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>> Hi, I'm Bonnie Cha, Senior Editor at CNET.com and today we are taking a first look at the Samsung Propel Pro. This is a messaging smartphone for AT&T that debuted at CTIA 2009 and it's based on the Samsung Propel, but as you might gather from the name the Pro is designed more for business users. It adds Windows Mobile 6.1 and has a more toned-down look that's more appropriate for the board room. Instead of black and neon green the Propel Pro goes for a more classic look with a shinny mirrored face. It's really eye-catching and nice from afar, but it gets pretty dirty with fingerprints and smudges, so I was constantly wiping the screen clean. Not a major issue, just a little bit annoying. A little more of an issue is the Propel Pro's bulky design. It's got this neat square shape, but it's fat on the thick side, so you can't easily slip it into a pants pocket. On the front, you have a 2.5-inch display that's sharp and bright, but it's not a touchscreen, so you have to use the controls below the screen to navigate the phone. Overall, they are pretty easy to use except for this joystick here. It just doesn't offer the preciseness of a traditional directional keypad or trackball, so I had some problems using it. As I mentioned earlier the Propel Pro is a messaging-centric device, so it comes with a full QWERTY keyboard and full email capabilities. To access the keyboard just slide the screen up. I thought the keyboard buttons were of good size with a nice tactile feedback. The layout is a little bit cramped though, so if you've got larger thumbs, you might take some adjustment to the keyboard. In terms of email the smartphone offers Direct Push Outlook synchronization, support for AT&T's Xpress Mail and POP3 and IMAP accounts. Also has three instant-messaging clients and threaded text messaging. Other features for the mobile professional include document management with Microsoft's Office Mobile, mobile app wireless options you would want including 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. It also got a 3-megapixel camera which took excellent photos and it works with AT&T Music and Video. Overall, the Propel Pro offered good performance and clear call quality. Being the biggest downside of the phone is its bulky design and when you compare it to other messaging smartphones like the Samsung Epix or the Nokia E71x that are sleeker and offer the same features, it loses some of the appeal. The Samsung Propel Pro is available from AT&T for 149.99 with a two-year contract. I'm Bonnie Cha and this has been your first look at the Samsung Propel Pro.
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