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HTC Touch Pro2 - HTC Touch Pro2

Gordon Kelly

By Gordon Kelly

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

The combination of larger screen and strip also mean the navi-wheel from the Pro has been dropped and the answer/end call, Windows and back keys are all greatly cut down but it has no detrimental impact on navigation. Around the sides you'll find the usual volume keys, screen lock button, stylus and mini USB port which doubles up for charging and connecting earphones. Yes, there's no 3.5mm jack which instantly deducts a point from the score. Tut, tut HTC.

More difficult to find is the microSD expansion slot which requires the removal of the back cover, something the seamless finish makes more difficult than you'd expect. Admission time: I had to resort to the manual (shock +horror) which reveals the stylus acts like a lock and the back cannot be detached without taking it out first. On the one hand this is rather clever, on the other I can see it leading to the stylus being regularly misplaced. Happily however the microSD slot can be accessed without also removing the battery.

Staying with the internals the Touch Pro2 reads like a who's who of tech specs with 7.2Mbit HSDPA and HSUPA (2Mbit uploads), WiFi (802.11g), aGPS and Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP for crystal clear audio streaming. There's the customary accelerometer too and while the 528MHz CPU and 288MB RAM remain unchanged from the Pro it keeps the Windows Mobile 6.1 core and HTC's fancy TouchFLO interface moving at a fairly rapid pace.

That said, here is where we come to the inevitable bump in the road: Windows Mobile 6.1. Let's be clear about this, Windows Mobile is not the best mobile operating system currently on the market. Even the impending Windows Phone (WM 6.5) is more about catching up than leaping ahead.

Fundamentals such as a native third party application store remain absent (Marketplace for Mobile will launch before the end of the year) and MyPhone (Microsoft's equivalent to MobileMe) has only recently opened for public beta testing. In its favour Windows Mobile does remain one of the most flexible platforms around, has major corporate take-up and the TouchFLO skin continues to work miracles.

This time around TouchFLO digs deeper than ever before taking custom skins beyond the home screen and primary applications. Yes, there are still moments when you are unceremoniously dumped into the native WM6.1 UI (never pleasant) but in the main HTC has papered over the cracks where it had to and - in the case of major surgery like the pre-installation of Opera Mobile - applied liberal amounts of filler. The end result is not perfect, but it is easily the best Windows Mobile experience to date.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut

xenos

June 15, 2009, 6:00 am

Nice! WM6 still bothers me but I'm tempted :-)

Oliver Levett

June 15, 2009, 12:58 pm

Few things...





1) The TP2 has faster RAM/ROM ICs making general performance better. It's not the "Same as the old one"


2) So the device loses a point because it doesn't have a 3.5mm headphone jack? IT'S A BUSINESS DEVICE. WHO CARES?


3) WM is by far the most advanced mobile OS out there. You complain about WM "playing catchup" and then Apple release an update with copy and paste. Oh wow. I've had that for 10 years. Who's playing catchup when that happens?


4) "Limitations of the OS" what does WM restrict you from doing then?


4) "HTC continues to separate cameras between the Diamonds and Pros". This is the first time that's happened actually, and again, it's a business device. Go buy a camera if you want amazing pictures!

PaulW

June 15, 2009, 1:19 pm

Interesting review. I have the HTC Touch Pro (v1) and it is without doubt the very worst phone / PDA I have ever owned; and the most expensive. (In fact all users at work share the same view!)This is a "work" phone, and it pales into insignificance when compared to my own Nokia E71, which simply blows it away. So, thanks Gordon, but I'll give this a very wide berth! Once bitten ... etc!

rav

June 15, 2009, 1:33 pm

will the real gordon kelly please stand up! ;-)





great review Gordon. shame you don't do more.

Ed Churchward

June 15, 2009, 2:22 pm

As with all these phones (I have the Touch Pro) they need a custom ROM from XDA developers before they become anywhere near being useful. @PaulW, I thought the same until I flashed mine and it was like a new phone afterwards.

Ed

June 15, 2009, 2:33 pm

@Oliver:





1. It's as good as the same.


2. You really think that's the only market this thing is aimed at?


3. It's a consumer device, who cares about C&C?


4. Limitations of the OS in terms of ease of use.


5. The Pro has a flash, the Diamond doesn't. What's to say there isn't a business use that would find a decent camera useful?

Floriank

June 15, 2009, 2:40 pm

I'm surprised Gordon didn't test and mention the much hyped 'conference speaker phone' option built into this phone. HTC market this as the 'killer feature' and it would be nice to know whether it's up to their marketing hype or not.

PaulW

June 15, 2009, 3:42 pm

Attention Admin - please delete last comment to Ed Churchward - PC crashed while I was typing it.





This is my comment:-





@Ed Churchward - had a look on XDA Developers - did you get the ROM software for the Raphael device? Cheers.

reagling

June 15, 2009, 4:21 pm

In the "who's who of tech specs" I was expecting to see FM radio - but its not mentioned here... It was trailed as part of the lineup when it was previewed earlier in the Spring - has it been ditched?

Ed Churchward

June 15, 2009, 4:55 pm

@PaulW Yes, that is the one. Have a look at the roms in the rom development section. I like the Proven ones by qsqa but there are lots of good ones there. The best bit is it brings the new interface from the Touch Pro 2 which is much imporved, especially with all the contextual menus. Have a play and experiment with different roms and Radio's. Just read the Wiki and FAQ, it is very simple to upgrade once Hard spl is installed.





Also make sure you install MyPhone so restoring Texts and stuff is very easy.

pimlicosound

June 15, 2009, 5:15 pm

@Oliver:





One huge limitation of the WM OS is that it's only compatible with resistive touch screens.

Chris Beach

June 15, 2009, 5:34 pm

Pity HTC hasn't taken the form-factor and put Android on it. Even with HTC's efforts, Windows Mobile is one butt-ugly OS, I really don't want to be reminded about Win3.1 that often!

Chocoa

June 15, 2009, 5:37 pm

@pimlicosound - "One huge limitation of the WM OS is that it's only compatible with resistive touch screens."





So that can't change in the future?

Gordon394

June 15, 2009, 7:24 pm

@Oliver - exactly what Ed explained so well, besides the Diamond and Pro had 3.2MP and 5MP cameras respectively like the Diamond2 and Pro2.


@reagling - yep, the FM tuner chip is on there but it isn't enabled.


@Chocoa - nope it can't, it's a fundamental part of the OS and Windows Phone will only support resistive screens too.


@ravmania - many thanks!

Thomas204

June 15, 2009, 9:30 pm

ANDROID.





I have spoken :}

Ataripower

June 15, 2009, 11:35 pm

@Oliver...I'm with you in thinking that the WM OS is far superior than any of the current alternatives and HTC have simply refined it further. There is just no point trying to argue for WM in these forums as the majority are so anti-microsoft or Apple brainwashed or both!! I can't remember any review for a WM device, however good it was not finishing with the words 'if only it had.....(any other OS)

Ironduke

June 16, 2009, 12:42 am

500 quid on this?





No thanks 450 on the iPhone 3g SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS for the win!

SJ

June 16, 2009, 1:52 am

@ Ataripower


I assure you, there's no need to be anti-microsoft OR 'Apple brainwashed' to dislike WM - it's very easy without being either.

Jawad Mateen

June 16, 2009, 2:13 am

Hey there everyone...





Err... I actually have this device now (passed on my Omnia to my younger brother)and of course I won't be comparing this phone to any other handset since there are handsets out there with even better hardware than this, especially cameras with much higher pixel count and HD video recording and stuff. It's all about what I need and what I like. Before the Omnia I had a TyTN II but gave the touch keyboard a try and found it to be useless for me (And yes I got every kind of onscreen keyboard on there). So had to get this one.





Is Windows Mobile really that bad? C'mon people... I mean... really?


Has Windows Mobile been ever been about 'Ease of Use'? There was a time when Palm OS was considered to be the ultimate user friendly, snappy and fast OS (Yes! before WebOS) while WM was always the choice of enthusiasts and modders outside the corporate world just like PC enthusiasts.


WM is THE most customizable OS in the world. Can get anything done... Yeah! Copy & Paste may not be THAT important according to Ed but Apple do care and did bang on about this inclusion in 3.0


Tethering is something I've been doing for years. iPhone is getting it... what... now?


I can watch movies on this thing no matter what file type... Yeah I do like watching movies on a 3" something screen and don't like or bother/need to convert every single file made/obtained outside iTunes. Multi-tasking, custom themes, endless software support, editing Office documents... the list goes on and on. Only thing is you just have to know what you're doing. Just like a PC you have to actually work for it but the experience is rewarding while Mac just works out of the box but your choice is very limited about what should work which is fascist anyway.


Deciding which mobile platform is the best is like deciding which religion is the stairway to heaven(Church of Mormons... maybe). Everyone's picked sides already and they all have their arguments. Symbian always gets away with it but some implementations (N95, N96) crash so often without the evil plans of Dr. Neo Cortex. Android is the new Barcelona FC. Like everyone's favorite second team, just about everyone likes to swear by it whether or not having actually used it. So this debate is going nowhere soon enough...


Moral of the story is Windows Mobile rocks!!





And Gordon! although this was a good review, did you throw up after like that gay guy in 'Ugly Betty' after he kissed a girl while he had to show he was straight(in your case, impartial)?

Oliver Levett

June 16, 2009, 2:58 am

@Ataripower: surprised they let that comment through.





Windows Mobile will support capacitive screens if OEMs write drivers for it. That doesn't mean multi-touch is supported though.





I have a Diamond sat in front of me here. It quite clearly says "3.2mp" as does a friends Raphael. There is no difference there.





The RAM in the Pro2 and Diamond2 has a very noticable performance impact. Think of it as replacing an IDE HDD with a SATA SSD.





"Limitations of the OS in terms of ease of use." That's not really a limitation. I personally find WM a much more friendly OS because everything you can do on a desktop OS is handled similarly on the device. That's not a limitation, that's a "you've been brainwashed/bribed".

Oliver Levett

June 16, 2009, 3:08 am

Also, since I've already ported WM6.5 to the Topaz, I should get 6.5 working on the TP2 as soon as HardSPL is out (I'm l3v5y at xda-devs if anyone is wondering).

BOFH UK

June 16, 2009, 3:43 am

To all those who seem confused about WM and why there are so many who consider it outdated it's got nothing to do with being anti-microsoft. The simple fact of the matter is that WM was NEVER a great mobile OS. Oh it's powerful enough and there's a tremendous amount of flexibility but it was always a cludge of desktop computer design shrunk down to fit a mobile device. I'm saying that after having four of five WM devices from the original Orange SPV through a HTC Universal and a Touch HD. It sort of works but getting to functions takes far too long, the need to resort to a stylus on the touch scren devices is a pain in the backside and it's extremely unfriendly to the non-technical user.





What Apple did in 2007 was show the entire mobile industry how to do a touch screen interface correctly. It moved the whole market on in the same way the original RAZR did for hardware design. Android and WebOS have now provided new alternatives, Symbian is getting closer slowly but surely, Apple have continued to refine Mobile OS X and even Microsoft seem to have a chance at getting it right with WM 7. WM 6.1 in comparision is as dated as Windows 3.1 is to Windows 7. Sorry, but that's just the harsh reality. The only reason it's hanging on as well as it is is the existing business user base and applications.

Ed

June 16, 2009, 4:16 am

@Ataripower: You obviously haven't been a reader for very long:


http://www.trustedreviews.com/...





As we've said on many an occasion, WM is a far superior platform if you're someone that likes to tweak your phone, install custom programs, look through spreadsheets while on the move, etc. However, if you just want a smartphone that can browse the web, pickup emails, play some music/videos, and do all the phone things well then EVERY other mobile OS on the market is superior.





It takes a certain change in the way you work to accept the limitations of other phone platforms as mobile workhorses but once you do you realise how much nicer other OS's are for just using your phone as a phone. I.e. You can either try and cram a cut down version of your entire work PCs functionality into a mobile device or you can get a nicer to use and simpler device that will let you do the basics (check emails, call people, browse the web) then use a laptop/netbook to do anything more taxing. With mobile broadband near ubiquitous nowadays a laptop can be just as mobile as a smartphone bar its weight.





Beside which, even if you do want a doitall business device, most Blackberry's are far nicer to use. Likewise the Nokia E71 is an awesome business smartphone. What we complain about with these WM devices is their attempts to woo consumers with fancy touchscreens but then invariably completely fail to deliver a pleasant user experience.





Of course the simplest retort to your accusation is simply to say there's no point trying to have a sensible discussion about this topic because the people defending WM are so pigheaded about its superiority that they won't take fair criticism onboard. But I would say that, being brainwashed and all.

Ed

June 16, 2009, 4:29 am

@Oliver: So far as I'm aware we will never decline a comment based on its accusatory tone towards us. If someone accuses us of fowl play or misinformation then it's in our interest to show the comment and have other readers play the metephorical hangmen by replying to the comment. The only time we'll decline stuff is if it's out and out abusive or full of adverts, etc. That said, it does depend which one of us sees the comment and what mood we happen to be in. That's why it always pays to be polite.

AlexRat

June 16, 2009, 4:40 am

Look... I think we're all missing the important question here:





Will it run Minesweeper?

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