Though we found a lot to like about HTC’s original HTC Touch Pro (if you could excuse Windows Mobile), a few major snags prevented us from really recommending it as a phone that made sense for day-to-day life. That silky TouchFLO 3D interface, for instance, was only skin deep, and it slowed the poor phone to such a crawl that even routine tasks like making a call became unbearable long and aggravating.
The crew over at HTC must have read some reviews, because the second time around, with the HTC Touch Pro2, they’ve tuned up the phone to alleviate nearly everything we didn’t like about the original. After handling a prototype at CTIA, we’re ready to say this phone may be ready for primetime.
First off, the TouchFLO graphics now run far deeper into the OS – the PR rep actually challenged us to find an unskinned piece of operating system, and in the five minutes we played with it, we didn’t manage to bump into one. Even mundane functions, like the calendar, now receive HTC’s signature graphite color scheme and 3D look. And it’s quick, this time. According to the rep we spoke with, many TouchFLO advancements were made with Touch HD, which have been carried over to the (very similar) Touch Pro2. And it shows.
The high-resolution screen gets bigger, but retains the crisp look of the original, and HTC has added a touch strip below it to control zoom, too. Though the design is no longer as angular and distinct as the original, we must profess the rounded edges seem a little more practical for melting into a pocket, and the screen now cranes significantly when the QWERTY keyboard slides out too, making it more comfortable to type on.
Bottom line: The Touch Pro has come a long way in under a year. With Windows Mobile 6.5 on the way, and the Touch Pro2 ready for it, we have a feeling this particular model will be a winner.
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