HTC Touch Pro 2
Review There's no denying that HTC's slightly long in the tooth - it first appeared back in June 2009 - is something of a brute and it's easily the biggest and heaviest device in our test, though it does its best to hide this with its nicely curved edges.
But there are times when size matters, and an easy-to-use Qwerty keyboard is certainly one of them. The Pro 2's keyboard has a mammoth five lines with 49 backlit keys, including dedicated number and arrow keys, each of them nicely spaced and gently raised so that they're easy to find without looking.
There's a trick to the large 3.6in touchscreen too which can be viewed flat or swivelled to a 45° angle, which allows you (just about) to set it on a desk and type on it like a laptop.
Its size also helps with its Straight Talk conference calling feature. Place the phone face down on a desk and its large speaker and microphone on the rear are enabled for conference calls, if your network supports them.
The Touch Pro 2 runs the ageing Windows Mobile 6.1 but adds an additional skin over the top in the shape of HTC's own, acclaimed TouchFlo 3D user interface with its intuitive scrollable menus and fun graphics. ®
Next: LG InTouch Max GW620
HTC Touch Pro 2
Further TP2 upgrades
For the more adventurous on TP2, you can update to a third-party ROM with even later WM 6.5 and Sense 2.5, with a bunch of additional features. I run EnergyROM:
and it's been very good to me.
For giggles, you can also run Android on the TP2, though it's missing some key features up to now (Bluetooth, GPS, sound apart from during calls, for instance). See http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=627997 .
Must admit, though, I'd trade it in for a native Android (or Meego...) device with a Snapdragon CPU, if there were any with a decent hardware keyboard.
@ Dave Oliver and phantasy - with all this talk of the "ageing Windows Mobile 6.1", clearly neither of you are aware that
1) Touch Flo is now called Sense.
2) HTC issued a free upgrade to WM6.5 for the TP2 last October (with Sense 2.1)
3) HTC issued a further upgrade last month to Sense 2.5.
New TouchPro 2's from Vodafone come preinstalled with WinMo 6.5, and for all others there is an update on HTC's website.
With HTC's TouchFlow, it runs perfectly well, and is more responsive and easier to use than the iPhone!