The HTC Touch Pro is a new take on the classic HTC TyTN, which many people still love to this day. But is this Qwerty-hiding smart phone a massive improvement on its predecessors or is this an unnecessary upgrade? We took it on the road to find out if the Pro is worthy of adoration or just another touchscreen smart phone.
The HTC Touch Pro will be available on several major networks for free on a monthly contract.
When you first pick up the HTC Touch Pro it looks and feels chunky but it's really not that big -- it's about the same size as a Nokia N95. The Pro feels satisfyingly solid and not too light either. It has a quality feel that gives it an edge over lighter, more flimsy-feeling phones. It boasts a lovely soft finish too, so it's a pleasure to hold.
In line with the HTC Touch Diamond, the Pro has a glossy front that houses a large VGA touchscreen, which looks impressively sharp and is great for viewing videos on. Below the screen you'll find a series of navigation buttons, including a touch-sensitive scroll wheel that you can also click, as you would a four-way navigation key.
Touchscreen and scroll wheel aside, the Pro's slide-out Qwerty keypad is the real show-stopper. Compared to the keypad on the TyTN or TyTN II, the Pro comes with an extra row of number keys, and overall the keys are smaller. While it's easy to type with, some TyTN users may find they need some time to adjust.
In an attempt to make using Windows Mobile easier to use with a touchscreen, HTC has incorporated its own user interface, TouchFLO 3D, which is also on the Touch Diamond. This overlaid menu gives you finger-friendly access to most of the Pro's features and while we found it worked faster on the Pro than on the Diamond, it still lagged occasionally.
What really differentiates the Pro from the Diamond is that while on the Diamond you have to put up with just a touchscreen and nav keys, on the Pro you can slide out the full Qwerty keypad and start typing away, which adds much more functionality to most of the Pro's features, in particular the Web browser.
Using a bespoke version of Opera Mobile 9.5, browsing the Web on the Pro is rather enjoyable. Especially so as you've got a full keyboard at your disposal and HSDPA or Wi-Fi to choose from when you want to connect to the Internet. You can view full Web pages and zoom in and out by tapping the screen.
If it's navigation you're after, there's built-in GPS, which you can use with Google Maps or other third-party mapping software. The GPS receiver works as expected -- you need to be outside in order for it to work to its full potential. Once the GPS locked on to enough satellites we didn't encounter any major problems.