When HTC's Touch Diamond launched just before the iPhone 3G, it felt rushed and was, frankly, more than a little disappointing. I can't help feeling that HTC should have played the waiting game. Because although problems with the original Touch's sluggish performance have now been fixed by a ROM update, it cannot but have tainted the firm's reputation. The Touch Pro, HTC's follow up to the excellent TyTN II, however, may well go some way to restoring its former position.
It's a similar phone to the Diamond in many ways. It has precisely the same dimensions face on - 51 x 102mm (W x H) - and it's equipped with HTC's TouchFlo 3D software to shield you against the worst of Windows' Mobile's stylus-focused ugliness. It has the same layout of buttons just below the screen, with home and back keys, supplemented by start and end call keys, plus a touch-sensitive five-way directional button. It has Opera Mobile 9.5 for browsing the web, and a beautifully crisp 2.8in 480 x 640 screen to take advantage of it, just as the Diamond has.
Look inside and you'll find more similarities: both phones share the same processor - a Qualcomm 528MHz unit, both phones have HSDPA of up to 7.2Mbps, GPRS, EDGE, quad-band GSM, GPS, Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR, an FM radio tuner, 3.2-megapixel camera (plus a VGA video phone camera) and WiFi. It has an accelerometer that flips the screen around automatically from landscape to portrait, too, though this doesn't work in all applications.
And again, as with the Diamond, underneath the fancy pants graphics of TouchFlo 3D, the Touch Pro runs on Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional. It includes Office Mobile, a PDF viewer and a number of other useful apps, including an RSS feed reader, an MP3 editor, a ZIP utility and business card recognition software. It has the same YouTube viewer built-in so you can search for and watch video clips from the handset. Videos play back surprisingly smoothly, too.
All this works just as well as it did in the Diamond. The GPS picks up satellites quickly and is accurate. Browsing the web on it is a joy. Call quality is good, though the speakerphone does sound a touch thin and reedy.