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HTC Touch Diamond Review

HTC Touch Diamond

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Camera interface - HTC Touch Diamond Review
Camera interface - HTC Touch Diamond Review
The Diamond features a 3.2 megapixel main camera with autofocus, as well as a forward facing VGA camera for self shots and video calling. The main camera performed well, with good color representation and crisp lines. There was a bit of blurring at times, but it’s very possible that can be chalked up to shaky hands as other pictures turned out clear. The autofocus is triggered by bringing your finger near the d-pad center button; the camera will focus and pressing the button snaps the shot. There are 5 resolution steps, a two and ten second self timer and the user can choose from predefined white balance settings and adjust the brightness. The camera can shoot with grayscale, sepia or negative effects and there are user preference options such as where to save the files, review duration, etc.

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

Outdoor images

Indoor images - HTC Touch Diamond Review
Indoor images - HTC Touch Diamond Review
Indoor images - HTC Touch Diamond Review
Strong light - Indoor images - HTC Touch Diamond Review
Medium light - Indoor images - HTC Touch Diamond Review
Low light - Indoor images - HTC Touch Diamond Review

Strong light

Medium light

Low light


Videos can be recorded in MPEG4 or H.263 formats and can be shot in Small, Medium, Large and CIF (352x288) resolutions. The documentation doesn’t actually specify what Small, Medium and Large resolutions are, but it appears Large is actually 352x288 as well. The camcorder utilizes the autofocus features as well, but as expected the overall quality was not on par with the camera. For a cell phone it was above average, there was some pixilation which got worse as you pan around, but it was plenty good for YouTube and general web use. The user can again change white balance settings, adjust the brightness, change the effect and set a few preferences, but overall the settings are minimal.


Multimedia:

HTC offers a custom music player and album viewer that is integrated with TF3D, but when media files are opened through the File Explorer Microsoft Picture Viewer and Windows Media Player serve as the default players. HTC Album (the picture/video player) is very good, but the music player has some shortcomings.

HTC Touch Diamond Review
HTC Touch Diamond Review
HTC Album allows users to view pictures and video full screen. Turn the Diamond on its side and the picture follows suit- gone is drawing stupid circles to get the picture to rotate!- and you can scroll through your media with the flick of your thumb. The video player is very similar to the iPhone. Videos play in full-screen landscape mode and tapping the video brings up transparent controls. They look amazing on the crisp, VGA screen.

The music player looks nice enough, but isn’t the simplest program to use. From the Music tab on the homescreen you can control your music. Album art is displayed for the songs, and when you flick the art up or down you move forward and back between tracks. However, this is not like Cover Flow where you can scroll through the albums by their art, then bring up the album’s track list and play from there.

The library works like TF3D, with tabs along the bottom. In the library you can sort by artist, album, song, genre and composer. You can create playlists, but otherwise you can either play all the songs at once or a single album at a time. When you play all songs they are sorted alphabetically regardless of album. We prefer Windows Media Player and its library, which allow you to play all albums in alphabetical order while staying true to the original track lists. There is an tab for purchased music, but there is no store available.

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

One issue many users are bound to run into is album art. Anyone who has used Cover Flow without properly tagged songs know there are a bunch of ?’s on the screen, and the same is true with HTC’s music player. Making the matter worse is its seeming inability to read embedded art. Even though the .mp3s we loaded were tagged with art the player didn’t recognize it and we had to actually add the image file to the folder and rename the file folder.*. Even still, this didn’t work for a handful of albums and we were stuck with the dreaded ?. The homescreen integration is nice, but HTC has some work to do on the music player.

The MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA, WAV, and AMR-NB audio codecs are supported. There is no 3.5mm jack so the user is restricted to miniUSB headphones, a set of which is included in the package. The quality isn’t bad, on par with included iPod headphones, but they will most likely be uncomfortable to those with medium and smaller ears.

There is an FM tuner as well, though the included stereo headphones must be used as they contain an integrated FM antenna. The interface is clean and displays station and song information. The reception is weak, but it’s still a nice feature to have.

FM Radio - HTC Touch Diamond Review
HTC Touch Diamond Review
YouTube Player - HTC Touch Diamond Review
HTC Touch Diamond Review

FM Radio

 

YouTube Player

 

One very nice feature of the Diamond is the YouTube player. It is a stand-alone program nearly identical to the one found on the iPhone. There are four tabs: All Videos, Bookmarks, History and Search. All Videos is further broken down into Most Viewed, Top Rated and Featured. Videos launch in full-screen mode, and like the iPhone tapping the screen brings up transparent controls. The scroll wheel around the d-pad is active here as well, though it’s not as smooth as we’d like. The video quality was surprisingly excellent, though we were running over Wi-Fi. Still, the videos looked superb on the VGA screen and audio was good and in-sync.

Teeter - HTC Touch Diamond Review
Teeter - HTC Touch Diamond Review
Teeter is maybe our favorite feature of the phone, and really shows off the accelerometer. It is a Labyrinth-style game, where you have a ball that you need to tilt through a maze and avoid the holes to get to the end. Not only is it a fun game, but it really showcases the phones abilities. For instance, when you hit a wall there is a dull thud you feel that truly seems as if you’re hitting the wall with a metal ball. We imagine it’s done though haptic feedback, but it sure feels like a solid thump and not a vibration. (Yes we are aware there is a version of this for Jailbroken iPhones, but Teeter is better. ) Eventually you begin to play not on a flat surface, but on a 3D rendering of the Diamond’s faceted battery cover!


Software:

The Diamond offers 192MB DDR SDRAM and 256MB ROM, with 4GB of internal storage in lieu of a microSD slot. As we noted earlier, navigating TF3D is smooth but the Windows Mobile environment is decidedly less so at times. One thing we did notice is that out of the box 65% of the memory was in use, compared to around 25-30% when we reviewed the CDMA Touch. This certainly plays a factor in the sluggishness. By disabling TF3D we were able to get down to around 40% memory use after a restart, and navigating through Windows Mobile was noticeably snappier, though still not perfect. Interestingly enough, after disabling and restarting, when we reinitiated TF3D there was only about 50% of memory in use. While there does not appear to be any major memory leakage, HTC seems to have some memory tomfoolery on their hands. The good news is that issues like this can be addressed with software optimization, let’s hope that HTC does just that in future updates.

There are loads of programs available for Windows Mobile, though many of them will not work with the Diamond due to its VGA display. It is usually a simple fix by the writer, but lots of programs (such as the aforementioned and beloved One Touch Organizer) are not supported anymore. The Diamond is not the first WM VGA device however, and as VGA becomes increasingly popular you will see more and more programs pop up.

Out of the box there are some notable programs, such as Office Mobile, Adobe Reader and Flash Lite. Office Mobile allows users to edit Word and Excel files (including Office 2007 documents,) while Power Point is for viewing only. JBlend Java is also included, allowing the user to install Java midlets such as Mobile Gmail.

Power Point - HTC Touch Diamond Review
Power Point - HTC Touch Diamond Review
HTC Touch Diamond Review
Excel Mobile - HTC Touch Diamond Review
 

Excel Mobile

Word Mobile - HTC Touch Diamond Review
Adobe Reader - HTC Touch Diamond Review

Word Mobile

Adobe Reader


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HTC Touch Diamond

HTC Touch Diamond

OS: Windows Mobile Professional 6.1
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
9Excellent
Display2.8 inches, 480 x 640 pixels (286 ppi) TFT
Camera3.2 megapixels
Hardware
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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