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The long awaited successor of the HTC Touch Pro has finally been released to the public. Only  two days ago I received an email from Clove Technology informing me they had the HTC Touch Pro2 on stock,  almost one month before it would be released in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe ! I ordered it straight away and had it delivered to me in one day thanks to FedEx Priority. I grabbed it from the FedEx delivery guy’s hands (sorry about that!) and started unwrapping. It is always a lot of fun unpacking a brand new device which you have only seen on pictures. What will it look like, how will it feel? Is it big, is it heavy? I am going to answer all these questions in this review. So, let’s get started!

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First impression

First impressions are crucial they say, which is more than true in this case. The Pro2 is a bit bigger than the old Pro and also a bit heavier. Whereas I found the Pro sometimes a bit too small, the Pro2 lives up to my expectations. I think size and weight of the device are just right. I also like the grey/silver color and the chrome outline of the screen gives the device a very stylish and distinctive look. It reminds me a bit of the HTC Universal, which had the most excellent keyboard. The keyboard on the Pro2 is good, but not as good as the keyboard on the Universal. However there are more similarities with other HTC devices. Again, it has a tilt screen option, just like the TyTn II. I loved that feature and was very disappointed it had not been incorporated in the Touch Pro. But now it is back again ! The Pro2 also features the extra numeric row on the keyboard, just like the old Pro, something I can’t do without. It enables you to type without having to use the FN key for every number you type.

But there is more. The Pro2 also features a hardware zoombar to use in applications and use for instance while taking a picture. You can use the zoombar to zoom in: very nice ! One of the other hot new features is Straight Talk.

Straight Talk integrates messaging, voice, and conference calling, allowing you to seamlessly transition from a message to a single call or multi-party conference call. With dual microphone and speaker that enhance voice quality and reduce noise, Straight Talk turns your device into a conference room speakerphone system.

This all comes together on a large 3,6 inch WVGA screen with a resolution of 480×800 pixels which also features a Proximity sensor. The old Pro featured a light sensor which would switch off the screen when making a call. Often times the device would have to be switched on again in order to get the display back. The sensor on the Pro2 is now similar to the one used on the iPhone. If you hold it to your ear the display switches off: if you move it, it is back on. Very nice feature I must say. The last sensor this device features is the G-sensor, which automatically turns to landscape mode when you turn it over.

First impressions are very positive. Now let’s take a look at the specs.

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Specifications

  • Operating System: Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional
  • Processor: Qualcomm® MSM7201a™, 528 MHz
  • Memory: ROM: 512 MB RAM: 288 MB microSD™ memory card (SD 2.0 compatible)
  • Dimensions: (LxWxT) 116 X 59.2 X 17.25 mm (4.57 X 2.33 X 0.68 inches)
  • Weight: 187.5 grams (6.61 ounces) with battery
  • Display: 3.6-inch TFT-LCD touch-sensitive screen with WVGA resolution Adjustable tilt screen
  • Network: HSDPA/WCDMA: Europe/Asia: 900/2100 MHz Up to 2 Mbps up-link and 7.2 Mbps down-link speeds Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • Device Control: TouchFLO™ 3D; Zoom bar
  • Keyboard: Slide-out 5-row QWERTY keyboard
  • GPS: Internal GPS antenna
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth® 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate and A2DP for wireless stereo headsets Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 b/g HTC ExtUSB™ (11-pin mini-USB 2.0, audio jack, and TV Out* in one)
  • Camera: Main camera: 3.2 megapixel color camera with auto focus Second camera: VGA CMOS color camera
  • Battery: Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery Capacity: 1500 mAh
  • Talk time: Up to 270 minutes for WCDMA; Up to 419 minutes for GSM
  • Standby time: Up to 454 hours for WCDMA; Up to 348 hours for GSM Video call time: up to 150 minutes (Subject to network and phone usage)
  • Special Features: Proximity Sensor, G-Sensor, auto speakerphone on when facing down the device

These specifications are quite impressive I must say. Almost forgot: What’s in the box ?

In the box

In the box you’ll find the Touch Pro2 and a battery of 1500 mAh. A spare stylus is also included in case you lose the original one. There’s also a power adapter. Each power adapter is specific to the country you ordered it from. Mine therefore came with a (pretty useless) UK power adapter. Have to see if you can buy this EU part somewhere online. Also in the box is an (imitation) leather carrying pouch to protect your precious device. Another item is the USB headset. You can use it to listen to music as well as answering your incoming calls with a push on a button. A USB cable comes standard with every device these days and the usual amount of CD’s with manuals, quick start guides and Activesync installation files is also there. Finally there’s a warranty guide which hopefully you’ll never need and a screen protector.

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Now let’s have a look at the device itself:

Design

Please note that I am using some of the press pictures made by HTC. I took some pictures myself but they were nowhere near as good as these and I was in a hurry to write this review. The picture below gives me a lot to talk about.

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The front of the Touch Pro2 shows four buttons. Below on the left you’ll find the Answer button, which obviously answers your incoming call. Next  there is a Windows button, which allows you to access your programs the same familiar way as on your desktop. The Pro2 is the third HTC device with a Windows button (just like the TyTn II and Diamond 2). Next to the Windows button, you’ll see an arrow pointing left. This button sends you back to the home button on TouchFlow. When inside a submenu, it functions like the backspace key: it returns you to the previous menu. The fourth key on the right ends your incoming call and double functions as a Home key.

The left side merely shows two buttons: volume up and volume down. One thing I really miss here is the jog dial. I enjoyed it very much on the TyTn II and wish it would have been incorporated on the Touch Pro2 as well.
On top there is one button: On/Off. Pretty straight forward I would say. To switch off, press and hold for approximately 3 seconds. The right side does not show any buttons at all: it houses the stylus and on top there is a microphone entrance.

At the bottom you’ll find the USB connector which also serves as an earphone Jack and a TV-Out (cable not included). HTC calls this the ExtUSB (TM) port. The second microphone for Straight Talk is here as well.

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At the back of the device there is a camera lens and a mute button for Straight Talk. More about Straight Talk in the next chapter.

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Straight Talk

Straight Talk is one of HTC’s brand new features.

Straight Talk integrates messaging, voice, and conference calling, allowing you to seamlessly transition from a message to a single call or multi-party conference call. With dual microphone and speaker that enhance voice quality and reduce noise, Straight Talk turns your device into a conference room speakerphone system.

For this feature HTC has completely redesigned the back of the Touch Pro2. The back now has a  double speaker and a microphones allowing all participants to be heard crystal clear. It uses the microphone on the side as well as the one at the bottom.
The concept is very easy: Straight Talk allows you to add several people together in one conference call.
First you select the participants. This is easily done by opening the phone screen and pressing the button next to Talk, which will enable the Conference option.

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Now select all participants and press Conference when you’re done.

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The conference screen will now be opened and each of the participants can be dialed. Now slide open the hardware keyboard, displaying the Conference Room screen. This is an intuitive interface which will make it much easier to set up conference calls. Simply tap photos or buttons on the screen to dial participants, joining them to your conference call and more.

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Tap the first participant’s picture and right after he/she has answered, tap the second picture. The first participant will be put on hold. As soon as the second participant has answered, press Join to connect the calls and dial the next participant if needed.

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Now all participants are connected and your conference call is in progress. When you’re done press End Call to stop the conference call.

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HTC TouchFLO 3D on the HTC Touch Pro2

“Leveraging HTC’s TouchFLO 3D, people-centric communication and Push Internet technology, the Touch Pro2 features a high-resolution 3.6-inch widescreen VGA display for an expanded viewing area and large finger-friendly QWERTY keyboard. “

The following section will describe the continuous development of TouchFLO 3D, and focus on the people-centric communications as stated in the press release. HTC TouchFLO 3D now consists of 11 tabs. A few of the new tabs have undergone some improvements, others were added. A few examples are:

People

The people-tab has undergone some drastic changes. In the TouchFLO 3D version on the first Touch Diamond and Touch Pro, a short-list with your main contacts could be added. If you wished to communicate with a particular person, you simply clicked their name which would open the contact card, etc.

With the people-centric communication HTC has made some clever improvements, linking contact data (mobile phone, work phone, home phone, sms, e-mail) directly under the picture of the particular contact. This development has a few advantages:

  • It takes fewer clicks to access the contact card and select the data from there. Now it’s just a matter of hitting the right communication button and Bob’s your uncle.
  • It gives you all communication options, linked to that specific person. You don’t have to open the dialer nor Pocket Outlook.

This approach makes communication really simple and is probably one of the biggest improvements in TouchFLO 3D.

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Internet

The internet-tab has also changed quite drastically. It now gives you more functionality in one overview. On top there is a search box to insert your search-parameters. Clicking it will automatically open Google-search in the Opera Mobile web browser. The second and largest section is the open browser field, followed by a YouTube field. Clicking the latter will open a “custom” YouTube client / viewer.

Further down the bottom there are four fields saying “Add Push page”. The push-internet technology is meant to automatically download the content of your favorite websites in given intervals. This means there’s no need to open your web browser and re-type the URL. The website will refresh automatically, in a way similar to synchronizing your e-mail account over IMAP.

This feature is very helpful if you regularly check a website on the go. You could for instance program a website that shows traffic jams in your local region. Simply give in the URL, a name for the website, and the update frequency. Its contents will now be kept up to date automatically.

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Calender

The calendar-tab gives you the overview of the current month whereas with the left soft-key you can switch to a daily overview. I personally think this is really helpful, for you often need to quickly access your calendar program to make an appointment. This is now possible straight from TouchFLO 3D without first having to enter the start menu. With the right softkey you can add a new appointment.

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Summarizing:

TouchFLO 3D has matured and has evolved into something more than just an easy user interface. Especially if you note that HTC has also changed the layout of the notifications and menus to make them more finger-friendly. Main reason for this conclusion would be that TouchFLO 3D allows you to use the most important features, without having to use the start menu or even deeper layers in TouchFLO.

One of the best features of the HTC Touch Pro2 is the people-centric design for optimal communication. In my point of view it is a really clever integration and/or connection of the different databases for each type of communication. However the strongest feature is in the way people are linked to their contact details.
With this improvement you can speed up communication and minimize your search-time, which is extremely helpful for business people on the go. Note also the fact that in the e-mail of a contact there is a call-button in the header. This will enable you to directly call the person who e-mailed you.

Everybody loves TouchFlo 3D and now you are going to love it even more. The TouchFLO 3D interface now remains unchanged, regardless of your mode of operation. Whether it be landscape or portrait mode, all functionality remains available at the tip of your fingers.

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Overall there is one single conclusion. HTC is continuously developing and improving TouchFLO. There truly is a world of difference between the first incarnation of TouchFLO 3D and the current version. The current version truly makes everyday life easy, resulting in very efficient use of this type of work tool. TouchFLO 3D has become more than just a user-interface. In now is a complete set of applications on top of Windows Mobile that help you to effectively manage the information on your device.

Zoombar

The Zoombar at the bottom of the screen is a relative new feature. Although not functional yet within every single application, there are quite a few applications that already make use of it. The browser for example. On any given website, simply sliding  your finger from left to right zooms in the page. Repeating this gesture zooms in even more. To zoom out simply slide your finger in the opposite direction, from right to left. The zoombar can also be used in the camera application. In the camera application the zoombar will function as a digital zoom for the pictures you take.

In addition to that the Zoombar also is functional within Pocket Outlook or Word documents. In a similar manner sliding your finger from left to right increases the text size,  sliding from right to left to decreases the text size.

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Haptic feedback, Proximity Sensor and G-Sensor

The Touch Pro2 also features haptic feedback. This means that the device gives you tactile feedback when you press the screen within TouchFlo 3D. With every screentap you will feel a little vibration that confirms that you have touched the screen. It is enabled by default and cannot be turned off. A very nice feature I must say.

The next thing I would like to mention is the Proximity Sensor. An extremely cool and useful feature of the Touch Pro 2. It senses whether the device is being held next to your ear. Once the device is raised up to your ear, the Proximity sensor immediately turns off the screen in order to save battery life. Moving the device away from your ear turns the screen turns on again. PDA screens by nature are one of the biggest battery drains, especially when a screen is as large and bright as this one.

The Touch Pro2 also has a G-Sensor built-in. We have seen this feature before in other devices such as the Touch Pro and Diamond / Diamond 2. The G-sensor automatically turns the screen to landscape when you turn the device over.

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Overall conclusion and  wrap-up

With such a great and feature-rich device like the HTC Touch Pro2, it is hard to summarize an overall conclusion about the device. As I previously mentioned it combines great features of different HTC devices (HTC Universal, HTC TyTn II) into a nice form factor. The Pro2 actually even is a little bit smaller than HTC Touch HD. Overall the design is very modern and clean, with a nice business finish to it.

Hardware wise it truly is a tremendous powerhouse. The HTC Touc Pro2 is quite the responsive device. The tilt mechanism is great and the slide-out QWERTY keyboard makes it a great messenger. The large 3.6″ WVGA screen, the good camera and the 1500 mAh battery make it fun to use. Not to mention the great straight talk “design” and the built-in sensors (Proximity & G-Sensor).

Software wise only have one conlusion. This version of TouchFLO 3D is by far the best yet, and works identically both in portrait and landscape mode. The people-centric communication approach in  HTC TouchFLO 3D makes life so much easier. Add the graphical changes on the start menu, the notifications, and the menus on the softkey that have significantly improved. All of this shows that HTC is continuously working on improving the user-interface in front of the different facets of the Windows Mobile OS.

A good device is a combination of great hardware and stable, fast and easy to use software. With the introduction of the HTC Touch Pro2, HTC has brought a killer-device to the market. This device definitely will be loved by a large number of people, simply because the hardware and software are so well balanced and the fact that that a ton of features are packed with it.

Underneath you will find a few lists describing my likes and dislikes about the device. While they represent my personal opinion about the Touch Pro2, they could be used as a starting point for a discussion. On a side note, I need to emphasize the fact that I have only used the Touch Pro2 for a few days now. While this review does highlight the most important features and aspects, you might want to keep visiting mobilityminded.com for follow-up articles about this device.

Editorial note (Willem Ditters): Close observation of the back of the Touch Pro2 reveals a very nifty little detail. If you look closely you will note the edges of an immensely thin transparent layer that spreads over the entire battery cover.  The best area to see this is around the volume buttons. If you look really closely you will see these same edges around the stylus and microphone cutouts as well. Nice detail indeed. For me this means I can lower some of my caution when lying the device down on a desk somewhere.

What I like about the HTC Touch Pro2 ?

  • Straight Talk
  • Straight Talk (yes, that is two times)
  • Great design with chrome finish
  • Large 3,6″ WVGA screen
  • Newest TouchFlo 3D version

What I like a little less about the HTC Touch Pro2 ?

  • Biggest disavantage: No 3.5mm headphone jack. It finally appeared on the Touch HD, why dropping it now?
  • Limited number of hardware buttons; I use those to control the softbuttons so I miss these.
  • It tilts a bit easier than the TyTn II. On a flat surface it is not as stable as the TyTn II either.
  • Where is the D-Pad ?
  • Although it is quite common now, I would love to see a camera hardware button.
  • Laying the device face-down on a table for the purpose of a conference call increases the risk of screen damage. Therefore, a screen protector is an absolut must. Regrettably the screen protector that comes with the device only is of an average quality.
  • Where is the FM radio? All pre-release versions had it, the HTC website listed it … Now that the device is out, the software has gone and the HTC website has been updated by taking out the FM radio from the specifications list.

Links

  1. Pocketinfo:  HTC Touch Pro2 review (in dutch, published by Paul Willen of MobilityMinded)
 
Comments
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  • http://www.mobilityminded.com Johan van Mierlo

    Wow, Now I am the only one within our team that doesn’t have a TD2. Good job guys.

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  • eumel

    Hey guys,
    really smart and good review. liked it a lot!

    greetz

  • Pingback: Gear Diary gets Touched – Touch Pro 2 Review is Pending! | Gear Diary

  • Darkkhorse

    Thanks for the review. I have the Touch HD and would have upgraded to this device, however the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack is a dealbreaker for me. What were they thinking!!!

    • Daniel

      Still have my original TYTN, didn’t like the TYTN2 or the original pro but will be buying the TP2. I like the fact that the screen is bigger and the phone is slimmer, don’t like the loss of all the hard keys or the loss of the jog dial. Best feature of any smartphone was Sony’s 5 way jogdial, why is this not standard on all smart phones????

  • Joannes

    There seems to be an engineering design problem with the HTC Touch Pro 2 in that my loudspeaker started giving a very creaky sound just after just a few days. Very inconvenient since the HTC policy in Europe seems to be not to replace the machine even if problems occurs so soon after purchase. No, I have to hand it over for estimated 10 working days for repairs. Ridiculous policy.

    Does anyone else have the same problems?

  • Abe Frohman

    This looks like THE phone I've been waiting for but I see two things that are absolute deal breakers. Like the TP2, my laptop computer has aluminum-colored keys with black letters and it's IMPOSSIBLE to see in low light situations. I live most of my life at night so this is a no go item. I can't find any info that says the letters are backlit. No 3.5mm headphone jack. Seriously, what percentage of all headset sales are USB?

  • http://www.s60certificatekey.com Joe Torres

    Thanks for the info. Regards

  • Pingback: Wind Pudding & Air Sauce » Blog Archive » The HTC Touch Pro2 and AT&T is driving me CRAZY!

  • http://www.monster-rakeback.com poker rake

    I would definitely say screen and keyboard are the most important buying decision for me as the specs are fairly standard across brands anyway.

  • http://www.mytelecoms.net My Telecoms

    Terrific handset the HTC Touch Pro2. Got frustrated with Windowsd Mobile 6 on the Xperia, but the handset and the new version of Windows Mobile seem to work great together.

    Tempted to buy one of these. Nokia N97 and iPhone are my other options.

    Great site by the

  • Ed in Chicago

    I’ve had the Verizon version of this phone since October 2009.

    Great phone!
    Speaker phone works great, good phone reception and is a dramatic improvement over my former phone the xv6700.
    Keyboard is great, black keys with white letters, which are backlit.

    One small gripe is the the ‘sleep’ button should be deactivated when the keyboard is out, because I keep hitting it by accident with the inside of my left index finger when typing with my thumbs.

    I do have one question though. The specs of the phone says it has TWO cameras. Is there a camera hidden in the front display for 2-way video phone (maybe to use with skype) or is it one still cam and one video cam using the same lens? Does anyone know?

  • coolfx35

    irst, I want to say that I am not a big fan of the o.s. (win 6.1) that is on my phone. Especially after seeing a few of my friends phones whom sport the Android o.s. and have tons of cool apps!
    So, I called HTC’s tech dept. and they told me that, although the Android software wasn’t available for the TP2 thru HTC, it was out there and that was being succesfully installed. He also informed me that, once installed, the warranty was useless.
    I’m thinking “if” I can find a working version for the TP2 and burn it over WM 6.1, if any problems arise, I should be able to remove and default back, right?
    Has anyone here or know of anyone that has successfully installed Android on a TP2 and, if so, how do I get me a copy and install?

    Plz answers my questions on http://www.AllTouchPro2.com or you can email me Thank you!

  • jack33

    Thank’s for shaaring this post

  • Rubens de Souza Barros

    which the program that I have that to lower to open videos in mine htc touch pro2

    • http://www.mobilityminded.com Remo Knops

      Hi Rubens,

      Could you try to rephrase your question, since I don’t understand what you mean !?
      Do you need a mediaplayer to watch video’s ?

      // Remo Knops