http://www.new-cell-phones.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/htc-touch-pro2-cell-phone-01.jpg

This is my third article in the series from purchasing the phone to evaluating it. I have finally concluded that the phone is unusable and I’m returning it. Basically nothing on this phone works right and I am really disappointed.

I had high hopes for this phone as it looked totally cool. I’m a Windows user and I don’t care about operating systems. To me it’s whatever works. So I thought that the current Windows Mobile will be at least as good as my 3+ year old Palm 700p. Boy was I wrong!

First of all, Windows doesn’t work with the fingers and requires a stylus. But even then it’s broken. It also really needs a 4 way rocker switch to scroll through items to select. Most menus have no scroll bars so you have to flick the stylus just right to get it to scroll to the exact spot on the list you want. If you go to far you have to flick to back up and if you flick wrong you end up selecting the wrong item.

The phone itself was almost useless. It shows recent calls just above the number touch-pad and if you accidentally hit one, it dials that number instead… or if you accidentally hit the green key twice, it dials your last call and nothing about this can be configured.

When talking, the phone times out and goes dim (which is fine) but as it moves, touching my face, it lights up again because it thinks it’s been touched. So you have what seems to be a flashing light in your eyes. It has a feature where if you lay it down on a desk it will do a speaker phone but if you put it on a soft surface like a bed or couch then the speaker phone switches on and off.

When the phone rings, there are answer and ignore buttons but you can’t touch answer, you have to slide a bar to answer with your fingers and half the time it doesn’t work because it has to slide just right. So it doesn’t even work as a telephone let alone anything else.

I spend almost $200 buying software upgrades for better shells, better email, and other applications. I got the SPB shell that everyone talked about and it was great eye candy but it was also unusable, although not quite as bad as the original.

I could go on and on about what wasn’t right on this phone but the bottom line is – the phone doesn’t work, so I sent it back today. Luckily Verizon has a good return policy. I’m back to using my old Palm 700p hoping it will hold together till I find a phone that actually works. And that sucks because I was looking forward to owning this phone.




  1. ChuckM says:

    I’m running WM 6.5 on an old HTC Tytn I… works like a dream. Just wish it was faster.

  2. Canuck says:

    “I have finally concluded that the phone is unusable and I’m returning it. Basically nothing on this phone works right and I am really disappointed.” – Marc Perkel

    I rest my case.

  3. clifffton says:

    Windows Mobile makes me WinCE 🙂
    The only Windows CE device that ever worked properly for me: Dreamcast

    I crack myself up 🙂

  4. Canuck says:

    I’d forgotten one of Marc’s points. The phone frequently will wake itself and dial your last call just by putting the piece of garbage in its pouch. Even though the screen was turned off. But that’s “user error”.

    So Pedro, do you really think it’s possible every engineer in our company got rid of their HTC Pro because they couldn’t figure out how to use the piece of garbage? Plus we all reported the same idiotic issues. Plus our dealer, myself and her IT staffer spent an hour with HTC technical support trying to iron out some of the phone’s interface issues. Not one issue was resolved and none could be changed in the phone’s settings. Which so pissed off our agent she replace all of the HTC Pros at no cost to us a week later. All with contracts less than a year old.

  5. Ron Larson says:

    Has anyone here used the T-Moble MyTouch? I played with one this weekend. Looks very interesting. I’m considering it.

  6. Brian says:

    I am certainly no Apple fan boy as I have only owned 2 Apple products ever. i iPod nano and now my 3GS.

    I am confused about the statements on call quality. Maybe I am lucky that Austin has good AT&T coverage. Have not traveled much since i got it so there may be some bad places. Have had zero issues with calls or data. I do use it for business daily so again I am confused. Sure i do not do Excel models, just emails, texts and calls but what more do I really need?

    The only reason I moved to AT&T in the first place we years ago they were the only carrier that reached my last house.

  7. Rob says:

    As many articles have mentioned, Verizon is good at networks, but they suck at providing phones with good, usable UIs. Every feature of the phone has to pass the approval of Verizon lawyers and beancounters, making sure it does nothing to impede potential revenue streams. Ease of use is a distant second (third? fourth?) in priority.

  8. Marc Perkel says:

    That’s my experience. verizon is good but their phones suck.

  9. Marc Perkel says:

    Not sure who all to blame. is it Windows Mobile, HTC – or Verizon. I’m surprised that the phone gets good reviews elsewhere. And if anything I was biased in favor of this phone. I paid for it and spent a lot of money on 3rd party software trying to become happy with it.

  10. Josi says:

    I had a Windows Mobile and it really sucks. Now I have an Iphone and it is what other phones dream to be. There’s no mach out there.

    #2: You never touched an iPhone so what do you know, smart ass?

  11. mmaddock says:

    I think anyone that has problems using the iPhone as a phone must have a problem with the network, not the phone. I’ve never had any issues using mine as a phone in France, nor in the UK when I return there. Do wish 3G was available outside of major towns tho! Can’t understand why AT&T didn’t(/don’t?) have MMS for the iPhone. Very bizarre.

    Marc – are you discounting an Android based phone for some reason? I don’t know much about US networks so maybe Verizon don’t offer them? Anyway, I kept away from it mainly because I think it is too new to be really good yet. Whilst the iPhone 3G was good, I didn’t get one immediately because of a few shortfalls (MMS being one I use regularly) the 3GS is where it starts to come together – which is the point I got in!

    Shame about the HTC, but from my experience it does seem like Win Mobile cripples anything with any promise. The touch thing was frustrating for me too – you really do have to use the stylus for everything.

    Matt

  12. canuck says:

    You damned fool. You have no idea what a real phone is capable of doing. A friend who is an orthopaedic surgeon at a leading US clinic was issued an iPhone with diagnostic software that allow him to assist diagnostic decisions while away from the hospital and travelling. He easily views MRI’s and x-rays on his iPhone. There are hundreds of corporations that have company specific programs. All that and your damned Windows Immobile phones rarely manage to render a web page properly.

  13. Canuck says:

    Whatever. They tried using other “smart” phones in the past and gave up the notion until the iPhone came along. You may be right that other phones have better capabilities, but no one seems to be able to get them to work as seamlessly as the iPhone in the hands of people without the time to graduate a Microsoft IT course.

    If your other smart phones are such wonders, please explain why the iPhone accounts for over 90% of the web pages accessed by phones, yet only has a tiny piece of the market….. For now.

  14. Sai Kai Lee says:

    Dvorak me old curmudgeon…. Get yourself an Android based phone. There are a plethora of useful free apps, you can use Google Voice because you are in the US, and all in all, each of the Android devices that I have used are quite good.

    Sure, they can be a little sluggish at times, and they will probably not convert any iPhone users, but I’ve had mine for 3 months, and I am as happy as a clam with it.

    Plus there are a few things that Android phones can do that iPhones simply cannot do. A good example is zooming with one finger! Forget the noise, forget the fanbois, just get yourself an Android phone, and you can lay your old Palm to rest. I’m sure you would be happier with it that you seem to be with your windows mobile phone.

    SKL

  15. Meghan says:

    That’s a shame you really disliked the HCT Touch Pro2 that much…especially compared to the Treo. I currently have a Treo 700P on it’s last leg and have been patiently waiting for Verizon to come out with something comparable. I am addicted to the touch screen and ease of use as well as the functionalilty when it comes to business organization tools.

    I had made up my mind to try this PDA until I saw your review!

  16. Joe Boo says:

    Here’s a great example of the broken phone interface. Dial your voicemail on the phone. Place the phone to ear until you’re prompted for password. When the accelerometers in the phone sense the position shift the back light is activated and the phone comes “alive”. Great! Too bad it wakes up to the default page of the TouchFlo interface and not the phone interface. Fine… Press “Phone”, phone interface pops up. Options are “Flash”, “Calendar”, “Note”, “Speaker”, “Mute” etc.. and finally “Keypad”. Ok, push keypad, dial voicemail password. Place phone to ear to listen to prompts and voicemails. Press X to save/delete/forward etc… Look down at phone, phone comes “alive”. TO THE TOUCHFLO interface. I’m ON THE DAMN PHONE WHY NOT SHOW ME THE PHONE INTERFACE?!?! Press phone, press, keypad, select voicemail option. Listen… repeat until you’re so irritated that you return the phone to Verizon.

    IPhone: It’s a phone! You need a network to make and receive calls reliably! Why would I change service to a junk carrier just to have a flashy Apple app vending machine?

    Blackberry: I’ll be damned if I’m jumping through the RIM Blackberry Enterprise Server hoops to get Exchange to do something that comes for free. Nevermind their outtages, tiny display, and irritating trackball or touch screens. I hate the Blackberry UI 100 times more than Windows Mobiles touch broken interface.

    Android: Sorry, I learned a long time ago not to be a OS guinea pig.

  17. VelJharig says:

    Marc,

    Just a few comments about your points… that doesn’t happen with most other HTC Pro2 devices (based on personal experience and video reviews). I have an HTC Touch Pro2 through Telus in Canada, and I have 3 other friends with the device as well. If you’re getting those symptoms, your phone is broken (badly), or Verizon really messed up the OS from the basic HTC software load.

    On all the Pro2’s that I’ve seen, when in a call, if you hold the phone up to your face it will turn the screen completely off (not just dim it). When you take it away from your face, it will reactivate the screen, staying within the phone application. Dimming the screen but not deactivating it was a problem with the last generation device (the HTC Touch Pro), but if your current Pro2 was doing that, you have a broken proximity sensor or fubar’d software.

    It does require a slide to the left or right to answer a call now, but I actually like that change. It’s very similar to the iPhone unlock feature, and it was added because people would accidently press one of the “Answer/Reject” buttons when pulling older devices out of a holster.

    HTC’s primary interface (TouchFlo) does not require a stylus, though certain older windows mobile programs require that or a fingernail, and if you go into “All Settings” on the device, some of the control panels get a bit tricky without a fingernail. I can count the number of times that I’ve bothered pulling out a stylus on the Pro2 on one hand (and I’ve had the device for several months). In older applications, if you need a 4-way rocker switch, bring up the on-screen keyboard. They have very prominent finger-sized directional arrows on the default keyboard for that exact reason.

    I’ve gotten used to the “flick” style contact lists, but if you’re having problems navigating those, did you try selecting the letter of the alphabet from the right-hand side to jump to a section, or clicking on the search icon in the contact list (which will bring up a 4-way directional keypad and allow you to filter results by pressing letters on the on-screen keyboard)?

    ***

    Joe Boo, it sounds like you are describing problems with the HTC Touch Pro, and not the Pro2. The Pro had the issues that you describe with it sometimes jumping back to TouchFlo, but the Pro2 fixed those quite nicely in the Telus version. It stays in the phone app while in a call, and the keypad button is now the largest button on screen (next to the “End Call” button). If you’re getting that on a Pro2, then Verizon has done something awful to the original version of the OS load from HTC.

    ***

    That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be dissatisfied with the devices you both experienced, but I thought you’d want to know that is not the experience most of us have had with the Pro2 (and thus the reason you see the good reviews). Sounds like either you have some physical sensor problems, or Verizon did something odd with the software load.

    –VelJharig

  18. Sunshine says:

    First to all the iPhone boosters out there. I CAN ONLY GET THE COVERAGE I NEED WITH A CDMA DEVICE. The iPhone is simply not an option for some people.

    As for the Touch Pro2, I have used Palm, Windows Mobile, and Blackberries. Windows Mobile fits me best. I have experienced all of the problems that Marc cited with the phone. But, they were not deal breakers for me. I love the large screen. I view and edit office documents on my phone often. I’m a woman; My smaller fingers mean, I have an easier time using the phone without a stylus.

    I love the apps for this phone. Kinoma, Mortplayer, BeyondPod, Opera, Papyrus, and Myphone are my favorites.

    I was shocked by this review. I am still really enjoying my Touch Pro2. Just goes to show, most people don’t like Windows Mobile. Luckily, Microsoft is a large company unlike Palm. Windows Mobile is not going anywhere.


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