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July 12, 2009 • Reviews

HTC Touch Pro2 After Awhile

If you haven’t already, please read our Initial Thoughts on the HTC Touch Pro2. That’s where you’ll find a full gallery of Touch Pro2 pictures as well as our unboxing banter. So without further ado…

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drew Drew: The TP2 Rocks!  I haven’t been this excited about a WM phone since the Advantage came out and then I was mollified for quite some time with the TyTN II.  The gorgeous screen, super keyboard, and excellent phone/sound definitely make it a keeper if you are in the corporate world.

judie Judie: Everything about its build quality screams quality; the phone has a solid feel, the slider is all business, the keyboard is idiot-proof, the screen is amazing, and yes – it manages to perform very well as a phone and speakerphone.

Drew: Inevitably the comparison to the iPhone come up, but seriously, buy a Touch HD if that is the type of unit you are looking for.  The TP2 is a working computer with great multi-media (except for the camera), and that ‘perfect’ MS Exchange that we look to Windows Mobile smart phones for.  The awesome  keyboard, Tilt function, and speakerphone make the extra height and weight well worth it.

Judie: Did you not like the camera? I was actually surprised by how good it was! Obviously we’ll talk more about that in the next section of this review, but I thought that the camera performed very well.

clinton Clinton: Without question this is one of the best devices I’ve ever used. It is sleek, slim and super fast. The new iteration of TouchFLO 3D is simply fantastic and you get the feeling is well beyond “on the surface” as you did with the first version on the first Touch Pro. I agree with Judie; the keyboard is quick, responsive and easy to get use too. Top that with the Straight Talk speakerphone functionality and oh my… just what a great device. I soooo cannot wait to see this on AT&T with full HSDPA support later this year.

Judie: Absolutely! I think AT&T will have a solid winner on their hands when their version starts selling!

Drew: The TouchFLO 3D  V2 interface was wonderful and I never turned it off like I thought I might at the beginning of the trial period.   The Resistive screen took  a little bit to adjust too, but after a few days I was doing just fine.  I enjoyed using the Stock and Weather widgets and the little windshield wiper on the rainy days was really fun.  I only installed eWallet and Facebook, never missed installing any other applications.  The rest came from the web via Google; Mail, Reader, News

Clinton: This to me was one of the strong points of the new TouchFLO 3D Drew. It worked well with so many different applications, completely covering up the traditional Windows Mobile menus. In fact, as I loaded up applications, I didn’t find one that didn’t work well with the new TF3D

Judie: I really surprised myself with how many applications I installed. My list included PockeTwit, eWallet, Evernote, Plaxo, Google Maps, WorldMate Live, and Resco File Explorer. Otherwise, the built-in applications handled everything I needed.

One of the coolest pre-loaded applications was WorldCard Mobile, which allows you to take a picture of a business card, and then the program processes it as text and enters the info into the (usually) correct slots in an address book entry. This program would come in so handy when I go to CES; I wish I had it on every phone I own. 😛

Clinton: So the WorldCard Mobile application has been a part of the HTC standard “load” for a while now and I love it. I first began using with the HTC Advantage and have found it to be a great way to capture business card data without having to actually collect a bunch of cards. Talk about being cool Judie, this always stops down a meeting when I just snap a picture of a customers business card and hand their card back to them. Instant Windows Mobile evangelism opportunity! 🙂

Judie: I didn’t realize that it came standard on any HTC phones other than the Advantage and Fuze and now the TP2; I guess those are the only phones I’ve seen it on. 🙂

Camera

Drew: I was overall disappointed in the camera as it has a similar implementation as the iPhone, screen-based shutter, no flash, 3.2megapixel.  I like a dedicated button so I can hold the unit like a camera and actually take a picture.  Meh..

Judie: Oh now, you’ve just been spoiled by Nokia and Vertu! 😉

While it’s true that there isn’t a dedicated camera button (besides the on screen shutter), and there isn’t a flash, I thought that the camera performed well enough in daylight that I didn’t mind not bringing along a dedicated point and shoot. Here are a couple of examples…

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Here’s a tip: if you would like to see these full size, click each picture, and then click the picture that pops up. It’s a convoluted way to get to the huge, unretouched photos, but it’s the best way for you to see them in all their glory. 🙂

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I’m not going to quibble over how grainy shots in low light are, because let’s face it…no phone without some kind of flash is going to do that well.

Clinton: I was actually very happy with the photo quality out of the Touch Pro 2. I found it to be a significant step forward over previous HTC offerings. Is it going to out perform my Kodak MX1063 10MP point-and-shoot? No. Is it better than carrying a phone and a camera on a business trip? Yep!

Battery Life

Drew: Battery Life was absolutely amazing and lived up to my needs completely.  Granted I didn’t use the unit all day since I’m  spending a lot of time driving a desk these days, but easily got  2 days use before re-charging and often left the WiFi on all day long.

Judie: Ha! I couldn’t quite get two days of use, but I did easily get through a day of solid use with some energy to spare. The 1500 mAh battery performed very well when I had to make day trips to San Angelo, and I didn’t ever feel the need to bring along a charger. Bear in mind that I do not use Exchange or another Push service, but when I am away from my computer I have email set to pull in every 10 minutes, I do moderate surfing, tweeting, and other radio dependent activities – as well making and receiving calls.

Clinton: Battery life was acceptable. I was able to make it throughout a business day with heavy Exchange syncing and about two hours of total calls. That’s a pretty typical day for me and the Touch Pro 2 did just dandy. I’m always one who wishes battery life would make it a day or two but the reality is, with everything going on with this device (and others), getting beyond a day is difficult.

Corporate Stuff

Clinton: From a corporate perspective I had no troubles at all with the Touch Pro 2. I was able to get my Exchange connection set up quick and easy. I had no issues with synchronization but didn’t expect any either at this point. Push Mail is now pretty well baked on the Windows Mobile platform.

Straight Talk was simply fantastic. The audio quality was tremendous and I could easily see where a non-corporate employee (remote worker or at-home worker) could be given this phone and with an application or two be tied in seamlessly to the corporate IP phone network. Throw in applications like Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile and you have a true Unifed Communication device (yes, this is my day job at Spanlink Communications bleeding over a bit).

One of the greatest benefits of a Windows Phone is the ability to open and edit Word and Excel documents while also being able to view PowerPoint presentations. This makes this a true enterprise device in my view. No translators or converters required which is a big deal for me.

Drew: I tried to sync the TP2 with two different machines, one with XP and one with Vista.  I had no trouble connecting and syncing with my work XP machine and got all my information lined up properly including about 2g of music files.  I then synched up with the Vista machine and that’s when things went wrong.  I couldn’t synch any data with the Vista machine that was already synching with the XP machine.  Not the TP2’s fault but lost some of the data transport I require.  Then I lost a lot of my Notes when I synched back with the XP machine!  Good thing I took a history file of my work Outlook PST file before I started playing around.  Be careful before using two machines for synching!

I tried using the speakerphone and really fell in love with it, too bad I was sitting right next to my IP landline with the same functions!  I did one conference call with it and loved the dual microphones (one filters out noise, and the other carries the real voice stuff) and the the large back speaker.  The mute button on the back was also quite helpful when I got interrupted in the middle of one of my calls.  There is a conference call function which allows you to dial several numbers at once and hook up several colleagues at one time, which I didn’t get to try

One of the key features for me is the ability to review attachments that I routinely receive.  PowerPoint, Excel, and Word files all the time.  With the larger screen, it was a real joy to view them in landscape and easily switch pages.  Mobile Office is a bit of resource monster so make sure you close other apps first or the TP2 really drags down.  Mobile One Note is a great little application that is great for note taking and then porting back to the desktop.  If you are a One Note user, this addition is a great add.

The Microsoft Exchange function worked perfectly and I was able to receive OTA updates from the office within a few minutes of setting up Microsoft Exchange.  I was able to leave my Blackberry in the drawer during this period and didn’t miss it at all

Judie: Sorry guys, I am decidedly non corporate, but I did appreciate having Mobile Office along for all of the spreadsheets and documents that I need access to throughout the day.

Phone/Antennas/WiFi

Drew: The phone clarity was outstanding, and I could easily hear people walking down the street without any issues. I use a dodgy carrier down here in Australia and I lost signal quite a bit, but the TP2 still outperformed many other units I have used with the same SIM.

At home, the TP2 easily found my WiFI network and I hooked up quickly and was browsing the web in no time.  The Opera browser 9.5 worked very well, but I missed not having a dedicated button that I could assign it to.

Since my unit was a UK version, I was able to take advantage of the HSDPA 900/2100 radio and it worked very well, unfortunately my carrier is only at the 3.6mbps and not the speedier 7.2 mbps the TP2 is capable of.

Judie: In conjunction with the Wi-Ex zBoost, I enjoyed excellent service at our home far from civilization. Even when not in the house and only showing a few signal bars (still more than my first generation iPhone is able to pick up), calls were exceptionally clear. Perhaps my favorite feature was being able to flip the phone over to immediately enjoy the crystal clear speakerphone.

Clinton: Given that the Touch Pro 2 that I reviewed was a European version and wouldn’t work on AT&T’s 3G network, there is no real way for me to know how it performed on data transfers. I can say that the EDGE connectivity here in the Dallas area was great and I never did drop a call or data connection.

Judie: Right, and all I have where I live is EDGE, so I didn’t even know that I was “missing” anything.

Clinton: WiFi was fantastic and was quite snappy. I used it several times in local Starbucks or Dunn Brother’s Coffee shops and was able to surf quickly without a huge impact on the battery life.

Multi Media

Judie: Perhaps the thing that most impressed me was watching YouTube videos over the TP2; my MacBook Air doesn’t even play them that smoothly! Being able to tilt the screen back on keyboard made a very handy little viewing platform, and everything sounded quite good going over the external speaker. I have a mental block against using any phone without a 3.5mm jack as a digital music player, so I didn’t really take advantage of that feature.

Drew: I have been using an iPod or iPhone for quite some time so it was a little difficult making the switch to a new interface.  Windows Media Player easily loaded up about 2g of music and loaded it onto my memory card.  The music playback was great and I used the speaker phone in small rooms to play music and it did a great job.  I’m still fussed over the mini USB headset plug so instead I hooked up my Nokia BT headset and used them to listen when I was at home.  Another great function is the BT capability to hook up to my car’s BT system and play music thru the stereo system.  No fiddling with radio stations or cables, when a call comes in it stops the music, takes the call, and then resumes after hanging up.

Clinton: The beauty of the 800×480 display really came into play for me when I viewed video files on the Touch Pro 2. The screen quality was great and the phone had no problem keeping up given its snappy processor.

Final Thoughts

Judie: I have a confession which I am slightly embarrassed to make, in fact I think that it is the first time that this has ever happened… The day that the Touch Pro2 showed up was the last day that I played with the Touch Diamond2 I had also been sent to review. Seriously. I didn’t realize it before I had both phones on hand to compare, but that is how much more I liked the Pro2 and how much more I prefer having a dedicated keyboard…isn’t that awful?

There are so many features wrapped into the TP2 that make it a winner; it is easily a worthy successor to not only the Touch Pro / AT&T Fuze, but also the AT&T Tilt.

Clinton: I have to agree with Judie. I was completely enamored with this phone the minute I got it. It felt and worked great, and I have not felt a real passion for a phone in quite a while. I was genuinely sad to have to send it back and it is the only phone that I can think of that has made me seriously consider the $800-odd price tag. It fits so many different needs for so many different types of users but especially for corporate types. This could be your phone. Period. With a few advanced UC features and pointing your office number to your mobile, BAM! you are on one device, managing your calendar, tasks, documents and never missing a call.

Judie: The thing that keeps me from even considering the $800 price tag is that there will be an AT&T version, and I am due for an upgrade. BUT, I am a little bit concerned about the cosmetic or software changes that might come with the AT&T version. If it’s too different, I might be willing to suck it up and get this one, although I would much prefer the subsidized cost.

Drew: As usual I’m generally ripping my SIM out every few days and putting it in another mobile, but have to admit, the TP2 did an excellent job.  Since it was so nice,  I was constantly worried about scratches and dropping it.  The high cost was like carrying around a pretty nice notebook.  The US carriers do a great job of subsidizing, and that should help back there..  The business side of this phone really differentiates the TP2 but it is so nice to be able to do it all with one unit.  Definitely a winner! 

6 Responses to " HTC Touch Pro2 After Awhile "

  1. breley says:

    Nice roundup, folks. The speakerphone mute capability that Drew described sounds very interesting, plus I’d love to see how the TF3D update compares to my Fuze. Like Judie I’m curious about how the AT&T customization will affect the final form factor and software composition. Unlike Judie, however, I’m not yet due for an upgrade… 🙁

  2. Richie says:

    Lots of other people who like HTC Touch Pro 2 – http://bit.ly/UYle8

  3. Is The Touch Pro 2 Coming To Sprint This Month? | Just Another Mobile Monday says:

    […] hard time understanding why this is such big news, check out this review of the Touch Pro 2 over at Gear Diary, and this video, which feature a fantastic comparison of the Touch Pro 2 and its major competitor, […]

  4. raleigh1208 says:

    Looks like Tmobile got this phone today; now just hope Sprint and Verizon and not far behind. Looks like a winner!

  5. I scanned this originally … but now that it is $199 on Verizon and having some minuscule hope of getting a camera-pass at work, I am really enjoying these perspectives!

  6. […] waiting for the new US CDMA version of the HTC Touch Pro2 that Clinton, Drew and I reviewed earlier this summer, then now is the time to pay attention to the Sprint network – they have their version of the […]

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