Touch screen technology is the latest trend, and handset manufacturers would be foolish not to cater to this particular market trend. However, for most power and business users, touch screen text entry, whether with a stylus or the finger can be a real exercise in patience. The conventional phone keyboard doesn’t even come into the picture at all, although teenagers have managed to reach astonishing typing speeds with those devices.
So when a smart phone has both technologies, it is bound to be a winner. So has HTC created a winner with the HTC Touch Pro 2?
Features of the HTC Touch Pro 2
First and foremost, the pull out QWERTY keyboard is reminiscent of a desktop or a laptop. In that, the keys are set in five rows, with the special character keys displayed for easier access than other similar handsets. The keyboard also slides out horizontally from under the screen, making it a bit like the Nokia Communicator.
A second excellent feature is the tilting screen. Brilliant really, allowing the user to adjust the screen to suit their particular level of comfort. Of course, the range of motion is somewhat limited, but the idea is pretty good. The screen itself is a rather large 3.6 inch, touch screen with 480 X 800 pixel resolution, which is a definite step up from its predecessor.
Turning the phone over, one can see the camera and a small button just underneath it. The entire back panel is actually an extension of a unique system that HTC has introduced in their new phones, called ‘Straight Talk’. Straight Talk is best explained with an example: if a user has an active call, and places the phone face down upon a surface the call will automatically be transferred to loudspeaker mode. This feature is especially useful in conferences, where multiple people are involved in a discussion. There are two microphones, designed to provide the best quality sound input through noise cancellation, and there are two speakers. The small button embedded in the back is a mute button. When on loudspeaker, the buttons glows green indicating an active call; when the call is muted by pressing the button, the button then glows red, indicating the person on the other side cannot hear any sound.
Some extras tidbits
Conferencing has been made much easier with the current layout. There is no need to whisk through various phone menus, trying to configure a conference call while the phone session is active. It is as yet unclear how exactly this takes place.
Of course, like the HTC Touch Diamond 2, the mobile handsets are being shipped out with Windows Mobile 6.1. Apparently, when Microsoft decides to release Windows Mobile 6.5, the users will get a free upgrade for their phones.
The phone will be available shortly in American and European markets, anticipated around April or May. Check out the smart phone, in all its glory on the HTC website, here.