byChris Ziegler||September 10th 2008 at 10:31pmSeptember 10th 2008 10:31 pm
We're just going to get this out of the way upfront: this thing's got back. The version of the HTC Touch Pro gracing Sprint next month isn't going to win any awards for miniaturization -- but with the VGA display, extremely usable QWERTY board, and the time-tested, buttoned-up business efficiency of Windows Mobile, it's hard to argue that they really could've done any more to make it a ridiculously usable smartphone. Interestingly, the phone isn't actually any larger than its GSM cousin; the curves applied around the edges here definitely add a few optical pounds and it's still pretty pocketable (just don't expect to ever forget that it's in there). The keyboard is fantastic (as all HTC keyboards tend to be) and we were surprised at how tasteful -- nice, even -- the chrome rings around the around the edges of the two halves actually are when you see them. The backside is done up in a soft-touch grey that would probably look just a little better in black (or even the Touch Diamond's red), but at least the neutral shade keeps it just about as biz-friendly as they come.
Now here's the important part: after spending considerable time with both this and its QWERTY-free counterpart, we can definitely say that this one shouldn't simply be considered a "better Touch Diamond." The Diamond murders the Pro for total pocketability, sex appeal, and feel in the hand -- so you've really got to ask yourself just how badly you need that keyboard before you pull the trigger one way or another.