HTC Touch Pro review: HTC Touch Pro

The Touch Pro runs on Sprint's EV-DO Rev. A network for faster Web browsing, e-mail, and downloads. The Rev. A offers an extra boost over regular EV-DO, bringing download speeds up to the 600Kbps-to-1.4Mbps range versus 400Kbps-to-700Kbps, while upload speeds will average around 350Kpbs to 500Kpbs (compared with EV-DO's 50Kpbs to 70Kbps). Of course, this is all dependent if you live in a coverage area (you can find a coverage map from Sprint's Web site). If you're not one of the lucky ones, the Touch Pro also has integrated Wi-Fi, so you have another option for getting online. In addition to Internet Explorer Mobile, the Touch Pro also ships with the Opera Mobile HTML Web browser (version 9.5), which arguably gives you a better browsing experience with the ability to open numerous tabs, zoom and pan pages, bookmark sites, and more, all with ease.

The final wireless radio included on the Touch Pro is GPS/A-GPS, which means the smartphone will use both satellites and cellular triangulation to get a fix on your position. Plus, there's a utility called QuickGPS installed on the device to speed up the time it takes to find your position by downloading the latest satellite information via an Internet connection. You can get some basic navigation tools with Google Maps but for more robust capabilities, you'll have to turn to a location-based service (LBS) like Sprint Navigation. The LBS offers turn-by-turn text- and voice-guided directions, traffic updates, local search, and more. Sprint Navigation is free for the first day of use, but afterwards, you will have to pay $2.99 per day or $9.99 per month for unlimited use.

The HTC Touch Pro runs Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional Edition and comes with Windows Live integration. For document management, you get the full Microsoft Office Mobile Suite, as well as ClearVue Presentation 5 Pro for creating, viewing, and working on PowerPoint presentations. The Touch Pro also has video-out capabilities, so you could even give presentations or show images from the smartphone onto an external display. Other PIM features include a business card scanner, Adobe Reader LE, a Zip manager, Jetcet Print 5 for connecting to a printer, a voice recorder, a calculator, a notepad, and a task manager.

Microsoft Direct Push Technology brings real-time e-mail delivery and automatic synchronization with your Outlook calendar, tasks, and contacts via Exchange Server. The Touch Pro also supports HTML-formatted e-mail and you can access POP3 and IMAP e-mail accounts, which, in most cases, is a simple process of inputting your username and password. For quicker communication, Sprint offers three of the major instant-messaging clients--AIM, Yahoo, and Windows Live Messenger, and there's threaded text messaging for an IM-like chat view.

When you're ready to relax, the HTC Touch Pro can take care of your needs with a number of multimedia features. You get the standard Windows Media Player 10 Mobile player with support for AAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, MPEG-4, WMV files, and more. Like the HTC Touch Diamond, there are also some multimedia extras on the Touch Pro, including a dedicated YouTube application, a streaming-media program, and a utility called MP3 Trimmer that allows you to cut and trim MP3 files and make them into ringtones. As far as memory, the Touch Pro 512MB ROM and 288MB RAM, and we're happy to see that the Touch Pro has a microSD expansion slot, which was missing on the Touch Diamond.


Unlike the HTC Touch Diamond, the Touch Pro includes a microSD expansion slot, which is located behind the battery cover.

As an EV-DO-capable smartphone, you can access the carrier's various multimedia services, including Sprint TV and the Sprint Music Store. Sprint offers these services as part of the Sprint Power Vision pack, which ranges in price from $15 to $25 per month. Sprint TV gives you access to programming from a variety of channels, including CNN, Comedy Central, and Sprint Exclusive Entertainment. In addition, you can listen to live streaming music and talk radio from Sirius, VH1 Mobile, and MTV Mobile. Meanwhile, the Sprint Music Store offers track downloads for $0.99 each, or you can get a six-pack for $5.94. However, be aware, that you no longer get a PC download included in that cost.


For a 3.2-megapixel camera, picture quality was a little disappointing.

Finally, the HTC Touch Pro features a 3.2-megapixel camera with up to 4x zoom and video-recording capabilities. The editing options are the same as those found on the Touch Diamond's camera, which you can read about in our full review. Picture quality was a little disappointing for a 3.2-megapixel camera. Though we could make out the images, the colors looked gray and flat. There's also some delay between the time you actually press the button to the time the image is actually captured, so be sure to keep your hand steady. Video quality was good, that is if you're recording slow-moving scenes. Anything with action looked blurry and almost unwatchable.

Performance
We tested the dual-band (CDMA 850/1900; EV-DO Rev. A) in San Francisco using Sprint service and call quality was generally good. There were a couple of times where voices sounded slightly muffled, but for the most part, we enjoyed admirable sound quality with very little distortion or background noise. We also had no problem checking flight information using an airline's voice-automated system. Our friends also reported good results. Speakerphone quality was OK. We were able to carry on conversations, but there was some slight voice distortion. We paired the Touch Pro with the Logitech Mobile Traveller Bluetooth headset and the Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones.

Armed with a 528MHz Qualcomm MSM 7201A processor, the Touch Pro couldn't quite seem to keep up with our needs at times. As we mentioned earlier, there was some sluggishness with simple tasks like changing screen orientation or composing messages, yet at other times, the smartphone was quite responsive. There is a task manager that can help optimize your phone's performance but even so, we wish for better and more consistent overall performance.

With the combination of Sprint's EV-DO Rev. A network and the Opera browser, surfing the Web on the Touch Pro was a good experience. Unfortunately, Sprint TV was a little problematic; there were a few occasions where a program wouldn't launch and the network would time out. When we finally did get video, the quality wasn't the greatest though fine for short amounts of time. We had much better luck with the YouTube application, as we enjoyed good-quality video and better download times. Music playback was decent for a smartphone. Nothing to write home about but we suspect most of you won't be playing your songs through the speaker and instead will use headphones, which makes the inclusion of a standard headphone jack all the more important.

The HTC Touch Pro features a 1,340mAh lithium ion battery with a rated talk time of 3.75 hours. In our battery drain tests, the Touch Pro was able to beat the rated talk time slightly with a total of 4.25 hours. According to FCC radiation tests, the Touch Pro has a digital SAR rating of 0.908 watt per kilogram.

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