Archive: Mobile Phones 2007-08

REVIEW / HTC Touch Pro 2

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Florence Legrand Published on February 17, 2010
Updated on February 17, 2010
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SPECIFICATIONS

  • Camera sensor 3.2 Mpx
  • Weight 188 grammes
  • Dimensions (mm) 116 x 59 x 17 mm
  • Talk Time 4 hours 30
  • Standby Time 450 hours
  • Internal Memory 512 MB
The Touch Pro 2 is a handset aimed at mobile professionals, and on paper at least, it seems like it has everything it needs to win over its target audience.  With a rotating touchscren display and a full physical keyboard, it runs Windows Mobile 6.5 along with some extra apps designed to appeal to business users.



Ultra-comfortable keyboard

When it's closed, the Touch Pro 2 isn't exactly a model of slimline design.  It's hard to forget that you've got it in your pocket, and at 188 g, it isn't exactly a featherweight.  It's very clearly bulkier than the current crop of smartphones.


Motorola Milestone, HTC Touch Pro 2 and Blackberry Bold 9700

Once you slide it open to reveal the wide backlit QWERTY keyboard (which flips the display to landscape mode), it's much easier to forget how thick it is and put its well-designed, if a little austere, look into perspective.  The first welcome surprise is that the keyboard is large enough for you to enjoy error-free typing.  Not only are the keys spread over five rows (with one for numbers and punctuation), they go in a long way, making typing very comfortable.  Even writing a long e-mail is easy.  We were also very glad to find direct shortcuts for key features like SMS or web browsing.


The comfortable physical keyboard is one of this handset's main advantages.
The virtual keyboard is less effective.

The handset's other main physical advantage is its resistive 3.6'', 480 x 800 pixel touch-sensitive display, which tiltes to several different positions, allowing easier browsing and the chance to watch video clips handsfree.  It's bright and has good contrast, but sometimes isn't quite accurate enough to use with just a finger.  Once you're doing something fairly complicated, you have to rely on the stylus, which turns the screen on when you slide it out.  We'd much rather do without it entirely though.


You can tilt the screen to watch video handsfree.


Touch FLO rescues Windows

HTC has installed its own TouchFLO 3D interface on the Touch Pro 2, which is good news.  The main advantage of this effective software layers is that it is much more intuitive and useful than Microsoft's menus.  The large icons are well-integrated into the OS and do a good job of steering you away from Windows Mobile's tiny menus, which are very tricky to use with a touchscreen. 


HTC's user interface makes it much easier
to make your way around the Touch Pro 2.

Switching it on takes a while--you have to wait almost 45 seconds to reach the homescreen--but once you get there, the interface is very fluid overall.  Apps load quickly and we can't complain about any lag, which is just as well given the pros that HTC is aiming this phone at--except, of course, when several apps are open at once.  It does begin to drag its feet in this case, and the accelerometer in particular struggles to flip the display from portrait to landscape mode.

Effective browsing from Opera Mobile

Fans of surfing from their mobile will be glad to here that browsing the web on this handset is very effective.  And you don't need to use Internet Explorer either, because the Touch Pro 2 also includes Opera Mobile, which is much more practical and easier to use than Microsoft's solution.  Pages are well rendered and easy to read.  That said, it still can't compete with Safari Mobile on the iPhone.


Great web browsing experience

The browser downloads pages quickly, which you can use for the Push Internet feature, which allows you to quickly grab all of your favourite sites.  The resistive touchscreen doesn't have multitouch, so you need to zoom using the special touch-sensitive bar right next to the screen, which is pretty accurate.


The touch-sensitive zoom bar works well

For photos, you'll have to make do with a 3.2 Megapixel, a slightly sluggish autofocus and no flash.  The resulting photos are hardly outstanding, and are below average for smartphones.  Nokia's mobiles still have the best cameras.

The media player has an attractive user interface, but don't hesitate to change the mediocre headphones to improve the audio output which is acceptable, but nothing better.

Compare the HTC Touch Pro 2 with other phones and digital cameras in our Product Face-Off

The Touch Pro 2 has reasonable battery life for a smartphone like this which is used intensively.  You can get through at least to whole days without recharging it if you use all of the features reasonably: 3G, SMS, push mail, Internet, WiFi from time to time, music and calls.
The Touch Pro 2 as a phone
Like any decent professional phone, the Touch Pro 2 has a range of connectivity options, including Edge, 3G/3G+, Bluetooth and WiFi.

Contact handling is improved thanks to HTC's interface. The information is detailed and well-presented, and the useful WorldCard feature scans your business cards to make adding new contacts a breeze.

With businesspeople in mind once again, HTC has also included tools to easily handle conference calls. The sound is clear and the Touch Pro 2 has no trouble getting a signal to start to start with, but you can improve things further if you're in a loud environment. The Straight Talking feature uses noise cancelling to cut out unwanted background noise, and there's even a dedicated button on the back of the phone next to the speakerphone mic. It might seem a little useless, but it really works, even if the difference isn't exactly huge.

PROS

  • Excellent keyboard
  • Finish and tiltable screen
  • Generally rapid navigation
  • Powerful
  • Battery life

CONS

  • Heavy and large
  • Non standard audio jack
  • Can be slow and buggy when multitasking
  • Screen lacks detail

CONCLUSION 3/5

Let's keep this simple: the HTC Touch Pro 2 is a great phone for busy on-the-go professionals. We really like the powerful physical keyboard, the tilting screen and the solid battery life.
3 HTC Touch Pro 2 DigitalVersus 2010-02-17 00:00:00
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