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Readies Touch Pro2 PDA Phone

Bellevue, Wash. — HTC’s plans for global summertime availability of its Touch Pro2 PDA phone includes the U.S. market, a spokesman said.

The 3G HSDPA phone, based on the Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional OS, is an upgraded version of the 3G

Touch Pro available through CDMA carriers Sprint and Nextel and, under the Fuze name, HSDPA carrier AT&T. Enhancements include a larger touchscreen, faster Web-page loading, sorting of previous communications by person and an improved 3-D motion user interface.

HTC declined to specify the U.S. HSDPA bands in which the new device would operate or whether it would market the handset through carriers, unlocked channels, or both.

Both models feature slide-out QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen with swiping 3-D user interface, but the Pro2 features a larger 3.6-inch WVGA screen vs. the Pro’s 2.8-inch VGA display. Although the keyboard slides out sideways, both devices can be used in landscape mode like a mini laptop, thanks to a tilt-up screen.

Another upgrade is a people-centric viewing history of conversations, sorting all communications — including voice, SMS and email — by person. The Pro2 will be HTC’s first U.S.-market phone with the technology.

The Touch Pro 2 will also be the first U.S.-market HTC phone with Straight Talk technology, which lets users initiate calls and conference calls directly from an email’s “from, to and cc” lists. Users then flip the phone over to automatically activate a speakerphone with high fidelity delivered by asymmetric speakers, noise suppression and full-duplex acoustics.

Other features appearing for the first time in a U.S. market HTC phone include zero-waiting Push Internet, which accelerates Web-page rendering and lets users preselect favorite web sites for immediate access.

 Another U.S.-market first will be an enhanced version of the company’s TouchFLO 3-D motion user interface, which delivers 3-D touch access to applications and to functions within those applications. The upgraded version will be more deeply integrated into a customized version of Windows Mobile 6.1 to deliver more consistency among Windows Mobile applications and menus. It also makes navigation easier by bringing the most important information to the top level of the user interface, enabling quick access to people, messaging, email, photos, music and weather.

Although HTC didn’t specify the U.S. version’s 3G bands, it did say the device would include quadband 2.5G EDGE operation. In 3G mode, it would download data at peak 7.2Mbps speeds and upload at peak 2Mbps speeds.