HTC Touch Pro review: Heavyweight pro

GSMArena team, 04 September 2008.
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Apps galore

The Touch Pro comes loaded with additional third-party software to meet various Windows Mobile user needs. It's got the regular stuff like RSS Reader and Streaming Media manager, but it has some really original applications to go along.

First of all, it's nice of HTC to have preinstalled a Task Manager on the Touch Pro. Unfortunately, it's only available via the TouchFLO homescreen interface upon a tap on the top right corner. We would have liked it better if the Task Manager was available across the Windows Mobile interface too.

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The Pro task manager is available only on the TouchFLO home screen

The RSSHub app is an RSS reader for staying abreast of the latest news and content at your favorite web places. The Streaming Media manager allows access to custom sources of streaming audio and video.

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The RSS Hub reader the Streaming Media manager

HTC Touch Pro also ships with the MP3 Trimmer app. It allows you to crop MP3 tracks to make your own ringtones. Another goodie is the Remote Desktop Mobile client. It allows you to connect remotely to any Windows-based computer. It's a really handy feature that - if you ask us - should come preinstalled on all PocketPCs.

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MP3 trimmer for making your own ringtones the Remote Desktop is a remote computer access application

Next, the Touch Pro impresses with the amusing Teeter game, which puts the built-in accelerometer to good use. Navigating a ball around a maze of holes became a favorite pastime among our team. Teeter easily impresses with its polished graphics and the handset even produces well-balanced vibrations each time your ball hits the walls of the maze.

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The Teeter game is highly amusing and is really life-like

HTC have also included an excellent YouTube client, which offers a fluid and great looking interface - even better than the one on iPhone.

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The Pro YouTube client: Most Viewed Videos tab video info display

And finally, we come upon an application which we didn't find in the Touch Diamond. It allows the user to calibrate its accelerometer by placing the Touch Pro on an even surface. We are guessing that due to the uneven back such a thing was impossible in the Diamond.

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Accelerometer calibrating application

GPS navigation

The HTC Touch Pro features a built-in GPS receiver - it's the Qualcomm gpsOne chipset, which comes along with the Qualcomm 7200A platform. It's the same chipset used in earlier HTC models such as the HTC TyTN II and the HTC Touch Cruise.

The Pro supports the Assisted-GPS technology, commonly known as A-GPS. It means you can download current satellite data over Wi-Fi or the 2G/3G network for a much faster satellite lock.

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The Pro A-GPS data download manager

The Pro doesn't have a GPS navigation application pre-installed, so you have to purchase one separately. With a dedicated GPS app installed, it performed admirably as an in-car navigation unit. When it comes to displaying maps on screen, the Touch Pro's VGA display is a clear advantage. It offers much more detail than the iPhone for example at relatively the same level of magnification.

Here's a quick head-to-head using the free Google Maps for Mobile app.

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Viewing a map on the Touch Pro (Google Maps, Barcelona)

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Viewing a map on the first-gen iPhone (Google Maps, Barcelona)

While we are pretty happy with the GPS sensitivity of the Qualcomm gpsOne chipset, the same doesn't go to its energy efficiency. The competing SiRF Star III chipset is much better at that. Coupled with the high-res display, the Pro can't simply offer as much power autonomy with the GPS switched on.

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