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Review - The HTC Touch Pro 2

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14.07.2009

Advantages:
well designed, good touchscreen,  good QWERTY keypad, improved sofware, good widescreen display

Disadvantages:
Expensive, no spec bump, no flash module, heavy

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Look & Feel

Durability & Robustness

Battery standby time

Value for money

Range of features

Battery talktimeGood

Camera Quality

4 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
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  1. Soho_Black
  2. TheHairyGodmother
  3. paulpry118
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HTC Touch Pro 2


It wasn't all too long ago that I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of HTC's first Touch Pro handset, but when I did get my hands on it I was a little disappointed. I obviously wasn't the only one as I now have in my hand the new version, the HTC Touch Pro2. Even with its improved software and a very nicely designed tilt screen, I still needed to be convinced this was a serious alternative to competitive Smartphone's like the iPhone 3GS, Nokia N97 and the host of available BlackBerry's.

Design and Features


There is no denying that the new Pro2 is a very visually appealing handset, the 3.6 inch touchscreen allows for a 480x800 widescreen VGA resolution, using a customised version of the Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 OS. Although it is very 'business' like in appearance, its metal and black colouring makes it look 'cool'.


The QWERTY keypad slides out from beneath the screen, allowing the screen to tilt to up to a 70 degree angle. While the QWETY keyboard and tilt-up touchscreen are a triumph in design, I have to say that my favourite feature of the Pro2 is its speaker, which flows around the curved shape of the handset. In short it is a beautifully designed thing.


The keypad itself is very nicely designed, the keys are raised and despite being large for a mobile phones QWERTY keypad, they are spaced far enough apart that even someone with large hands wouldn't have the problem of pressing the wrong button, or more than one at a time.


One very nice feature of the Pro2 is one that is often overlooked by the people who design mobile phones, the speaker phone. While this may sound boring, the Pro2 has a very nice party piece. To activate the speaker all you do is turn the phone onto its face, this automatically activates it, this also works if you are already on the phone and want to let other people in the room join in the conversation… I tried this and it worked perfectly. This works so well for a three reasons.


Firstly, a woofer and tweeter have been built into the speaker to improve sound clarity.


Secondly, HTC have installed two microphones to pick up a clearer sound, and,


Thirdly, a chip has been designed to cut out background noise and focus on the speakers voice.


All round, the HTC Pro2 is a very satisfying handset to look at… but so was the original, its problems arose when it actually came to living with it, and it is these areas which needed improving.


Improvements

The Pro2's predecessors, were let down in several key areas. The battery life was terrible, the commands infuriating and unresponsive, bringing up unwanted menus and due to the answer button being on the screen any incoming calls were answered immediately (usually without you even knowing) when the phone was in your pocket, and if it was in your pocket, it was so heavy you would need a belt to hold up your trousers. However, I am happy to say that HTC has addressed these initial faults in the design of the Pro2.


The battery life has been improved, HTC claim that the Pro2 now offers the best part of 7 hours talk time, due mainly to the huge 1500mAh battery… Be warned though, while I found these claims to be accurate enough when just using the phone to text and ring, when using 3G, battery life was cut by around 40%


The user friendliness of the touchscreen benefit from great improvements; Like the original, the Pro2 comes with a stylus, but I can honestly tell you I didn't use it once, HTC say the only reason that it is included with the Pro2 is that their studies show that users in Asia like to use one, but the touchscreen has improved so much that I simply can't imagine that you will ever need it. The improvements with the screen come largely from updated software, most notably the TouchFLO 3D software which, among other thing, runs the touchscreen.


HTC have made some major improvements since the original, there are a few things that aren't quite perfect with the Pro2, and perfection is crucial to take on the giants of Apple, Nokia and RIM's BlackBerry range.


Room For Improvement

I had expected the 3.2 megapixel camera to have been upgraded, but for some reason the Pro2's camera hasn't been, I don't really understand why, especially when you consider that HTC did upgrade the camera of the Pro2's sister model, the Touch Diamond2. But what baffled me the most was that HTC chose to remove the flash module… WHY?!


While the Pro2 is much lighter than the original, but it still weighs 175g with the battery, this is a huge improvement, but looking on the bright side, you won't loose it… you will definitly still know when its in your pocket.


While the Pro2 has benefited from software updates, it is not the same story with the hardware, which is almost identical to the original. While this is not a major issue, I would warn anyone who owns the original Touch Pro, looking to the Pro2 for a spec bump, this isn't the case.


Verdict

I liked -


The design is beautiful; I believe this is the best looking Smartphone currently available.


Excellent touchscreen, with very well designed QWERTY keypad.


Greatly improved software, the combination of the customised version of Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 OS and TouchFLO 3D software work very well.


The widescreen display may not be as advanced as is offered by the new Samsung i8910 HD, (review coming soon) but it is still very, very good.


The speaker phone function is, to my knowledge, unique. While I had a lot of fun playing with it, I can see it being very useful in the right circumstances.


I disliked -


If you do not want to be hooked into a contract, The Pro2 is very expensive when bought SIM free.


HTC decided not to give the Pro2 any kind of a spec bump, choosing to stick with the original hardware.


The removal of the camera's flash is an annoyance, and I would have loved to have seen a 5 megapixel camera instead of the 3.2 megapixel camera which was present on the original.


Although much lighter than the original, it is still quite heavy.


Would I Buy One?

There are a lot of good Smartphone's on the market at the moment, the iPhone 3GS, the Nokia N97, Samsungs i8910 HD and BlackBerry's new Curve to name a few. But I can honestly say that I would recommend the Touch Pro2 as the world's best Windows Mobile device ever released.


There is something very appealing about the Touch Pro2, and I have to admit, I'm strongly considering getting rid of the iPhone and putting a Touch Pro2 in its place… Maybe because it is very nice looking or because it's easy to use, or maybe it's a British thing… They do say that we love the underdog, which HTC certainly is in a market dominated by Apple, Nokia, RIM and Samsung.
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Comments about this review »

TheHairyGodmother 18.09.2009 17:47

Great review! Keep them coming!

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Product Information »

Manufacturer's product description

The Touch Pro2 provides the entire spectrum of powerful communication tools to get your point across... so that you...

General

MPN 99HHL015-00, 99HHL018-00, 99HHL006-00, touchpro2, 99HHL012-00, HTC Touch Pro2 GER
Product Type Smartphone
Form Factor Slider - touch screen, full keyboard

Cellular

Technology WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM
Band WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM 850/900/1800/1900
Mobile Broadband Generation 3G

Show all Product Information

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Review Ratings »

This review of HTC Touch Pro 2 has been rated:

"very helpful" by (100%):

  1. Soho_Black
  2. TheHairyGodmother
  3. paulpry118

and 2 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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