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The HTC Tattoo and my teenage crush

Remember that crush from high school, the one you wanted so badly that your heart literally ached? Remember the perfect life that you envisioned for the two of you together? But then you grew up, got a real education and a real job and settled down with a sensible partner for a sensible life.

Now imagine that your high-school dreamboat calls you up out of the blue, tells you that he/she is single and wonders if you’d like to go out for a drink. A world of possibility opens up in front of you, and you rush to embrace it. This scenario will almost exactly mirror your experience when you trade in your trusty old cellphone for an HTC Tattoo.

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Love at first feel!

The phone is a nifty little firecracker. It runs on Google’s Android platform, has a 2.8 inch touch-screen, a 3.2 megapixel camera, 512 MB of ROM and 256MB of Ram. The battery life is great, the size and weight are very nice and the sound quality is stunning. So where’s the problem? Well, let’s check back in on life with the new flame.

Things get off to a great start. You took a brisk 5km jog early in the morning, followed by a health-breakfast (and a quickie) and then headed off to work. She mails you actual funny jokes at work and organises fresh flowers when you get home. Then she wants to take a walk on the promenade in the evening. Followed by a movie. And some late-night jazz before some indulgent ice-cream and a stroll, then some passion and bed. And before you know it, the alarm’s going again and it’s time for that “relaxing” jog.

But, but, but…

Well, if you’re indecisive and you’re not looking for big change, then you’ll be miserable. And I quote: “You don’t just pick the look. You make the look, by designing your own personal skin for the phone.”

No pressure. They go on to say that “it’s the first phone that can be customised inside and out”. So you really need to know what you want – and when you want it – for this phone to work for you. Much of it is a dream.

As you glide effortlessly from your home to your email, then to your Twitter account, into your albums and your music collection, you begin to wonder how you lived without it. The operating system has the muscle to make it all seem effortless, and make you the envy of your friends. It’s not perfect and, like everything, there are pros and cons. The social media functionality is great, but the camera has that annoying delay between button click and shutter click which often ruins your pictures. And I gave up searching for the # on my keyboard while tweeting, although I’m sure it must be there somewhere.

I get the feeling that the more time you spend with HTC, the better you will become at using it. Yes, this phone has got it all, and if you want a high-maintenance, intense, demanding relationship with big rewards, the Tattoo will speak to you.

But if you’re going to feel exhausted after taking a picture, uploading it to Flickr, sending it to eight mates and tweeting while checking your map, the weather and your mail at the same time, then you might want to consider sticking with something a little less …. capable and a bit more familiar.

It’s all good stuff but taken as a whole, it isn’t long before the nostalgia for your slippers, a home-cooked meal and a quiet night in front of the telly kicks in.

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