If you read my first impressions on the HTC Imagio you’d know that I had some mixed feelings about the HTC Imagio’s touchscreen. Now that I’ve had some more time to use the Imagio, my impressions of it haven’t exactly changed all that much, but I now at least have a better idea of what it is exactly the pro’s and con’s are about this touchscreen.
The touchscreen is very generously sized with a 800×480 resolution making it great for browsing the web, looking at pictures, or watching videos. The zoom slider at the bottom of the screen is a nice substitute for a screen that lacks multitouch functionality, and it practically works almost as well. In general, the touchscreen is pretty snappy works great for large menu buttons and swiping up and down lists.
Where the touchscreen falls short is typing. Anytime I need to be precise, such as texting, I feel the need to be extra careful. Perhaps this is why HTC chose to include a stylus with the Imagio. There are two reasons why the Imagio is no good for typing: it has a resistive screen, and the software design for the keyboard is flawed.
When using a resistive touchscreen, you have to apply a slight amount of pressure in order for the touch to be registered. Therefore if you try typing with your thumbs and press down on the screen, you feel as if you are smushing your finger against the screen. Whereas with a capacitive touchscreen you can lightly tap the screen with just the tips of your fingers. In this sense, a resistive touchscreen is less precise because a larger surface area of your fingers is touching the screen.
The way the software is designed for the keyboard is flawed as well. Whenever there is a text input area, the keyboard will pop up, covering half of the screen leaving the web page or text message in the “background.” This is all fine as it is the standard convention for touchscreen keyboards, however the problem is that whenever you touch a part of the screen that isn’t the keyboard, the keyboard will disappear. This is incredibly annoying because if you are trying to type a letter on the top row of the keyboard (such as “t”) and you miss (which I guarantee will happen often) then the keyboard will disappear and you have to bring it up again to resume typing. I cannot count the number of times this has happened in just a single message.
I’ve found that what works best for me is to type using the stylus while the phone is flat on a desk or table, but of course this isn’t always convenient. I would much prefer to be able to type efficiently with my thumbs and not have to worry about losing a stylus.