HTC Touch Pro2 review

Price when reviewed

The time when phone manufacturers tried to outdo each other with impossibly small phones is long gone, but there’s still a lot of currency in being able to boast a waif-like profile. HTC clearly hasn’t been taking note: with its newest Windows Mobile phone – the HTC Touch Pro2 – it’s actually gone the other way.

This is a much chunkier handset than its predecessor, the Touch Pro. It weighs nearly 190g, is 17mm thick, 116mm tall and 59mm wide – so large, in fact, that it feels more like a small mobile computer than a phone. It’s bigger and heavier than the iPhone 3G, the HTC Touch HD and pretty much any handset we’ve reviewed since Nokia’s Communicator. And it positively dwarfs the likes of Nokia’s E75.

Crammed with goodies

The size is a disappointment – from looking at the promotional material, we’d been expecting something a little more svelte than this – but, to be fair, HTC has managed to squeeze a lot into the Touch Pro2’s beefy frame. Most obvious is the screen, which measures 3.6in from corner to corner. It isn’t quite as large as the Touch HD’s broad expanse, but it boasts the same 480 x 800 WVGA resolution, which makes browsing the web straightforward and effective.

As with all of HTC’s Windows Mobile touch phones, it’s a resistive touchscreen – thus enabling handwriting recognition – so it isn’t quite as responsive as the screen on the iPhone, but it’s still a very, very good example. Screen taps and finger slides are responded to instantly, and you rarely need a second jab.


Next up is the keyboard, which is quite simply brilliant. As with the original Touch Pro, it slides out from underneath the screen, but here it’s an even more spacious five-row layout with individual buttons for the numbers running across the top, large and responsive letter keys, a sizeable spacebar and common symbols such as the full stop and @ close to hand.

Return of the King

HTC fans will be glad to see that the tilting screen of the TyTN II has made a return, reinforcing the pocket computer theme. This makes it possible to lay the Touch Pro2 flat on a table and tap away with your fingers without having to position your head above it to see the screen. The hinge mechanism is smooth and feels solid too, a little more so than that of the TyTN II’s.

Of more potential use, however, is this phone’s enhanced speakerphone capabilities. Dubbed StraightTalk, the phone boasts two speakers on its rear and dual, noise-cancelling microphones. These are features intended to improve the quality of speakerphone calls over the crackly, distorted mess you usually get with mobile phones and they work really well. Just place the phone face down while a call is in progress (the speakerphone mode activates automatically), and you’ll find the speaker is loud, clear and distortion-free. Just as importantly, the microphone is very sensitive, so you don’t need to speak directly at the phone to make yourself heard clearly.

Battery life is a major improvement over the Touch Pro too. A larger 1,500mAh lithium-ion battery contributes to impressive performance that, in light use, with half an hour of calls and 50MB of data downloads, should provide between four and five days of life. That puts the Touch Pro2 right up there with the iPhone and Touch HD.

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