By June 6, 2009

HTC Touch Pro 2 review


The HTC Touch Pro 2 is generating quite a big of buzz around the web but is this expansion of the HTC Diamond 2 the be all and end all of Windows Mobile devices? After the break I will be investigating.

What’s in the box?

  • Screen protector
  • Quick Start Guide
  • 2 x software CDs
  • Small catalogue of optional accessories
  • USB data/charge cable
  • Multi-regional adapter
  • UK fitting for adapter
  • battery
  • 2 x stylus
  • 1500 mAh battery
  • Pair of USB Headphones

Lets take a look around the device:


On the bottom is the typical HTC EXT USB connector. Some hate it … others … also hate it. For all your docking and charging need it’s spot on, however if media is your thing then you are likely going to be disappointed that this is the only headphone connection point on the device. The main microphone is also present here. Quality of this mic is excellent, one of the best I have used.
To the right is the stylus. Short, solid stylus with a nice tip to it. Good length and fairly robustly made out of light metal.


The left hand side simply has some volume buttons.


The right hand side merely has a microphone for the conference call feature. This microphone has inbuilt noise reduction and it works very well.


On the top of the device is the power button. Not quite as fiddly or recessed as some devices, There is no click however you can feel it’s movement and are certain you have pressed it successfully.


The back is a nicely textured and presented cover. Maybe a little plasticy however it feels good in your hand. Unclipping the back is a little tricky especially if you have the stylus in.


Here there is a speaker for the conference mode, a mute button and the camera. The mute button is a lovely addition, some great thinking there HTC.

Under the back cover are the innards. A large slab of a battery hitting 1500 mAhs. I have been using the device quite heavily and on a daily basis I have yet to see the battery go below 50%. Using Google Maps can be a real drain on the battery as HSDPA and GPS are both constantly active, the Touch Pro 2’s battery still did not fall below 50% after leaving this running for the entire day.
The microSD card slot is located under the cover and is a pet hate of some folks who like to hot swap. A sim card slot is a no brainer here.

Above the generous 36” screen is the phone’s speaker between two notification lights. I cannot praise this speaker enough. It’s beefy and clear. So many phones tend to over look the call quality, the Touch Pro 2 makes the most of it. Top marks for this. There is also a little VGA camera that few people will use that has, I think, been put to use as a light sensor. Put the phone to your ear and the screen turns off, take it away and it comes back. The second motion I just mentioned was omitted from the original Touch Pro meaning you had to hit the power button during a call to see the screen. Nice touch.


Under the screen is the zoom bar. I honestly am not a fan. The zoom bar is a fiddly alternative that, possibly through under use, I haven’t mastered. Not a lot of software uses the zoom bar, most notable is the internet browsers, Opera and Internet Explorer… they come with zooming features centimetres away from the zoom bar.
Also down here there is the Accept and Reject Call buttons, the Windows button and a Back button.


Without a doubt the most interesting and impressive feature is the keyboard. To put it one way would be – This is the best slide out Qwerty keyboard on the market. Another way would be – It’s annoying that I don’t have enough stuff or time to use it, I open it and think “what can I write? Come on! Think of something!” I want to be using it more as it’s comfortable, well spaced out, buttons are placed conveniently and the function keys are logically found. When the screen is in the upright position the number row is a little snug for the fatter fingers however do not let this distract you from trying it.

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TouchFlo 3D is an excellent interface. Windows Professional 6.1 isn’t the most friendly of operating systems and it’s a trifle annoying at times. Finger friendliness is rather low so like most manufactures, and probably the first to do so, HTC has stepped in and tried to make 6.1 appealing to professionals and non-professionals alike.

HTC have expanded greatly upon the interface they created for the Diamond and Touch Pro last year. They have spread the Touchflo across much more of the device than before. It’s quite difficult to find the older Windows Mobile interface whilst Touchflo 3D is running. This brings with it a few Pros and Cons.

As you would imagine Touchflo is extra finger friendly. It’s a lovely system to use and handles daily use exceptionally well. My biggest problem was that it isn’t very customisable. Whilst there are a few options to help cut down on the bloat there are a number of things set in stone that you cannot tinker with. This makes the option of using something like SPB Moblie Shell a little more attractive.

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The Photo Caller is a simple and handy affair. You have a number of favourites on the side and a close-up of the one selected in the middle. You can flip through them with your finger or if they are not there click the soft button to get a the full, more finger friendly, list of all your contacts.

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You can now sort your phone book more relevantly. Along the bottom of the phonebook are a list of useful calling tools. You can fiddle with your favourites, the obligatory call history and the Updates and Events screen. Updates and Events has Facebook integration allowing you to download every new bit about your contacts if you happen to have them as friends on Facebook. A neat and handy interaction if that is your thing.


The Messages client can get a little confusing as there is so much to it now. In fact there are two message clients. From Touchflo you can see your last message. Clicking this takes you into the HTC message client. Clicking the All Messages soft key will take you to the standard Windows Mobile message client. The two clients work in harmony and any updates on one are instantly mirrored on the other.

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The HTC Message client is a nice looking option with threaded messages and a small send texting box at the bottom. On the scroll bar at the bottom you can find more information about that contact. Easily allowing you to flick to your address book entry for the contract or your call history. Depending on the contact you might have more information and more tabs can appear at the bottom. You can also link to emails and the Updates and Events screen.


The email tab is a simple portal to the standard Windows Mobile email client. On the right hand side of the Mail tab there are a couple of options allowing you to flip between email accounts and a compose new emails at the top.

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The calendar tab is a little bit of fresh air. The standard Windows Mobile calendar is pretty drab. Touchflo 3D adds a little class to it with a handsome black interface. If you are looking at the next few days the calendar will link with the weather application and summarise the weather for the day. A nice touch. Adding an event to the calendar does however, take you back to the nasty standard calendar input screen and your stylus will have to come into play.

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Opera comes at the default internet program. Love it or hate it, it’s on there. Internet Explorer is also present and it seems to be a lot friendlier to use than the previous HTC Diamond 2 version. The zoom bar below the screen Opera and Internet Explorer are the only clients I used this bar with. It was handy, if a little fiddly and unresponsive from time to time. One thing I did miss was a jog wheel, something I am very used to on my current phone. Swiping your fingers up and down the screen is simple enough however not terribly precise and can distract a little if you apply a little too much pressure and whizz down to the bottom of the page you are trying to read.


The HTC Touch Pro 2 come with a 3.2 megapixel camera. You can see the output alongside any media you may have added to the phone from the Photos and Videos tab. You can flip though thumbnails from the main screen at a rather smooth pace. It also has a fairly competent non-editor Album facility

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HTC has always provided photo options that were superior to those that Windows Mobile packaged. HTC Album is simply a facility for a slideshow and doing basic actions with your photographs. Sending, adding to contacts and deleting is all you’ll really get out of this. The application does take a few seconds to load however, which can be a bit of a pain. It is also accessible directly from using the camera.

The Camera itself isn’t spectacular and but it’s not as bad as some might think. One of my pet hates is no camera button. Pressing the screen moves the camera and more often than not blurs the shot a little. Having played with the camera a little I feel it can deliver great daytime pictures, awful low light photos and night shots are no go.


Here is a low level light shot of a pint glass (empty.)
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The last shot, of a small Urban Terroriser, was a fast action shot. Given how quick that dog is I’m surprised at the clarity of the shot.

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Above is just a standard shot, to the right is the extent of the zoom. The  zoom function isn’t linked to the volume up and down buttons, it is on screen and a real pain to use. For the results I’d probably not bother with it again.

The video camera works quite well. Clearer than some of the phones I have had before.

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The all important media aspect of a phone. Media can be done right or wrong, there is no in between. Given this phone lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack we are off to a bad start. HTC injects a little extra audio satisfaction with the HTC Audio Player. They have also packaged an Audio Booster just to get that little bit extra from the experience. The Audio Player is pretty good. Not the snappiest by any stretch but it certainly makes up for the embarrassing Windows Media Player. You can create playlists, filter song by various topics and there is even an option for “Purchased” music, something I couldn’t quite fathom but might have a use for in the future.
It’s a lot tidier than before, easy to use and a definite alternative to Media Player. I used it for a while without any problems. Yes it’s done right.

That would be half of the media aspect for me. The other half is video. I would watch a lot of Video podcasts and I think in the future the take up of these will increase dramatically. Without buying extra software I could not find a logical solution to playback of video on the Touch Pro 2. HTC Album will play back your mp4 files taken on video camera and little else. Windows Media Player is a memory hog and about as smooth as Desperate Dan’s chin.  Media has always been a problem on the phone. Given the larger memory Media Player is a more viable option than with phones over the last few years. It’s hardly ideal and far from finger friendly. The library still requires a stylus and its touch and go for memory card access.  Yes, videos and codecs are always a problem however unless the video was a wmv or mp4 then there is nothing you could do save waiting until you get home to convert it or … just watch it there.
There are media replacements that excel at making Windows Mobile a competent choice when it comes to playing a variety of formats however given that the iPhone comes with Media handled beautifully out of the box it defies logic that Microsoft are so dismissive of the challenge. Media Player on the desktop is hitting new levels of versatility and usability, constantly being given a make over. On Windows Mobile it’s forgotten about and we are still using the same version that we saw debut and disappoint all those years ago.

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There is no shortage of  Options and Settings in Windows Mobile and it has been made much less complicated by Touchflo 3D. Most of the popular and logical settings are bundled together on the Settings tab and there is easy access to the native Windows Mobile settings screens. There are not a great amount of settings for Touchflo 3D. You cannot monkey around with it too much which is a little disappointing.


Hitting the Start button, or the Windows hardware button takes you straight to the programs shortcut menu. Very useful I have to say. The only complaints I can make here are that the first four options on this menu are set in stone and cannot be removed. Annoyingly they are four options that you can easily access from Touchflo 3D’s main page so there is no real need for them to be on here. After this are 32 slots for you to add shortcuts to your favourite programs. The screen is so sensitive you have to be careful not to accidently click a program when scrolling to shortcuts further down the screen. It’s easy to do and happens a lot (usually with something that takes a while to load and even longer to exit.)

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You can access a long list of all the programs on the device from the left soft button. The list is finger friendly however I still prefer the older method of displaying thumbnails. Less scrolling as more can be crammed on the screen. There are no options to switch back.

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Onscreen keyboard’s are very well done. All are easy to use and finger friendly. As a replacement to Windows Mobile’s onscreen stylus only keyboard HTC’s is a complete success.

The HTC Touch Pro 2 is a notable phone that will impress anyone who comes to use it. It’s a phone that begs you to pick it up and use it. In work I found myself being dragged to it to just pick it up and have a play. Call quality is superb. Voices have base and boom, whilst it isn’t like they are standing right next to you, it is the next best thing. The screen is magnificent. Gorgeous size whilst not possessing too much in the way of heft.
The aerial seems to be a little bit of an improvement over older phones, marginal and debatable but I get signal in places I haven’t before.

Most of the problems with the phone come from Windows Mobile 6.1 and HTC have worked hard to do something to address the problems this aging operating system presents. 6.1 was great in it’s day however it’s really deserves an overhaul and has done for at least a year. Avoiding this issue I will point out some of the negatives of the Touch Pro 2 I observed.
The brightness can be a little temperamental. The screen can fade away during usage.
The phone is Touch orientated, there is no D-pad. This can cause a lot of frustration when using programs that are not yet touch optimised. Fine example is Resco Photo Viewer. If you want to scroll through your pictures … you can’t.
There is minimal use of the Accelerometer. Teeter makes a welcome return and there is a little auto-rotating whilst browsing the internet but this is all I have noticed so far.
Accessing your Connections can be time consuming. Like the Touch Pro, there are no customisable hardware buttons. As I use wi-fi on a daily basis I like to hit a button to activate it, failing that I like to have a button on the today screen to activate it. Neither of these are options here.
The touch screen is super sensitive. Sometimes this can cause problems when scrolling.

The Touch Pro 2 is the single finest Windows Mobile device I have used to date. Beating the X1 and the Treo Pro off the top spot, the Touch Pro 2 is so well refined, accessible and usable that it is simply a pleasure to use.

Personally, depending on the Palm Pre I think I will be having one of these as my next device. The 6.5 update can only better the experience and will hopefully wipe-out most of the minor problems I have highlighted above.

For those interested I organised a family reunion of the last four devices in this family.



Thanks go out to Clove who have supplied us this review device

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Networks – GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, HSDPA 900 / 2100

Data – GPRS – Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 – 48 kbps, HSCSD, EDGE Class 10, 236.8 kbps, 3G HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 2 Mbps

Dimensions – 116 x 59.2 x 17.3 mm

Weight – 178.5 g

Display – TFT resistive touchscreen, 65K colors, 480 x 800 pixels, 3.6 inches

Memory – 288 MB RAM, 512 MB ROM

Expandable – MicroSD (TransFlash)

Wi-Fi – 802.11 b/g

Bluetooth – v2.0 with A2DP

USB – miniUSB

Camera – 3.15 MP, 2048×1536 pixels, autofocus, Front facing VGA camera

CPU – Qualcomm MSM7200A 528 MHz processor


Touch-sensitive zoom bar

Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate

Full QWERTY keyboard

Noise cancellation with dedicated microphone


Battery- Li-Ion 1500 mAh

Standby – Up to 500 h (2G) / Up to 750 h (3G)

Talk time – Up to 8 h 30 min (2G) / Up to 6 h 30 min (3G)

Posted in: Phones

About the Author:

Seasoned tech blogger. Host of the Tech Addicts podcast.
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