Web navigation, and indeed text input in general, is helped by the latest HTC virtual Qwerty keyboard. The basic Windows keyboard is unusable with a finger, but HTC has managed to squeeze a fully fingerable Qwerty layout onto the Diamond's screen that works well even in portrait mode. The only slight hitch is that sometimes the keyboard springs up and covers the text box you're typing into. Whoops.
The Diamond's screen is fitted with an accelerometer, so flipping between portrait and landscape for video, photos and web browsing is simply a case of tipping the phone over a la iPhone.
The only limitation of the UI is the lack of user personalisation
The 3.2-megapixel autofocus camera won't be winning any awards, but is a massive leap forward over HTC's usual photographic offerings, and compared to the iPhone's snapper is as Lewis Hamilton's McLaren to Jenson Button's Honda.
Out of the box, the Diamond will only support the usual suspect formats: MP3, WMA, AAC/AAC+, WAV, WMV and MPEG 4. But fork out $25 for Corecodec's Core Player Mobile – which plays pretty much anything under the sun - and you have a more than decent little PMP on your hands. In fact the Diamond's screen makes a top notch video player.
We copied across a 640 x 360, AVI rip of The Big Lebowski from the office Cowon A3 and were thoroughly impressed by the quality of playback. The video played smoothly, and looked bright and clear. The Diamond's music player also has a decent little graphic equaliser function. Of course, with only 4GB on board you'll be rather restricted in the amount of media you can store. This is where being able to stuff an 8GB memory card up the Diamond's backside would have made all the difference, but of course it lacks such a slot.
Being an HTC handset, you don't get a 3.5mm 'phones socket either. Apparently, O2 customers will get a bundled mini-USB 3.5mm adaptor so they can use any earphones they want and still retain hands-free operation. HTC should just bundle the adaptor at source and have done. For a couple of quid, they would be changing a major negative into a positive.
Who wants to know why Win Mobile = FAIL???
When the original HTC Touch was introed about a year ago, I bought one of the first 100 in the UK, no contract, and WINced at how much I paid. But the small size of it, and the apparent coolness factor, were enough for me to get over it.
Now I've had it for a year, and tomorrow night I am sitting in a camp chair in a queue for a new iPhone. I have HAD it with Windows Mobile - absolutely HAD it. Too many small fiddly menu choices that are IMPOSSIBLE to navigate with a finger tip, and many of them cascading! They put cascading menus on a MOBILE device with a finger touch screen?!?!? And that f£"$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.