for zooming in and out, panning and changing the currently selected picture. The Navigation wheel can also show its full potential here. It too can be used for zooming in and out, as well as for changing pictures and panning. Not a bad effort at all and here is a small video showing the tricks this HTC can pull.

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The Windows mobile picture gallery and the HTC custom gallery - our sympathies definitely go with the latter

HTC Touch Cruise custom gallery