The camera, at 3.2-megapixels, is the same resolution as the one on the Touch Diamond, but is accompanied this time around with an LED ‘flash’ to help out in dim conditions. And it seems to produce better snapshots too. It doesn’t have the super-high resolution 5-megapixel resolution that the Samsung Omnia i900 does, or the image stabilisation though. As with the Touch Diamond, the touch-sensitive button below the screen can be employed to help you focus the camera – touch the button to focus on your subject, and then click it to take a shot. It’s a system that works well most of the time, but occasionally I found the touch focus stopped working, which was frustrating.
The Touch Pro also has video output via its ExtUSB socket. The composite TV and stereo audio output cable, however, is an optional extra – it’s not included in the box. Also not included in the box is a headphone adapter. Annoyingly the Pro (like the Diamond) has no 3.5mm audio jack, which means you have to buy an adapter separately or go with the headset provided in the box, but these are not the pinnacle of audio quality.
Finally, the battery is bigger here. The Touch Pro comes with a 1,340mAh lithium ion unit – bigger than the 900mAh one in the Diamond – but disappointingly, this doesn’t offer a huge upgrade in the amount of time you can run this phone for. In normal use – a few phone calls, text messages, emails and a moderate amount of web browsing – and with push email enabled, I found I still had to charge the phone at least every other day to avoid running out of juice at inopportune moments.
You can extend that life by switching various features off of course – disabling push email and HSDPA data, for instance, will make this a little more acceptable, but I can’t for the life of me think why HTC isn’t specifying lithium-ion polymer batteries as standard these days when they offer a superior life-cycle degradation rate to lithium-ion. It’s not as if there isn’t enough space here for a bigger battery.
Though they are similar in so many ways, I feel that the HTC Touch Pro is a much more accomplished phone than the Touch Diamond. It may be thicker and heavier but it provides a much more valid alternative to the iPhone, and that is simply due to its brilliant keyboard.
Battery life is disappointing, true, and it’s also expensive – £500 (SIM free) is an awful lot of money whichever way you look at it, and means that you’re unlikely to get it on a reasonably-priced contract (£30 or cheaper) for less than £200. But if you can stomach the high price and must have a phone with a keyboard, the HTC Touch Pro is very hard to beat.