Plenty of smartphones claim to be the perfect for business users. But few can match the business-friendly features found on the HTC Touch Pro2. This Windows Mobile-based phone, which is available in an unlocked version and a subsidized model sold by T-Mobile, packs in plenty of software, some unique business-centric calling features, and a stellar display. You won't find a lot of fun extras on the HTC Touch Pro2, but if you're looking for a business-only device, you likely won't miss them.
The Touch Pro2 is attractive, with a big 3.6-inch display. Boasting a resolution of 480-by-800 pixels, the screen is absolutely stunning. Beneath the display, you get send, end, back, and home buttons, plus touch-sensitive zoom buttons. The result is a sleek, polished-looking phone.
But pick the Touch Pro2 up, and it feels like a brick. It weighs 6.3 ounces; that's only a bit more than the iPhone's 4.8-ounce weight, but you'll feel the difference when you hold the phone. It's also thick, thanks to its slide-out keyboard.
The keyboard is spacious, though, and easy to use for typing. Another bonus: the screen can be tilted slightly, making it easier to see.
Voice quality was very good in my test calls. Callers sounded loud and mostly clear.
The Touch Pro2 offers a handy way of managing your contacts -- something that business users, in particular, will appreciate. The phone offers a contact view that lets you easily see all of your messaging history with a particular person, whether it was by e-mail, text, or voice.
Also included is HTC's "Straight Talk" feature, which allows you to launch a call or a conference call from within an e-mail. It also allows you to turn the Touch Pro2 into a speakerphone by placing the handset face down on a flat surface. There's even a mute button on the back of the phone that you can press to easily block sound while on a conference call. HTC says the phone has "asymmetric speakers and advanced noise suppression with full-duplex acoustics"; in my tests, the speakerphone sounded very good.
The HTC Touch Pro2 runs Windows Mobile 6.1. That means you get a mobile version of the Microsoft Office suite, which allows you to view and edit Word and Excel files, and view PowerPoint presentations.
You also get a variety of utilities pre-loaded on the phone, including Adobe Reader LE, a YouTube application, voice notes, tasks, and more. Microsoft's answer to Apple's App Store, the Windows Marketplace for Mobile, is not yet available, so you'll have to go out and find additional applications yourself. You will, however, find plenty of software available for Windows Mobile phones.
Browsing the Web
As a Windows Mobile-based phone, the HTC Touch Pro2 comes with the mobile version of Internet Explorer pre-installed. Luckily, you also get Opera Mobile, too. High-speed connectivity options include both T-Mobile's 3G HSDPA network and Wi-Fi wireless networks.
The HTC Touch Pro2 comes with a handy wizard that streamlines e-mail setup for the most-used e-mail clients, such as AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo. The phone supports POP3 and IMAP accounts, and features Microsoft Direct Push technology, which allows you to synchronize it with Outlook for real-time delivery of messages, contacts, calendar, and tasks.
AOL's AIM, Google Talk, MySpace IM, Windows Live Messenger, and Yahoo Messenger instant messaging apps also come installed on the phone.
The 3.2-megapixel camera includes auto-focus, but no flash. The Touch Pro2 also lacks a shutter button, so you have to tap the screen to capture a photo, which isn't ideal. Pictures looked a bit dim, but decent. The Touch Pro2 also captures video clips.
Music and More
You get the mobile version of Windows Media Player installed on the phone, which provides an easy, but basic, way to play back audio and video files. HTC also includes its own audio manager, which offers a slicker interface, but not much in the way of advanced music playback features.
T-Mobile does not offer a music store for over-the-air music downloads, so you'll have to supply your own tunes and transfer them to the phone. In addition, the Touch Pro2 -- like most HTC phones -- lacks a standard headphone jack, so you'll need a clunky adapter to connect headphones.
The Touch Pro2 does include GPS capabilities, and Google Maps, QuickGPS, and TeleNav Navigator come installed on the phone. Only the TeleNav application delivers turn-by-turn spoken directions, though, and it costs $10 per month.
Price and Availability
The HTC Touch Pro2 is available from T-Mobile for $350 when you sign a new two-year service contract. An unlocked version of the phone will set you back about $600 -- or more. It's not a cheap phone, but the HTC Touch Pro2 delivers plenty of features designed to please the pickiest of businesspeople.