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HTC Touch Diamond Review

HTC Touch Diamond 9

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Camera interface - HTC Touch Diamond Review
Camera interface - HTC Touch Diamond Review

Camera interface

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

Indoor images

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.


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!


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

Power Point

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

  • 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
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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