HTC Touch Diamond CDMA Review

Introduction and Design
This is a CDMA phone offered with Sprint,
but there is also a
GSM variant.

We first got our hands on the Touch Diamond back in June and came away rather impressed. It offered just about everything we could want in a device, including the slick TouchFLO 3D interface. While the GSM version we reviewed has yet to find its way to the States, short of importers such as Decho Wireless, Sprint has taken the lead and is the first carrier to offer the Diamond. As you might expect there are a few notable differences between the GSM and CDMA variants, but for the most part Sprint and HTC have wisely kept true to the original.

Included in the box you will find:
• 1340mAh Li-Ion battery
• Stereo headphones
• Extra stylus
• AC Charger with USB port
• USB data cable
• 4 in 1 adapter (miniUSB to 3.5mm, 2.5mm, miniUSB headphone, miniUSB charging/data)
• Leather Velcro pouch


The CDMA Touch Diamond softens the sharp lines of the original. Gone is the hard plastic faceted back, replaced with a soft touch, deep burgundy version of the battery door found on the Taiwanese Victor. Telus Canada has chosen to go for a black version, but honestly we like the red. It looks much better in person than in press shots, and it gives the Diamond some personality. It is 2.5mm thicker than the GSM version, but that is because the CDMA Diamond ships with a beefed up 1350mAh battery.

You can compare the HTC Touch Diamond CDMA with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The GSM Diamond is very angular, with sharp corners and straight lines throughout. The CDMA version has a soft rounding to it, both at the top and bottom as well as the line that separates the controls from the screen. The bottom buttons are still flush but clickable, and the slightly tweaked d-pad is a jack of all trades. It can be clicked in the traditional 5 ways, but the center is also proximity sensing and the outer edge can be used for touch scrolling. The four buttons (Home, Back, Send and End) as well as the d-pad ring light up a cool white when being used, or simply by bringing your finger near the center pad.

The resistive touchscreen appears to be the same gorgeous 2.8” VGA panel we loved the first time around. It is bright, vivid and auto-adjusts to the current lighting condition. It has only 65K colors, as compared to the 16M colors found on the iPhone, but images and videos look great nevertheless. It is very smooth responsive to touch, and most of the device can be navigated without using the stylus, which is tucked away in the back right corner. We had no issues viewing it in direct sunlight, provided the screen was wiped clean of fingerprints and whatnot.

The stainless steel frame is dark black, and the only buttons on the side are the volume rocker on the top left side and power button to the left of center on the top. The keys are flat and the travel shallow, but easy to press. “HTC Innovation” remains printed on the left, but the “4GB Internal Storage” originally found on the right side is now gone. The frame has gone seamless and smooth for the CDMA version.

To the right of the power button, in the center of the top, is the Diamond’s single speaker. Despite not being stereo it is surprisingly good, with plenty volume and good highs. It’s somewhat thin and lacks bass, but as it’s not a high-end music device we aren’t expecting a high-end listening experience.

The back is very simple, and while some argue that faceted back is a defining feature of the Diamond we are happy to see the cleaner Victor battery door. The 3.2 megapixel camera sits near the top, and black housing that runs a strip halfway down the phone encases it. Soft touch paint gives a more reassuring feel, and we think that we prefer the added thickness as well; it is still plenty thin and the original was so tiny it almost felt fragile. The stylus is still held in magnetically, and removing it will wake up a sleeping Diamond.

We loved the Diamond the first time around, but the CDMA makeover is a much better product. Color preference aside, the newer Diamond feels better in the hand and is more overall pleasing to the eye. It’s still a tiny device and enhances the understated elegance of the original with the softer lines and smooth edges. We don’t know that there is a better designed phone overall than the CDMA Diamond; it may not be perfect but it balances fashion, feel and function wonderfully.

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