We've finally gotten the HTC Touch Pro for Sprint in house! It's due for release early next week, though some units have already filtered into Best Buy stores. The Touch Pro is the keyboarded version of the Sprint HTC Touch Diamond, with a few key differences:
- It's thicker to house the sliding keyboard mechanism - it has an SDHC microSD card slot instead of the Diamond's 4 gigs of flash storage with no slot (we'll take the slot for flexibility).
Key features: EVDO Rev. A data, 512 megs storage, microSD card slot, VGA flush touch screen display with TouchFLO 3D, Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, youtube player and Sprint TV.
Sprint believes that folks should get all the doodads they need to start really using a phone and it shows with the Touch Diamond. Included are:
- phone - charger (Diamond style, same volts, amps and connector as other recent HTC phones) - USB cable - splitter to simultaneously charge the phone while using headphones. The adapater has headphone jacks for the included HTC ExtUSB connector stereo earbud headset as well as 2.5mm and 3.5mm jacks - 2 styli - suede and fabric horizontal case with belt clip and noisy velcro closure - 1 gig microSD card - stereo earbud headset - manual and software CD
Here's a 7 minute video review of the Sprint HTC Touch Pro:
For those who loved the Diamond but pined for a QWERTY keyboard, the Touch Pro is hot. The 5 row keyboard is excellent: roomy with a tactile click for each key press and good texture on key surfaces. This is a side-slider, just like the HTC Mogul and PPC-6700 on Sprint, but it's the first to add that 5th row with dedicated number keys. The keys are backlit in white for nightime typing.
The display is nearly identical to the Sprint Diamond's VGA gloss display. It's actually viewable outdoors in sunlight, which is relatively rare for a Windows Mobile touch screen phone. Web pages on Opera, youtube videos and Sprint TV look particularly pleasing in VGA.
The phone is packed with features: GPS, Sprint TV, youtube player, the excellent Opera web browser, weather forecasts on the home screen, MS Direct Push /Exchange/POP/IMAP email, text and picture messaging. To make best use of these features, one of Sprint's "everything" plans like the $69 Everything 450 (GPS, data, Sprint TV Premier including NFL Mobile Live, unlimited messaging and 450 anytime minutes) or the $99 Simply Everything plan (everything including unlimited anytime minutes) make sense. That said, the Touch Pro DOES NOT require an everything plan and you can get it with just a voice plan if you wish to use your own GPS software and WiFi for data.
Call quality and volume have been an issue of note for some early buyers who got theirs from Best Buy's first batch. Our unit has fine earpiece volume and clarity. We had no trouble having a conversation inside a mall (inherently noisy location), though the earpiece does buzz a bit when volume is set to maximum (drop it down a notch or two to avoid buzzing). Call recipients commented on how loud our voice was, and clear-- nice!
The speakerphone is loud and clear and sounds particularly good for music playback and Sprint TV.
Speed has been good even though the phone is pulling a lot of weight with the TouchFLO 3D interface on a VGA display. The Touch Pro runs on a 528MHz CPU with 288 megs of RAM and an impressive 512 megs of internal storage. Our phone had 270 megs of free storage out of the box.
The Pro has a microSD card slot that's SDHC-compatible. We tested it with an 8 gig card which worked just fine. The slot is located on the side, and you must remove the back cover to access it (yuck). At least you need not remove the battery to swap cards.
* Size: 4.17 (L) x 2.05(W) x 0.70 (D) * Weight: 5.3 ounces * Connectivity: CDMA 2000 1X/EVDO Rev.A/1xRTT and IS-95A/B voice or data. Dual band (800 and 1900 MHz) * Operating system: Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional * Display: 2.8-inch VGA touch screen * Camera: 3.2MP, with autofocus, flash and video calling * Internal memory: 512 MB flash, 288 MB RAM * Expansion slot: microSD? memory card (SD 2.0 compatible); supports up to 16 GB * Keyboard: Slide-out five-row QWERTY keyboard * Bluetooth: v2.0 with A2DP support (Stereo Bluetooth) * Wireless: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g * GPS: GPS/AGPS * Interface: HTC ExtUSB (mini-USB and audio jack in one; USB 2.0 High-Speed) * Battery: 1340 mAh * Talk time: 250 minutes * Chipset: Qualcomm MSM 7201A 528MHz
Price: $299 after mail in rebate with 2 year contract
Please feel free to post questions while we work on our full review!
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview