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HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review

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HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review
We really loved TouchFLO 3D (TF3D) when we saw it on the original, and it has only been improved on the CDMA variant.  The “homescreen” is an interface in itself, and users will rarely have to venture outside of its environment.  Of course the device is powered by Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, so once you get outside of TF3D the user will find the familiar WM interface of devices past, but like we said there is often little reason to ever leave TF3D.

HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review
Along the bottom of TF3D are several tabs.  The most noticeable difference between the original and Sprint’s version is that the interface is more colorful and shinier.  The stock background is a dark blue, as opposed to black, and the icons at the bottom are now color when selected.  While you can just tap to select a tab, they do not all fit on the screen at once, so you will actually place your finger on the bar and slide right or left.  The selected tab becomes larger and there is a transparent icon and text over the display to tell you what tab you are on as you glide across through the tab bar.  It is very intuitive and slick, and works as advertised.  The dedicated Home key on the pad will return you to the main tab whenever you wish.


The tabs have been rearranged, and a new one added for Sprint TV.  In order they run: Home, People, Messaging, Mail, Sprint Music, Pictures and Videos, Sprint TV, Internet, Weather, Settings, Programs.  As you are swiping between the tabs the full screen animation is now in color, and each tab has a unique one.


HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review
HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review
HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review
HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review
HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review
HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review
HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review
HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review

The home tab has undergone the biggest makeover, though the overall layout is pretty much the same.  Gone is the flip clock, which we weren’t crazy about to begin with, replaced with a more traditional digital clock on a translucent background.  The date has been moved from the top bar to underneath the clock, and instead of the simple carrier text you have a Sprint logo so vivid it almost appears printed on the screen.

HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review
The People tab lets the user set visual speed dials for their contact list.  The contact’s assigned picture shows up and the user can flip through them with a swipe down or up on the screen.  Messages displays SMS and MMS messages, while Mail displays email accounts.  Email messages are previewed as a letter coming out of an envelope, and again the user can scroll through different messages by flicking up and down on the letter. 

HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review
The Sprint Music tab is nearly identical to the original, but there is a link up top to the Sprint Music Store which allows users to download tracks over the air.  The user can play music directly from the tab, and album art is displayed.  When playing an entire album the art for each track is no longer displayed, just one, which was one of our complaints the first time around.  Unlike all other iterations of the Music Store, it is web-based on the Diamond.  We actually prefer this latest incarnation, and the store is easy to navigate, preview and download from.

HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review
HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review
Pictures and Videos allow the user to scroll through their albums directly from the main screen.  Flicking up and down moves the user through their images and movies, and tapping on one will bring it into full screen mode.   When in full-screen the user can rotate the device and pictures will change orientation.  Swiping your finger around the d-pad will zoom in and out, and the same gesture onscreen will produce the same results.  From this tab the camera and camcorder can also be launched.

The new tab is Sprint TV, which allows the user to launch that, Sprint Radio and SEE, Sprint’s made-for-mobile content.

HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review
HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review
Internet launches the browser, but also displays the YouTube application and any user-defined favorites for quick, one touch access.  The Weather tab is very cool.  It allows users to add up to 10 cities worldwide and has some slick animations for the current conditions.  For instance, when it’s raining the screen will appear to get drops on it before a windshield wiper cleans them off.  Flicking up and down through the cities plays different animations related to the current conditions.  You can also pull the five day forecast for the location.  If you want even more information it will launch the browser and take you to AccuWeather’s homepage.

The settings tab is in essence a skinned, watered down version of the standard WM settings screen.  Settings available are Sync Data, Sound, Wallpaper, Communications (Comm Manager,) Data (to manage weather download options) and About.  The user can also launch All Settings, which takes them to the WM settings menu with all the options.  The last tab, Programs, is a simple launcher that allows the user to set up to 18 shortcuts to programs.  It shows 9 per screen, to access the second screen the user simply flicks their thumb upward.  The user can also launch All Programs, which is a skinned version of the WM Programs menu.


We found TF3D to be incredibly smooth on our GSM unit, but the CDMA version feels faster.  HTC has issued performance updates for the original, and we’d assume these improvements were implemented in the CDMA software.  It also helps that this version has more memory and a beefier processer, more on that later.  While in the TF3D environment everything runs smoothly; animations, transparences and kinetic scrolling all work flawlessly.  We still feel that TF3D is our favorite user interface, even though it’s really a skin rather than a proper UI.  We still encourage HTC to expand it and take as much Windows out of Windows Mobile as possible.


Phonebook:

HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review
HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review
Outside of the People tab, the phonebook on the Touch Diamond is standard Windows Mobile fare.  From that tab the user can launch the full phonebook, which is identical to what we have seen on past HTC WM devices, such as the Touch.  The contacts are listed alphabetically by last name, though the list can be sorted by company as well.  Along the right hand side is HTC’s Random Access plug-in, which displays the alphabet top down and the user can run their finger along it to select a certain letter and jump through the contact list.  From the phone screen, as you begin to type a number it will match it with your contacts both numerically and alphabetically.  For instance, if you type in 866 it will match any 866 numbers but also bring up anybody with a form of Tom in their name.

New Contact - HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review

New Contact

Contact storage is limited only by system memory, so for all intents and purposes it is limitless.  Each contact can store a wealth of information, such as company, job title, picture ID, several different numbers and addresses, multiple emails and IM names, assistant and manager information, customer ID and account numbers, birthdays, anniversaries, spouse and children.  And if that’s not enough, you can always add notes.  In fact, if you’re on a call with a contact and you pull the stylus out the Diamond will automatically launch the notepad and associate the note taken with that contact.

HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review
HTC has created custom screens for incoming and outgoing calls.  The outgoing screen displays the contact name and phone number at the top, and to the left of that is the Picture ID (if one is not assigned a default silhouette is used.)  There is a grouping of six buttons in the middle- two rows of three- which includes Call History, Calendar, Note, Mute, Speaker, and Contacts. At the bottom is a large red End Call button.  The incoming screen is a bit plainer; the Picture ID is centered at the top, and below is the contact name and number.  A large green Answer and red Ignore button sit below that, and finally is a Mute Call option along the bottom.  The Picture ID is not quite as small as a standard Windows Mobile ID is, but it’s still not large.  It is larger on the incoming than outgoing screen, and with the VGA resolution the size isn’t really an issue.

Of course this all syncs neatly with Outlook, making contact management that much easier.  If the user is connected to an Exchange server two-way Outlook sync can be done over the air.

Voice dialing is handled by Cyberon Voice commander.  It is very similar to VoiceSignal, but adds some advanced features such as controlling music playback, checking upcoming appointments and launching applications.


Organizer:

Again, the PIM functionality of the Diamond is the same as other Windows Mobile devices.  The calendar is launched from the Home tab.  It can be viewed in several ways; Agenda, Day, Week, Month and Year.  Adding an appointment is simple, though not exactly finger friendly.  Since we’re dealing with the standard Windows Mobile interface here it is best to pull out the stylus to add events.

Calendar - HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review
Calendar - HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review

Calendar

It is a very advanced calendar, offering everything a user would need and expect including recurrences, reminders, category grouping, sensitivity settings and much more.  Notes can also be added to an event, for instance the user can set an appointment for a meeting, then take notes for that meeting within the appointment.  That way, the user can simply go back to that calendar event to find the corresponding notes.

The Diamond offers other essential PIM elements such as Tasks, Notes, Voice Recorder and a calculator.  These programs are more basic and all work as you would expect them to.  There are a few options available for Tasks, for instance setting priorities, reminders, recurrences and categories.  Notes can be handwritten or entered via the various keypads.  Other than that it and the rest are barebones, which is just how simple programs should be.

We love TF3D, and wish HTC had paid some more attention to the core PIM elements of the Diamond as well.  Finger-friendly programs like One Touch Organizer and PocketCM Contacts have made life much easier on WM devices in the past, but with the Diamond’s VGA resolution they do not work properly.  Hopefully the WM developer community will again rise up and offer some solutions to this problem.

25 Comments
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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. Paul (unregistered)


Hi, great review and lots of details which is what I'm looking for. however, I would like to see how Sprint TV fares in this device compared to Instinct; as well as handwriting capabilities (as text input)... is it accurate with the stylus or finger? pls pls pls, any information is greatly appreciated.

posted on 03 Oct 2008, 14:40

2. (unregistered)


we have rev a coverage in our call center and the sprint tv quality is outstanding, way better than the instinct.

posted on 03 Oct 2008, 16:37

3. (unregistered)


wow, with this phone I almost have to say that there was no point for the instinct, besides to rival the iPhone in time, if they made a dumbphone version of this they'd be perfect

posted on 03 Oct 2008, 20:12

4. (unregistered)


Will this phone come in black as well? It seemed there were rumors that it would launch in red but have a black back later. Any info would be appreciated. As for right now, I will have to see a red one in person to see how it looks as every review states that the red looks better in person. Also, any issues with overheating? Thank you for such a great interview.

posted on 04 Oct 2008, 14:54

5. kwhan84 (unregistered)


fabulous review. i had this phone since telesales started to sell it. it is marvelous. the best phone period.

posted on 04 Oct 2008, 15:42

6. Paul (unregistered)


I've seen other reviews mentioned about the overheating/phone get hot problem... have anyone experience that?

posted on 05 Oct 2008, 10:47

8. (unregistered)


the battery does tend to get warm pretty quick making the back of the phone a lil toasty.

posted on 21 Oct 2008, 00:16

22. (unregistered)


I've also had the phones since telesales started selling it and I love this phone. In regardless to the saying of the battery over heating. I did alot of researching and tested the theory myself, it's not the battery that's over heating or getting hot. It's the radio that located below the battery area that gets heated, due to the manufactory squeezing it in a small area. To test that theory, when your phone heats up, just remove the backing of the phone and touch the battery, you'll find that the heat isn't there but below/bottom of the phone that gets hot. Thus far, no sulution to this issue.

posted on 04 Oct 2008, 17:16

7. Pihrana (unregistered)


I want to know if this phone will work on the GSM 800/1900Mhz Frequencies? According to HTC's webpage for this phone it is Dual-band (800/1900Mhz), CDMA2000 1xEVDO Rev. A/1xRTT and IS-95A/B voice or data with up to 1.8 Mbps up-link and 3.1 Mbps down-link. Trouble is I dont want to spend all the money then not be able to use it in the UK...

posted on 05 Oct 2008, 11:09

9. (unregistered)


this is the cdma version, you want the gsm unit which they also reviewed a few months back.

posted on 06 Oct 2008, 09:00

13. Pihrana (unregistered)


I only have 2 or 3 carriers that work in my local town. Alltel, Sprint/Nextel and Centennial....... I'll be going to the UK 3 or 4 times a year and want the phone to work while I'm their..... I know the UK has carriers using GSM 800/1900Mhz Frequencies, so are you saying that the Specification on HTC website where it states (800/1900Mhz) is not GSM? If not then what are they? Thanks in advance.... Want to get it cleared up soon so I can order something.....

posted on 06 Oct 2008, 20:01

14. David the Gom (unregistered)


dual band for this phone is 800/1900 Mhz CDMA, it's same "frequency" as 800/1900 Mhz GSM, but different "signal"...

posted on 07 Oct 2008, 08:24

16. Pihrana_Work (unregistered)


Thanks David........ You've finally put the nail in the coffin (which I am grateful for, because I havent spent any money)...... So... I'm still looking for a decent phone that will work in the UK and my home in the US. Any suggestions..? Please dont say Blackberry :)

posted on 07 Oct 2008, 15:58

17. (unregistered)


with sprint the blackberry 8830 is your only option if you want to keep the same number. centennial is gsm like the uk, but theyre a small regional carrier and im not sure if their phones are unlocked. i dont know much about them, but you should be able to buy any unlocked quadband gsm phones which you can use both here and there. if you dont care about keeping your number over there (which youll pay a pretty penny for) you could also buy a cheap unlocked gsm phone and a prepaid sim for when you travel to the uk, and get sprint here.

posted on 15 Oct 2008, 15:55

21. (unregistered)


The Samsung Ace is a really nice phone that would work for you and is still windows mobile. But you lose the touch screen feature which is a turn off for a lot of people. It is a quad band phone though so it will work internationally...if you can afford to use the phone internationally

posted on 11 Dec 2008, 08:58

25. tuscan_sun (Posts: 2; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)


Keeping the same number while overseas is way over-rated as roaming charges are truly outrageous. simply get a cheap unlocked phone and buy pre-paid GSM sims wherever you travel..

posted on 05 Oct 2008, 13:22

10. (unregistered)


touch pro october 19th baby

posted on 21 Oct 2008, 00:17

23. (unregistered)


The launch date of the Touch Pro has been pushed to the being of November 08.

posted on 05 Oct 2008, 21:22

11. (unregistered)


iphone who ? blackberry storm who>? go SPRINT!

posted on 05 Oct 2008, 21:44

12. (unregistered)


Yuck, Sprint. Once AT&T gets this or the Touch Pro I'm gonna be a happy person.

posted on 07 Oct 2008, 03:11

15. jinn (unregistered)


By far this is a great phone I bought it the second it went on sale on sprint's website i have to say using this phone so far is wonderful i havent had any problems for example with the gsm version HTC has put a great effort into this phone two thumbs up for them. Furthermore i would like to get a black battery cover ..... but other than that its a marvellous touch screen phone i must also commend this review it was really detailed .....

posted on 07 Oct 2008, 23:45

18. deejal01 (unregistered)


i disagree. I had this phone for a bit and ended up returning it. I hated the phone because text messaging was a pain. HOWEVER, the one thing that I did like was the transcriber text entry. You could print or write in cursive or a combination of both, using the stylus, and it got it right almost 99% of the time. With some tweaking, eventually, it was correct 99.9% of the time. I miss that feature. Sprint needs a new line of phones and their current line up looks pretty bad.

posted on 14 Oct 2008, 15:30

19. (unregistered)


Hello, I have seen comments on some sites that the app download can only go to ROM, and not the on-board 4GB RAM, is that true? Has anyone tried this out? any feedback is appreciated.

posted on 15 Oct 2008, 12:31

20. martin (unregistered)


I have downloaded tons of apps and it lets you choose where to put it. I have heard some users losing their internal 4GB Drive when playing around with hard resets, but then being able to get them back. This might be why they are commenting they couldn't put apps on the RAM.

posted on 12 Nov 2008, 10:09

24. (unregistered)


I love this phone, i have 10 lines with sprint, and they gave me one for 249.99 Can any one help me if i can load wireless printer software on this to print emails and attachments? I love the programme mp3 trinmmer where i can get mp3 ringer of my own for each contacrs.

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HTC Touch Diamond CDMA

HTC Touch Diamond CDMA

OS: Windows Mobile Professional 6.1
view full specs
Display2.8 inches, 480 x 640 pixels (286 ppi) TFT
Camera3.2 megapixels
Hardware
Single core, 528 MHz
288 MB RAM
Size4.00 x 2.10 x 0.60 inches
(102 x 53 x 15 mm)
4.06 oz  (115 g)
Battery1340 mAh, 4.16 hours talk time

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