Utterly. Blown. Away.
If I opted not to come up with three creative, editorially catchy synonyms to enhance my story, those would be the words I would use to describe my initial thoughts about the Touch Pro2. Let me assure you that, like Noah, I am no fan of Windows Mobile, and despite the Touch Pro2's positive impact in my mind, still see problems with the actual operating system's overall functionality. That being said, HTC's incorporation of TouchFLO 3D onto the Touch Pro2 is one of the many contributing factors that makes the device what it is.
The Touch Pro2 is the first Windows Mobile device that I have actively considered purchasing upon its release in the US, and for those of you that are familiar with my column and comments in general, you're probably thinking "What? No BlackBerry? No Palm Pre?" Both are fantastic in their own respects, but the Touch Pro2 is worth more than just a look. Offering a large, 3.6-inch touchscreen for those that prefer to touch and a sliding QWERTY keyboard for those that desire to type, it combines the best of both worlds. Personally, I am a member of the latter group, which is why I'm not a huge fan of the Touch Diamond, Storm, and other popular media-centric touchscreen devices (with the exception of the iPhone). It's nice to be able to perform basic touch functions on the large screen, and when the time comes to compose a long e-mail, to slide out the QWERTY keyboard and start typing away. In another positive addition (and a sign that they listen to the concerns of their customers), HTC brought back the tilting screen found on the TyTN (AT&T Tilt). Very nice feature to utilize when watching a video clip, which leads me to the screen itself - crisp, incredibly clear, and an absolute pleasure to use.
It's too early to give a definitive answer in regards to battery life or overall signal strength, but I can tell you that the device has been great so far. HTC states that the Touch Pro2's 1500 mAh battery will offer six and a half hours utilizing voice calling on 3G, and eight and a half hours on EDGE. Since the demo unit is a European one (offering the 2100 MHz 3G band instead of the typical US bands), I won't be able to test 3G - but back to my point. The device has been off of the charger since 7:00 AM, and with several calls, text messages, e-mails, and light web surfing, the battery life is still at 90 percent. Needless to say, having toyed with other Windows Mobile devices (read: battery hogs), I was more than impressed.
Stay tuned for my written review, and in the meantime, check out Noah's video review (part 1 | part 2) to get a comprehensive look at some of the Touch Pro2's popular features!