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HTC's Touch Cruise Smartphone Combines 3G, GPS

The Windows Mobile-based handset offers better downstream data rates than the Apple iPhone.

HTC, a maker of Windows Mobile-based smartphones, on Monday unveiled the Touch Cruise with built-in GPS for personal navigation and 3G technologies for high-speed Internet access.




The HTC Touch Cruise has built-in GPS for personal navigation and 3G wireless connectivity for high-speed Internet access.
(click for image gallery)

The Touch Cruise is the third smartphone to be launched by HTC as part of its Touch product line, which also includes the touch screen-only Touch and the Touch Dual with a combined touch screen and keypad.

Like the other models, the Touch Cruise contains HTC's TouchFLO technology for navigating through the phone's menus with a finger swipe. It makes it easier to scroll and browse Web pages, documents, messages, and contact lists. The iPhone contains similar technology developed by Apple to fulfill many of the same functions.

The Touch models also have a "home" screen that resembles the iPhone's home screen, which displays one-touch access icons for e-mail, text messages, calendar, contacts, weather, and others.

But HTC's smartphone is a better choice for anyone that requires high-speed Internet access. In addition to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, it contains High Speed Downlink Packet Access, a 3G cellular technology that typically offers downstream data rates of up to 1 Mbps. As a comparison, the iPhone's EDGE technology offers downstream data rates of up to 200 Kbps.

What makes the Touch Cruise different from the other HTC models is its built-in GPS feature for finding driving directions, locating restaurants and other services, and creating alternate routes when there's traffic. It also comes with mapping and navigation software from TomTom, a GPS systems provider.

The Touch Cruise uses Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6 Professional operating system with Outlook "direct push" enterprise e-mail. Other features include a 3-megapixel camera with auto-focus, FM radio, MP3 player, and a microSD memory card slot that supports up to 128 MB of Random Access Memory.

The smartphone will be available starting this month. HTC didn't disclose pricing information.

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