An unlocked brother to the HTC Touch series phones, the HTC Touch Cruise ($550.00, unlocked; as of 4/9/2009) has an eye-catching design and a gorgeous touch interface. Like the other HTC phones we've tested, though, the Cruise suffers from sluggish performance---a common problem with Windows Mobile touchscreen phones.
The Touch Cruise sports the improved TouchFLO 3D interface, a simple HTC overlay that runs atop the Windows 6.1 operating system. TouchFLO 3D looks spectacular on the Cruise's display, but its performance was hit-and-miss and downright pokey at times. As a multimedia device, on the other hand, the Touch Cruise excels. The music player, like the majority of the programs on the TouchFLO 3D interface, is aesthetically pleasing, with an iTunes-esque album-art navigation system. The camera was just average, but you can view your photos in a touch-friendly, flickable photo album, which look spectacular on the Cruise's 2.8-inch screen.