HTC Touch Pro2 Review

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User Interface

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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