Thursday, August 20, 2009
No Job for Amateurs - HTC's Touch Pro2 Reviewed
Posted by Doug Raeburn in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 07:00 AM
Product Category: PDA Phone
Where to Buy: Expansys [Affiliate]
Price: $699.99 USD
Specifications: From the Expansys site
- Elegant design;
- Large, sharp and vibrant screen;
- The best, most "touch friendly" version of TouchFlo 3D yet;
- Excellent speakerphone;
- Nicely designed hardware keyboard will satisfy those for whom only a hardware keyboard will do.
- Very expensive;
- Large and heavy.
Summary: As rival phone manufacturers continue to strive to emulate the success of the iPhone, HTC weighs in with its most sophisticated finger friendly WinMo Professional phones yet. The Touch Pro2, the topic of this review, supersedes last year's Touch Pro, with a revamped version of Touch Flo 3D, which strives to make stylus use a thing of the past. Have HTC been successful? Let's put the Touch Pro2 through its paces...
What's New and Different?
As a unit, the Touch Pro2 is probably the most elegant looking and feeling WinMo device I've ever used. It feels solid and substantial in your hand… nothing plasticky about it. And even though the back cover is heavy plastic, HTC have done an admirable job of making it seem like stainless steel.
There are several key features of the Touch Pro2 that improve on the Touch Pro1. (Note - in referencing previous HTC models for comparison, I'll use Touch Pro1 for the previous generation Touch Pro and Touch Diamond1 for the previous generation Touch Diamond. Although neither has the "1" in its official name, this is to avoid confusion as to which unit I'm referring.) One of the more prominent of these features is the 3.6 inch WVGA (800 x 480 resolution) screen, which replaces the 2.8 inch VGA (640 x 480 resolution) screen of the Touch Pro1. While the screen on the Touch Pro1 is very sharp and crisp, there's often a lot of information to cram onto a 2.8 inch display. For those of us with less than perfect vision, glasses or contacts are often necessary. With the Touch Pro2, while the higher resolution provides an even crisper display than the previous model, the much larger screen is an even bigger key to easy readability. Not to mention that it provides the screen real estate to use features like on-screen keyboards more effectively.
From what I can tell, the processors in the Touch Pro1 and Touch Pro2 are comparable. I found the Touch Pro2 to be a bit more responsive in running programs than my Touch Diamond1, which I attribute to the greater amount of RAM (the Touch Pro1 has the same memory specs as the Touch Pro2). The Touch Pro2 includes all of the other features that you'd expect, such as the most up-to-date versions of Bluetooth and WiFi, HSDPA/WCDMA: 900/2100 MHz and Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz. (FYI, this means that this phone doesn't work with US 3G.) A link to the specs is included at the beginning of the review if you'd like to research these features for yourself.
Given the larger screen and higher capacity battery, the degree to which HTC was able to minimize increases in size and weight for the Touch Pro2 is rather impressive. When compared to the Touch Pro1, the Touch Pro2 is .55 inches (14 mm) longer, .33 inches (8 mm) wider and .5 inches (13 mm) thinner. Weight increase was kept down to .5 oz. (14 g). Nonetheless, the Touch Pro1 isn't a small phone to begin with, so even with minimal size and weight increases with the Touch Pro2, it's still a large phone. I like to carry my phone in my front pocket and the Touch Pro2 was much more noticeable there than my Touch Diamond1, for example. But if you prefer the QWERTY keyboard, that feature may compensate for the larger and heavier design.