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Put the Whole World in Your Hand

Global calling, intuitive controls and an oversized screen and keyboard make Sprint's HTC Touch Pro2 perfect for business travelers.

Put the Whole World in Your Hand

Thanks to a recent deluge of slick cellular handsets like the BlackBerry Curve 8520 and MyTouch 3G, you know the drill: another week, another high-end smartphone suitable for use as a portable small-business solution.

So what makes Sprint's most recent debut, the HTC Touch Pro2 (also available on T-Mobile), stand out from the existing crop of mobile communications devices? An oversized 3.6-inch 400x800 WVGA touchscreen that makes it easier to read e-mails, skim documents and surf Web pages for one, with a spacious slide-out QWERTY keyboard and world calling capabilities equally recommendable features as well. Then again, the gizmo is also notable in that all these perks come at a strikingly high price ($349 with two-year contract), nearly twice as much as competitors like the Palm Pre or iPhone 3G S.

On the bright side, equipped with the popular and widely-supported Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system, the device offers high-speed 3G internet connectivity and nearly a day's worth of battery life. Flipping between contacts and appointments is further made painless via an intuitive, icon-driven 3-D "TouchFLO" interface that lets you browse and activate applications just by flicking and tapping them as well. Still, it's the Touch Pro2's generous display, Wi-Fi connectivity and comfy, responsive keys that prove its most prominent technical highlights, making it simple to perform work-related tasks while traveling, or quickly shoot important missives off to associates back home.

Mind you, entrepreneurs shouldn't overlook the smartphone's quad-band calling capabilities, which allow you to readily connect with clients and colleagues, even while overseas. You'll also enjoy full support for placing conference or three-way calls, issuing voice commands and sharing text or multimedia messages as part of the gadget's helpful suite of commerce-friendly extras. Ultimately, whether the handset's oversized dimensions and noticeable heft will prove to taste or simply be seen as needless dead weight is largely a matter of subjectivity, though. Nor will the handset's lackluster 3.2MP camera impress, especially in dimly-lit conditions, or lack of a standard 3.5mm headphone jack please audiophiles. But as an all-purpose business device and multimedia hub (music and video playback are facilitated via support for expandable microSD card memory) that offers the flexibility of both CDMA and GSM calling options, road warriors may find it a welcome traveling companion, especially on marathon excursions that stretch across multiple continents.

Admittedly, rival models do offer greater functionality and more portability for considerably less of your hard-earned cash. However, if attributes like slick ergonomics, simple e-mail setup, flexible international calling options and sizable screen real estate matter, let's be frank: When all's said and done, along with one's keys, ticket and passport, it might just be worth stuffing the Touch Pro2 in your pocket.

Technology and small-business expert Scott Steinberg is the CEO of high-tech consulting firm TechSavvy Global. He's a business keynote speaker who frequently appears on broadcast networks such as ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and CNN.
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