I’ve been fooling with this new HTC Touch Pro2 all day and I almost sent it back. The phone itself is good but Windows Mobile totally sucks. I had been using a Palm 700p running PalmOS and when I originally got it for the most part it just worked. With Windows mobile almost nothing worked at first.

The user interface is poorly designed to the point of being unusable. If not for it having a keyboard and arrow keys it wouldn’t work. It can’t be used with just the finger and requires the stylus for about everything. It lacks scroll bars in critical places and you have to flick the screen to scroll. If you don’t flick it just right, you either select the wrong thing or you flip past what you want.

I have the Verizon version. The first thing I noticed when un-boxing it was a large area of paint missing off the back of the rear speaker grill. Turns out it wasn’t paint missing but a map of the world. A really bad map. If I can find the right color of black paint I’m going to paint over it.

When I first turned it on, it dialed *228 to talk to Verizon and program itself. But it only got to the main menu and didn’t dial the option “1” to actually start the programming. The volume was initially low so I didn’t hear what it was doing until it looped and failed about four times.

The interface was cluttered and non-intuitive. Basically you have to fight every step of the way to do anything. Eventually you learn its quirks and you can get it to be barely usable. Many of the applications were probably written for phones with 4-way selectors that work like arrow keys and therefore there is no way to step one by one through the menus.

The operating system itself seems solid. I’m downloading some free apps to try to get the thing up to usable. I think if I replace enough of the interface with free stuff and some purchased apps I’ll eventually like this phone. And Mobile 6.5 is coming and it will hopefully be better. But the bottom line is that if you are coming from the PalmOS world to Windows Mobile you will be shocked as to how bad the interface is. I’m sure the iPhone folks can really laugh.

On the good side you do get full real multitasking so the email app is still running while I’m online with Putty checking my servers and using the browser. When connecting the USB cable to the computer it mounts the phone like an external hard drive so I can drag and drop files between my laptop and the phone. I also bought an app that turns the phone into a wifi hotspot so I may be able to drop my tethering charge I’m paying Verizon.

I’m looking at adding more apps. Considering something called SPB Mobile Shell which replaces most of the user interface. Downloaded iDialer to replace the dialing app. Looking for a contact manager that will allow me to import from Yahoo Address book (or at least a CSV file). The contact manager has NO import options. Comes with Opera but not very impressed with that either. You would think that you could tap on a link and go there. NOOOOO! You have to change the text size with the zoom bar before the links work.

My conclusion: I would bet that whoever designed the interface doesn’t actually use it themselves. It looks like the designers didn’t even own cell phones. My expectations for this phone were high but I’m really disappointed. Maybe you all can point me to the right apps to make me happy.

I’m looking for:

  1. Way to import contacts.
  2. Opinions on SPB Shell
  3. Want a launch icon for Mobile Putty (SSH)
  4. Replacement for Outlook Mobile

  1. Hugh Ripper says:

    A few of my clients went from HTC WinMos to iPhones on my advice and were simply blown away by the difference. Even with all the Apple proprietary crap and shit camera, the thing just works better. Microsoft really missed the boat with WinMo.

    As a funny aside, I got stuck in a parking garage for 15 mins today. The parking operator claims the PC controlling the gates BSODed. I suggested they hire someone to replace the computer 😀

  2. zecabledude says:

    I disabled the Touchflow 3d on my HTC Fuze (Same as original Touch) and installed the SBP Shell. I have never looked back. I think the SBP Shell is a HUGE improvement over the Touchflow 3D and seems to be less memory hungry.

  3. Zecabledude says:

    Actually, the HTC is the same as the original Touch Pro.
    SPB has a demo. You don’t have to take my work that its an improvement.
    It is a shame that you have to add programs to a phone to make it usable.

  4. Jopie says:

    SPB pocketplus was always the 1st program i installed on my WinMobile devices. Then SPB mobile shell came onto the market wich i also found a must-have.

    Until i finally caved in and bought myself an iphone after 10 years of stammering on winmobiles. Next one will probably be an Android thingie but no more winmobile for me EVER.

  5. Named says:

    Marc. One word: Android.

  6. canuck says:

    Whatever, after the hundred of times I was ready to throw the HTC into a wall in complete frustration, it gives me great pleasure to trash the piece of garbage. Your nonsense just gave me another opportunity to go at it again.

    BTW you’re not fooling anyone. Does HTC pay you well or just give you returned phones to hock?

  7. someguy says:

    I don’t see any reason why Marc Perkel should be a part of Dvorak Uncensored, unless he is J.Dvorak’s illegitimate son or something. Marc seems like a needy teenager who posts everything he does/sees/smells/hears/touches.

  8. mygoldens says:

    Well, I say for all those to stupid to use a real phone, get an iPhone. You know what the “i” stands for “idiot”……

  9. shmeebitdog says:

    just bought the chinese version of the touch pro 2 works way better than the original for t-mobile

  10. tennisgirl23 says:

    I am on my second phone in 1 week and I just got this new phone today and it has already frozen and I had to pull the battery. I love all the features great for texting and playing games during class but I can’t deal with the freezing and all the errors that pop up it is so annoying. I am really disappointed. I probably get 20 errors a day and it freezes every time I use it and this is my second one. I will probably going back tomorrow and going back to BlackBerry. Ugh!

  11. ECA says:

    Im sorry,
    I cant see why you folks use these things. WHY not a Portable personal computer with CELLPHONE access, and 3G..
    OTHER then THAT, a PHONE is supposed to be a PHONE, not a computer.

  12. em0rox says:

    I”ve had about 6 windows mobile phones and 2 pocket pcs that run windows mobile now, I still have them all and right now using the verizon touch pro 2. I agree that winmo isn’t the best out of the box but imo nothing is. I research and try everything for everything I buy so as my touch pro 2 is right now (custom cooked rom, programs and games out the arse) I wouldn’t trade it for anything else on the market. Not to mention wmwifirouter and usbmodem both let you get free 3g internet via usb/wifi/bluetooth on any device.

    SPB mobile shell is great as well but there are 100s of other today screen programs out there if you’re not too lazy to try windows mobile kicks arse…


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