HTC Touch Pro2 Review - HotHardware

HTC Touch Pro2 Review

2 thumbs up

Our test phone initially had Windows Mobile 6.1 installed, but we upgraded the phone using the latest ROM for our tests. This ROM includes an upgrade to Windows Mobile 6.5, HTC Sense UI enhancements, improved Social Networking integration, and a variety of minor bug fixes. Although it's not Windows Phone 7, Windows Mobile 6.5 with the latest version of Sense is a step towards a more feature-filled and touch-friendly OS. 

As mentioned, the Touch Pro2 runs HTC's Sense user interface on top of Windows Mobile. On the Touch Pro2, Sense provides a Today screen plugin that consists of several tabs that you can view by sliding your finger along the bottom of the display or touching an individual icon. The tabs include: Home, People, Mail, Messages, Calendar, Internet, Photos & Videos, Sprint Music, Sprint Navigation, Sprint TV, Weather, Stocks, Twitter, and Settings. With the exception of the Home and Settings tabs, you can enable or disable any of the tabs.

    

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The Home screen displays the date and time as well as weather information, three customizable quick links to programs, and various notifications. By flicking the three quick links upward, you'll see all nine quick links. The People tab shows pictures of your favorite contacts in a scrollable grid; the first nine contacts are visible without scrolling. By tapping a photo, the phone will carry out the default action (call, send email, send text, etc), which you select when you add a favorite contact. You can also tap the name to open the contact. Any time a contact is open, you'll see a slider at the base of the screen with the option to view details about the contact, messages between you and that contact, email sent between you and that contact, updates and events related to the contact, and call history between you and the contact.

If you look at the Messages, Email and Calendar tab icons, you can easily see at a glance how many unread email or SMS/MMS messages you have as well as the current date. The Internet tab provides a link to the Opera web browser and bookmarks to favorite websites which you can customize. The Photos & Videos tab lets you use flick gestures to scroll through various photos and videos. The Weather tab displays weather information for up to 10 cities with a 5-day forecast. You can flick to scroll through various cities and use the menu to customize locations.

The All Programs listing in Windows Mobile 6.5 features staggered icons that are scrollable with the flick of a finger. Some of the programs that come preinstalled on the Touch Pro2 include YouTube, RSS Hub, NFL Mobile, NASCAR, Facebook, Google, Instant Messaging, Bing, JETCET Presenter 5, Microsoft My Phone, Office Mobile, Windows Live, and a few others. You'll also get access to Sprint Navigation, Sprint Music, Sprint TV, and the Sprint Software Store. Of course, you can always access additional free and paid apps from the Marketplace or a number of other online Windows Mobile-friendly stores.

    

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At the top of any screen, you'll see small icons that alert you to various notifications. There are different icons for reminders, mail messages, voicemail, missed calls, and more. By tapping the top bar with your finger or the stylus, you'll see a more detailed view of each of these notifications.

As you would expect from a Microsoft-powered phone, the Touch Pro2 easily syncs with an Exchange server either over the air or via USB cable. You can synchronize Office Outlook email messages, contacts, calendar, tasks, and notes. You can also synchronize favorite bookmarks, files, pictures, music, and video. You can also access the Touch Pro2 directly from your computer to drag and drop music, video, pictures, and much more to and from the device.

Although the Touch Pro2 is a business-friendly device, it also offers some fun features including the ability to synchronize music and video content with your computer. The Touch Pro2 doesn't have a ton of onboard storage for lots of large media files, but you can add plenty of additional storage using a microSD card. To swap microSD cards, you'll need to remove the phone's battery cover.

Even with the HTC Sense user interface and Microsoft's changes with Windows Mobile 6.5, any user who is accustomed to Microsoft's mobile OS will feel right at home with the Touch Pro2. For many users, this is a nice benefit, as you won't have to deal with a learning curve when transitioning to a new phone.

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What? This phone is old...

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Still trying to hit the sidekick market?

Unless this is free, I don't see how this would compete with the EVO.

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Well, you can get it free on contract. But, as someone who owns one of these with a custom ROM installed, it can absolutely compete with the EVO. Maybe not in terms of performance, but the keyboard and flexibility of the custom OS make it a very useful device.

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I guess being free, it would hit on the kids who grew up with the sidekick.

I hope the windows platform stays strong. I never really got the whole Slide keyboard thing, to hard on my fingers. you would think that they would have voice recognition, like "Dragon naturally speaking" built in by now?

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Some phones have voice recognitions (with the custom ROM, the TP2 does for some apps like Google Maps, etc.) But I think the mics are too crappy and the CPUs are too slow to do it properly, plus the additional processing would severly sap battery power.

Windows Phone 7 looks like it could be nice, but it unfortunately saddles the chefs cooking custom ROMs, so I think many of them will move on to Android.

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I've had the T-Mobile version of this phone since last September. Its very good overall but somethings are annoying for example they have stocks/weather/facebook/twitter all integrated into HTC Sense but nothing for local sports scores? Skyfire is a better browser than Opera and it allows playback of flash video, both of those go through proxy servers so I wouldn't log into anything critical with them. F-Secure has a nice security app which has a free version that will allow you to remote wipe/lock your phone via SMS, another app Lookout has similar options. basically there are tons of cool apps out there but they aren't neatly integrated into an app store like Apple.

oh and the big negative on the TP2 is the 528mhz cpu isn't fast enough for video playback without reencoding your video, even with coreplayer or tcpmp. Also the HTC Sense music player is wonky at best you are much better served using the Windows Media Player or perhaps an old pocketpc standy of mine Mortplayer.

I've found Google Maps doesn't like the GPS on my phone it thinks I'm several miles from where I am all the time. yet Bing can find me anywhere since both do voice searches, Bing's better in my book.

Two feature I love are 2 clicks to tether it to a computer via USB or bluetooth. And it works as a wi-fi router pretty easily [no app to buy or add], although in that mode it drains the battery fast.

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Hey Digitaldd,

Have you tried updating the phone with some of the custom software out there?  When coupled with the latest Radio software for the phone, many of the custom ROMs out there resolve all of the isues you mention, except for the local sports scores things--although there may be an app for that.

I actually have full DVD's ripped to my phone, so I can play Baby Einstein videos for my baby girl when she's getting fussy and they playback beautifully. And don't have any of the GPS issues.

No software is going to overcome the limitations of the slower CPU, but some of the custom ROMs noticably speed up the device.

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Marco C:

Hey Digitaldd,

Have you tried updating the phone with some of the custom software out there?  When coupled with the latest Radio software for the phone, many of the custom ROMs out there resolve all of the isues you mention, except for the local sports scores things--although there may be an app for that.

I actually have full DVD's ripped to my phone, so I can play Baby Einstein videos for my baby girl when she's getting fussy and they playback beautifully. And don't have any of the GPS issues.

No software is going to overcome the limitations of the slower CPU, but some of the custom ROMs noticably speed up the device.

 

Problem with the custom ROMs I've tried is none of them work properly with the T-Mobile version of the phone as far as the baseband settings. I get wayy too many dropped calls and slowed data speed on 3G with the different ROMs I've tried and yes I've tried the ever popular NRG and TMPU ones.

Yes video playback is great when you re-encode whatever video you have for the device, I've just always found it odd that my old Windows PocketPC PDA with a 400mhz Xscale CPU [circa 2002] could playback very high bitrate xvid video without me having to do any re-encoding yet a phone with a faster CPU drops frames left and right.

Been using windows mobile phones for a long time and even my original Samsung Blackjack could playback the same kind of video files without dropping frames and that had a 300mhz CPU.

 

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Weird.  It could be a driver issue then. There's no way the BlackJack should outperform the TP2.

With regard to the dropped calls, etc., with the custom ROMs, have you also flashed your Radio?  Many of the newers ROMs recommend radio .77 or .91.  WIth the latest Radio software and a new ROM, you may have better luck.

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cool review dude, keep it up, thanks

htctouch.org

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