My previous phone was the HTC Tytn II and it provided me with an unprecedented 20 months of faithful service. Normally I can't wait to get rid of a phone once I am out of contract but I loved my Tytn II.

Tragically though, a few weeks ago it suddenly went from being in the prime of its life to a creaking old geriatric, all within a few days.  First of all the touch screen started intermittently failing, and then the internal speaker went - not ideal when clients can hear me but I can't hear them...

An emergency purchase was therefore necessary and now I am the (mostly) very happy owner of the logical upgrade to the Tytn II, the HTC Touch Pro2.

Rather than reiterate all the specs that hundreds of other sites that have properly reviewed it have done, I will just summarise my thoughts.

Best points first:

  • the keyboard is amazing - it is incredibly usable, even more so that the Tytn II, as it has room for a numeric row too. Typing is an absolute joy.
  • the screen is even better than my old Pocket Loox, which was my previous benchmark of excellence. For the first time ever my phone is a viable device to show people photos.
  • the back panel contains a large professional grade speaker and microphone, and it has a really great feature that you can just put it on a  surface upside down whilst speaking and it goes into speaker phone mode.  The sound quality is very good indeed (the best I've ever heard from a phone) and it has all sorts of noise cancelling tricks, so you can walk around the room speaking and it picks up your voice no problem.
  • the combination of the faster CPU, crystal clear speaker and tilt screen means that it is a brilliant device for learning music on. It is easily visible when playing guitar or piano. YouTube tutorial videos stream almost instantly and playback nice and smoothly - and, as mentioned, music sounds awesome.

HTC Touch Pro2 resting on an electric piano
The video looks slightly washed out here due to sunlight - but trust me, the screen is amazing.

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 - not all that new, but new to me - so I get to enjoy what others have taken for granted for quite a while (eg: text messages filtered by person etc). There should be a free upgrade to 6.5 later this year too.
  • The HTC tweaks are much improved, so it's just generally easier to text or email people as you're navigating round various sections.
  • Contact photos are higher resolution and display for texts and emails. Also, you can sync them to Facebook to easily get photos of your friends. I do love my contact photos!

And the inevitable niggles:

  • no D-Pad - this is a real shame, I much prefer a D-pad to dragging the touchscreen.
  • there is a serious lack of buttons - similar to the above, I like buttons to record sound, bring up email, take photos etc. The Tytn II had a wealth of them (16 plus a jog wheel!), but the trend nowadays seems to be to emulate the iPhone, and reduce the inputs :-(
  • you can't customise the buttons. I want to change the volume up/down buttons to be scroll up/down instead, but you can't. Gagh!
  • Web browsing isn't as good as I feel it should be. I have Pocket IE and Opera and neither seem as good as the iPhones I've used. Quite surprising, as Opera is supposed to be very good. It may be I can tweak this to make it better.
  • No voice dialling software bundled.  This was actually quite usable on my Tytn II, and useful in certain circumstances. Not a deal-breaker, but I miss it all the same.
  • The HTC TouchFlo interface is really nice, but I don't like how it gets in the way of my email.  When I click e-mail I don't want to see a 3D rendered pretty picture of a few lines of text, I want to see a full screen page of text showing the damn email! (the workaround to this is not to use the HTC icon for mail, but that is still an extra click to bring up the Programs screen first)
  • The memory card is located underneath the casing, which means you have to dismantle your phone on the (admittedly rare) occasions you need to get to it.

In summary then, if you can live without a d-pad, any Tytn fans will be very happy with this phone.

Written by Celerity Design, on July 14, 2009
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