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HTC Updates Its 'Touch' Smartphones

The HTC Touch Diamond 2 and Touch Pro 2 will have beefed up specs, and be compatible with Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6.5.

HTC Touch Pro 2

HTC Touch Pro 2
(click for larger image)

HTC has rocketed from relative obscurity to being a significant player in the smartphone market thanks to its Touch line of smartphones. At Mobile World Congress Monday, the smartphone maker introduced the next generation of Touch smartphones.

Business users may find the Touch Pro 2 the most appealing device because it has a slide-out full QWERTY keyboard for heavy e-mail users. The keyboard slides out horizontally, and the 3.6-inch screen tilts up to simulate a laptop-like experience.

It will have HTC's Push Internet technology, which lets users preload parts of their favorite Web sites in order to alleviate bandwidth needs. The handset also has a single contact view that can show the conversation history of contacts via voice, text messages, or e-mails.

The handset is powered by Windows Mobile 6.1, and it will be able to upgrade to 6.5 when Microsoft rolls it out later in the year. As with most Touch smartphones, the Pro 2 will have HTC's TouchFlo 3D user interface layered on top to make navigation more finger friendly.

Users will be able to connect via Wi-Fi, EDGE, or HSDPA 3G that can get up to 7.2 Mbps downlink speeds. There's integrated GPS, Bluetooth, and software for viewing Office documents like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. HTC said it has boosted the battery capacity by 50%, which could come in handy for road warriors.

The Diamond 2 is the successor to the popular Touch Diamond, and it has many of the same connectivity features as the Pro 2. At 3.2-inches, it does have a slightly smaller screen, and the Diamond 2 relies solely on touch input.

HTC Touch Diamond 2

HTC Touch Diamond 2
(click for larger image)

At 5-megapixels, the Diamond 2 does have a beefier camera than the original Diamond and the Pro 2, and there's also autofocus, and a secondary front-facing camera for video calls. The Diamond 2 has Bluetooth, instant messaging capabilities, expandable memory via a microSD slot, and it can play multiple audio and video codecs.

"The HTC Touch Pro 2 and HTC Touch Diamond 2 introduce a mobile communication experience that simplifies how we communicate with people in our lives whether through voice, text, or e-mail," said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC, in a statement. "HTC is delivering the latest, cutting-edge sophistication in a broad portfolio of mobile phones that improve how people live, work, and communicate."

The Diamond 2 will be available in Europe and Asia in the second quarter, and the Pro 2 is expected to be released in early summer. HTC did not give expected prices.

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