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HTC TOUCH PRO 2

Overview

The HTC Touch Pro2 is the newest touchscreen marvel from HTC. A small number of Windows Mobile devices from HTC have been straight forward updates of its leading models the style-conscious Diamond2 and now the business-centred HTC Touch Pro2 with its slide-out QWERTY keyboard.

HTC has been remarkably consistent in moving forward with improvements on its handsets. These improvements include the likes of the handy TouchFLO 3D interface and other innovations.

Weighing in at 179g and having dimensions of 116x59x17mm, the handset is definitely a great deal larger and heavier than its predecessor, but it also has a bigger and better tilting touch screen as well as an improved interface, and a new conference call facility, which HTC has named 'Straight Talk'. The Touch Pro2's QWERTY keyboard slides out to reveal a fully specified five lines of keys. The keys are very close in size to what you would get on a standard computer keyboard. The keys are well spaced, backlit and each key is slightly rounded and made of an extremely tactile rubberised plastic. The handset is just about big enough to set it on a desktop and use your fingers just like a regular sized keyboard. And if you do decide to use it this way, the Touch Pro2 has a little trick up its sleeve you can adjust the screen to an angle of about 45 degrees, which makes it easier to view if you're not holding it in your hands. The screen tilts so you can put the phone on a desk and type on the keyboard.

The Pro2's magnificently large 3.6-inch touchscreen offers a resolution of 480x800 pixels. It is bright, sharp and clear, with all the standard Windows Mobile options for dimming and limiting backlight to save on battery life. The accelerometer flips the screen when you tilt it to landscape. The TouchFLO 3D interface, which sits on top on the Windows 6.1 Professional operating system, seems to be getting better with each new release from HTC. Windows Mobile 6.1 is buried even deeper than previous handsets since pressing the Start button now brings up a shortcuts screen with large, thumb-friendly buttons to which you can add up to 30 of your favourite applications.

The HTC Pro2 sports a 3.2 Megapixel Camera, with a maximum resolution of 2048 x 1216pixels, but there is no flash, no self-portrait mirror and not a lot in the extra features department. The camera is therefore a fairly basic one, and falls behind many of its rivals in this area. Some positive points though, it has Autofocus, a 2x digital zoom, some colour effects, a panorama setting, a timer and touch focus, which allows you to set the central focus of the frame by touching the screen. On testing, these settings and extra options produced decent results. The phone video records at 640x480 pixels but does battle a little with too much movement, which causes a bit of blurring. There's also a standard VGA camera on the front for video calling.

Opera is preloaded on the HTC PRO2, although you can also use Internet Explorer, and access is fast via Wi-Fi or HSDPA 3G (with up to 7.2Mbps download). The onboard accelerometer will automatically switch the screen resolution to landscape mode when you turn the phone on its side. Opening the QWERTY keyboard has the same effect. Web page display is exceptional, with intuitive zooming and navigation. The phone comes with a YouTube application for easy browsing and viewing of the video site. Watching video on the Touch Pro2 is a pleasure as the screen is just 0.2 Inches smaller than the Touch HD, but it has the same pixel resolution and in comparison, you wont even notice the difference.

Browsing your Video Library is fast, easy and you're listening in seconds. The HTC can show WMV, ASF, MP4, 3GP, 3G2, M4V, AVI formats and it retains the aspect ratio of video clips rather than adjusting them for the screen. Music via Windows Media Player is also really easy. There's a ten-band graphic equaliser with 21 presets to help you get the sound you desire. It supports a range of formats: AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, QCP, MP3, WMA, WAV, MIDI, M4A. The sound is in general pretty good and will go surprisingly loud. Unfortunately the handset does not come with FM radio, like you get with the Touch Diamond2.

Setting up POP3 email on the Touch Pro2 is very easy, with only the need for email address and password to get started. It's easy to get going and with no fiddly option screens to flick through. The Pro2's a well-equipped handset, with quad-band GSM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (with stereo A2DP) and USB 2.0, plus a TV out facility for showing off your pics and videos (although no cable is supplied). The Touch Pro2 comes with A-GPS and Google Maps. Windows Office and Adobe Reader are pre-installed on the handset, allowing you to create and view Word, Excel and OneNote documents, as well as view PowerPoint docs and PDFs. There is also an application called JETCET Presentation, which allows you to edit PowerPoint documents.

The HTC Pro2 has 512MB of onboard memory and 288MB RAM, and you can add up to 16GB with an microSD card. The processor hasn't been upgraded from the previous model, it's the 528 MHz Qualcomm MSM7200A, which does a good job of keeping things running smoothly, even with several applications open at once.

The HTC Touch Pro2 is very much a business phone big and bulky, with a QWERTY keyboard. It has the very latest version of the TouchFLO 3D interface, which includes a modified, thumb-friendly Windows menu and the luxurious 3.6in screen is great for viewing video.Size: 116x59x17mm, 179g. HTC quotes up to 6h 30 minutes of talk time (GSM) and up to 750 hours of standby. Definitely something to consider if you are looking for a phone with qualities as good as this.