HTC Touch Diamond
The iPhone assault continues
Review With the Diamond, HTC probably reckons it has a device that can stop lurking in the bushes, and instead leap out and bash the iPhone over the head with a brick.
The first thing that struck us about the Diamond was how small it was. We were expecting something altogether more iPhone-like in both size and weight, but the HTC is a fair bit smaller - 102 x 51 x 11.5mm to 115.5 x 62.1 x 12.3mm - and, at 110g, it's lighter than the 133g iPhone.
HTC's Touch Diamond: remarkably stable for a Windows Mobile handset
In the hand, the Diamond is a pretty plastic affair, but still feels solid enough and has a slick, modern and minimalist quality to it. Only the rather cheap and shiny angular 'diamond' back panel divided office opinion on the aesthetics.
External controls are limited to the volume keys on the left, and the on/off switch at the top. On the faceplate below the screen is a panel with four buttons to answer or end a call, navigate to the home page, and go back a step. In the centre is a small, circular pressure pad. The four compass points click to allow you to navigate through menus, while running your thumb around the edge lets you scan through music files.
The on/off button doesn't actually have any movement in it. The gentlest of taps sends the phone into standby, or hold it for a bit to be given the option to fully power the handset down. By way of compensation for this less than satisfying tactile solution, the stylus – yes, it has a stylus - niftily shoots the last few millimetres into its slot with the help of the wonders of magnetism.
Running Windows Mobile Professional 6.1, the Diamond does what every other member of the Touch family does. By way of basic technical specification, you get 7.2Mb/s HSDPA 3G, tri-band GSM/GPRS/Edge, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, 4GB of on-board storage, GPS, an RDS FM radio and a 3.2-megapixel autofocus camera.
Who wants to know why Win Mobile = FAIL???
When the original HTC Touch was introed about a year ago, I bought one of the first 100 in the UK, no contract, and WINced at how much I paid. But the small size of it, and the apparent coolness factor, were enough for me to get over it.
Now I've had it for a year, and tomorrow night I am sitting in a camp chair in a queue for a new iPhone. I have HAD it with Windows Mobile - absolutely HAD it. Too many small fiddly menu choices that are IMPOSSIBLE to navigate with a finger tip, and many of them cascading! They put cascading menus on a MOBILE device with a finger touch screen?!?!? And that f£"$ing touch keyboard - I have small fingers, and loads of patience, but frankly I have to reach for the stylus for anything longer than one or two sentances, and even that is painful. And the number of times I have tried to punctuate a sentence and ended up bringing up the freakin' MENU instead I have lost count of!!!
I tried a 3G iPhone the other day, and was AMAZED at how much easier it was to use, type on, and navigate. The larger screen makes all of the screen functions MUCH easier to use - the menus are more logical and less fiddly, and the screen itself is just beautiful. I have a couple of Windows Mobile applications that I will miss (especially my Chess tutorial program), and the lack of stereo Bluetooth is criminal, but overall I think I can live without them just to get a phone that works. Now I just have to plan how to spent 12 hours in line tomorrow night...
And no, I've never owned an Apple product in my life, hardly a fanboi, but I have to hand it to Jobs on this one...
@Maryland, SCREEN SIZE FFS
The Diamond has a VGA 480x640 screen, and so it packs in twice as many pixels as the iPhone. That works out to an impressive 280dpi, and it looks fantastic.
Shame about the battery life, though.
got one - 7/10
I recently got given one for work and my personal phone is an iphone, so comparison is fair.
Funnily enough this seems the right combination. From an interface point of view I prefer the i-phone and the touch screen is far less fiddly than that of the Diamond, BUT....
What I want from a work phone is
1. Portability - diamond takes much much less pocket space
2. Functionality - Able to read and work on Microsoft docments a real plus without non-prop add ons. Also I do a lot of walking around strange towns (work related - please don't ask), so having GPS on board knocks my current 1.0 i-phone into a cocked hat
Personal opinion is they could have improved the touch screen interface, but otherwise a great little work phone. For a personal phone I would still go with the iphone though!
PS Biggest downside (which is not the phones fault) is the Norwegian OS I am stuck with - thanks procurement for that little gem.
Is the resolution really "480 x 620"?
If so, that would be 4X the normal QVGA offering (320 x 240) and probably more than anyone could use in a 2.8-inch display. If this is s typo, what's the true resolution?
@Neil Greatorex, others
Seriously, what's wrong with Windows Mobile? Apart from it being MS Software so "IT SUXXX COS BIL GATEZ WROTE IT LOLZ"? I bet it'd be a ninth wonder of the world (after Linus Torvalds and his mighty finnish brain) if it was "Linux Mobile".
It's not particularly hard to use- easier than other phones I've had, it has a massive amount of software available for it (and it's quick + easy to write new stuff for it w/ visual studio if there's something you need), and resetting once a week is hardly a hardship if you just do it at night- hit reset, stick on charger, fall asleep.
I follow this routine, and I've been using WM2003/WM5/WM6 for about 3 years on a few different handsets and apart from the occasionally badly cooked alpha-stage custom ROM I've randomly downloaded from the 'net, I've had no major software screw ups. The phone's only run out of battery power on me once and that was due to me losing it for a week with WiFi/BT/3G all turned on.
As far as slooooow OSs go, it's not slow for me. Maybe your network's bundled trillions useless, memory-eating apps with your version? IMHO, it's these that break and these that slow WM down to the horrible thing some people see.
WM6 rocks. Even on my newly-upgraded-to-WM6 2 or 3 year old XDA2s it rocks. Network added apps don't.
@"HTC FOR THE FAIL"AC, it's called a Crackberry as everyone who has one- especially those who use it as a verb (as in "Blackberry me")- are arses.