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HTC Touch Diamond Review

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HTC Touch Diamond Technical Specifications:

  • General:
    Announced: 2008, May
    Status: Available. Released 2008, May
  • Size:
    Dimensions: 102 x 51 x 11.5 mm
    Weight: 110 g
  • Display:
    Type: TFT touchscreen, 65K colors
    Size: 480 x 640 pixels, 2.8 inches
    – TouchFLO 3D finger swipe navigation, – Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate, – Touch, -sensitive navigation controls, – Handwriting recognition,
  • Ringtones
    Type: Polyphonic (40 channels), MP3, WAV, WMA
    Customization: Download
  • Vibration:Yes
  • Memory:
    Phonebook: Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall
    Call records: Practically unlimited
    Card slot: No
    – 4 GB user available memory , – 192 MB DDR SDRAM, 256 MB ROM ,- Qualcomm MSM7201A 528 Mhz processor .
  • Data :
    GPRS: Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 – 48 kbps
    HSCSD: No
    EDGE: Class 10, 236.8 kbps
    3G: HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps
    WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
    Bluetooth: Yes, v2.0 with A2DP
    Infrared port: No
    USB: Yes, miniUSB
  • Features :
    OS: Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
    Messaging: SMS, MMS, Email, Instant Messaging
    Browser: WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML
    Games: Yes .
    Colors: Black
    Camera : 3.15 MP, 2048×1536 pixels, autofocus, video; secondary VGA videocall camera
    – Built-in GPS with A-GPS , – Stereo FM radio with RDS ,- Pocket Office(Word, Excel, Outlook, PDF viewer), – Java MIDP 2.0, – Voice memo, – MP3 player, – Built-in handsfree
  • Battery :Standard battery, Li-Ion 900 mAh
    Stand-by: Up to 285 h
    Talk time: Up to 5 h 30 min
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Introduction:

The HTC Touch Diamond is finally in our office and you can count on it getting all the attention it deserves. Just as a little teaser we decided to give you this short preview of the highly sought after gadget that seems to have it all – Windows Mobile 6.1, the wonderful HTC TouchFLO 3D user interface, VGA touchscreen display, all sorts of connectivity mumbo-jumbo, built-in accelerometer, 4 gigs worth of storage, GPS and a 3 megapixel camera. And those are just the shortlisted specs to keep it readable.
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Design:
HTC Touch Diamond’s dimensions of 102 x 51 x 11.5mm really put it among the most compact PocketPCs on the market. In fact there isn’t a single Windows Mobile Professional- powered device to match its thickness and only a handful to beat the weight of 110g.
Unlike the iPhone, the HTC Touch Diamond has a circular directional pad, much like the one in HTC Touch Cruise. The Touch Diamond is a beautifully crafted phone. HTC has obviously paid attention to every little detail, and the result is amazing.
The first time we unboxed the Touch we were astonished at just how small it was, yet HTC has managed to go even smaller with the Diamond all while packing in worlds of new features.
The HTC Touch Diamond still has the same 2.8 inch screen as other regular PDA phones. What is wrong with upping it to 3 inch, HTC? The design of the HTC Touch Diamond is reminiscent of the Nokia Prism phones, with diamond like patterns on the back of the device.
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Phone Book:

Outside of the People tab, the phonebook on the Touch Diamond is standard Windows Mobile fare. From that tab the user can launch the full phonebook, which is identical to what we have seen on past HTC WM devices, such as the Touch.
HTC has created custom screens for incoming and outgoing calls. The outgoing screen displays the contact name and phone number at the top, and to the left of that is the Picture ID (if one is not assigned a default silhouette is used.)
There is a grouping of six buttons in the middle- two rows of three- which includes Hold, Add Call, Note, Mute, Speaker and Contacts. At the bottom is a large red End Call button. The incoming screen is a bit plainer; the Picture ID is centered at the top, and below is the contact name and number.
A large green Answer and red Ignore button sit below that, and finally is a Mute Call option along the bottom. The Picture ID is not quite as small as a standard Windows Mobile ID is, but it’s still not large. It is larger on the incoming than outgoing screen, and with the VGA resolution the size isn’t really an issue.

Organizer:

Again, the PIM functionality of the Diamond is the same as other Windows Mobile devices. The calendar is launched from the Home tab. It can be viewed in several ways; Agenda, Day, Week, Month and Year. Adding an appointment is simple, though not exactly finger friendly. Since we’re dealing with the standard Windows Mobile interface here it is best to pull out the stylus to add events.
The Diamond offers other essential PIM elements such as Tasks, Notes, Voice Recorder and a calculator. These programs are more basic and all work as you would expect them to. There are a few options available for Tasks, for instance setting priorities, reminders, recurrences and categories. Notes can be handwritten or entered via the various keypads. Other than that it and the rest are barebones, which is just how simple programs should be.

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Interface:
Home screen TouchFLO 3D (TF3D) is awesome. The “home screen” is an interface in itself, and users will rarely have to venture outside of its environment.
On the Home tab the user will see a large clock, as well as any missed calls and upcoming calendar appointments. The People tab lets the user set visual speed dials for their contact list.
Pictures and Videos allow the user to scroll through their albums directly from the main screen. Flicking up and down moves the user through their images and movies, and tapping on one will bring it into full screen mode.
The Weather tab is very cool. It allows users to add up to 10 cities worldwide and has some slick animations for the current conditions. For instance, when it’s raining the screen will appear to get drops on it before a windshield wipercleans them off.
The settings tab is in essence a skinned, watered down version of the standard WM settings screen. Settings available are Sync Data, Sound, Wallpaper, Communications (Comm Manager,) Data (to manage weather download options) and About. The user can also launch All Settings, which takes them to the WM settings menu with all the options.
The last tab, Programs, is a simple launcher that allows the user to set up to 18 shortcuts to programs. It shows 9 per screen, to access the second screen the user simply flicks their thumb upward. The user can also launch All Programs, which is a skinned version of the WM Programs menu.

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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 dra

g 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.

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Messaging:

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.
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.

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Software:
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.
The Diamond offers 192MB DDR SDRAM and 256MB ROM, with 4GB of internal storage in lieu of a microSD slot.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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HTC Touch Diamond camera samples

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.
Windows Mobile devices have never been good in taking photos so we were also wondering how the Touch Diamond would fare in this respect.
You can see for yourselves that the HTC Touch Diamond doesn’t really shine in the camera department just as expected. It’s good for a Windows Mobile device, but the contrast levels are too low (maybe because a too small lens was used) and the color balance is not always correct.
Videos can be recorded in MPEG4 or H.263 formats and can be shot in Small, Medium, Large and CIF (352×288) resolutions. The documentation doesn’t actually specify what Small, Medium and Large resolutions are, but it appears Large is actually 352×288 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.

Conclusion:
We Have a Winner from HTC. I hope it was quiet capable to break the sales of New Apple iPhone .But there are some drawbacks for this mobiles which it is in desperate need to hav better backup.
The HTC Touch Diamond is the most consumer-friendly Windows Mobile smartphone yet. It’s
both powerful and easy to use. People looking to step up from a regular phone to a much more feature-rich one should seriously consider this device.
HTC has clearly put many hours of thought into how to make a smartphone more intuitive, and this device shows it.
As cool as the Touch Diamond is, and it is very cool, those who are looking for a high-end for business device should look elsewhere. This is a smartphone primarily for consumers who won’t miss the features it’s lacking, like a memory card slot.

Siddartha is a Blogger from India. He is currently working as a Java Front End developer and he loves writing about tutorials, technology, algorithm, etc. You can follow him on Twitter | Facebook | Google+.

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