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Review: Telus Touch Pro 2

We don't get out much. And we especially don't get up to Canada enough. And so we asked one of our Canadian readers, Gregory, to check out the Telus version of the Touch Pro 2. And Gregory knocked it out of the park.

So, after the break, check out his impression of one of the most anticipated phones of the year.

The Phone

The Touch Pro 2 is a gem. It’s got a gorgeous 3.6-inch touchscreen, with 480x800 resolution and beautiful colour. The device also has a slide-out keyboard. The keyboard feels good to the fingers and I don’t miss a key very often when typing on it. It features shortcut keys for e-mail and SMS, or you can use a two key combination for Internet (Opera) or the HTC Comm Manager. I would have liked to see a key combination for Windows Live Messenger. The keyboard has a great layout, with numbers across the top, but no CTRL or ALT keys, so many popular keyboard shortcuts (like copy/paste) aren’t available.

In addition to the slide out keyboard, the screen tilts up to a 50-degree angle. This is something that I didn’t really understand before I got my hands on the phone. After using it for a while, I found I like how I can put the phone down on a surface (table) and use it as a miniature netbook computer. This is great for typing out a longish e-mail, or simply watching a movie without having to hold the phone in my hand.

The downside to the slide/tilt feature is the mechanism feels a little fragile to me, and I worry about the phone lasting through the term of the typical [Canadian] 3-year contract. The unit is also a little difficult to hold in the hand, and can slide out very easily when the keyboard isn’t open. With the keyboard open, the tendency is to hold it in a way that sometimes the left hand hits the sleep button unintentionally.

What I found rather bold was the choice to put the reset button on the inside, behind the battery cover. Truth be told, I haven’t had to go press that button too often either. The phone is smooth and fast when using it.

TouchFlo 3D is smooth and sexy. It isn’t without it’s problems though. I found some of HTC’s fiddling with the UI to have negative effects. Reminders/Alarms that are supposed to repeat, don’t. The screen lock is awkward and unpredictable. Sometimes I find the phone on and unlocked, while other times I can’t seem to unlock the darn thing between the “hit cancel then unlock” loops. The snooze setting for reminders will only accept 5 minutes for the snooze time, where as you normally get a variety of times to choose from with the default Windows Mobile reminder.

Phone Calls

While we’re all gawking at the marvel of the Touch Pro 2, the first improvement I was looking for over my Touch Vogue was how well it works as an actual phone.

Dialling is as easy as pressing the talk button and mashing a few onscreen buttons, or you can use the phone’s built-in Voice Command software. Unlike the Vogue, the dialler tends to do as I ask it to – and I call the person I think I’m trying to call. A feature I like on this device is how the screen will automatically turn off when you hold the phone up to your head. No more hanging up on the caller because your cheek found the “End Call” button on the screen. If you want to put the call on speakerphone, simply flip it over and after a second or so the speaker activates. Sound quality for the speakerphone mode is clear and the noise cancelling seems to work well.

When holding the phone up to my ear to talk, some callers did note that I sounded far away until I enabled the Auto Volume Control in the phone settings.

Toys

The Touch Pro 2 has a 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera, but no camera "button." I found it tedious to get back to the home screen, where I find the shortcut to the camera application. The camera has autofocus so it’s much more useful for snapping business cards to OneNote. You choose what to focus on by tapping on the touchscreen, which is fairly useful. Image quality is typical of HTC Windows Mobile devices – usually the colours are muted and it’s still tremendously easy to blur the photo.

GPS is available ... ish. Officially, the GPS is available only for Telus Navigator. There is no QuickGPS program on the device and initial satellite acquisition can take a long time. Of the two TP2 devices in our household, only one of them will consistently get a GPS lock. Once you get it running, the GPS is available to other programs including Google Latitude, unofficially. The API is present on this phone for running Latitude in the background using cell-tower triangulation, which is handy.

Aimed at business users, the device can still hold its own in the multimedia department. The phone comes with PowerPoint and something called JETCET Mobile Presenter. There is TV Out via the Mini-USB.

I loaded a bunch of Quicktime and DivX movies onto the Micro-SD card and it had no problems with playing either format. The position of the speaker on the back of the keyboard means the sound is muffled when using the phone to watch a movie with the keyboard open as a stand. The bottom of the phone features that 3.5mm headphone jack right beside the Mini-USB connector. You can use either connector for your headphones, and HTC provides a nifty equalizer program as well. What’s really helpful is you can plug a charger in – any USB charger and still use headphones, without having to remember that MiniUSB splitter. Today I’m using my old iPod headphones ... the iPod is gathering dust now.

Even though other Touch Pro 2’s have them, there is no FM Tuner on this model that I can find, nor is the front facing camera available.

Connections

What I really like about the way HTC customizes Windows Mobile is how they wrap the WiFi and Bluetooth connections. The interfaces for both are great for fat fingers or for the keyboard. Pairing a Bluetooth device is painless as is connecting to a WiFi hotspot. That shortcut key to the Comm Manager is a great help too.

The Telus Touch Pro 2 is also a world phone. The phone comes with a Telus SIM Card, and it supports a bunch of GSM goodness. It should be mentioned though, the phone is SIM locked to that Telus SIM Card, and there is an unlock utility in the settings menu ... if you have the code.

Bottom Line

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a Windows Mobile phone that causes others to look and say “wow.” In the last week I’ve had that happen almost every time I check my email with another person nearby.

The phone does what it’s supposed to, when it’s supposed to and it is feature packed. I find that I use it instead of my laptop computer for a lot of tasks, including remote server administration.

It’s expensive, but worth it.

The Specs:

  • Storage 512 MB
  • RAM: 288 MB
  • Processor: Qualcomm MSM7600 at 528 MHz
  • Screen: 3.6” WVGA 480x800, 65536 Colours
  • Bluetooth 2.1/2.1+EDR
  • Battery: 1500 mAh (6 hours talk, 270 hours standby)
  • Connectors: MiniUSB, 3.5mm stereo headphone
  • Camera: 3.2 Megapixel, with Autofocus
  • GPS: aGPS (Officially only for Telus Navigator)
  • WiFi (802.11 b/g)
  • Data: EVDO REV A, HSPA
  • Networks: 1X EVDO REV A 800/1900MHz, HSPA 2100MHz, GSM/ GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900MHz
  • G-Sensor
  • Light Sensor, auto backlight on the LCD & Keyboard
  • Backlit Keyboard with screen that tilts to 50 degrees.
  • Size & Weight: 114.15 mm(L)x 63 mm(W)x 13.35 mm(T), 115 g with battery pack

Included Software:

  • HTC TouchFlo 3D
  • Adobe Reader LE
  • HTC Album
  • HTC Audio Booster (for Headphone Use)
  • Bubble Breaker
  • HTC Calculator
  • HTC Camera / Video
  • HTC Comm Manager
  • HTC Streaming Media
  • HTC YouTube App
  • JETCET PRINT 5
  • JETCET Presenter 5
  • MS Live Search (link)
  • MP3 Trimmer
  • HTC Mail Setup
  • MS Live Messenger
  • TELUS Mobile TV
  • TELUS Navigator (link)
  • MS Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote)
  • Opera Browser 9.5
  • RSS Hub
  • MS Remote Desktop Mobile
  • SIM Manager
  • Solitaire
  • TELUS Pocket Express
  • Teeter
  • HTC Voice Recorder
  • Windows Media Player
  • HTC Wireless Modem
  • WorldCard Mobile
  • MS Voice Command

 Pricing: $649 no contract / $599 1-year / $ 549 2-year / $249 3-year.

Phil is the father of two beautiful girls and is the Dad behind Modern Dad. Before that he spent seven years at the helm of Android Central. Before that he spent a decade in a newsroom of a two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist newspaper. Before that — well, we don't talk much about those days. Subscribe to the Modern Dad newsletter!

34 Comments
  • Sweet phone...
    I cant wait for this one!!! Oct 1, my year is up, and gets me my 150.00 rebate! WOOHOO! Oh yea, nice review by the way!
  • Nice review. My worry about the TP2 is that lacking the 5-way control it won't be very one-hand friendly. Any thoughts on that?
  • SPRINT!
  • What browser does it launch into? +1 for Sprint!
  • BReal, I think that is Opera 9.5...And yes, the above description says 9.5. Opera 9.7 is still in beta.
  • I'm in Montreal, I own this phone. Press To Unlock: I was able to disable the automatic locking of the phone with a registry key.
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=4264087&postcount=11 Fixing this make a huge difference for me, because without this fix, anytime you turn off the screen it will go back to the Home screen. It's worse than this!! You will see where you were (ex: email screen, google maps, the browser) for about a second, then it's back to the first tab of TouchFlo! What a tease! Terrible! especially if you are using google maps and turning off the screen often to save battery. The registry key fixes both problems and now the phone is usable. GPS:
    Just plain never worked for me. I could never get a single sattelite with google map. With the GPS registry .cab fix, however, I now get a lock in less than 2 seconds! (Same as my previous HTC Touch on Bell) http://forum.ppcgeeks.com/showthread.php?t=36639 ----
    One huge drawback: there is no case included with this phone! You'll have to go out and buy one, and there are no belt
    clip available here at the many Telus stores. ---- Personally I find the mechanism feels very solid and I have no trouble holding the device without the keyboard out. This device feels similar to an iPhone, but much thicker. ----
    I was using an HTC Touch on Bell. Upgraded it to 6.1, and lately to a cooked 6.5 ROM. Although I don't really like the TouchFlo home screen - because my mail and meetings are not up front - I cannot believe how great the UI by HTC is.
    Compared to standard Windows Movie, almost every screen is more refined. It's more refined than the Touch Diamond as well, which one my collegue has and he was a little jealous of the improvements here. It's more finger-friendly, the Start menu replacement is great, the dialer, the on-screen keyboard, etc. This is a huge upgrade, and I am not currently planning to go for a cooked ROM by fear of loosing some of this. As I wrote above, my biggest issue was that coming out of standby was always going back to the 'Clock' screen of TouchFlo and there was a 2 seconds delay during the whole ordeal. Now that's fixed for me with the registry tweak. ----
    Opera 9... I can't believe how far this thing has gone. The Touch Pro has also a Zoom bar below the the screen (not IN the screen) to zoom in web pages, and it works in in Mail as well for text size.
  • I bought this device outright without contract for 467$ CAN plus tax by going through the "telus team store" using these instruction http://www.howardforums.com/showpost.php?p=12907399&postcount=17 It was shipped within hours and I got it on the third day.
  • btw, remember how on an HTC device, the TouchFlo looks slick but eventually you click something, for example click to read or write an email or SMS, and you're kicked back into good old Windows Mobile 6.x look? It doesn't do that on the Touch pro 2. Every screen has got a skin that makes it more iphone-like or finger friendly. Even the context menu, start menu, or the control panel applets have been skinned. the drawback of that is that you can't opt out of any of it. For example, clicking the battery icon does not show you the power screen, and clicking the "EV" icon doesn't show you the network. That whole area always only show you the HTC notification screen, no matter where you click.
  • I suppose MS Office included is for Windows Mobile & you have to buy the Windows version of MS Office Is MS Outlook included with phone?
  • @John
    Just like my last WM device, The TP2 comes with a time-limited demo copy of Microsoft Outlook for the PC. You can also use Microsoft Myphone if you want to back up your PIM information somewhere, which is what I do.
  • I hope they sell replacement Telus TouchPro2 battery doors so I can replace the forthcoming Sprint battery door with this one
  • I'm amazed nobody (as far as I can tell) has commented on the dimensions. Is the Telus version really thinner and lighter than the Touch DIAMOND 2? 13.35 mm and 115g? Or is this a misprint everywhere?
    Please clarify.
  • Misprint no doubt.
  • Nice that it actually plays Quicktime and DivX movies. The flexibility of WM that is so heralded, I assume? Impressive. Got my hopes up so high for WM7 that anything less than the spectacular effort put into the Zune HD will not only be a shocking disappointment, but also frustrating. *fingers crossed* :)
  • I have the Touch Pro 2 from T-mobile and the battery life is terrible! Can't even make it one day without charging.
  • where is the led light and flash for the camera!!!!!!!! why would they take that feature away!!! thats a biggie for me........
  • Great phone! I do agree about the stand by button...always seem to be shutting off my screen by accident...also the whole copy and paste feature cant be done in alot of the touch flo screens..have to resort to the "more button" to get to the old operating program to do any of the copy and paste. Anyone here have any trouble withe the windows update? I keep getting an error message that tells me it cant connect, check your date and time on the device...I have my "use my data plan to check for updates" checked ...so what gives there? I also love the built in MP3 Trimmer...nice feature!
  • one day i went shopping outside ?and in an links of london store?I found some kinds of links of london i love most?they are: Links of london mens bracelets Links of london mens bracelets Links of london mens bracelets Links of london mens bracelets Links of london mens bracelets Links of london mens bracelets Links of london mens bracelets Links of london mens bracelets Links of london mens bracelets Links of london mens bracelets shopping Links of London Bracelets shopping Links of London Bracelets shopping Links of London Bracelets shopping Links of London Bracelets shopping Links of London Bracelets shopping Links of London Bracelets shopping Links of London Bracelets shopping Links of London Bracelets shopping Links of London Bracelets shopping Links of London Bracelets
  • one day i went shopping outside ?and in an links of london store?I found some kinds of links of london i love most?they are: watch Links of london bracelets watch Links of london bracelets watch Links of london bracelets watch Links of london bracelets watch Links of london bracelets watch Links of london bracelets watch Links of london bracelets watch Links of london bracelets watch Links of london bracelets watch Links of london bracelets charms for Links of london bracelets charms for Links of london bracelets charms for Links of london bracelets charms for Links of london bracelets charms for Links of london bracelets charms for Links of london bracelets charms for Links of london bracelets charms for Links of london bracelets charms for Links of london bracelets charms for Links of london bracelets
  • Does anyone know how to disable the shutter sound on the htc touch pro 2 cdma Telus version?
    It is so loud and very annoying Thanks
  • I have the Touch Pro and am tired of the "freeze" for several seconds after ending a call before it's functional again. Is this unique to my Touch Pro? Does the TP2 have the same problem? If not, I would love to upgrade. Can't seem to test these phones without buying. Any comments would be appreciated.
  • I am with bell Palm pre and i am planning on gettin telus htc touch pro 2. will it work if i unlock the phone?
  • I am currently on Rogers. I am looking to buy a Telus HTC Pro Touch 2. I was told that it has a sim slot. Can this phone be cracked and jailbroken? Thanks, Bart
  • Back to fits perfectly. In front is a bit too little, so that all four corners can not be connected simultaneously (more than two).
  • Wish I have the luxury of time to consider using the benefits these site can offer.....
  • Every screen has got a skin that makes it more iphone-like or finger friendly. Even the context menu, start menu, or the control panel applets have been skinned.
  • It doesn't do that on the Touch pro 2. Every screen has got a skin that makes it more iphone-like or finger friendly. Even the context menu, start menu, or the control panel applets have been skinned.
  • Every screen has got a skin that makes it more iphone-like or finger friendly. Even the context menu, start menu, or the control panel applets have been skinned.
  • If anyone is using google maps and turning off the screen often to save battery. The registry key fixes both problems and now the phone is usable.
  • I think its a great phones I will go with htc brand..
  • htc belive in quqlity and I belive in htc,great features..
  • Touch Pro 2 have a latest technology with the great features......this called a smart phone.
  • Touch pro 2 - what an amazing device,very nice,looking simply superb.
  • What a cell!!!!!!! I am going to buy it a.s.a.p.