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HTC Touch Diamond launch coverage

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On the other hand, operating the device with fingers is getting easier and easier with the new generation of user interface personalization, called TouchFlo 3D. Previous HTC phones had the “HTC Home” with four or five tabs in the upper half of the screen and the rest was the standard for the OS notification area. The Diamond is way more sophisticated with ten categories, which change the whole content of the homescreen. They are visualized as icons in the bottom and to change from one to the other, you must grab and scroll an icon or swipe from left to right (or vice verse) anywhere on the screen. The tabs house the following functionality:

1. Home screen with clock, notifications and upcoming events/tasks.
2. Favorite contacts: instead of just a few small icons, now you will see large photos with thumbnails at the right. You can choose the person by swiping vertically or pointing their thumb.

Home Screen - Favorite contacts
Home Screen - Favorite contacts

Home Screen

Favorite contacts
Favorite contacts

Favorite contacts

HTC Touch Diamond Interface walktrough



3. Messages visualized directly in the tab; scroll to change from one to other.
4. Email: very similar to the messaging, but you’d read your emails.

Email
Email

Email

Messaging
Messaging

Messaging


5. Internet with shortcut to the browser and to YouTube.

a. The Diamomd is touted for its “next generation Internet browser”. When announcing it, HTC claimed it delivers “desktop experience instead of desktop-like” and their words were almost the pure truth. Based on Opera, the browser is times better than the pocket Internet Explorer found on other Windows Mobile phones. The IE is usable, but very uncomfortable, while the Opera is almost excellent. The user experience is very similar to using the iPhone’s Safari: by default you see the whole page, fitted on the screen but tapping on any part will zoom in on it. You can rotate the display to change the screen orientation (using accelerometer) and use fullscreen. Numerous tabs are also supported. Loading our page on one of the showcased units, through the local WiFi connection, took a few seconds only, which means that the rendering engine is pretty fast. Coupled with WiFi or 3G network (HSDPA 7.2 and HSUPA is supported) it will open pages in a seconds, anywhere in the world. Usability is really great, much better than our first test of the Opera back in February, but we’ll wait for a final review unit to give our real opinion. So far, we are really pleasantly surprised.

Web browsing
Web browsing
Web browsing
Web browsing

Web browsing


HTC Touch Diamond Web browsing




YouTube video playback
YouTube video playback
YouTube video playback

YouTube video playback

b. HTC doesn't want to be behind the iPhone in any aspect. The Cupertino device first came with proprietary YouTube player, but HTC now has a very similar one. Through the link in the Internet tab you can start the application and choose one of the latest/top videos or search for a specific one. They will then start caching and will play in fullscreen.

Imaging album
Imaging album

Imaging album

6. Next one is the imaging album. A photo is visualized directly, so scrolling vertically will go to the previous/next. Of course, you can open the album as a separate application and then preview the images in larger size. A slide show can be started from here as well.

7. It is obvious where HTC’s inspiration came from for the music player. Large album covers are visualized one over the other just as the CoverFlow in iPhone. On the right you have play/pause and option to switch the track (alternative to swiping through the display). As in the imaging album, the full music player interface should be opened for more options. Here, the icons on the bottom will allow for different filtering (by artist, album, genre, composer, etc), once again giving us a Deja Vu of the iPhone.

Music player
Music player
Music player
Music player

Music player


8. The Weather forecast is something that almost everybody is interested in. HTC has already offered an application that gives you up to date information for a desired city, but now more than one can be added and the forecast is visualized with a very nice looking animation.

Weather forecast
Weather forecast
Weather forecast
Weather forecast

Weather forecast


Settings shortcuts
Applcation shortcuts

Settings shortcuts

Applcation shortcuts

9. Settings shortcuts to options, such as syncing, profiles, and communications.

10. Shortcuts to applications you want.
a. Here we find one of the preloaded games, in which you control a ball on a table by tilting and moving the phone. We’ve seen such interactive games in other phones with accelerometer also, but it is nice to see that HTC has finally added something in addition to the standard Solitaire and Bubble Breaker.

As the previous phones with TouchFlo, the most of the rest of the interface is standard for the OS. However, there are still few other new additions. These help for more refined appearance and the modified interface now looks as a whole new version (based on the original) instead of one just upgraded with patches.

  • In many menus the system font has been increased, so you can see the options easier.
  • QWERTY
    20-key QWERTY

    QWERTY

    20-key QWERTY

    The call history and the dialing screen have been modified. The latter now has iPhone style large Start and End call keys (respectively in green or red). The Dialer also matches the style of the rest of the interface.
  • For text input, the large full QWERTY and 20-key QWERTY has been redesigned. Still, we are not sure the full QWERTY is as good as the iPhone’s one, but is much better than the default.
  • The Programs menu has been redesigned to match the style of the TouchFlo 3D.
  • The Task bar is also updated with larger icons and text size.

Overall, we’d like to see the final unit to judge the Diamond and give it a rating. Design-wise it is great, although it has some flaws (imagine cleaning it every time you take it out of the pouch). The software is really promising, but Windows Mobile smartphones are known for their not-so-instant reactions. We would like to judge how the Touch Diamond performs after using a commercial unit instead of a prototype, although the animations in the interface were as good as they should be. The battery of 950 mAh sounds weak, but HTC promises it will be enough (a bigger one will be launched later as accessory for battery-freaks). The main drawback in our opinion is that it is not a truly global phone, but once HTC launches version on every market, most people will be happy enough.

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9 Comments
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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:42

1. (unregistered)


Your pictures are some of the greatest posted on any site today. Thank you.

posted on 06 May 2008, 20:07

2. aufedk (Posts: 14; Member since: 10 Apr 2008)


wait, how come u didnt say anything about it being the T-Mobile MDA Compact IV?

posted on 06 May 2008, 23:53

3. (unregistered)


amazing

posted on 07 May 2008, 00:13

4. (unregistered)


i agree about the photos, wish I couldve seen office docs in use. but...grammar dude, were you guys in such a rush to post this? peace

posted on 07 May 2008, 00:17

5. (unregistered)


If you watch the video of the guy going through the phone and its menus, there is some lag between different options which he has to press twice or wait a second before loading

posted on 07 May 2008, 03:01

6. (unregistered)


hey, that is a proto he is using

posted on 08 May 2008, 11:38

7. (unregistered)


EXACTLY PROTOTYPE, plus every one needs to get used to the UI, just like the F**** I phone, go to an Apple store and play with one guaranteed you'll have problems too. The HTC Diamond is incredible in my eyes, this phone is definitely going to force me out of my contract with VZW, hahaha. thanks for the awesome videos PhoneArena.

posted on 08 May 2008, 11:39

8. (unregistered)


TWO WORDS!!! TREND SETTER!!!

posted on 19 May 2008, 01:42

9. Bri (unregistered)


This is the phone I've been waiting for.

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