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HTC Touch Diamond Review

HTC Touch Diamond

Posted: , by PhoneArena Team



HTC Touch Diamond Review
HTC Touch Diamond Review
Messaging is simple and pretty enough on the Touch Diamond. It supports SMS and MMS, and users can set up personal and corporate email accounts. There are separate Messaging (SMS/MMS) and Mail (email) tabs on the TF3D interface, but the user can view all of their mailboxes in one place on the Windows Mobile messaging screen.

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 Mail 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 snippet of the message here, but tapping on it will bring up the full message in the WM environment from which the user can reply.

HTC Touch Diamond Review
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; the 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 pull interval from every 5 minutes to once a day, or just pull manually.

The 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 (like a standard phone and SureType-esque, respectively) 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 3, meaning the dialing buttons are smaller, but the space key has been enlarged (our biggest gripe with the Touch) and the buttons are still plenty big for typing. Another large improvement is that users can now select the Full QWERTY HTC keyboard. On the Touch this only appeared when in a password field, but now users can choose it whenever. Despite the small keys it is surprisingly accurate and we were typing error-free right away. The SureType-like “Compact QWERTY” keypad remains unchanged, save for the re-skinning. Other keyboard options are the small Microsoft QWERTY pad, 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.

Onscreen keyboard types - HTC Touch Diamond Review
Onscreen keyboard types - HTC Touch Diamond Review
Onscreen keyboard types - HTC Touch Diamond Review
Onscreen keyboard types - HTC Touch Diamond Review

Onscreen keyboard types

Connectivity and Data:

The Touch Diamond is a Tri-Band GSM device. HTC claims that the quad-band radio found on nearly every past HTC device was a casualty of the Diamond’s diminutive dimensions, but we’re sad to see this move nonetheless. Because of this there will be several variants of the Diamond to support the different bands used in different markets. It features GPRS, EDGE and HSDPA data speeds, the latter maxing out at 7.2Mbit/s.

The Diamond packs a Wi-Fi b/g radio to allow for data transmission when off the cellular network. Native GPS allows the user to get turn-by-turn directions with third party programs such as Google Maps or Garmin. Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR is available for short-range wireless connection, and pairing is usually automatic so the user doesn’t have to enter in passcodes.

For now there is no U.S. HSDPA support so customers who import the device will be relying heavily on the Wi-Fi. The North American version, supporting the 850/1800/1900Mhz bands, is expected in the second half of this year. Furthermore, it appears that the Diamond will also come in a CDMA flavor and be headed to Sprint late this year.

One of the standouts of the Touch Diamond is the browser, powered by Opera. It is a customized version of the yet-to-be-released 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. Pages are loaded as an overview and the user can easily drag the page to pan around. A double tap zooms in on the selected area and another double tap zooms back out. When zoomed in the browser renders text to fit the view, eliminating the need to constantly drag back and forth to read a paragraph. Rotate the device900 in either direction and the page moves to landscape view nearly instantaneously.

Opera browser - HTC Touch Diamond Review
Opera browser - HTC Touch Diamond Review
Opera browser - HTC Touch Diamond Review
Opera browser - HTC Touch Diamond Review

Opera browser

Landscape view - HTC Touch Diamond Review

Landscape view

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 if you move the device around a lot (and especially if you flip it upside-down) it can get confused and pages don’t re-orientate as quickly. We’ve seen this same behavior with the iPhone though, and we have a feeling it can be blamed on the accelerometer getting confused. There is no zoom pinching like in Safari, but Opera has the ability to copy and paste text as well as download files. We’re sure there will be improvements to Safari on the 3G iPhone, but for now Opera Mobile 9.5 is the best mobile browser out there.

Pocket Internet Explorer is of course available as well, but we fail to see why it would ever be used.

The phone 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.

  • Options

posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. numetheus (unregistered)

AWESOME! At least they put in a browser by default that is not the standard IE. Pocket IE is great for tiny pages, but is woefully slow and renders complex pages well. Heavy browsing on Pocket IE was painful and cumbersome. Browsing on the iPhone by comparison was a dream, and that is one reason why iPhone is so popular. Give it a good browser, and it will be a good iPhone competitor ... not until then. I absolutely hate WM just because of the browser, and the alternatives for it render better, but still a clunky experience when compared to iPhone. The new opera may change that. Also, why resistive touchscreen? Capacitive is much better suited for finger use.

posted on 08 Jun 2008, 08:51

2. zephxiii (unregistered)

The poor performance on AT&T is most likely due to the devices lack of 850mhz. I would imagine you were in a 850 area for AT&T, and often any 1900mhz isn't built out for solid coverage.

posted on 08 Jun 2008, 13:16

3. (unregistered)

wow, how is average joe rating so high, usually would be complaining about the price and it so glossy and fingerprintable. and usually for corporate you would complain highlty about no qwerty keyborad, very biased opinions ah

posted on 08 Jun 2008, 19:33

4. (unregistered)

how do you get biased out of that, and why would average joe be any different than other categories for fingerprints? sounds like youre biased

posted on 09 Jun 2008, 02:47

5. (unregistered)

iPhone is also an expensive one, but everybody is getting one and even jailbrakes it! Its the same for the Diamond: with that design and interface it is targeted to both highend/business users and to the Joe who wants iPhone-like touch-thing.

posted on 10 Jun 2008, 13:03

6. VZWGuy1 (unregistered)

how do I get this UI on my touch?

posted on 11 Jun 2008, 15:26

8. (unregistered)

the touch doesnt have the power to run it

posted on 11 Jun 2008, 06:18

7. (unregistered)

What about GPS? Is it any good?

posted on 17 Jun 2008, 12:12

14. (unregistered)

It is both

posted on 12 Jun 2008, 18:55

9. (unregistered)

do you need to be connected to the internet for the weather updates to work?

posted on 13 Jun 2008, 11:42

10. (unregistered)

To answer #12 comment. Yes, how else are you gonna get updates.

posted on 13 Jun 2008, 18:54

11. Genious (unregistered)

Built-in weather station, duh!

posted on 17 Jun 2008, 09:21

12. (unregistered)

Quiksilver meter and worker ants in the phone. That's how they did it in the AAAWWWLD days.

posted on 17 Jun 2008, 12:12

13. (unregistered)

Yep, that's how it wurked on my good ol' iPhone Classic -_-

posted on 17 Jun 2008, 15:27

15. (unregistered)

Err... your first paragraph put me off this review. The original Htc Touch came out 4 months before the iPhone, so it was hardly trying to capitalise on the popularity of that phone!

posted on 27 Jun 2008, 19:02

20. (unregistered)

because the iphone was announce before the touch so the touch was based on what apple was to release maybe?

posted on 22 Jul 2008, 07:32

27. (unregistered)

anyone ever realize that apple wasnt the original creator of touch screen phones. why do you people always have to push the fact that every touch type phone is to compete with the iphone. i know some phones look way too much like the iphone, but that doesnt always mean that every new touch screen phone was made to compete.

posted on 22 Jun 2008, 00:57

16. (unregistered)

that doess not look like the best internet on a phone at all. I did want to mention this but when I used my brother's ipod touch, the internet browsing was a lot smoother. When moving through a page, everything seems to flow with hyour touch.But everything seems so slow to me in the touch. When he flips through albums and pictures, the touch seems so unresponsive. Maybe its just that the guy doesn't really know how to use the phone that well. But what I like is how the very bottom bar looks very smooth and slides with ease wehn sliding through the menu. That's the only smooth and responsive thign that I've seen on the phone so far.

posted on 23 Jun 2008, 19:15

17. Barry (unregistered)

Probably a dumb question, but I read the review and didn't seem to see this answered. Does Diamond have 3G connectivity? If not, how would the internet speeds compare with the 3G connectivity coming out for the iPhone 3G? Also kind of off topic, but the ability to sync with Exchange, use Word and Excel are big sticking points for me - are all 3 of these options available on the iPhone 3G or will I have to get a phone like the Diamond with Windows Mobile? Thanks again. I'm torn between the iPhone 3G, the Diamond and the Touch Pro so I'm not sure which way to go yet.

posted on 24 Jun 2008, 09:38

18. (unregistered)

HSDPA means actually 3.5G, so the answer is yes. Actually iPhone 3G seems to support only lower speed 3.6 Mbps HSDPA while Touch Diamond offers 7.2 Mbps. However, probably this is not very relevant since in mobile phones, CPU/graphical processing power is becoming nowadays more critical than download speed. In terms of Word/Excel, the big differentiator between iPhone and Touch Diamond is the editing capability. Exchange should work on both platforms, still iPhone 3G functionality needs to be assessed. My advice would be: if you want a small/compact device go with Touch Diamond, if you absolutely need a keyboard wait for the Touch Pro, or go for the iPhone 3G if you like the iPhone interface,prefer more storage space for music and don't care about camera and size.

posted on 25 Jun 2008, 22:18

19. VAPCMD (unregistered)

If reception was as poor as indicated below...how did this phone get a 10 for connectivity ?? The reception, on the other hand, wasn’t so hot. We tried both an AT&T and T-Mobile but had issues with in-building reception. With AT&T we could barely, and often couldn’t, hold a signal even outdoors in places where we know AT&T works well. Furthermore, some users may not be able to get EDGE data with AT&T. T-Mobile was a decidedly better experience, though still not great in areas such as office buildings or malls. For now we are forced to use the 1900Mhz band, which does not penetrate buildings as well as 850. This could have played a factor in our reception issues so we will reserve our final judgment for when the US version comes out. For now, however, importers beware!

posted on 27 Jun 2008, 19:03

21. (unregistered)

cnet uk gave this phone4 5.9 for unresponsive screen and really slow interface

posted on 03 Jul 2008, 18:32

22. (unregistered)

If verizon got this phone, it would be hilarious if they put their own interface on it.

posted on 05 Jul 2008, 15:34

23. (unregistered)

no it wouldn't, so the interface wouldn't be so damn slow

posted on 09 Jul 2008, 11:45

24. (unregistered)

I like the phone overall. The iphone just doesnt cut it for business purposes. Major gripe: After less than 3 weeks my usb cord shorted and does not connect to activesych. USB is NOT covered under warranty, so I would have to buy another (after spending $600 + on the phone)

posted on 13 Jul 2008, 16:13

25. SprintDude (unregistered)

Honestly i think Sprint should of focused more attention on HTC products much more than on the Garbage INSTINCT You cant even customize anything on the phone, but all i can say is the Diamond and the Rafael is going to be some Awesome phones!!!

posted on 06 Sep 2008, 20:19

36. treybezy (unregistered)

how is the instinct garbage? i have had it for 3 weeks and yes you cant really custimize it at all, but its still very great

posted on 21 Jul 2008, 06:31

26. Ben Cain (unregistered)

I have had the Touch for 5 weeks and what a nightmare of a phone. The lag is almost so slow that I can mak e acup of tea and come back to it before it has moved from one page to the next. The connectivity is slow and haphazard that it makes it impossible to have any confidence in the phone. Also, the screen isn't even straight in my phone. Rubbish- 0 stars

posted on 27 Jul 2008, 08:07

28. Ratman (unregistered)

Yeh Did you update the device firmware HTC released an update to improve useability

posted on 29 Jul 2008, 07:19

29. benko (unregistered)

i plan to buy this touch diamond. is ti really that slow? and gps can trust that gps if i go somwhere and whose maps it is using? how long baterry can handle in stand by mode? how much is it costs right now? a lot of questions i hope somebody will answer.

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HTC Touch Diamond

HTC Touch Diamond

OS: Windows Mobile Professional 6.1
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display2.8 inches, 480 x 640 pixels (286 ppi) TFT
Camera3.2 megapixels
Qualcomm MSM7201, Single core, 528 MHz
0.2 GB RAM
Size4.01 x 2.00 x 0.45 inches
(102 x 51 x 11.5 mm)
3.88 oz  (110 g)
Battery900 mAh, 5.5 hours talk time

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