HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review
The Messaging screen allows users to view the full message onscreen in TF3D. Flicking up and down moves between messages, and tapping a message brings up the threaded conversation in the WM environment, a new feature of WM 6.1. For MMS the media shows up as an attachment, which is launched by its respective application.
On the Email screen the user sees a different envelope for each email account they have set up. The envelope is open, and the emails appear as letters coming out of the envelope. The user only gets a top portion of the message here, but tapping on it will bring up the full message in the WM environment from which the user can reply.
New SMS, MMS and emails can be initiated from the TF3D interface, but are typed out in the normal WM environment. Email setup is quick and easy, as the Touch Diamond supports POP3, IMAP, SMTP and Lotus Domino formats and can utilize Microsoft Direct Push when associated with an Exchange server, allowing for instantaneous mail delivery. Personal account setup is fairly simple; settings are automatically obtained for many common accounts like Gmail and Yahoo, and if they cannot be obtained the user will be taken through step-by-step to input the proper servers. If not connected to an Exchange server the user can select a download interval from every 5 minutes to once a day, or just download manually.
onscreen keyboard remains the biggest sticking point for critics, but HTC has revamped their offerings from the original Touch. The 12 and 20 key keypads still remain, but have been reworked a bit. The 12 key T9 keypad, or “Phone Keypad” as HTC is now calling it, has been especially improved. There are now four columns instead of three, meaning the dialing buttons are smaller, but the space key has been enlarged and the buttons are still plenty big for typing. Another nice improvement is that users can now select the Full QWERTY keyboard. Despite the small keys it is surprisingly accurate and we were typing error-free right away, but can only be used in portrait mode. The Compact QWERTY keypad remains unchanged, except for the re-skinning. Pressing and holding a key will bring up the alternate option (for example, in QWERTY mode holding the Q will produce a 1,) which makes typing faster since you don’t have to switch modes. Other keyboard options are the small Microsoft QWERTY pad (which is so small you have to use a stylus), Block Recognizer, Letter Recognizer, Transcriber and of course third-party alternatives like SPB and TouchPal. We still wish HTC offered haptic feedback for their keypads, but at least they are easier to use. The biggest competitor to the Verizon’s Touch Diamond is the Touch Pro, since it offers a sliding QWERTY keyboard with physical buttons. This is still the easiest and most error free way of typing messages and emails.
Mobile IM also comes standard, and can connect you to AIM, Windows Live Messenger, and Yahoo. When a new voice message is received, you are automatically prompted to the Visual Voicemail program. It allows you to see a list of your voice mails and play them using visual controls on the screen. This is much simpler than the older touch-tone prompt system.
Connectivity and Data:
The Diamond features EVDO Rev. A for high-speed cellular data, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g for local connections, and Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR.
One of the standout programs of the HTC Touch Diamond is the browser, powered by Opera. It is a customized version of Opera Mobile 9.5, and unlike Opera Mobile 8.x it is powered by Opera Mini’s Presto engine. Browsing is, in short, fantastic. Complex HTML pages are rendered flawlessly, panning and zooming is fluid and simple, full-screen mode is automatic and it supports tabbed browsing. Once site are loaded the user can easily drag the page to pan around in any direction. A double tap zooms in on the selected area and another double tap zooms back out. The user can fine-tune the zoom level by moving their finger around the d-pad in a circular motion. When zoomed in, the browser renders text to fit the view, eliminating the need to constantly scroll right and left to read a paragraph. Rotate the device horizontally in either direction and the page changes to landscape mode nearly instantaneously.
When not in full-screen mode there is a menu bar at the bottom with Back, Favorites, Tabs, Home and Menu. At the top of the page is the address bar and stop button, as well as a close tab button. Unfortunately it does not support Flash and there is no zoom pinching like in Safari, but Opera has the ability to copy and paste text as well as download files.
Pocket Internet Explorer is of course available as well, but we fail to see why it would ever be used.
Since the Touch Diamond can use EVDO Rev A or Wi-Fi for data, we tested both downloading a 1MB file from www.dslreports.com/mspeed
On average, we would get between 500-700Kbps while using EVDO Rev A, and 1200Kbps or faster while using Wi-Fi.
The Touch Diamond syncs with a PC via ActiveSync (Windows XP) or Mobile Device Center (Vista.) Users can choose to sync any number of items, such as contacts, calendar, tasks, favorites, notes, media and more. We tested it with ActiveSync and had no issues syncing with our existing Outlook database. Officially there is no Mac support, but programs such as Missing Sync can remedy this. The phone also gives you a Mass Storage mode option when you connect, enabling use of the device as a USB drive.
1. LGVX1993 (Posts: 260; Member since: 27 Jan 2009)
Wow I wasnt expecting such a good review. If only the Diamond 2 wasnt coming out...
2. acdaazn (Posts: 1; Member since: 27 Apr 2009)
i have noticed that in the specs, it has the same size as the VZW TP, but is it really? could you guys do an actual measurement for the thickness? or if anyone has this phone, could you measure and post it up?
3. Charlie (unregistered)
I was thinking the same thing. The GSM Diamond was like, 11mm thick. Sprint's was like 14mm. There's no way that Verizon's Diamond is 18mm thick, like the Touch Pro's.
4. mwinger (Posts: 1; Member since: 27 Apr 2009)
The Verizon Touch Pro is the same thicknes as the Sprint verison. .55" or 14mm. [:http://www.verizonwireless.com
/b2c/store/controller?item=phoPhoneId=4486 neFirst&action=viewPhoneDetail &selected
5. sinfulta (Posts: 266; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
VZW People: The Diamond for VZW is .55", the Touch Pro for VZW is .71", for comparison sake the Omnia is .52" Thick. Sprint People: the Diamond for Sprint is .60", the Touch Pro for Sprint is.71" for comparison sake the TreoPRO is .50" Thick. Geez. lol
8. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 237; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)
Thank you for your comment. We have measured the thickness of the Verizon Touch Diamond and it is approximately 0.55" to 0.60". The Verizon Touch Pro is slightly thicker at 0.71".
6. htsee (Posts: 86; Member since: 15 Mar 2009)
why are there no specs listed for the phone? and all cdma phones in the touch series currently use the 1340mah battery... to be honest, im surprised there was a review done on a device that already had a reviewm (cdma diamond) without mention of any real differences (outside of the microsd card, which is a definite plus)...
7. mr. anderson (Posts: 92; Member since: 16 Apr 2009)
if you notice this review is pretty much a rehash of the first, with updates for the differences between the two
9. remixfa (Posts: 13882; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
why do windows phones keep getting such high reviews? what do you guys smoke? innovative? its the pro w/otu a keyboard. its also too small to effectively type on for long periods of time. windows phones are boomerangs and bricks. at least HTC made this one look like the non selling brick its going to be. quit giving windows phones such high marks.