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HTC Touch Pro2 review:

HTC Touch Pro2

The HTC Touch Pro2's feature set is largely similar to its keyboardless sibling, the HTC Touch Diamond2. However, the Touch Pro2 adds a new communication technology called Straight Talk that aims to better integrate the handset's messaging, phone, and conference calling capabilities and better serve business users. For example, you can create a conference call from within your e-mail in-box by selecting the participants names via the "To" field in body of the messages. Alternatively, from the onscreen dialer, there's a conference caller mode switch on the lower right corner that you can activate and then select your conference call members. Once on a call, there's a conference manager where you can hold private conversations with the participants or switch back to the main call. One other cool trick is that you can activate the speakerphone by placing the handset face down on a flat surface and there's even a mute button if you need to block out sound.

On back, you'll find the phone's asymmetric speakers with advanced noise cancellation and duplex acoustics.

Other phone features of the Touch Pro2 include quad-band world roaming, speed dial, smart dialing, voice commands, three-way calling, a proximity sensor, and text and multimedia messaging. The address book is only limited by the available memory, and each entry can store multiple numbers, home and work addresses, e-mail, birthdays, and more. For caller ID purposes, you can pair a contact with a photo, a caller group, or a custom ringtone. Bluetooth 2.0 is onboard with supported profiles for mono and stereo Bluetooth headsets, hands-free kits, object push, file transfer, personal area networking, dial-up networking, and more.

Since we reviewed the European version of the smartphone, our review unit only supported Europe and Asia's 900/2,100MHz HSDPA bands (AT&T's 3G network works on the 850/1,900MHz and T-Mobile's on 1,700/2,100MHz). Fortunately, we had Wi-Fi to fall back on instead of using AT&T's EDGE network, and the smartphone comes with the more powerful and easy-to-use Opera mobile Web browser, though Internet Explorer Mobile is there if you really want it.

GPS is almost becoming a must-have feature on smartphones nowadays and the Touch Pro2 comes through with an integrated and assisted GPS, which means it uses a combination of GPS satellites and cellular tower triangulation to find your position. A utility called QuickGPS is also installed on the device to speed up the time it takes to find your location and works by downloading the latest satellite information via an Internet connection. Google Maps, which comes preloaded, will help provide you with text-based turn-by-turn directions, business searches, and traffic information, but for any type of real-time voice guidance, you'll have to invest in a location-based service, such as TeleNav Navigator.

The rest of the HTC Touch Pro2 is pretty much standard fare for a Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional device. At GSMA 2009, HTC announced that it would offer a Windows Mobile 6.5 upgrade when the new mobile operating system is available, though this will also be dependent on the carriers. In the meantime, you still get the standard Microsoft Office Mobile Suite for editing native Word and Excel documents and viewing PowerPoint presentations. In addition, it offers Microsoft's Direct Push Technology for real-time e-mail delivery and automatic synchronization with your Outlook calendar, tasks, and contacts via Exchange Server and support for POP3 and IMAP accounts.

In addition to the staple PIM tools, such as Adobe Reader LE, a Zip manager, a voice recorder, a calculator, and a notepad, the smartphone comes with a handful of extra applications, including Jetcet Presenter 5, WorldCard Mobile business card scanner, and a Teeter game. A task manager and switcher, located on the upper right hand corner, helps you keep tabs on memory and storage and lets you toggle between apps. The system was already clunky, and now it seems even more so with the introduction of the Palm Pre and its smooth multitasking capabilities.

The Touch Pro2 keeps the same 3.2-megapixel camera/camcorder as its predecessor, which is a little disappointing considering that the Touch Diamond2 got upgraded to 5 megapixels. It was even more heartbreaking when we saw the resulting pictures. While the camera offers numerous tools and settings, picture quality was grainy with some areas of fuzziness and colors were washed out. Video quality, while also grainy, was acceptable for capturing any spontaneous moments.

We're disappointed that HTC didn't upgrade the camera on the Touch Pro2, and picture quality is rather dull.

While multimedia isn't the purpose of this phone, Windows Media Player 10 Mobile player lets you check out AAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, MPEG-4, WMV (just a sampling) music and video files. You'll want to load these files on a microSD card, however, as the smartphone comes with a paltry 255MB RAM and 512MB ROM. There's also a dedicated YouTube application and a streaming media app.

We tested the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900; GPRS/EDGE) HTC Touch Pro2 in San Francisco using AT&T service and call quality was quite good. We were pleased with the clarity of calls as there was very little background noise and voices sounded full and rich. Our friends also reported good results, and they were impressed that there wasn't any voice distortion or echoing like some other cell phones. Despite the asymmetric speakers with noise cancellation, the speakerphone yielded mixed results. We were initially worried when we heard a rather loud background hiss while dialing out to our caller, but it quickly disappeared once our friend picked up and we enjoyed mostly clear audio. We even were more impressed at how well we could hear the speakerphone in louder environments. Unfortunately, the experience wasn't quite the same on the other side and friends said we sounded tinny.

We had no problems pairing the Touch Pro2 with the Logitech Mobile Traveller Bluetooth headset and the Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones.

The HTC Touch Pro2 is equipped with a 528MHz Qualcomm MSM7200A processor, which made for a fairly snappy device. There were some slight hiccups with the accelerometer and camera activation, but overall, the smartphone proved to be quite responsive and handled various day-to-day tasks, such as e-mail, Web browsing, GPS, and phone calls, without any problems.

Without 3G support, we used the integrated Wi-Fi to get online and view YouTube clips (requires either a 3G data or Wi-Fi connection). YouTube videos took a while to connect and buffer, and we frequently lost patience. We checked out a couple of WMV and AVI videos, however, and playback was smooth with synchronized audio and picture. While we weren't pleased to be using the uncomfortable and ill-fitting stereo headset that was included in the box, music playback sounded rich with a nice balance of treble and bass. There's also an audio booster utility on the device that acts an equalizer and lets you adjust the various sound levels.

The Touch Pro2 comes with a 1500mAh lithium ion battery with a rated talk time of 8.5 hours of talk time and up to 20 days of standby time. We are still conducting our battery drain tests and will update this section as soon as we have results.

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