HTC Touch HD: Video Demo and Q&A

We're still getting to grips with the HTC Touch HD smartphone, putting it through its paces before the definitive SlashGear review, but we thought we'd share some demo video and answer a few of the questions you've been putting to us.  This is obviously a highly-anticipated device, and we can tell you now that, while in some areas it excels, there are still some frustrating omissions.  Check out the full demo video after the cut, together with the Q&A.

Q. How many calendar appointments show on the TouchFLO 3D home screen, compared to the HTC Touch Diamond's two?

A. At most, three, unless you scroll down.  While the Touch HD's 3.8-inch screen is bigger than that of the Touch Diamond, the bigger clock still takes up most of the Home tab.  You can see more of the calendar functions in the video below.

Q. Can the Touch HD's Opera browser play content from BBC iPlayer, Hulu or other streaming sites?

A. No.  For instance, the iPlayer site loadsbut the streaming video component does not.  There is a streaming video app, separate from the YouTube player, but that requires a specific url to load.

Q. How is the sound quality from the Touch HD's media player?  Better or worse than an iPod?

A. We're still testing this out, as we like to use multiple different types of music and preferably different file types too.  First-impressions are positive, though, and with a big MicroSD card we could see ourselves using the Touch HD as our everyday PMP.

Q. Will the HTC Touch HD work on AT&T's network in the US?  What functionality will be lost in the process?

A. The Touch HD is quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE, so you'd be able to make calls and get online.  However the HSDPA/HSUPA uses European bands not the US frequencies, so you'd be limited to WiFi b/g for high-speed internet access.  HTC have already confirmed that they don't plan on making a version of the Touch HD for the US.  Features like Visual Voicemail won't work either.

Q. Why doesn't the Touch HD have a capacitive touchscreen?  Is this related to Windows Mobile?

A. HTC have obviously used a capacitive touchscreen on the T-Mobile G1, which runs Android, so it certainly looks to be a Windows Mobile issue.  According to Brandon Miniman it's because Microsoft don't want to give up on the stylus-driven handwriting recognition, which is particularly popular in the Asian markets.

Q. Does the HTC Touch HD have TV-out functionality, as with the Touch Pro?

A. There was no TV-out cable in our Touch HD box, but we already knew that it was not the final bundle, so I put the question to HTC.  The bad news is that the Touch HD does not support TV-out as "it would require a different chipset and accessory".

Q. Does GPS work without lag?

A. We'll be testing this out over the weekend, and have full details in the Touch HD review next week.

Q. Can you change the default TouchFLO 3D homepage from the clock to, say, the programs page?

A. No.  You can rearrange the tabs, or remove them, but the clock homepage is locked.

Q. How easy is the on-screen keyboard to use?

A. As you can see in the video below, the keyboard is a lot easier to use without the stylus than on, say, the smaller-screen of the Touch Diamond.  We can manage a fair hunt & peck typing speed, plus the T9 word auto-completion is easy to toggle on and off.  However, unlike on the iPhone, when you tap a key the letter doesn't appear above it; that can make it tricky to tell if you've actually hit the correct button.  The auto-correct feature is also less impressive than on the iPhone.

Thanks for all the questions so far; we've got the Touch HD for another week or so before we have to send it back, so if there's anything else you're desperate to find out about HTC's flagship smartphone then let us know in the comments.  We'll have the full review, plus more exclusive video, over the next few days.

HTC Touch HD video demo: