HTC Touch Pro Review ~ Cell Phone Reviews

HTC Touch Pro Review

29

Written on 8/16/2008 12:42:00 PM by poison_ivy




I’ve managed to coerce a friend of mine to let me have his HTC Touch Pro for a few days for me to review. For those who already bashed me on my HTC Touch Diamond Review, here’s your chance to bash me even more. Let me just make it clear that my time with this device is limited and whatever I like or don’t like about the HTC Touch Pro is MY opinion, if you don’t like it, please move on and don’t fill my mailbox with hate comments.

Design

On it’s face alone the HTC Touch Pro doesn’t differ much from the HTC Touch Diamond. Both still have the 2.8 inch LCD screen, the big scroll wheel, the call buttons, and the soft key on its front. You’ll notice the difference when you compare the HTC Touch Pro and the HTC Touch Diamond side by side. While the HTC Touch Diamond is thin, the HTC Touch Pro is thicker—much thicker. That’s because of the slide out keyboard. However, when you compare it with the HTC TyTN II, the Touch Diamond is only slightly thinner.




Features, likes and complaints

The HTC Touch Pro still sports the TouchFLO 3D interface. While admittedly, the interface is much faster and responsive than the prototype Touch Diamond I’ve seen plus the fact that the cool animated graphics and icons makes this device look so cool, the HTC Touch Pro still suffers the same lag especially when you have previously opened some applications. I have already made my conclusion that this may be a Windows Mobile bug. You see, on the iPhone, previous version and 3G, no matter how many applications I’ve opened, be it the Safari browser, YouTube player, etc, whenever I press the menu button, there’s no lag. It’s still the same smooth interface. It may be because Apple manages to close the applications you have previously opened whenever you press the menu button. On any windows mobile device, the applications are still running on the background and hence, the device suffers from unresponsiveness and lags if there are too much applications running. On one hand, applications running on the background can help you multi-task; you can copy text on the browser and paste it on mobile Word, etc, I guess that’s why no matter how much I like the iPhone’s interface, I’m still a Windows Mobile fan since I’m a multi-tasker.


HTC already put more than enough RAM on this device, 288MB at that so I like the fact that compared with my Samsung i780, I can have two to three applications running or three or five tabs opened on the Opera browser and everything is still smooth sailing…meaning, there’s little to no lag.

Best thing I like about the HTC Touch Pro is its keyboard. Like I said, I’m already through with touch screen phones. One thing that the HTC Touch Pro has over the iPhone is that typing emails and SMS messages on this device is a breeze while typing on the iPhone is a REAL pain. One of the major reasons why I’m still not an iPhone convert. I like the fact that HTC managed to have separate keys for the numbers and some symbols. Of course, there’s still a learning curve when you first use the keypad but you can get used to it after a while. Do what I do and practice typing using, “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy sheep dog”




One of my other complaints about the HTC Touch Pro as well as the HTC Diamond is that: why can’t HTC just make a 3 or 3.5 inch screen? If they just took off the scroll button, call buttons and shortcut keys on the front, they could have made a larger screen. A 2.8 screen just doesn’t do it for me. Plus, I think it’s windows mobile that needs an overhaul. If you change to the underlying windows mobile interface, you’re still plagued with the scrolling issues since the scroll bar in a window is still small for those with large thumbs. You can only do the scrolling and flicking “thingy” when in TouchFLO 3D interface and not in Windows Mobile.

Audio quality on this device is passable though like I always say, I’m not really an audiophile though it’s good enough for me. As for the camera do I really need to review it? Every HTC users know that picture quality on HTC devices are crap and there’s really not much improvement on the HTC Touch Pro.

As for battery life, well, after using WiFi, Bluetooth for audio streaming, and playing G-Sensor extensively since it’s addicting, after around 8 hours of use, battery still has 50% charge time which is not bad at all. I wasn’t able to test the GPS function since there was no navigation software installed yet as well as the TV-out function because there was no cable provided.

Conclusion

Well, the HTC Touch Pro seems pretty impressive compared with the Touch Diamond. The 288MB RAM makes this device faster and more responsive than the Diamond and ANY previous HTC devices albeit, more expensive. If you’re a power user and you need to do emails and browse the web at the same time or browse multiple pages at the same time then switch to a word processing software, then the HTC Touch Pro is the best device to do that. Sure, the HTC Touch Pro still suffers from the same bugs as previous windows mobile device and the occasional lag, and yeah, the iPhone has a faster and responsive interface and still prettier to look at but when it comes down to which is really the better smart phone for power users? The HTC Touch Pro wins.

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29 Comments

  1. Wessel |

    Would you recommend it to someone already using a Samsung i780?

    I really hate the i780's battery life and am interested if windows mobile 6.1's upgraded pushmail functions do this any good.
    Love the keyboard on the i780, especially as it makes searching contacts a breeze.

    Furthermore is this a transflective screen? The i780 is hardly impossible to read in the sunlight unless used at full brightness.

     
  2. poison_ivy |

    Hmm, I'm an i780 user and I wasn't really compelled to switch to the Touch Pro compared with switching to the Samsung Omnia (which I did). Though the battery life of i780 sucks, the good thing about it is that it has two batteries which I really make use of.

    I hate the bulkiness of the touch pro compared with the slim i780 but if you really must upgrade to another phone with a physical keyboard, try waiting for the Xperia X1. It will already be out in October and Expansys Hongkong is already taking pre-orders.

    As for the screen, the touch pro suffers from similar problems as the i780 when used under direct sunlight.

     
  3. rt |

    Hi, I'm a I780 user too. Wanted to change to HTC Touch Pro as well...Did u compare HTC Touch Pro and Omnia under direct sunlight? I thought Touch Pro should be better right? What about the battery life for both model? Which one is better?

     
  4. poison_ivy |

    I wasn't able to directly compare the Touch Pro with the Omnia since I got hold of the Touch Pro first before buying the Omnia and I only had the Touch Pro for 1 and a half day. Personally, for the sunlight legibility, the HTC Touch Pro is better over the Omnia and the i780.

    As for battery life, like what I said in my detailed Omnia review, the Omnia definitely has the best battery life I've seen in WinMo devices. It lasted me around two days for regular use (limited internet and Bluetooth use).

     
  5. J. Maurice |

    Don't waste your money....

    I've just purchased a Touch Pro, and if it weren't so bloody expensive, I'd be stamping on it & throwing it against the nearest wall.

    Why.

    Reception is crap

    Who ever designed the touch interface should be given a medal -for the creating the biggest pile of crap ever.

    The 3d touch flo interface is slow, especially when you flop out the keyboard.

    The phone rejects most calls when it is in your pocket due to a large "call reject" button on the touch screen. Even the lightest movement and the phoone rejects your incoming call.

    Ok, the phone does have a couple of very good points -
    Excellent internet browser, excellent GPS integration for software like Co-pilot, but if it can't work well as a phone what's the point.

    This phone is seriously let down by the user interface. Sure it looks good, but that's as far as it goes.

    In conclusion, Touch screen is a great concept, but if you carry your phone in your pocket, or want to protect it in a case, as soon as the screen comes alive when a call comes in, anything from a call reject to unwanted applications and unwanted phone calls can be activated. VERY ANNOYING.

     
  6. paul |

    how does the touch pro stack up to the mogel?

     
  7. Bob |

    I have had this phone for four weeks and I agree with J. Maurice regarding the reception, it is not good. This phone also appears to have a major flaw with the GPS. If you check out xda-developers then you will see just how bad things are. Although in some ways the phone is excellent, it is a great example of a product released to market before it was even close to being ready. My advice would be to delay your purchase until all of the bugs are ironed out by HTC.

     
  8. semu5 |

    The following review is for the XDA Serra, O2’s UK version of the HTC Touch Pro (also known as the Raphael, T Mobile MDA Vario IV, AT&T Fuze and Sprint Touch Pro).

    This is my third O2 XDA model – I‘ve previously used the XDA Mini S (aka HTC Wizard/Prodigy, K-Jam, MDA Vario) and XDA Graphite (aka ASUS Jupiter) - and probably my 6th or 7th Windows CE/Mobile device. I’ve grown fond of the XDA Mini S but recall that the phone was a complete dog until O2 issued a major ROM upgrade. I got the XDA Graphite on a free O2 upgrade as a compact, 3G-enabled replacement for the Mini S, but the battery life was so abysmal I never really used it in anger.

    In looking for a replacement for the XDA Mini S, I had the following criteria in mind;

    • HSDPA capable
    • Good touch screen quality
    • Ideally one-handed operation
    • Slide-out QWERTY keyboard
    • Preferably Windows Mobile 6.1 based (I’m wedded to a number of Windows Mobile applications including Outlook mobile, Ilium eWallet, Memory Map and Tom Tom Navigator)
    • Good camera quality a nice-to-have but not paramount
    • Available on an O2 UK Tariff (I wasn’t prepared to pay a SIM-free price).

    I must confess to a (possibly irrational) antipathy to all things Apple so didn’t consider the iPhone, though I have no doubt that the iPhone is probably more user-friendly. The HTC Touch Pro is categorically not an “iPhone killer” (though the newer HTC Touch HD may well be).

    The truth is, all of HTC’s smartphone offerings have been exercises in managed expectation. They promise so much on paper but so often fail to deliver in terms of practicality. The Touch Pro is, along with the Touch HD, by far the best phone HTC have ever produced, but it still has some frustrating flaws. I will admit that in the first few days of having received the XDA Serra I found the Touch Flo interface and GPS performance so frustrating that I seriously considered returning it to O2, but having persevered for a fortnight or so I am now much happier.

    Many of the phone’s flaws could be resolved with improved software, and there are very active Windows Mobile and HTC development communities on the web. However, poor GPS performance and the almost useless Navigation joystick are hardware limitations that you’ll have to learn to live with.

    So far, this is how the pros and cons stack up for me:

    Pros:
    1. Size, form factor and build quality.
    2. Excellent screen resolution (640x480) and quality. Visibility in sunshine is very good.
    3. Excellent slide out keyboard – far and away the best available.
    4. Excellent phone sound quality.
    5. Good 3G (HSDPA), Bluetooth and FM Radio performance.
    6. Touch Flo interface makes one-handed operation feasible but gestures take some getting used to. Helps to have small fingers.
    7. Accepts up to 16GB microSD SDHC memory cards (though the need to remove the back cover to insert the memory card is seen as a disadvantage by some – personally I prefer it this way)
    8. Magnetic stylus is less likely to drop out.
    9. Uses standard mini USB connector for sync and charge.
    10. Can charge from PC USB connection.
    11. As with all Windows Mobile devices, syncing with PC via Activesync is very easy.
    12. Huge variety of freeware and shareware available for the Windows Mobile platform, including some alternatives to the Touch Flo interface (mainly still in beta but very promising).
    13. Teeter game - which uses the phone’s built-in G-sensor - is great fun.
    14. Very chic, for those who care about such things.

    Cons:
    1. Very expensive SIM-free.
    2. “Joystick” functionality on central Navigation button is almost completely unusable and is – in my opinion - a major design flaw.
    3. Endurance with standard 1340mAh battery not great (especially if all radio options are enabled) but probably no worse than other phones in this class. Higher capacity (but bulkier) 1800mAh battery packs are available. I personally haven’t found battery life to be an issue.
    4. 3.2MP camera is a big improvement over earlier HTC models but is outclassed by the latest Sony, Nokia and Samsung camera phones. The LED camera flash is barely adequate in low light. If you’re looking for a digital compact camera replacement this is not the phone for you.
    5. Flaky Wi-Fi – needs to be set to ‘maximum performance’ (at the expense of battery life) to get decent reception.
    6. Built-in GPS is very temperamental. Initial lock can take anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes, though once lock is acquired, performance is OK in open ground. Urban reception is poor and the Assisted GPS function (which is disabled by default on the XDA Serra) doesn’t appear to improve matters significantly. There are some performance enhancing hacks recommended on various HTC forums, but the phone will never be a match for the latest SiRF handhelds (such as the Garmin eTrex Vista, which has incredible urban performance) and I imagine many people will find the internal GPS unusable in practice.

    Note that you can always use an external Bluetooth GPS adapter such as the excellent Emtac BTGPS II or the one provided with some versions of Tom Tom Navigator.

    7. The phone has fewer configurable hardware buttons on the front panel than earlier HTC models, which may be a disadvantage for applications that are not able to exploit Touch Flo gestures.
    8. Touch Flo interface a bit sluggish at times, but may be improved with some registry tweaking (Google the XDA Developers Forum, at your own risk). People who are happy to use a stylus will probably wish to disable the Touch Flo interface altogether.
    9. Touch Flo interface not always as intuitive as it could be, and it can’t be customised (at least not without registry hacks). In particular, switching from portrait to landscape mode sometimes means the current application loses focus and has to be restored from the Start menu. This may improve in later versions of the software.
    10. Screen is blanked when an incoming call is accepted. This makes sense in terms of battery efficiency and eliminating the risk of accidentally activating the touch screen with your ear (something I found very irritating with the XDA Mini S), but it means you need to press the power button to wake up the screen if you want to be able to access the phone keypad during a call – for instance, if you’re having to press options for those incredibly annoying interactive voice response lines.
    11. Pressure needed for some touch screen gestures means a screen protector is advisable (one is provided in the box). The fact that the screen is flush with the surface makes applying screen protectors much easier.
    12. No built in headphone socket – needs special USB-to-jack adapter (a handy remote-control adapter with a standard 3.5mm jack is provided in the box).
    13. Cannot sync/charge and use headphone adapter at the same time using the adapter provided, though it is possible to buy third party adapters for around £20 which do allow this.
    14. Some relatively minor stability issues which will probably improve after the next ROM upgrade - expect to have to perform a soft-reset at least once a month.

    If you don’t need the slide-out keyboard, I’d strongly recommend the HTC Touch HD (which has recently topped PC Pro’s smartphone A-List).

     
  9. Eric |

    Are these comments about reception based on the 3G signal from ATT or CDMA from Sprint?

     
  10. Anonymous |

    I am having no problem with the internal GPS. It works great. Much better in fact than my former 800W

     
  11. spdrcr8 |

    I hate the fact that the keyboard only stays lit for 7 seconds,I mean, if you want to text... your always having to tap a key on the keyboard to relight it, also the accelerometer is so sluggish.

     
  12. poison_ivy |

    @ spdrcr8. Have you tried changing the backlight timing using the power option under settings?

     
  13. SHB |

    In the real world it is truly shocking and I have come close to thowing the thing against a wall on a number of occassions. I am hoping it suffers a terminal failue sometime soon (its only 3 weeks old!!) so I can get a different PDA from the IT guys.

    The reasons have already been stated in the posts so I won't go over them again but if I had spent my own money on this I would be seriously upset. Life is way too short to have to deal with a device that is as awful of this one.

     
  14. Anonymous |

    I had the HTC Mogul and upgraded to the Pro and so far I love it. I love the fact that I can at least do picture mail now. I haven't had any problems thus far with the phone.
    Haven't had a chance to use the GPS but hopefully I won't have the problems I have been reading about on the board.
    I wish the keyboard light would stay on a little longer.
    Again so far, I'm loving my new phone!

     
  15. Anonymous |

    I hate this phone! I bought two of these during Xmas for my me and my husband. We had them configured three different times at the Sprint store because of an error that causes the WIFI and the Comm modem to conflict each other and both crap out. After a month of this we were both fed up and we returned them to Sprint.

     
  16. Anonymous |

    hi! Its MMansonFan08 here and i'm wondering if i should get this phone! Like i waz reading a few reviews and it said it was a really good phone! but others said it wasn't...im so confused! can any1 help me?? and which phone should i get? i want a touch screen phone with a slide out keyboard....but i dont want to spend $600 on it and i dont want it to be bulky! and i dont want the i780, the rant, or the Xperia X1!!!!! i need so much help! i cant find any phones like that from sprint though!!!! :(

     
  17. poison_ivy |

    Hi, MMansonFan08, as for as touchscreen phones with slide out keyboard, the Touch Pro is the best one you'll see from Sprint. All mobile phones have mixed reviews because not everyone can be pleased with just one mobile phone. Some of those complaints came from people who got buggy units and every Manufacturer has some buggy units which unfortunately, find themselves in the hands of consumers.

    The Touch Pro can be a really nice device out of the box plus it could get even better once you tweak it. If you decided to go with the Pro and need some help with it, there's a dedicated forum for it over at xda-developers.com

     
  18. Anonymous |

    I HATE THIS PHONE!!!

    When I am on a call there is no way to lock the keypad so I regularly hang up on people.
    The battery life is about 1/2 of what the Treo was. Yesterday my phone was completely dead after three hours ~ approximately 1 hour of talk time.(I've adjusted the power settings to the lowest luminocity)
    Since I had to reduce the lumicity it means that my backlight turns off immediately when I am on a call. When another call comes in (call waiting) it doesn't re-light so I can't see who is calling me.
    When I am on a call and another call beeps in, I am able to click over to answer it however it drops the caller on hold every time
    The keypad is so tiny that I have to pull out the stylett every time- Hate this feature.
    There isn't a "mail" "voice mail" or "contacts" button on the keypad. I have to use the digital screen, thereby requiring me to pull out the stylett every time.
    When I turn the phone from horizontal to vertical, it is supposed to adjust (like the Iphone) however, there is about a 5 second delay.
    When I type in phone numbers or email messages there is also a delayed response, so I constantly have to erase, re-type and wait.
    In order to close out of a program (the current page open) I have to hit this tiny little "okay" button in the upper right corner and this requires that I use the stylett.
    When I open an email message I have two options at the bottom of the screen, "reply all" and "menu". If I don't want to "reply all" I have to go into the Menu and select two separate items in order to reply to the sender.
    When a call comes in I have an option to "answer" or "ignore" 50% of the time when I hit "answer" it completely hangs up on the caller.
    Unlocking my phone by entering my password generally takes about 5-10 attempts because the touchscreen sensors have a delay, so I constantly over-type.

     
  19. Anonymous |

    When I am on a call there is no way to lock the keypad so I regularly hang up on people.
    The battery life is about 1/2 of what the Treo was. Yesterday my phone was completely dead after three hours ~ approximately 1 hour of talk time.(I've adjusted the power settings to the lowest luminocity)
    Since I had to reduce the lumicity it means that my backlight turns off immediately when I am on a call. When another call comes in (call waiting) it doesn't re-light so I can't see who is calling me.
    When I am on a call and another call beeps in, I am able to click over to answer it however it drops the caller on hold every time
    The keypad is so tiny that I have to pull out the stylett every time- Hate this feature.
    There isn't a "mail" "voice mail" or "contacts" button on the keypad. I have to use the digital screen, thereby requiring me to pull out the stylett every time.
    When I turn the phone from horizontal to vertical, it is supposed to adjust (like the Iphone) however, there is about a 5 second delay.
    When I type in phone numbers or email messages there is also a delayed response, so I constantly have to erase, re-type and wait.
    In order to close out of a program (the current page open) I have to hit this tiny little "okay" button in the upper right corner and this requires that I use the stylett.
    When I open an email message I have two options at the bottom of the screen, "reply all" and "menu". If I don't want to "reply all" I have to go into the Menu and select two separate items in order to reply to the sender.
    When a call comes in I have an option to "answer" or "ignore" 50% of the time when I hit "answer" it completely hangs up on the caller.
    Unlocking my phone by entering my password generally takes about 5-10 attempts because the touchscreen sensors have a delay, so I constantly over-type.

     
  20. Anonymous |

    BEFORE YOU BUY YOUR TOUCH PRO.
    I love the touch pro...if it worked. I don't know if it's my luck or what but i have had to exchange my HTC touch pro 3 times! First, the alarm clock didn't work. Then the software was messed up so they had to replace that one and finally with my third one...the alarm doesn't work again. O and also! Sprint service is so horrible right now. So on top of all these complications (Me not waking up in time to go to work-due to the alarm) my received phone calls, voice mails, and text messaging is delayed by at least an hour. Sorry, to complain...Does anyone else have these problems with sprint or their Touch pro?! i'm very curious!
    -angry touch pro consumer

     
  21. Anonymous |

    I'm glad to hear others who dislike this phone. It's a piece of garbage. I have to agree with all the comments above. Blackberry here I come.

     
  22. Anonymous |

    The Touch Pro handset is really disappointing. The phone is two shells with an invisible hinge allowing you to slide up the screen to reveal a full keyborad underneath. This will beacome very loose quite quickly and rattle. Secondly the phone interface is very poor - most calls are rejected by the phone because of poor design. The minute I can upgrade I'm going back to push button handsets...

     
  23. Anonymous |

    We got 30 of these free on a T-mobile contract in the UK. They looked great on paper and a limited trial seemed promising. However, we've found loads of problems. We thought T-mobile had poor coverage in our location but it turns out the HTC Touch Pro (branded MDA Vario IV) has a really crap GSM/3G radio. The other problems are (we fixed a few by putting a generic ROM from HTC onto the handset as the T-mobile ROM was shockingly out of date and they didnt issue any updates)
    1)Display switches off very quickly when on a phone call - effectively preventing use of auto attendant systems & even t-mobile voicemail (how can you press 7 to delete when there is no display to see anything on!)
    2) Handset doesnt ring until caller has heard 2 rings on their phone
    3) Difficult to end a call as display is off and pressing call end doesnt appear to end the call immediately
    4) Display locks up after handset is unlocked and phone needs to be swiched off & on
    5) Display gets corrupted (looks like badly tuned old fashioned TV)
    6) Handset crashes and requires reset button to be pressed
    7) Handset crashes and resets on its own
    8) Not possible to copy Text mesages to your PC (eg: to save to client file on the PC)
    9) Emails / diary - the syncronisation function fails and needs to be reconfigured on the handset (this cant be done remotely)
    10) Phone randomly dials numbers (even when handset is locked)
    11) Battery life not great compared to an old phone
    12) Web'n' Walk - The first default favourite "T-mobile WebTV" has lots of material (eg: erotic TV, hot babes, etc )on this page (found by female member of staff)

    The following arent critical but have been reported

    Camera - autofocus doesnt always work
    Camera - preview screen goes black after taking a picture
    Media player - music "skips" or pauses during playback
    GPS function - various faults
    default ring / notification tones really annoying

    I wish we had stuck with Sony or Nokia or even upgraded our Blaockberrys - they support Exchange Activesync and I think would have been more popular

     
  24. Leah |

    Hi, i'm interested in this phone.. but a couple people have said that the battery life sucks... and i want to know if the battery life is so bad that i wouldnt want to get it. So what ever anybody could recommend would be nice, thanks.

     
  25. Ric Brown |

    The HTC Touchpro is by ***FAR*** the sorriest piece of crap cell phone I have ever owned or used. It starts and closes programs randomly. It will NOT update Windows (unable to establish connection). It freezes up regularly. It's laggy, fickle and unreliable. I'm sure that at least some of the problems are because of the incompetence of its Windows Mobile OS but its problems can't be ALL attributable to the OS. At first, I thought that I simply got a lemon but they finally replaced it and the "new" (and by new I mean someone else's reconditioned lemon)phone is just as worthless.

    Now there's an HTC TouchPro 2 out. Sprint tells me that it's MUCH better. Fool me once, shame on you... My next cell phone will NOT be a TouchPro, nor an HTC of ANY kind. Nor will it have Windows Mobile OS.

     
  26. dameier |

    I completely agree with Rick, this is the worst phone I have ever owned. I got rid of my treo because i needed windows OS for work. I have had my touch pro for almost a year (actually, I am on my 4th refurbished one). Now I can't figure out what to do. My friend loves her HTC Hero, but I am so over HTC and windows mobile right now. I don't really want to switch to AT&T, but I may do it for the iphone. The other option is the palm pre . . . I just don't know, and I don't want to get burned again.

     
  27. r4 para la ds |

    Be warned of very slow software and an interface that is trying to ape an iPhone and fails miserably.

     
  28. Anonymous |

    wish I would've read this before i bought the phone. :( Hopefully some of the negatives pass over me, but I'm not holding my breath

     
  29. Anonymous |

    I absolutely loath this phone. I went through 3 on my Vodafone contract, 2 were replacements through insurance.
    It has poor battery life, the sliding keyboard gets to be very irritating.
    It crashes regularly, the back light is rubbish.
    I have now replaced it with a NOkia E63 and wish I had done it months ago. The difference is mega, I am so happy with E63 and would not have a Touch Pro given again.

     

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