Joining Sprint and AT&T, Verizon Wireless is now offering the HTC Touch Pro, a full-featured Windows Mobile smartphone aimed at business users. It brings a nice update to the Verizon Wireless XV6800 with the addition of Windows Mobile 6.1 and a sleeker design. Plus, it's fully stocked with wireless options and messaging and productivity tools. Unfortunately, the Verizon Touch Pro lacks some of the services and applications offered by the Sprint Touch Pro and the AT&T HTC Fuze but the bigger issue is that the Verizon Touch Pro simply doesn't deliver when it comes to performance. The smartphone is buggy and frustratingly slow, and it's certainly not worth the pricey $349.99 with a two-year contract. If you're a Verizon customer and need a business-centric smartphone, you'll be better off with the Samsung Saga. You'll lose some of the flashiness of the HTC Touch Pro but at least you'll get a device that can keep up with your demands.
The Verizon Wireless HTC Touch Pro doesn't differ much in design compared with its Sprint and AT&T variants, though there are several differences. For example, the Verizon handset features sharper edges and a flat, plastic backplate, whereas the Sprint model has a soft-touch finish and the AT&T Fuze sports a geometric backing like the HTC Touch Diamond. While the other handsets have fun and distinguishing features, the Verizon Touch Pro is still an attractive model and certainly more compact than the Verizon Wireless XV6800 at 4.1 inches high by 2 inches wide by 0.7 inch deep and weighs 4.9 ounces.
On its front, you'll find a 2.8-inch touch screen with VGA resolution (480x640), so you'll enjoy sharp text and images. You can customize the Home screen with various themes, including HTC's TouchFlo 3D interface. This user interface places a toolbar along the bottom of the screen that lets you scroll left to right and launch applications with one touch, and also allows you to scroll through images, messages, and Web pages with various finger swipes.
The display also has a built-in accelerometer, so the screen orientation will automatically switch from portrait to landscape mode when you rotate the phone. However, similar to the Sprint model, the feature only works in certain applications, such as pictures and video and Web pages. The page view will also change when you slide the screen to the right to access the full QWERTY keyboard. That said, we found that the Verizon Touch Pro was incredibly slow to perform this task, beyond what we experienced on the Sprint version. There were times that it took so long that we thought the phone froze. There were also a couple of occasions when we opened the keyboard and the bottom third of the screen looked like it was on the fritz. Obviously, that's not good and we found that the smartphone was underpowered in general. Check out the Performance section for a more detailed description.
The full QWERTY on the Verizon Touch Pro is slightly varied from the other two models in that the placement of some buttons are in different places. The keyboard is fairly easy to use with large buttons and a nonslip texture, but we slightly favored the HTC Fuze since it was easier to hit the space button with our right thumb and there were more shortcuts to applications.
The rest of the Touch Pro's controls and ports are similar to the Sprint version, including the four-way, touch-sensitive navigation toggle. Unfortunately, this also means you don't get a standard headphone jack. For more details about the HTC Touch Pro's design, please read our full review of the HTC Touch Pro for Sprint.
Verizon Wireless packages the HTC Touch Pro with an AC adapter, a USB cable, an audio adapter, an extra stylus, software CDs, and reference material. For more add-ons, please check our cell phone accessories, ringtones, and help page.
The HTC Touch Pro for Verizon Wireless is built for business users and comes with the features to handle the workload. The smartphone runs Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional Edition with the full Microsoft Office Mobile Suite and Direct Push Technology for 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 Web browsing, you can use Internet Explorer Mobile but the Touch Pro also ships with the Opera Mobile Web browser. Preloaded PIM tools include ClearVue Presentations, Adobe Reader LE, WorldCard Mobile business card reader, a voice recorder, a task list, a task manager and switcher, and a calculator. You can also download more programs, games, and utilities from the Verizon AppZone. A shortcut to the store is provided on the smartphone; you can also find more titles from Download.com.