HTC Touch Pro: Much Better With a Keyboard

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on November 10, 2008

I was not at all impressed with the HTC Touch Diamond when I took a look at it in September. The main difference between it an its big brother, the Touch Pro. is a slide-out keyboard, but boy what a difference it makes.
touch_proI.gif

I have no problem with the idea of on-screen keyboards; the one in the iPhone is satisfactory and the version in the upcoming BlackBerry Storm (corrected from Bold) is terrific. But the implementation in the Sprint version of the Touch Diamond is awful if for no other reason than the on-screen keyboard’s tendency to cover critical parts of the display at the worst possible time.

In exchange for a little extra thickness and weight, and a $300 price tag (after rebates, with a two-year Sprint contract), $50 more than the Touch Diamond, you get a keyboard that actually works and a phone that’s about as good as Windows Mobile 6.1 gets. HTC has done a decent job with Touch-Flo, an iPhone-like grid homepage layered on top of the normal WinMo start screen, but the changes are skin-deep. Do something requiring any depth and you’re back in the familiar Windows Mobile screens and applications (and when, oh when, will the hardware get smart enough to known that when the physical keyboard is open, you don’t need that little icon to bring up the on-screen version?)

The phone runs on Sprint’s fast EV-DO network and has all the features expected of a contemporary smartphone: A 3.2 megapixel camera, network-assisted GPS, and access to Sprint’s varied multimedia offerings. A 1340 milliamp-hour battery should ensure good life, depending on how much Web browsing and video-watching you do, and a micro-SD card slot ensures plenty of storage.

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Reader Comments

BigLoser

November 11, 2008 11:27 AM

Man I just bought the HTC Touch on eBay for $250. I still can renew my contract and get the rebates for this phone. I just assumed this phone would be around $500 because I thought it was going to be marketed to business-people. I will try to sell my phone on eBay and also get this one.

Very cool!

anon

November 11, 2008 11:34 AM

blackberry bold has a regular keyboard not a touch screen. i think you may have meant the thunder

Kerensky97

November 11, 2008 11:39 AM

Having the onscreen keyboard auto popup is bad but just the icon alone is very useful. It allows additional input methods to be selected like ookii.org's Kanji input. So far as I know neither iPhone or Blackberry support Kanji handwriting recognition.

Steve Wildstrom

November 11, 2008 11:49 AM

@anon--You are of course right and I have corrected the error. The touchscreen BlackBerry is the Storm (Thunder was the development code name.) The Bold has a conventional keyboard.

Sprint User

November 12, 2008 04:58 AM

Few things to make it better:
1. START, BACK and ESC Buttons on the keyboard
2. 16GB MicroSD 2.0 card included for free.

Recless

November 12, 2008 11:14 AM

Including a 16 gb micro sdhc card alone would raise the value of the retail package by about 50 dollars.

lisa lipscomb

November 12, 2008 02:37 PM

I just purchased the HTC Pro phone and I tell you what this is the fastest phone I have ever seen since they invented the cell phones. I tell you I would not change this phone for the world. I like the Query slide out keyboard; it’s very fast as well. I’m a Sprint customer and I have no problem with the phone I think it’s better than the IPHONE. Any way good luck with the new phone.

Javy

November 12, 2008 08:31 PM

I got this phone 2 weeks ago from Bestbuy. IT was only $327 there! no mail in rebate needed!

The phone ios jam packed with tons of programs. Sprint nav is awesome. I drove up in an area of los angels which gets bad reception and it worked perfectly for calls, texts and emails as well as navigation.

It does come with a 1gb card, but forget that, I got the 8gb!

I dont like windows media player, but its all i got for now. I wish it played .AVI!

The camera is super sweet! I got great pics of myself, family and at a ucl game at night, you can see clearly all the players on the field. I recorded some footage off of the tv and it ooks amazing. no line or dark areas like in traditional cameras that shoot a tv screen.

The size is kind of bulky, but it is surprisingly small once you get your hands on it.

Bad things I dont like about this phone.
The included belt holster is annoying to me.
I am paranoid to scratch this phone!
it feels a lil bit clumsy, but maybe im just paranoid because its a new phone!
kind of sluggish.
the usb that connects to the phone is so hard to find at stores!

Hassan

April 29, 2009 10:05 PM

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HTC Touch Diamond=====$400usd
HTC Touch Dual===$200usd
HTC TyTN II=====$300usd

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HTC Touch Pro Specifications

• Size: 102 x 51 x 18.05mm
• Weight: 165 g
• Connectivity: WCDMA / HSPA: 900/2100MHz. HSDPA 7.2 Mbps
• Operating system: Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional
• Display: 2.8-inch VGA touch screen
• Camera: 3.2MP, with the second VGA camera for video calling
• Internal memory: 512 MB flash, 288 MB RAM
• Expansion Slot: microSD™ memory card (SD 2.0 compatible)
• Keyboard: Slide-out 5 row QWERTY keyboard
• Bluetooth: 2.0 with EDR
• Wireless: WiFi 802.11b/g
• GPS: GPS/AGPS (11-pin mini-USB 2.0,
• Interface: HTC ExtUSB audio jack, and TV out in one)
• Battery: 1340 mAh
• Talk time: GSM: up to 8 hours
• Standby time: GSM: up to two-weeks MSM
• Chipset: Qualcomm 528MHz7201A


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THANKS

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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