HTC Touch Pro 2 Windows Mobile Smartphone Review

Introduction

HTC have been a market leader in the Smartphone industry bringing out new and intuitive models time and again. The introduction of a new phone generally brings a few special features to entice customers in and the HTC Touch Pro 2 is no different.

The Touch Pro 2 is the upgrade to HTC’s Touch Pro with a slide out keyboard, Windows Professional 6.1 OS, Straight Talk and more. But, with the Smartphone market focused mainly on the businessman, will the Touch Pro 2 succeed in its aim to attract to the ‘normal’ user too? Let’s take a look…

Clove Technology

Clove Technology

“Clove Technology, based in Bournemouth, but servicing the whole of the world, has grown rapidly since its launch and has much customer loyalty. We firmly believe that our whole success is based on the service and help which we offer and hope to remain a flexible, young, dynamic company – now with the financial strength which 14 years’ successful trading has brought.”

Many thanks go to Clove Technology for providing the HTC Touch Pro 2 for review. For more information or to buy the phone please visit Clove or click here!

Features

  • Qualcomm 528 MHz Processor
  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
  • Stylish design, with exceptional build quality
  • Weighs just 175g with battery
  • Business and Personal User in mind
  • Conference call facility with Straight Talk Technology
  • 3.6-inch TFT-LCD touch-sensitive screen with 480 X 800 WVGA resolution
  • Adjustable tilt screen
  • Slide-out 5-row QWERTY keyboard
  • 3.2 megapixel camera with auto focus
  • MicroSD memory card (SD 2.0 compatible)
  • G-Sensor

Specifications

  • Operating System –
    Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
  • Processor –
    Qualcomm MSM7200A, 528 MHz
  • Memory –
    RAM – 288 MB
    ROM – 512 MB
  • Display –
    3.6-inch TFT-LCD touch-sensitive screen with 480 X 800 WVGA resolution
    Adjustable tilt screen
  • Operating Frequency –
    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:
  • Europe/Asia: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
    (Band frequency, HSUPA availability, and data speed are operator dependent.)
  • 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)
  • GPS –
    Internal GPS antenna
  • Expansion –
    microSD memory card (SD 2.0 compatible)
  • Other-
    Slide-out 5-row QWERTY keyboard
  • Camera –
    Main camera: 3.2 megapixel colour camera with auto focus
    Second camera: VGA CMOS colour camera
  • Battery –
    Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery 1500 mAh
  • Dimensions –
    116 X 59.2 X 17.25 mm (4.57 X 2.33 X 0.68 inches)
  • Weight –
    175 grams (6.17 ounces) with battery
  • Warranty –
    2 Years

Contents & Packaging

The box for the Pro 2 is pretty plain and simple with an image of the Smartphone all lit up filling the front surrounded by a couple of HTC logos.

The sides are empty with the back providing all the specs along with the ‘Highlights’ outlined at the top: the slide out QWERTY keyboard and the zoom bar are but a couple of features mentioned.

A host of accessories are bundled with the Touch Pro 2 with the majority being manuals, more manuals and CD manuals. Here’s the full list:

  • HTC Touch Pro2
  • Battery
  • USB Cable
  • UK Mains Charger
  • Additional Stylus
  • Stereo Headset
  • Case
  • Screen Protector
  • Documentation
  • Getting started CD

The case and screen protector are useful inclusions for protection purposes but unfortunately the headphones have aren’t connected via a 3.5mm jack and so are not interchangeable with better quality earphones which is a shame as using a 3.5mm jack wouldn’t have been too hard to implement into the design.

HTC Touch Pro 2

The phone itself immediately gives the impression of quality with its sleek, shiny exterior embedding a 3.6” touchscreen in the centre. The Touch Pro 2 is not solely a touchscreen though with a slide out QWERTY keyboard behind the main screen.

Upon sliding the keyboard out, the screen can tilt giving a better viewing angle for say watching a movie without holding the device or for using the GPS in a car.

The keys are slightly offset from one another on the keyboard and have a large enough surface area to allow for very easy typing. Overall, the keyboard has been very well engineered: it both feels and looks good as well as having separate number keys and the FN button for additional symbols.

Using the keyboard in the dark is even better with each individual key not only lighting up but also emitting a soft glow underneath each button.

The front of the Smartphone is not cluttered with a DPAD – I, for one, think this is a good idea – and there are just a few buttons situated at the bottom below the zoom slider which, although it can’t be used in all programs, is excellent for using whilst browsing the internet. The buttons, from left to right, are Call Start, Start Menu, OK/back and Call End.

At the top, a long thin speaker is in place with the system status LED to one side and a light sensor on the other. The front facing video camera is the final feature on the front next to the HTC logo.

Moving onto the sides, a silver chrome finish is evident with the stylus housed at the bottom. It’s not a fancy design that is adjustable in length or magnetic but it does the trick and, upon removal, turns the screen on which is useful.

A small secondary microphone, on the same side, is used in tandem with the main microphone for the Straight Talk speakerphone.

The opposite side has just the volume buttons.

The underside is very pretty with what looks like a brushed aluminium centre surrounded by a dotted-grey plastic oval. The 3.2 Megapixel camera, unfortunately void of a flash, sits at the top with a mute button just below.

Another speaker is found here too for the Straight Talk feature – basically it’s just speakerphone which boosts audio and, with the two microphones working in tandem, provides noise cancellation. It is actually pretty effective and helps to block out background noise during a call.

Finally the bottom has just a single ExtUSB port for use with the charger and included headphones; all miniUSB cables can be plugged into here too which is good.

Removing the back cover requires the stylus to be taken out allowing it to just slide off. Behind it sits a 1500mAh battery concealing the SIM card slot below. A red reset button sits next to a microSD card for extra storage.

The 3.6” touchscreen has a WVGA 480×800 resolution which makes for very crisp and clear screen quality and the resistance of it seems about right working well in combination with the stylus.

The Qualcomm MSM7200Z processor runs at 528MHz and keeps the phone running reasonably fast although in some applications, specifically the game Teeter, the ball feels a little heavy and slow and this would suggest that the processor isn’t as fast as it could be. That said, for most applications it does the job well enough.

The Windows Mobile allows for an easy and painless setup but I am not overly keen on the Windows Operating Systems: as of yet they don’t appear to be able to compete with Apple’s but we shall see how it shapes up.

The home screen clad in purple attire and displays the time along with up to 5 appointments. The quick pin navigation bar can also be minimized to give extra screen space which is good for when browsing the internet.

The navigation bar at the bottom allows easy access to messages, email accounts and lots of the other applications. I won’t go into detail about all of them as we will be here for a year and a day but we’ll take a look at a few.

First up, the Internet page is quite impressive complete with the Push pages so that popular webpages can be placed here for quick access. The search bar resides at the top with a large Browser icon below.

The screen clarity comes into its own here with crisp images of the webpages which load pretty fast. Similarly YouTube videos are very colourful with decent, but not brilliant, sound quality.

A few interesting things are pinned to the navigation menu such as “Stock” – demonstrating how this phone is still very much aimed at Businessmen – and more usefully tabs like “Weather” and “Music”.

The Start Menu and then “All programs” give access to all the other bits and pieces.

Features

Camera
The camera is a 3.2 Megapixel design – not as powerful as many camera phones but still quite a respectable size – with auto focus but without flash.

To see what sort of image quality it can achieve, I took a few photos outdoors – unfortunately it was raining at the time so the outside ones are slightly dim.

The camera is good enough to get by without a flash but if you have say a bright screen everything next to it just appears very dark.

It is very easy to use though just tap the screen and it will auto focus and take the photo.

Media Player
The media player is pretty basic and the sound quality isn’t exactly first rate but it’s not bad and you can play tunes with a decent level of sound quality.

There isn’t a great deal of onboard memory though and so I suggest getting a microSD card to store large amounts of pictures or songs on.

Battery Life
As is often the case with Smartphones, the battery does get drained fairly quickly with all the applications and programs. Thus recharging every day is probably a necessity depending of course on how much you use the Touch Pro 2 – around about 20 hours seems to be the max life on a full charge.

Cost
Clove have the HTC Touch Pro 2 selling at £394 (£453.10 inc. VAT) which is similar to most other Smartphones but still a lot of money.

Conclusion

The HTC Touch Pro 2 is a very well engineered phone and the keyboard really is a triumph that I could happily type away on for writing essays etc. Despite being a little heavier than we had expected, you don’t really notice it and the buttons are ergonomically placed with the device fitting nicely into one’s hand.

The software actually surprised me too as I am not Windows 6.1’s biggest fan but the layout is well thought out and features such as the Browser and YouTube page are very easy to use and more like on a normal monitor.

Little things make the Touch Pro 2 even better though such as the gentle glow behind the keys and the fading of the screen before switching off.

However, £450 is still a large amount of cash and in my opinion it’s not quite up there with the iPhone. It’s not too far behind but there are still a few bits that could be improved upon: the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack, the addition of a flash for the camera and more file formats compatible with the media player.

To sum it up, the HTC Touch Pro 2 is a very well polished device; it’s certainly a great upgrade from the original Touch Pro and it’s probably the best Windows based Smartphone I have used. With the prospect of Windows Mobile 6.5 just around the corner that is set to be implemented into the Touch Pro 2 it’s certainly worth a look.

Pros

  • Slide out keyboard
  • Tilting screen
  • Crisp and clear picture
  • Reasonable camera quality
  • Easy to use interface

Cons

  • No 3.5mm Headphone Jack
  • No camera flash

90%

Thanks go to Clove Technology for providing the Smartphone for review.

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