Messaging is simple and pretty enough on the Touch Pro.  It supports SMS and MMS, and users can set up personal and corporate email accounts.  There are separate Messaging (SMS/MMS) and Mail (email) tabs on the TF3D interface, but the user can view all of their mailboxes in one place on the Windows Mobile messaging screen.
The Messaging screen allows users to view the full message onscreen in TF3D.  Flicking up and down moves between messages, and tapping a message brings up the threaded conversation in the WM environment, a new feature of WM 6.1.  For MMS the media shows up as an attachment, which is launched by its respective application.

On the Mail screen the user sees a different envelope for each email account they have set up.  The envelope is open, and the emails appear as letters coming out of the envelope.  The user only gets a snippet of the message here, but tapping on it will bring up the full message in the WM environment from which the user can reply.

New SMS, MMS and emails can be initiated from the TF3D interface, but are typed out in the normal WM environment.  Email setup is quick and easy; the Pro supports POP3, IMAP, SMTP and Lotus Domino formats and can utilize Microsoft Direct Push when associated with an Exchange server, allowing for instantaneous mail delivery.  Personal account setup is fairly simple; settings are automatically obtained for many common accounts like Gmail and Yahoo and if they cannot be obtained the user will be taken through step-by-step to input the proper servers.   If not connected to an Exchange server the user can select a pull interval from every 5 minutes to once a day, or just pull manually.
MMS is again on board.  Even though this standard was supported on the original, we had not seen this on Sprint smartphones until the Pro.  Unlike previous Windows Mobile, BlackBerry or Palm devices, the Diamond and now Pro have a Picture Mail option in messaging which allows the user to send messages directly to a phone number instead of using an email address.  Like SMS, the interface is threaded and we’re pleased to see Sprint finally address this issue.

In addition to the slide out keyboard, HTC has several onscreen options for tapping out quick messages.  HTC has revamped their offerings from the original Touch; the 12 and 20 key keypads still remain (like a standard phone and SureType-esque, respectively) but have been reworked a bit.  The 12 key T9 keypad, or “Phone Keypad” as HTC is now calling it, has been especially improved.  There are now four columns instead of 3, meaning the dialing buttons are smaller, but the space key has been enlarged (our biggest gripe with the Touch) and the buttons are still plenty big for typing.  Another large improvement is that users can now select the Full QWERTY HTC keyboard.  On the Touch this only appeared when in a password field, but now users can choose it whenever.  Despite the small keys it is surprisingly accurate and we were typing error-free right away.  The SureType-like “Compact QWERTY” keypad remains unchanged, save for the re-skinning.  One thing we did notice that is either new, or we missed the first time around, is that pressing and holding a key will bring up the alternate option (for example, in QWERTY mode holding the Q will produce a 1,) which makes typing faster since you don’t have to switch modes.  Other keyboard options are the small Microsoft QWERTY pad, Block Recognizer, Letter Recognizer, Transcriber and of course third-party alternatives like SPB and TouchPal.  We still wish HTC offered haptic feedback for their keypads, but at least they are easier to use.

Connectivity and Data:

The Pro features EVDO Rev. A for high speed cellular data, as well as Wi-Fi b/g.  It also has internal GPS, and HTC includes a nice QuickGPS program that downloads satellite information for quicker locks.  Lastly, Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR is supported.

One of the standouts of the Touch Pro is the browser, powered by Opera.  It is a customized version of Opera Mobile 9.5, and unlike Opera Mobile 8.x it is powered by Opera Mini’s Presto engine.  Browsing is, in short, fantastic.  Complex HTML pages are rendered flawlessly, panning and zooming is fluid and simple, full-screen mode is automatic and it supports tabbed browsing.  Pages are loaded as an overview and the user can easily drag the page to pan around.  A double tap zooms in on the selected area and another double tap zooms back out.  The user can fine tune the zoom level by swiping their finger around the d-pad.  When zoomed in the browser renders text to fit the view, eliminating the need to constantly drag back and forth to read a paragraph.  Rotate the device 900 in either direction and the page moves to landscape view nearly instantaneously.

When not in full-screen mode there is a menu bar at the bottom with Back, Favorites, Tabs, Home and Menu.  At the top of the page is the address bar and stop button, as well as a close tab button.  Unfortunately it does not support Flash and there is no zoom pinching like in Safari, but Opera has the ability to copy and paste text as well as download files. The triumvirate of mobile browsing (Mobile Safari, Skyfire [which currently does not support the Pro’s VGA resolution] and Opera Mobile 9.5) may have been infiltrated by Android’s Chrome Lite, but we still haven’t lost any love for Opera Mobile. 

Pocket Internet Explorer is of course available as well, but we fail to see why it would ever be used.

The phone syncs with a PC via ActiveSync (Windows XP) or Mobile Device Center (Vista.)  Users can choose to sync any number of items, such as contacts, calendar, tasks, favorites, notes, media and more.  We tested it with ActiveSync and had no issues syncing with our existing Outlook database.  Officially there is no Mac support, but programs such as Missing Sync can remedy this.  The phone also gives you a Disk Drive mode option when you connect, enabling faster file transfers.

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