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Review: HTC Touch Pro2

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The TP2 runs HTC's TouchFLO user interface on top of Windows Mobile 6.1. When it comes to interacting with the TP2, I highly recommend that you avoid the WinMo aspects of the UI and do everything possible within TouchFLO.

The reason for this is simple. Windows Mobile Professional 6.1 still operates with the expectation that you're going to use a stylus. That means the buttons, tabs, boxes and other things you need to interact with on the screen are too darned small for your finger to effectively use it. HTC knows this, and devised the TouchFLO overlay to make using Windows Mobile less painful.

The basic home screen within TouchFLO 3D shows you a nice big clock, your missed calls, voicemails, messages and so on. Running along the bottom of the screen is a dock with icons. You can poke at any of the visible icons to open up that application, or you can swipe your finger across the dock like a slider control to shuffle through the applications. The animations and graphics are nicely done.

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Most of these icons actually open or lead to applications, though several show lists of other applications or tasks. The settings tab, for instance, shows a number of selections for customizing the phone grouped into things that make sense, such as "sound," "wallpaper", and so on.

As you shuffle through the carousel, the two function buttons change to action items that are relevant to each application. I particularly liked that the Browser tab allows you to launch the browser itself, but also lists your bookmarks, so you can choose to go straight to a particular Web site if you wish. Little touches like that make TouchFLO 3D much more enjoyable than Windows Mobile. The user interface is designed well enough that even a complete newbie to WinMo phones is going to be able to access and interact with all the systems that they need to with no problems.

The problem with all of this is, it is absolutely jarring when you are forced to interact with Windows Mobile itself. WinMo 6.1 feels as dated as it looks. Windows Mobile 6.5 can't arrive quickly enough.

One last comment. If you were hoping that HTC was able to cure the TP2 of any lag, prepare for disappointment. I noticed plenty of lag when using the TP2. The Touch Pro2 has a 528MHz processor. This is just too slow. A lot of competing models are sporting 612MHz or higher processors. The TP2's 528MHz just doesn't seem to have the power necessary to make TouchFLO 3D, er, well, flow.


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