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Verizon Touch Pro 2: The Hits Keep Coming!

We've looked at the T-Mobile Touch Pro 2 and were impressed. We've looked at Sprint's Touch Pro 2 and were equally impressed. Now we turn our sites towards Verizon's Touch Pro 2 to see if we can go three for three with impressive versions of HTC's Windows Mobile Phone.

We'll cut to the chase on this one, so just follow the break for our impressions on the Verizon TP2.

Out of the Box

Verizon packages its HTC Touch Pro 2 much like T-Mobile and Sprint. You get the phone, spare stylus, USB cable, wall charger, software CD and owner's manual. You also get a set of international adapter clips for the wall charger. The Touch Pro 2 is a "world phone," so it makes sense to have it packaged with world charging abilities.

First Impressions

As with the other Touch Pro 2's that I've handled, the Verizon TP2 has a solid feel to it, with noticeably more heft than its older brother, the Touch Pro. The tale of the tape has the Verizon Touch Pro 2 coming in at 4.57x2.33x0.68 inches and weighing 6.35 ounces. I've compared the feel of the T-Mobile Touch Pro 2 to an iPhone, and the Verizon model isn't much different. If I hold my wife's iPhone fitted with a skinned case in one hand and the Verizon TP2 in the other, they would feel almost identical, with the iPhone being a smidgen thinner.

The Verizon Touch Pro 2 is fitted with a 1500mAh battery that has noticeable staying power. A full charge easily made it through an entire day of moderate to heavy use.

Verizon choose a shiny black finish for the Touch Pro 2's front and a silver/gray, matte finish for the back. A map pattern is printed on the speaker's mesh cover.

Whereas the other TP2's buttons are illuminated white,Verizon has gone with a green answer button and red end button. It adds a dash of color to an otherwise conservatively designed phone and definitely helps distinguish the Verizon Touch Pro 2 from the rest of the pack.

Another distinction is that the end button also serves as the power button.  Pressing and holding the end button turns on/off the Touch Pro 2.  There is a button located at the top of the phone but it is used to turn on/off (wake up/put to sleep) the phone's screen.

Design

For the most part, the Verizon Touch Pro 2 is designed identical to the Sprint Touch Pro 2. You have a different color scheme, back cover design, some software differences, and there are some variations with the keyboard.

Verizon opted for the 3.5mm headphone jack (whoohoo!) that sits next to the mini-USB port. The micro-SD card slot and reset button are concealed beneath the battery cover. This leaves the entire right side of the Touch Pro 2 bare, save for the stylus. I'm still on the fence about having the expansion slot and reset button concealed. Having used the HTC Fuze/Touch Pro for the past year and coming from a Treo Pro, it was refreshing to be able to access the reset button without having to take off the back cover. Not so much here.

To the left side of the phone you have the volume keys and no abnormally large (and mostly useless) PTT button (whoohoo!). The sleep/wake button (power button on other Touch Pro 2's) sits at the top of the phone at the left corner. The sleep/wake button seem a little more recessed that the other Touch Pro 2's which makes it a little challenging to manipulate. It is more receptive to a finger tip or finger nail than the flat of your finger. On the plus side, it was more difficult to accidentally press.

The Screen

The Verizon Touch Pro 2 is fitted with a huge 3.6-inch 480x800 screen that really makes the Touch Pro's 2.8-inch screen look tiny. The "auto backlight" feature seems to dim the screen more noticeably than other Windows phones. The screen is really nice with this feature active. But when you manually set the backlight to a tick mark or two below maximum, the screen really pops.

The touchscreen is very responsive. I had no problems with the screen responding to swipes, taps, or touches.

Keyboard

The Verizon Touch Pro 2's keyboard slides smoothly and is spring-assisted. The keyboard consists of five rows with the top row dedicated to numbers. You have fewer shortcut keys on the Verizon TP2 with only messaging, communications manager and a star key available.

The star key or "My Button" is a customizable shortcut key that you can map in a similar way you would map holding down the send key or end key. It's nice, but I would have liked to have seen more than just one mappable keyboard key.

The keys were well-spaced and easy to type with. I'm still on the fence about the tilting screen. It does make viewing videos a little easier, but I can't seen any advantage to tilting the screen for typing. I'll stick with the opinion that it's better to have this feature and not need it, than need it and not have it.

Software

I've always been hesitant to spend too much time on the software aspects of  Windows phones because if you don't like what's installed, you can (for the most part) change or add to it. I will say that the Qualcomm MSM7600 528MHz processor moves things along nicely. Apps loaded with ease and transitioned nicely.

The Verizon TP2 is currently being shipped with Windows Mobile 6.1. It will be upgraded to Windows Mobile 6.5 at some point, presumably on or about Oct. 6.

Verizon does have its fair share of bloatware installed on the Touch Pro 2, but it's not too obnoxious. You have Verizon Navigator (GPS software), Visual Voice Mail and a MP3 Trimmer pre-installed. There is a YouTube portal, WorldCard Mobile, Office Mobile and Opera Mobile (version 9.5) web browser installed as well. Verizon didn't overload it but but did install enough software to get a first-time Windows Mobile user up and running.

Verizon has one software feature that will prove to be a big help with those not as familiar with Windows Mobile. The Getting Started application launches a wizard that walks you through setting up e-mail accounts, visual voice mail, Bluetooth connections, WiFi setup, and weather setup. The application launches during your initial setup of the phone but can be restarted at any point to help guide you through setting up these features.

TouchFlo 3D

The Verizon Touch Pro 2 is running version 2.1.38240. It has the stock and calendar tabs as well as weather, music, messaging, e-mail, favorites, and camera tabs. The only tab noticeably missing it the Program Tab, which is replaced by the Start Menu of Windows Mobile 6.1. Tabs are customizable by hiding and re-organizing the order of the tabs.

With the keyboard extended, you retain the Touchflo 3D appearance (no action screen) with the only exception being the sliding icons are minimized. You'll need to touch on the box at the bottom left to reveal the sliding icons. This makes Touchflo 3D functionality more consistent.

Camera

We've already looked extensively at the Sprint Touch Pro 2 camera as well as the T-Mobile Touch Pro 2 camera. The Verizon's Touch Pro 2's camera isn't much different. If anything, the Verizon version produces darker images. Nothing a little work in Photoshop couldn't handle, but noticeably darker. Here are a few sample shots and a video clip. Still images are straight from the TP2 and have only been re-sized for publication.

Please excuse the background noise on the video.  My neighbor was pressure washing his driveway. But please note how well the Touch Pro 2's microphone reduces the background noise and picks up my voice while holding the phone at arm's length.

As with the Sprint and T-Mobile versions, there is no physical button to press to activate the shutter. Instead, you have a "shutter" symbol on the screen to serve as a shutter button.

GPS

Here's a good news/bad news situation. While the Verizon Touch Pro 2 is fitted with a GPS receiver, which is unlocked and will work with applications other than Verizon Navigator, it is slow. The slowest I've handled with it taking in excess of 2 minutes to acquire a satellite fix. It works like a charm with Navigator, but with Google Maps or Live Search it's slow as ketchup in a glass bottle. I did find that if you get a fix through Navigator then switch to the other mapping apps, the GPS was more responsive.  I did not experience any lag with the GPS tracking.

Phone Quality

One word can describe the phone quality of the Verizon Touch Pro 2: Outstanding. The dual microphones pick up your voice with very little background noise. The ear speaker volume is clear and the back speaker is loud.

I can't praise enough the inclusion of the proximity sensor on these phones. It is a welcome change from an HTC Fuze user who hated to have to hit the power button while on a call to turn on the screen.

Overall Impressions

Again, we were impressed with the T-Mobile Touch Pro 2 as well as the Sprint Touch Pro 2. The Verizon Touch Pro 2 will make it three for three. The AT&T version, the Tilt 2, is (hopefully) eventually heading to market, and we may go four for four with this HTC phone.

The Verizon Touch Pro 2 is an impressive phone that all levels of Windows Mobile users can appreciate. The added weight and size is well worth the price for the much larger 3.6-inch screen. This Windows phone zips along nicely with no annoying lags in software loading or transitions experienced. The screen was very responsive to the touch and call quality is extremely good.

I would have preferred the reset button to have been outside the battery cover. But if that's the price you have to pay for the 3.5mm jack, it's worth it.  It's refreshing to use standard headphones with the Touch Pro 2.

I am quickly forming the opinion that the HTC Touch Pro 2 can easily be the centerpiece for any wireless service provider. If you happen to be with Verizon or considering them for service and want a Windows phone, you'll be hard pressed to do better than the Verizon Touch Pro 2.

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

27 Comments
  • What I'm wondering is if ATT is going to drop the ball on this phone. Hoping to see the 3.5mm headphone jack... doubt it's there from the different blogs I've read. I guess in a way it's already dropped the ball being the last to come out with it, er... that's if it ever does... At least it will have winmo 6.5
    Right? :)
  • aws
  • Part of me is think TP2 instead of Imagio or Omnia 2. Screen size is comparable. And having a physical when I want it is nice.
  • I will admit I had a hard time making the decision to buy this phone or not considering it wasn't in verizon's stores and they love to screw up phones with their software, but this thing is fantastic. By far the best phone I have had from Verizon. My only problem is it is so new to them they don't have any accessories in stores (nor does Sprint). Love this thing though. I will have this for quite a while. No more counting down the days til my next upgrade.
  • i have owned the t-mobile version since launch day and i have never had to use the reset button. why do people keep refering to it?
  • It's a matter of convenience more than anything else. I like the convenience of the exposed reset button on the Touch Pro for those times the phone locks up or the other times a soft reset is needed to gets things back in order.
  • removable battery
    removable storage card
    sling media ready!
    co-pilot voice guidence gps for $35
    i'm there!
  • Doing a power down/up with the end key performs a soft reset. This works unless the phone is completely frozen up (i.e. keys don't work).
  • When will it be back in stock?
  • How many people can we add to conference calling ? I heard we are restricted to 3 on CDMA handsets ...
    I would request you guys to also include this kind of small details during the full phone reviews.. I feel most of the things are repeated.. esp in case of touch pro 2...
  • I agree. This is a very important detail, especially on this phone due to it being one of its strengths in the other versions. The Verizon Touch Pro 2 version of multiple calls and conference calls is terrible. It does not have a dedicated "make second call" or dedicated "conference calls together" or "switch calls." You get a "flash" button.I have been **trying** to use this feature to see how it works. So far, I can sometimes successfully receive a second call other times it shows that I am talking to the second call but still only talking to the first and have not been able to conference them together yet. Also, when I am able to receive a second call, sometimes when I try to go back and forth between my 1st and 2nd call it stops switching and I am stuck on one call. When I am on a call and try to make a second call, it sometimes works and it sometimes lets me conference them. These things are paramount for a business user and to neglect this in the review is a gross oversight. I really, as many others do, on WMExperts reviews and trust that they will bring key points out. Unfortunately they missed on this one. (They also missed a few other things that Verizon's version does not do as well, but this is getting too long now. . . )
  • I would have to second the QuickGPS suggestions (though I know you already tried it). Maybe reset and give it another go? After running quick GPS, my 3rd party aps (GPSWeather, Google Maps, Microsoft Live Search) all lock on really fast. 30-seconds tops. Usually more like 5-10 seconds to get my position. Prior to that, they were really slow to lock. 2-4 minutes, like you described. Not trying to sound like a Verizon TP2 apologist... just my experience with my Verizon TP2 north of Seattle.
  • I'll revisit the GPS performance over the next few days and report back.
  • You definitely should revist GPS, I don't think your review fairly describes the speed. Out of the box, the Verizon TP2 does cell tower triangulation for a near INSTANT though rather innccurate lock (2000-4000 meters sometimes). But it gets the map to the right location in Google Maps in my testing, withing 5 seconds on average. Then, GPS kicks in as it gets satellite locks on average about 15 seconds later for me, assuming good reception conditions (read: GPS works best outdoors). But even indoors I am surpised with how fast it locks. I am coming from a xv6800 aka Titan and this is SO much faster and my phone had many GPS hacks to make it quick and even function... I'm wondering if perhaps you don't have "Location" in phone info, set to "On"? It is NOT set that way out of the box. I would definitely turn that on, and verify QuickGPS is working / updating. With those two things, I get under 30 second lock almost all the time. As with most GPS devices if it's been a while since you used it, it will take longer to lock, quick GPS helps but nothing is better then a recent lock.
  • I find the exact same thing. Indoors and outdoors I get an instant ~800 meters, which is a tower triangulation, and if outdoors about 10 to 15 seconds later I am at
  • PS - can someone tell me what the card slot is between the MicroSD slot and the reset button? Also, I'm travelling to Mexico for a month at the beginning of the year. ANyone have experience, or know what's involved with getting the Verizon TP2 up and running as a "world phone" so that I have somthing availible while I'm there?
  • If it's a card slot, the card is permanently attached. I had to look a little closer but it looks like a build tab. On the other side of the "tab" is the phone's SIM card so it may be part of the SIM Card Slot construction.
  • It was because of this phone that I'm now posting on here vs. Crackberry.com's site. I had the Storm, but this phone distroyed it!!!!
  • OK... one more addition re: the reset button on the Verizon specific phone: Provided the phone has not locked up for some reason... you CAN RESET THE PHONE WITHOUT REMOVING THE BATTERY COVER! ***Simply turning the phone off, then back on by holding the red call end button performs a soft reset*** The ONLY time you need to pull off the battery cover for a soft reset on the Verizon specific model is under a completely non-responcive, locked-up situation (somthing I have not yet experienced, myself). Hope this helps!
  • Great review. As nice as the Imagio looks this may be better due to the keyboard. How's the touchscreen typing? For shorter messages I assume I wouldn't always want to open the keyboard. Any thoughts on how this phone will be with 6.5? I'm waiting until Tuesday. This would be a great buy at $150. Yeah the Imagio has a 5mp camera but I usually carry a Danon Rebel or a small Nikon on family trips. Those have bigger lenses regardless of mp (and don't get dusty and fingerprints in my pocket)
  • Great review. I'm a GSM person. Is it there any performance difference between the WCDMA's TP2's and the GSM T-mobile? (who knows what the AT&T will be... sigh...)
    I'm contemplating the LEO (HD2) should I wait?
  • i may pick up a Touch Diamond 2 (slim and cheaper) or even the Nokia N900 in the mean time, but i'm holding off on Touch Pro 2 until we get some firm info on a US release for the HD2/Leo. The processor and extra RAM of the HD2 are of great importance to me, more so than anything on the Touch Pro 2. The HD2 will be launched in the UK in couple of weeks, and hopefully soon after that we should get some inkling on a US launch, if there'll be one. There's the possibility of importing, but it's going to sell for roughly $800, and that's before importer fees, taxes, and shipping. i certainly wouldn't renew my contract at this point. We're roughly a year away from Windows Mobile 7, and i'd like to at least have the option to get one of the likely expensive Windows Mobile 7-powered phones at a nice discount.
  • Great in depth review. Anybody know if this version of the TP2 will work in Asia - specifically Korea/Japan? If so, I might have to switch allegiances from AT&T...
  • Something is wrong with Verizon's Touch Pro 2's power management. (I had T-Mobile's version and it did not have this issue.) I was amazed that my new Verizon Touch Pro2 was draining its battery life much more quickly than my TMobile version. Then I figured it out; when ever I get any notice on my phone (missed call, text message, phone notification)the screen lights up. This is normal. However, what is not normal is that the screen stays on until I manually acknowledge the notification or I manually hit the sleep button. I have the power management settings to turn off the backlight if not used for 30 sec and to put the phone to sleep after 1 minute. I tested it a few times to see if it would eventually turn off, 1 minute, 3 minute, up to 15 minutes and it still stayed on. . . Conference calling has been severely crippled by Verizon. Also, nice to note, the windows "start" on the upper left hand side of the screen and the physical windows start key on the bottom of the phone both do the same thing, which is a waste of options. I like the TMobile feature where the "start" on the upper left gave you a customizable drop menu and the bottom button was a home button to the home screen.
  • Except for a larger screen and a better onscreen keyboard, it pales in comparison with its predecessor, Touch Pro. It has lower available memory and processing power compared to Touch Pro thanks to all the junk HTC has loaded It removes keyboard short cuts. Compared to Touch pro, it does not have a dedicated Tab button, a Ctrl button, and Shift button is merged with Caps. Extremely painful to edit, copy, paste, undo etc. (esp. compared to the earlier Pro) It has no D-Pad. You cannot use SPB Mobile or other Shell programs as it conflicts with dialler, Call History etc.
  • I am pleased that Verizon Touch Pro will be very soon. In recent years, it has been too willing to keep smartphones test until they are barely relevant. For example, it released a version of the original HTC Touch over half a year of its inception Sprint version, and only a few months before the change was announced. I am pleased that Verizon users will not wait for spring for Touch Pro.
  • Does anyone know what the maximum size of microSD card can be installed in this unit? I have searched high and low to find the answer - to no avail. If you have had experience with this phone, what make, type of memory did you use?
    Thanks