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>> Bonnie Cha: Hi. I'm Bonnie Cha, Senior Editor at CNET.com, and today we're taking a first look at the HTP Touch Pro 2 for Verizon Wireless. This is the fourth version of the smartphone that I've seen so I'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about the design of the phone since it's very similar to the Sprint and unlocked models. I will point out a couple of my favorite features though, and the first one is a QWERTY keyboard. The smartphone's large, but that also means there's room for a really spacious keyboard. And you know, I've already said this before, but I'll say it again. The Touch Pro 2's keyboard is probably one of the best I've used. So it does well as a messaging device. I really can't imagine anyone finding it too cramped or the buttons too small. The other benefit of the phone's bigger size is the large 2.6 inch WVGA touch screen. The display is sharp and bright, and so it's really easy on the eyes, and you get the touch-sensitive zoom bar along the bottom here to easily zoom in and out of photos and web pages. The screen also tilts so you can place the phone on a desk or a flat surface to view videos or type out e-mails. A couple of the other things to note. On the bottom, there's a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack just like the Sprint model so that's great news. One small difference is that there's a sweet button on top of the phone that turns off the backlight. On the back, you'll find a 3.2 megapixel camera, and the Touch Pro 2 speakerphone which uses HTC's straight talking technology to enhance the sound. One cool thing is that if you're on a call and place the phone screen down on a flat surface, it'll automatically activate the speaker, and there's a mute button here as well. The pattern here is a world map, which I'm sad to say took me awhile to figure out. Anyway, the reason why there is a world map is because the Touch Pro 2 is a world phone. Verizon ships the smartphone with a SIM card so when you travel overseas, it'll automatically detect and switch over to compatible GSM network. So you can make calls and receive data. Verizon isn't going to make a ton of its services available on the smartphone like Sprint. You can add the visual voice mail service and use VG navigator to get turn-by-turn voice directions with the phone's GPS, but that's about it. There's no VCAST music or video, and part of the reason is because this is more of a business device so Verizon didn't deem these services were relevant, but I'd still like the option. The Touch Pro 2 is a great business smartphone though. You get the full Microsoft Office Mobile Suite, e-mail capabilities, and a number of productivity tools like calendar, task list, voice recorder, and other things. Verizon also said they will offer upgrades to Windows Mobile 6.5 before the end of the year so you'll be able to get new features like Microsoft's Myphone, backup service, Windows [inaudible] Mobile, and an improved Internet Explorer Mobile Browser. The smartphone ships with the upgrade browser now, though, which I like better than Explorer, and you get all the sorts of wireless connections, WiFi, 3 GM Bluetooth. Call quality was good on my end on the conversation, but friends said the sound was a little tinny on their side. General performance was also good. There's some moments of sluggishness, but the delays were minimal. Especially compared to Windows Mobile devices from the past, and there's also Task Manager in the upper right-hand corner of the phone where you can manage and close out of running programs. Like the other models, the HTC Touch Pro 2 is a really great device for Verizon business customers. Carrier even sweetens the deal with a lower and cheap price of $199.99 instead of $349.99 like T-Mobile and Sprint, but just be aware that you will have to get a data plan. More than anything, I'm just really glad to see this kind of device at Verizon. They haven't had a really solid smartphone for business users since the Samsung i760, and last year's Touch Pro was really buggy and slow so this was much needed. The HTC Touch Pro is available now at the 200 price I mentioned earlier, and that's with a two-year contract. I'm Bonnie Cha. This has been your first look at the HTC Touch Pro 2 for Verizon.
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