- Large screen
- Fabulous keyboard
- Powerful OS and useful bundled software
- Somewhat bulky
- Expensive, even with contract
One of HTC’s latest devices is the HTC Touch Pro2, a slider phone with a large display, full QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless networking, plus a 3.2 megapixel camera.
It’s available from Sprint for $350 with a two year contract, or $600 without. There are also versions from T-Mobile and Verizon.
Sprint isn’t the only carrier offering this smartphone. T-Mobile customers should read this article: HTC Touch Pro2 for T-Mobile Review
DESIGN & BUILD
The HTC Touch Pro2 is a hefty, solid device. It’s both larger and heavier than many of the more recent smartphones I’ve reviewed, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Measuring 4.5-inches long, 2.25-inches wide, and roughly .58-inches thick, it doesn’t really feel that big because it has been rounded in all the right places. That also makes it comfortable to hold in the hand, something I really appreciate — sometimes those sharp edges can hurt if you have a long conversation or web browsing session.
This phone is also a slider, because you push the screen to the right in order to access the full physical keyboard underneath the display. It slides open and closed with a satisfying click, and the action is smooth.
With the keyboard hidden, there aren’t too many buttons to detract from the sleek design; you’ll find the typical call/menu/back/disconnect buttons on the front, just underneath the screen. The volume control buttons are on the top left side of the device, and there’s a stylus port on the bottom, along with the charge/sync port and headphone jack.
The screen on this smartphone is simply gorgeous. It’s a WVGA touchscreen running at 480 x 800 resolution, and everything is bright, crisp, and clean — even mobile video, which can often look so bad on other devices it doesn’t seem worth it to watch.
The phone comes with a stylus, but I never used it, instead relying on my fingers. That of course caused “smudged screen syndrome” due to the fingerprints, but I didn’t have any issues with accuracy or precision.
My experience with the physical QWERTY keyboard on the Touch Pro2 can be summed up in one word: delightful. Never have I used a phone keyboard that was so perfect, from the layout and spacing to the graphics on the keys and the material out of which they are made. They feel just a bit soft to the touch, but they also click down authoritatively, so that you know when you’ve actually entered a letter.
The graphics on the keys are large and easy to read, and the function button is just the right spot to make it easy for me to enter punctuation and numbers in my notes.
With most phone keyboards it takes quite a bit of practice before one becomes proficient; with the Touch Pro2 I didn’t need any practice at all. I know that the trade-off here is a slightly larger device overall, but it seems well worth it to me in order to have a comfortable, usable keyboard.
It should also be noted that a virtual keyboard is also available anytime you have the slider closed. It has nice large keys, but the physical keyboard is so outstanding that most folks will probably never bother to use the on-screen version.