Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Thoughts re: The Touch Pro 2

As the current owner of an HTC Touch Pro, I've been eagerly anticipating the Touch Pro 2's release in the states.

That is, until I started reading more about it...

There are quite a few improvements made over the current generation, including a new widescreen display which tilts, and a dedicated conference calling system on the back (as opposed to a standard speakerphone). They also managed to make it a bit slimmer despite it being wider and longer to facilitate the huge 3.6 inch display, and improved battery life (the T-Mobile literature claims 8.5 days of standby!).

The strange thing is, they didn't seem to really change it much under the hood- RAM, CPU, even the camera megapixels, are all about the same as the Touch Pro.

Not that there's anything wrong with that- the Touch Pro takes great pictures and has plenty of memory to go around, but you have to ask yourself why they didn't make this device more of an upgrade. Its the same complaint people have with the 3GS- its just not necessarily significant enough an upgrade from the 3G to buy a new device now.
Then the real con:
It appears that they removed the D-pad! One of my biggest gripes with the Touch Pro is its lack of buttons compared to other (older generation) Windows Mobile devices. It makes the OS harder to navigate, but at least you always have the D-pad when you want precision input. Alas, Touch Pro2 took even that away!

At least the HTC put a couple of hardware buttons on the bottom (which the Touch Pro did not have), but it really seems silly that we can't have a D-pad AND buttons! What's wrong with having our cake and eating it too, HTC? Why does it have to be one or the other?

As far as the OS goes, HTC is planning a WM6.5 official upgrade, which is nice, and a new TouchFLo interface that works in landscape mode.

Now, I'd like to point something out about TouchFlo...
I don't like it.

In fact, I did some slightly scientific studies of my own, and found that it took more steps to navigate the OS and get the information you need with TouchFlo than just the plain old Windows Mobile today screen!
The new TouchFlo might be better, but I've found the same is true of all touch-friendly mobile interfaces. But I'll save that for my next post... until next time.