HTC Touch Pro review: Heavyweight pro

GSMArena team, 04 September 2008.
Pages: 1234567891011

Windows beneath

Once you get past the Home screen and all the finger sweeps and animations though, all you are left with is muddy waters of the not-so-thumbable Microsoft OS. We are not against Windows Mobile by any means, however having to poke about your device with a little stick called stylus is so 1990s.

HTC however have made some efforts to tweak up the core Windows usability too. Some of the most used system settings, contacts management, and the messaging department have all benefited, and so have image and web browsing.

HTC Touch Pro HTC Touch Pro HTC Touch Pro
Viewing the standard Programs and Settings menus on the Pro

Contact management clicks

Contact management is usually considered one of the strongest points of Windows Mobile. You have an unlimited contact list, unlimited info fields for each contact and brilliant synchronization options. However, the small font and tiny fields make the stylus a must when you are searching a contact or editing its details.

HTC offer the default WinMo contacts list, however they have added thumb scrolling courtesy of TouchFLO (a short sweep scrolls them gradually, while a fast single sweep scrolls the whole list from top to bottom). Secondly, you can pick a letter of the alphabet by using the letter column placed on the right. Searching by gradual typing is also available.

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HTC have added thumb scrolling to the WinMo phonebook searching by typing or via the alphabetical list

When editing a contact you have a plethora of available info fields - and if by any rare chance those are not enough - you can always rename some of the existing ones and use them instead.

HTC Touch Pro
Editing a contact

Despite the long list of available fields, when viewing a contact's details only those that are actually filled show up. A really nice feature is the Last call details that appear alongside every contact.

HTC Touch Pro
Viewing contact details

Call management

Making calls is the job of every cell phone and - believe it or not - smart devices such as the HTC Touch Pro do get a lot of that too. The Phone application offers smart dialing, so you hardly ever need to go to the Contacts list to dial a number.

HTC Touch Pro
The Pro Phone app has Smart Dialing, which searches both in your recent calls and your full contact list

When you lift the Pro up to your ear, the display automatically switches off to avoid accidental presses. To do so, it doesn't rely on a proximity sensor like the iPhone, but uses the embedded light sensor instead.

The downside to that is you need to press the On/Off key to turn the display back on during the call. But once you do, it stays on until you've finished your conversation. If however you don't like that solution, you are welcome to check out the Tweaks & Modding section of this review for a quick remedy.

HTC Touch Pro
Dialing a contact

The built-in accelerometer gives the HTC Touch Pro an extra cool feature: you can mute the ringer by simply turning the phone face down on the table. If you turn the handset back up, the ringing won't resume by itself. It's quite unlikely to get your calls accidentally muted in your pocket - the feature is so set up that it's more likely to not engage at all, rather than engage for no reason.

Bear in mind that if the Pro is already face down when a call comes in, the feature won't be available.

The HTC Touch Pro boasts another couple of user-friendly features that make call management even better. First of all, pulling out the active stylus during a call will automatically turn the display on and launch the Notes application. It even puts down the call details (the other party name and the time of call) on the note for you.

And secondly, the HTC Pro comes with a feature that's available on many feature phones - reject call with SMS. When you reject a call, the handset automatically sends the rejected caller a preset text message. We've never found that particularly useful, since you may have a dozen of different reasons to reject a call and there's hardly a universal message text that can cater to them all.

Anyway, with the HTC Touch Pro, the SMS is not sent automatically. Instead you are prompted to review and possibly edit the template before dispatch.

The Call log on Windows Mobile devices offers practically unlimited entries. HTC have perked up the looks of the regular WinMo calls log and have added thumb scrolling.

HTC Touch Pro
HTC uses the default Call Log but with a facelift

Finally, we conducted our traditional speakerphone test to conclude the phone part of the Pro review. You aren't likely to miss too many calls with it, as it's scored a Good mark, ranking well above the average. Here's how the HTC Touch Pro ranks along several other smart devices. You can find more details about our test, as well as the results of all other tested handsets here.

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOveral score
Apple iPhone 3G66.162.171.7Below Average
LG KS2066.170.664.9Average
HTC Touch Diamond66.775.966.0Good
HTC Touch Pro74.969.773.7Good
Samsung INNOV875.169.675.8Very Good
HTC TyTN II 76.075.782.7Excellent
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