We've just received our HTC Touch Diamond, and this is the version for Europe, not Asia. First off-- this is not anything like the Windows Mobile you know and perhaps love. Unlike prior HTC Touch phones, the Diamond goes much deeper to revise the standard Windows Mobile UI. It's pure eye candy, and is generally surprisingly fast thanks to some graphics hardware and software acceleration under the hood. Yes, there are occasional lags, but so far nothing that has driven us mad.
Fear not, Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro is still there under the hood for those who crave a familiar interface. Simply tap the Start Menu up to on the home screen to get to all the usual programs and settings. The Diamond's TouchFLO 3D software includes a home screen that's similar to other Touch PDA phones, but there's a strip of icons at the bottom that you scroll through with the swipe of a finger. These include highly graphical and beautiful interfaces for the camera, email (flip through virtual envelops to move through messages), weather (yes, on rainy days a windshield wiper goes across the weather screen every so often), music with album covers (similar to the iPhone's cover flo you can swipe through them), the Opera 9 web browser with shortcut to YouTube and more. Again, it's pure eye candy, but it also speeds up access to common tasks compared to regular WinMo. We'll need to use it more before we call it more expediant than the original TouchFLO interface.
Opera 9.5 offers an iPhone experience except the initial view of a web page is hard to read on a 2.8" VGA display so you'll need to tap and zoom in to read text. We like it better on the HTC Advantage X7510 with its very large VGA display. Zooming and finger-panning are very fast and like the iPhone, the Touch Diamond automatically switches to landscape when you turn the phone. Here's a video of the web browser in action:
Now the bad news: yes, it's really triband with no US 850MHz support on GSM and no 1900MHz 3G. Though the network selection settings screen shows options for 850/1900MHz GSM and 3G, selecting it does nada. We put an AT&T SIM in the phone and tried both the auto network selection and the 850/1900MHz selection and got no service (AT&T has no 1900MHz GSM service in our area, only 850MHz for GSM/EDGE and only 1900MHz for 3G). The HTC Touch Diamond supports 900/1800/1900MHz for GSM/EDGE and only 2100MHz for 3G. Boohoo. So we put our trusty T-Mobile US SIM in the phone and were good to go since T-Mobile operates on the 1900MHz band for GSM and EDGE. Alas, that means no 3G joy here in the US and no love for AT&T until HTC releases a US version of the Touch Diamond.
The Touch Diamond has 4 gigs of internal memory, but no microSD card slot. HTC's chief designer Horace Luke said there simply wasn't room for the slot. The phone supports USB transfer mode and you can use that or Bluetooth to get files on or off en masse.
Normally we don't get into the whole unboxing sctick, but we'll make an exception for the Diamond, whose packaging is both beautiful and unique.
HTC includes a world charger with a new design (but same amp/volt and connector as other recent HTC devices), stereo earbud headset with a special diamond design, USB cable, software CD, manuals (some tiny since they have to fit into the bottom of the box) and a screen protector.
Specs: Processor Qualcomm MSM7201A 528 MHz Operating System Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional Memory ROM: 256 MB RAM: 192 MB DDR SDRAM Internal storage: 4 GB Dimensions 102 mm (L) X 51 mm (W) X 11.35 mm (T) Weight 110 g (with battery) Display 2.8-inch TFT-LCD flat touch-sensitive screen with VGA resolution Network HSDPA/WCDMA: Europe/Asia: 900/2100 MHz Up to 384 kbps up-link and 7.2 Mbps down-link speeds
GPS GPS and A-GPS ready Connectivity Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 b/g HTC ExtUSB (11-pin mini-USB 2.0 and audio jack in one) Camera Main camera: 3.2 megapixel color camera with auto focus Secondary camera: VGA CMOS color camera Audio Built-in microphone, speaker and FM radio with RDS Battery Rechargeable Lithium-ion or Lithium-ion polymer battery capacity: 900 mAh
Stay tuned for our full review in the coming days. Until then, feel free to post your questions!
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview