The HTC Touch Pro supports SMS, MMS and email. SMS and MMS share an inbox and a message editor. Thanks to TouchFLO you can enjoy thumb scrolling in the inboxes and longer messages. Dynamic font resizing (zooming in/out with the scroll wheel) is also at your disposal.
As of Windows 6.1, users enjoy threaded SMS, so you can be sure you get that feature on the Touch Pro. Also, contrary to what some users report, the HTC Touch Pro DOES offer Message delivery reports in its Settings menu.
Another highly debated feature of the Touch Pro concerns receiving SMS in standby mode. When a message comes in, the handset only produces a tone with no vibration. The SMS alert doesn't wake the device up either - it stays in standby mode. We find that a perfectly usable solution and we don't object at all. Furthermore, the scroll wheel backlight blinks at regular intervals to alert you of an unread message.
The email inbox holds no surprises to experienced WinMo users. A nice upgrade is the dynamic zooming with the scroll wheel, which is available when you are reading an email.
Perhaps now is a good time to mention input options on the Touch Pro. In addition to the perfect hardware QWERTY keyboard, HTC have equipped the device with a set of home-grown thumbable virtual keyboards. It's a commendable feature since the default Windows Mobile keyboards are outdated and uncomfortable, to say the least.
The first software keyboard is full QWERTY, the second one is Sony Ericsson P1-style QW-ER-TY and, finally, the third one is a regular 9-key multi-tap keypad.
If you open the slider causing the screen to rotate to landscape mode, you also get larger landscape versions of those keyboards. However we can't quite see the need of them in this mode with the hardware keys at your disposal. Unfortunately, the rotation without opening the keyboard isn't normally available. It's strange that HTC haven't taken care of that.
But, thanks again to third-party app developers, users now have more control over the screen rotation feature and that has made landscape typing possible. You can read more about it in the dedicated Tweaks & Modding chapter of this review.
The HTC Touch Pro doesn't offer the generous amount of internal storage of the Diamond but thanks to the built-in card slot you can reach much greater heights. In addition, the existence of a card slot makes running software that ships on a memory card trouble-free. This is the case with most GPS navigation applications for example.
We tested the read/write performance of the Touch Pro both against software benchmarks and in real life tasks. Both tests gave similar results so we are publishing only the real-life one.
We concluded our real-life test on a Windows XP-based PC paired with the Pro in USB Mass Storage mode. Overall, it showed really nice results in the Read operation (copying from handset to PC). However the Write operation was three times slower. Here are the results:
HTC Touch Pro copy/paste performance to an inserted memory card:
Of course, you should bear in mind that those figures will be lower on a Vista-based PC.
Obviously those results are almost exactly the same as the ones we achieved with the Touch Diamond and its built-in memory. Since the Diamond's built-in memory is no faster than the Touch Pro operating with a memory card, we can't really understand why HTC didn't equip the Diamond with a card slot instead.
The Touch Pro offers a nice thumbnail browser straight from the Photos and Videos tab on the Home screen. There's another thumbnail browser in the Album app available from the context menu on the Home screen or the Programs menu.
Once the image is opened, you can make use of the auto screen rotation feature to view it in landscape mode or you can zoom with a circular gesture on the display (it's TouchFLO, baby) or on the scroll wheel. Once you zoom in on the image you can start panning by dragging your thumb, or you can use the D-pad. The Albums application also offers a customizable slideshow.
Scrolling to the next image is a matter of a single finger sweep and it's almost instantaneous. The image viewer actually has the same functionality as in the HTC Touch Cruise.
Thanks to the built-in accelerometer, switching to landscape mode is seamless.
It's got to be said that the Touch Pro has a certain advantage over competing devices when it comes to image browsing since this is one of the applications where VGA does count big time. The images look great on the high resolution screen.