By February 23, 2009

HTC Touch 3G review

HTC have been making high end mobile devices from many years now and the Touch 3G is one of the later models in the ‘Touch’ range. Overall the design is minimalist, stylish, beautiful even! It’s very well thought out and loaded with powerful features.

If you like the look of the HTC Touch 3G, don’t forget our exclusive Touch 3G offer where you can get a free car kit and free delivery. Check out this post for mre details.

So it has the looks, it has the specification, but how does it drive?


What’s in the box?

The phone, Mains charger with USB output socket, USB data / charging cable. Ear phones with Call Answer/End button and volume control, manuals, Utility CD and trial of Outlook 2007. Check out Matt’s HTC Touch 3G unboxing video for more information.


HTC Touch 3G Specification:

  • Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional
  • 102 mm X 53.6 mm X 14.5 mm
  • Weight: 96 grams with battery
  • Processor: Qualcomm® MSM7225™, 528 MHz
  • RAM: 192 MB
  • ROM: 256 MB
  • 2.8-inch TFT-LCD flat touch-sensitive screen with QVGA resolution
  • HSDPA/WCDMA: Europe/Asia: 900/2100 MHz. Up to 384 kbps up-link and 7.2 Mbps down-link speeds. Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 b/g
  • Bluetooth® 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate and A2DP for stereo wireless headsets
  • 3.2 megapixel color camera with fixed focus
  • Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery with a capacity: 1100 mAh
  • Battery Standby: Up to 365 hours for GSM
  • Battery Talk Time: Up to 400 minutes for GSM
  • User Interface: HTC TouchFLO™
  • Chipset: GPS and A-GPS ready
  • Expansion Slots: microSD™ memory card (SD 2.0 compatible)
  • I/O Ports: HTC ExtUSB™


Physical Layout:

From the top; The front of the phone has the speaker grill, a flush fitting 2.8inch, QVGA touch screen. The display is bright and very sharp. A call button with green LED a four way control with centre button and the End call/ Cancel button with red LED.

HTC Touch 3G front view

HTC Touch 3G front view


On the top, simply the On/Lock/Off button.

HTC Touch 3G top view

HTC Touch 3G top view


On the left side a Volume up/down rocker switch.

HTC Touch 3G left side

HTC Touch 3G left side


On the right just the stylus.

HTC Touch 3G right side

HTC Touch 3G right side


On the bottom the HTC ExtUSB™ socket – an extended specification Mini USB socket for Charging/Syncing and Headphone use with HTC Headphones. Its also possible to buy a USB to 3.5mm adapter to use standard stereo headphones.

HTC Touch 3G bottom view

HTC Touch 3G bottom view


On the back there is the hands free speaker grill. A 3.2MPix camera and hole with internal hook to connect a lanyard strap.

HTC Touch 3G back view

HTC Touch 3G back view


Access to the battery, Sim card and MicroSD expansion card is via a simple pop off back cover. The reset button is also under here.



User Interface:

HTC Touch Flo integrated with Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1

Satellite Navigation / GPS:

Built in A-GPS (Assisted – Global Positioning Satellite receiver). Works well with the preinstalled Google Maps. Possible to purchase full Sat Nav software like Tomtom.


Excellent support including POP3 / IMAP and Microsoft’s Direct Push for Exchange.


Supplied with Opera as the default browser and Internet Explorer for those that need or prefer it. Opera works very well however even on this small screen as its full VGA and touch driven. Broadband 7.2Mbits where available.


Super sharp and bright QVGA. Only available in portrait mode, would be nice to support landscape mode especially for web browsing.



  • Powerful features integrated into a tiny and light design
  • Easy to fall in love with
  • Touch Flo interface
  • Very sharp and clear screen


  • Screen needs to be lit for music playback
  • No Haptic feedback
  • Portrait screen only



It seems that this phone offers one of three format offerings from HTC; The Touch Pro, the Touch HD and this the Touch 3G. They all sport more or less the same processor power, memory, aGPS, and Touch Flo interface, the difference is in the packaging, the Touch 3G and Touch HD are essentially the same but the HD has the larger and higher resolution screen for multimedia use, the 3G has the smaller and lighter dimensions for people not interested in video playback or intensive web browsing. The Touch Pro is similar size to 3G but is thicker and heavier due to the physical slide out keyboard. The Touch 3G replaces the HTC Touch, which has been very popular so I expect this slicker version to be like wise.

The Touch Flo interface adds extra software (on screen) keyboards. These are very similar to the iPhones on screen keyboard. Not perfect and a little tricky to use on the small sized screen, but still great ways to input text. The only thing missing that I wouldn’t mind is Haptic Technology on the keyboard. Haptic technology is simply some form of physical feedback when the keys are pressed, like a little buzz or sound bleep. Other devices I’ve tried have it and it makes data input much easier in my opinion. Nokia’s new 5800 implements this very nicely. Of course there is an adverse effect on battery life to consider.

While I’m on about onscreen keyboards I should mention remarks I’ve heard about Windows Mobiles (WM) touch screens being compared to the iPhones touch screens. With WM screens one needs to push slightly to ‘hit’ the key or activate a button, where as the iPhone keyboard / screen only needs to be ‘touched’. This is because the WM screens are ‘touch’ sensitive and the iPhones are ‘capacitive’. The iPhones are lighter to use but because they rely on the static electricity of the human finger. But they cant be used with a stylus for the same reason, and loose precision input. Hence iPhones don’t support handwriting recognition like WM devices. This is also why iPhones have a glass screen and WM have flexible plastic. Both have benefits. And btw HTC touch screens are much better than many other phones out there (and no I don’t work for HTC J)

[Matt’s unboxing video (or a link to a previous HTC review) shows the Touch Flo interface very well.]

The Touch 3G runs Windows Mobile 6.1 which is the latest version. With a HTC customised front end, called the Touch Flo interface. A criticism of the Touch Flo has been that it doesn’t do enough, requiring users to enter the standard Microsoft Operating system to perform some functions. True enough the raw Microsoft Operating System hasn’t changed much in the last 4 years and really requires the stylus to navigate with, most people agree that by itself its too clunky to compete with today’s devices. Microsoft have recently announced an up[grade to version 6.5 is due and I would expect the Touch 3G to be upgradable. Personally I find the HTC solution a very nice combination. The Touch Flo is extremely nice to use and deals with most functions very well. When I needed to do something a bit more in-depth I have the familiar layout of the standard system. Its true that when writing an email one needs to use the standard Outlook client, but that didn’t present any problem for me, simply I typed the message and hit send and I’m back with the Touch Flo.

But the other area that HTC improved drastically over the standard MS OS is with the finer touches, like a wide range of pleasant ring tones, and alarm chimes. Adjusting the volume control is now possible with a large on screen touch control / slider, with gentle auditory feedback. It was so well implemented I would sit around sliding the volume up and down just for the fun of it! Much to the amusement (disbelief) of my colleagues! Another excellent and practical application was to get the screen to lock as soon as a call is connected, a touch screen phone held to your ear with the screen live can cause all sorts of problems!

I could go on praising this phone all day, but I don’t really needs to, other than to say that as the trial went on I was continually impressed with HTCs efforts to make this Windows phone a dream to use. Almost every issue with the raw OS has been resolved or greatly improved. Well done HTC! I loved it and highly recommend to anyone.



If you want or need a fully featured phone / device but don’t need to input a lot of text this is a fantastic light and small phone that you will love owning.

If you need a larger screen or a physical keyboard look at HTC’s Touch HD or Touch Pro.


Review by: Daniel des Baux

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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