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Touch Pro Review

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#1
akarno

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I have had my Touch Pro since Wednesday, so I thought it was about time I gave you an update of my option. I have to say that at this point, it is a little mixed.

A quick note on my phone history, as anyone’s impressions of a phone are tainted by previous experience. I have always preferred a phone that can be used as a multi-function device, rather than the other way around. I got an original SPV as soon as they were launched. I then upgraded to an SPV C500 as soon as they became available. I kept my C500 for a quite a while as nothing much better came along that I liked. When the Nokia N95 came along, I jumped ship. I am now back in the Windows Mobile fold.

I really like for form factor of the phone. I have been put off the iPhone and the Samsung i900 as they are really too wide and long to fit comfortably in my pocket.

The controls are well thought out and I like that the power button, when tapped switches the screen off and on. The keyboard is also really good. I have no problem typing on the keyboard.

As it is a while since I have had a Windows mobile device, I am struggling a bit to get used to it. I think people who have had the various generations of organiser/phones will not have so much trouble.

I have used Touch Flow quite a bit now and I am having some difficulty with it. At this point I am starting to wonder if it is my 8Gb memory card (more on this later) that is causing some problems. I will test over the next few days.

The main problem I have with Touch Flow is getting it to do what I want. One good example is the People tab. I have set up a few connects and have tried various gestures to scroll through them. Most of the time it works, but every now and then, it takes my up or down movement as select, or worse, select and dial (lots of frantic cancel call presses).

Also scrolling through the tabs it will sometimes lock for a few seconds while it does something, for example on the Weather tab when there is not much signal.

My biggest grip at the moment is with the music player. I suspect it works ok if you just want to do random play of all your tracks. Also probably alright if you stick to WMA as you can use the Widows Media Player.

While it may suit the iTunes generation, I am old fashioned enough to want to listen to albums. I also like the idea of carrying all my music with me. Ever since getting my Nokia and an 8GB MicroSD card, I have carefully and lovingly transferred all my CDs (around 4,700 songs, possibly around 300 CDs) to AAC+. I have also tagged each song and added Album Art. For those that have not tried it, AAC+ is much better than AAC or even WMA at low bit rates. I get great quality at 40kbs.

So when I got my Touch Pro, first thing I did was delete everything on my card and just loaded up my music files (around 6.5Gb) and some photos. Both the Windows Media Player and Touch Flow picked up the songs from the card.

Now some of you familiar with such things have probably already worked out the Windows Media Player cannot read the tags from AAC+ files. As a result, I have no artists or albums just 4,700 unknown songs. Touch Flow did rather better and correct organised everything (eventually). This is where the fun really starts. How do I get to listen the album I want? The front screen only shows all tracks (after pausing for about 10 seconds everything you select it) or song in the current album. But if you go into the Library, you can view by artist, album etc. So I go into album and it starts at the top of the list of my approximately 300 albums.

What if I want albums beginning with T or W?

Option 1, I could “Touch Flow” down the list, but every 10 or so “Flows” it takes the gesture as either select album or sort by something else. Either way, when I go back, it is back to the top of the album list and I have to start again.

Option 2, use the direction pad. That does work, but you cannot just hold it down, you have to do a separate press for each album. If you do it too fast it either crashes or gives an error. Then you are usually back to the top again.

Option 3, maybe, I thought, you could type the first letter using the keyboard. No. When you open the keyboard, it hides Touch Flow and you cannot get it back until you close the keyboard up again.

If I were going to try to design an interface that was intentionally annoying and difficult, I would have come up with something similar.

If anyone knows a way I can easily select the AAC+ encoded album I want to listen to, either with the existing software, or a third party product please let me know.

I am also struggling at the moment to get WiFi working. Have checked my settings several times and have reset both the router and the phone, but it always fails to connect.

Some of the software is great. The Opera Browser is very good, but again it is taking a little while to get used to the right gestures. I also like the Teeter game.

I think as I get used to its features I will like it much more, but at the moment I am actually missing my Nokia slightly.

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#2
vii_voo

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I have had my Touch Pro since Wednesday, so I thought it was about time I gave you an update of my option. I have to say that at this point, it is a little mixed.

A quick note on my phone history, as anyone’s impressions of a phone are tainted by previous experience. I have always preferred a phone that can be used as a multi-function device, rather than the other way around. I got an original SPV as soon as they were launched. I then upgraded to an SPV C500 as soon as they became available. I kept my C500 for a quite a while as nothing much better came along that I liked. When the Nokia N95 came along, I jumped ship. I am now back in the Windows Mobile fold.

I really like for form factor of the phone. I have been put off the iPhone and the Samsung i900 as they are really too wide and long to fit comfortably in my pocket.

The controls are well thought out and I like that the power button, when tapped switches the screen off and on. The keyboard is also really good. I have no problem typing on the keyboard.

As it is a while since I have had a Windows mobile device, I am struggling a bit to get used to it. I think people who have had the various generations of organiser/phones will not have so much trouble.

I have used Touch Flow quite a bit now and I am having some difficulty with it. At this point I am starting to wonder if it is my 8Gb memory card (more on this later) that is causing some problems. I will test over the next few days.

The main problem I have with Touch Flow is getting it to do what I want. One good example is the People tab. I have set up a few connects and have tried various gestures to scroll through them. Most of the time it works, but every now and then, it takes my up or down movement as select, or worse, select and dial (lots of frantic cancel call presses).

Also scrolling through the tabs it will sometimes lock for a few seconds while it does something, for example on the Weather tab when there is not much signal.

My biggest grip at the moment is with the music player. I suspect it works ok if you just want to do random play of all your tracks. Also probably alright if you stick to WMA as you can use the Widows Media Player.

While it may suit the iTunes generation, I am old fashioned enough to want to listen to albums. I also like the idea of carrying all my music with me. Ever since getting my Nokia and an 8GB MicroSD card, I have carefully and lovingly transferred all my CDs (around 4,700 songs, possibly around 300 CDs) to AAC+. I have also tagged each song and added Album Art. For those that have not tried it, AAC+ is much better than AAC or even WMA at low bit rates. I get great quality at 40kbs.

So when I got my Touch Pro, first thing I did was delete everything on my card and just loaded up my music files (around 6.5Gb) and some photos. Both the Windows Media Player and Touch Flow picked up the songs from the card.

Now some of you familiar with such things have probably already worked out the Windows Media Player cannot read the tags from AAC+ files. As a result, I have no artists or albums just 4,700 unknown songs. Touch Flow did rather better and correct organised everything (eventually). This is where the fun really starts. How do I get to listen the album I want? The front screen only shows all tracks (after pausing for about 10 seconds everything you select it) or song in the current album. But if you go into the Library, you can view by artist, album etc. So I go into album and it starts at the top of the list of my approximately 300 albums.

What if I want albums beginning with T or W?

Option 1, I could “Touch Flow” down the list, but every 10 or so “Flows” it takes the gesture as either select album or sort by something else. Either way, when I go back, it is back to the top of the album list and I have to start again.

Option 2, use the direction pad. That does work, but you cannot just hold it down, you have to do a separate press for each album. If you do it too fast it either crashes or gives an error. Then you are usually back to the top again.

Option 3, maybe, I thought, you could type the first letter using the keyboard. No. When you open the keyboard, it hides Touch Flow and you cannot get it back until you close the keyboard up again.

If I were going to try to design an interface that was intentionally annoying and difficult, I would have come up with something similar.

If anyone knows a way I can easily select the AAC+ encoded album I want to listen to, either with the existing software, or a third party product please let me know.

I am also struggling at the moment to get WiFi working. Have checked my settings several times and have reset both the router and the phone, but it always fails to connect.

Some of the software is great. The Opera Browser is very good, but again it is taking a little while to get used to the right gestures. I also like the Teeter game.

I think as I get used to its features I will like it much more, but at the moment I am actually missing my Nokia slightly.

Any comments on battery life, please?

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#3
jchamier

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I have had my Touch Pro since Wednesday, so I thought it was about time I gave you an update of my option. I have to say that at this point, it is a little mixed.



Thanks for your review, although what did you really think of it :-) seriously though I'm wondering if the lack of 3.5mm headphone socket means people will carry an ipod shuffle instead.

I'm tempted by the Pro, since I have a T-mob Vario II (Hermes), and love it. However I'd probably disable Touch Flo, apparently you can? As it sounds like it would drive me insane, since I already know WM6.

Perhaps I should wait for a WM7 device ;-)

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My devices: Apple iPhone 4S on T-Mobile - Android: Amazon Kindle Fire

Previously: Android: Huawei U8800, ZTE Blade & Ancient: WM6.1: HTC Blackstone, WM6: HTC Kaiser, WM5: HTC Hermes

#4
akarno

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Any comments on battery life, please?


Battery life is ok I suppose. I can just about get a day's use out of it. I think you will get about 3-4 hours actual heave use (internet etc).

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#5
akarno

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Thanks for your review, although what did you really think of it :-) seriously though I'm wondering if the lack of 3.5mm headphone socket means people will carry an ipod shuffle instead.

I'm tempted by the Pro, since I have a T-mob Vario II (Hermes), and love it. However I'd probably disable Touch Flo, apparently you can? As it sounds like it would drive me insane, since I already know WM6.

Perhaps I should wait for a WM7 device ;-)


I also bought an RC E100 remote controller. Basically a hands free unit with a 3.5" jack. That solution works fine.

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#6
flippy

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How many of the issues you've outlined here have been resolved by the replacement device you mention in another thread? Can you now scroll to W in your music library easily? Does the phonebook work OK now?

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#7
akarno

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How many of the issues you've outlined here have been resolved by the replacement device you mention in another thread? Can you now scroll to W in your music library easily? Does the phonebook work OK now?


It is now a completely differnt phone. Most of the problems were down to the faulty touch screen. The phonebook works much better, still not perfect though. The one thing that is still "pants" is the music player. If you have less than 20 albums, it will work fine, otherwise, it is still virtually impossible to navigate to the album you want. Also, there is little point it doing that as it will not play the songs in the right order anyway.

They could improve the music player to a workable state, simply by sorting out the playing order of albums (just needs to read another tag) and allow a quick jump on albums, like the first letter select on the contacts screen.

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