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I've been using the HTC diamond, on a contract with Orange, for about four weeks now and thought I'd add a review about a phone that was initially dubbed as the 'iPhone killer'.
Firstly the looks, the Diamond is very slim, has a shiny black casing with some funky shaping on the back panel and slightly rounded corners. The device measures 102 x 51 x 11.33mm, which means it comfortably fits into your pocket unlike some of the other Windows Pocket PC devices. I did drop the device for the first time yesterday (pocket to concrete floor) and the damage was not catastrophic, it did dent very slightly on the corner but generally it did quite well. It could have been much worse however (I have two friends who have dropped their iPhones and the screen has shattered on both) although my insurance would have covered it I guess.
As you would expect there is a large 2.8-inch (65536 colour) VGA touch screen but what is a pleasant surprise is the quality of the screen. It looks fantastic, definitely the best screen I have seen on a mobile device (although I am sure that there are other devices that are better). The screen resolution is an impressive 640 x 480 pixels, the only downside so far has been that my previous caller ID photos looked rubbish, easily remedied by taking some new shots with the device.
There are four buttons below the screen: the call answer button, the end call button, a home button and a back button - pretty standard so far. There is also a circular selection button at the centre of these buttons. This is often a multifunction button, for example navigating up/down/left/right with a central selection button - but it also has some scroll wheel functionality (a bit like an iPod I guess) allowing you to zoom in and out of web pages and photographs. I do feel that this could definitely have been utilised more on the device as very few applications so far seem to support this wheel.
A stylus is included (although if you use the TouchFLO interface you will rarely need it) and this is magnetically held inside the device - a big improvement on some of the previous variations of HTC devices stylus holding systems.
Specification-wise the phone is very good, a Qualcomm 528 Mhz CPU, 192 MB of RAM and 256 MB of flash memory. On its own that's fairly reasonable but it also has 4 GB of internal storage, more than enough for lots of MP3's, Videos and Photos. The phone comes with all the trimmings: Bluetooth 2.0, WiFi, GPS, AGPS, Quadband GSM/GPRS/Edge and UMTS/HSDPA, FM radio and an accelerometer sensor (like the iPhone's). All this hardware comes at a cost - when using the 3G network (if you have it available in your area) the battery disappears rapidly although Internet speeds are great. Disabling the 3G means that the battery lasts much longer but you take a hit on connection speeds.
There are two cameras provided, one low quality front facing one for video calls an auto focusing 3.2 mega pixel main camera on the back. The quality for normal shots is great, more than enough for random snap shots, although as normal on HTC devices shots done in low light do struggle somewhat.
The phone is running Windows Mobile 6.1 and zips along nicely, programs open quickly and are responsive. It can be run using the traditional Windows Mobile interface (today screen etc) but HTC have recognised the impact of the finger friendly iPhone. One of the huge selling points is the much hyped TouchFLO interface that comes installed and running as standard on the device. It looks swish and is generally very effective for navigating around the device. One or two icons can be a little fiddly to hit with your finger but generally there are no problems here. There are different options for text entry, as well as the standard ones, which actually make it viable to use your fingers for those texts and appointment notes. My device is free of the usual Orange branding although I have read that this may be temporary as Orange have had problems getting their bloatware onto the device - long may it last!
Software wise the phone again impresses: Activesync (for contact and calendar synchronisation), Adobe Reader, MS Office mobile, a tweaked Google maps, Internet Explorer, an MP3 trimmer, MSN Messenger, Opera Web browser (great for full web page viewing), Windows Live, YouTube mobile, Windows Media Player, HTC's media album and media players and many more useful programs.
So far I'm very impressed with the device and as it is available for free on contract from a variety of networks it is a definite contender for anybody looking for a new mobile.
Charger for HTC Touch Diamondcompatible with the following model:HTC Touch DiamondProduct ... more
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