HTC Touch Pro2 for Verizon Wireless Review

HTC Touch Pro2 for Verizon Review
We have published a detailed review of
 the European version of HTC Touch Pro2. Check it out here
Click here for the review of the T-Mobile HTC Touch Pro2
Click here for the review of the Sprint HTC Touch Pro2

Introduction and Design:

Verizon is the third carrier to release the HTC Touch Pro2, behind T-Mobile and Sprint.  They are also the cheapest, offering the business-centric unit for just $200 on contract compared with $350 from the other carriers.  We’ve taken an in-depth look at the original GSM unit, as well as a quick look at the offerings from T-Mobile and Sprint, so it seems there is little left to say about the Verizon version.

The overall design is nearly identical to what we’ve seen so far (it has the 3.5mm headset jack found on Sprint’s unit but not the GSM ones,) but like the other US carriers Verizon has put its own touch on the color scheme and battery door.  This version comes with a jet black face, and color has been added to the front buttons much like the original Touch Pro and Touch Diamond. One minor change they made was moving the power button from the top of the device to sharing with the end key.  It has made its home on the top left of HTC units for years (including on all other Touch Pro2 variants,) and since the backlight key still remains there we didn’t catch the change, thinking we had a DOA unit.  While it was slightly embarrassing to admit that we just didn’t know how to turn it on, it is another example of Verizon messing with things that really have no business being messed with.

The back of Verizon’s Touch Pro2 is gray, with a large, black mesh speaker cutout.  Like on previous versions, the cutout is strictly ornamental as the speaker is small and rests just next to the camera unit.  When held horizontally it becomes apparent that the grey markings on the mesh cutout are actually a rough map of the world, highlighting the global nature of this CDMA/GSM unit.  It’s the second best of the four variants we’ve seen thus far, but we still prefer Sprint’s uniform color and more contemporary battery cover.  So far all of the units feel identical in the hand, which is to say large and heavy.

Software is pretty true to the original.  There are no extra tabs, a la Sprint’s Navigation and TV tabs, but you of course find standard VZW specific software: VZNavigator, Visual Voicemail and Mobile Email.  Verizon has chosen a white-on-black theme with silver tabs, very similar to the T-Mobile variant. The display on our VZW unit had a noticeable yellowing to it as compared to the Sprint one.  It was not apparent until we had the two units side by side, but the Sprint panel is definitely better.

As we’ve seen on recent VZW phones, Bing is the preferred search provider as opposed to Google.  HTC includes the Opera Mobile browser, though IE is also available as an option.  We had an issue when trying to download Google Maps to test out GPS performance (it is fine, though Sprint’s one latched onto more satellites quicker); Opera told us was unavailable, and did not allow us to send a link after typing in our phone number.  It was very odd, as it worked fine on IE and on Sprint’s Opera browser. Actually, the VZW Touch Pro2 does have an older build of the browser, 16730, as opposed to Sprint’s 16893. While it may explain the glitch in selecting the link, it shouldn’t make a difference in finding pages.

The 5-row QWERTY keyboard is just as good as ever.  It is more similar to T-Mobile’s version, with less shortcut keys, but the addition of a user assignable favorite key is a welcome change.  As with previous Touch Pro2 versions we’ve used there was a slight lag at times, but this was somehow expected and did not affect the overall performance.  Call quality was stellar again and the speakerphone was just fine, but not quite as good as on the Sprint version according to callers.  All-in-all, Verizon did a good job of keeping the Touch Pro2 as close to the original as possible.  At a much more affordable price you’ll probably see more in the hands of the average customer, but we still feel the Touch Pro2 is best found in suit pockets and boardrooms.

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