HTC Touch Diamond review: Geek's best friend

GSMArena team, 15 July 2008.
Pages: 12345678

We called it a game for the Diamond and Omnia but the crowd is still on their feet, so there we go with the HTC Diamond's lap of honor. The latest HTC squad member, HTC Touch Diamond, might as well be starting a new era for Microsoft OS-powered mobiles.

Never before has Windows Mobile looked this sharp, nor has it been as feature-loaded. Gem-inspired design, VGA screen, GPS and a built-in accelerometer might just be enough to get WinMo fans exited but the HTC Touch Diamond reaches beyond. A usable 3 megapixel camera and the latest edition of the TouchFLO UI are running on the brand new 6.1 version of the Windows Mobile Professional OS. And all that is packed into a package that's as compact as they get.

We already saw the Diamond in action - and up against some cutthroat competition. It now has the spotlight all to itself and we're about to see if it's got the diamond-hard performance to become a true blockbuster.

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HTC Touch Diamond official photos

Key features

  • 2.8" 65K-color VGA display
  • TouchFLO 3D Home screen and gesture controls
  • 4 GB of internal storage
  • Wi-Fi
  • Qualcomm MSM7201A 528 Mhz CPU and 192 MB DDR SDRAM
  • Dedicated graphics chip (64MB RAM reserved for graphics)
  • HSDPA 7.2Mbps
  • Built-in GPS receiver
  • Standout design
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS
  • 3.15 MP auto focus camera
  • Active magnetic stylus
  • Touch-sensitive scroll wheel
  • MS Office Mobile document editor
  • Opera 9.5 web browser
  • Standard miniUSB slot and Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP
  • Comes with the amusing Teeter game
  • YouTube client
  • Excellent video playback performance

Main disadvantages:

  • Poor battery life
  • Fingerprint nightmare
  • Average sunlight legibility
  • No memory card slot
  • Questionable build quality
  • Tri-band GSM support only
  • No TV out port
  • No standard 3.5mm audio jack
  • Back panel design has negative impact on usability and camera image quality
  • Back panel finish started to wear off in a few weeks of usage
  • Limited scroll wheel usage

It's rather hard to find a Windows mobile device to boast the same extras as the Diamond and be just as pocket-friendly. The compact size of the HTC Touch Diamond and the VGA screen are its best ammo in the market share war.

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HTC Touch Diamond all over

We already stood the HTC Touch Diamond against the other most interesting WinMo device to recently surface - the Samsung i900 Omnia. You can replay the PocketPC championship game here.

HTC Touch Diamond vs Samsung i900 Omnia HTC Touch Diamond vs Samsung i900 Omnia HTC Touch Diamond vs Samsung i900 Omnia HTC Touch Diamond vs Samsung i900 Omnia
HTC Touch Diamond and Samsung i900 Omnia head to head

Alongside the Omnia, there are a couple of other devices to fight the HTC Touch Diamond for a place under the sun. Here are a few alternatives to check out before cashing out for the Diamond.

Eten glofiish X900 has virtually the same feature pack as the HTC Touch Diamond, although it weighs a good 37 grams more. However, it packs quad-band GSM and tri-band UMTS (with HSDPA), which might make all the difference for frequent travelers. The glofiish V900 is another interesting offer by Eten not to be overlooked, especially with that built-in DVB-H/DVB-T/T-DMB/DAB TV broadcast receiver in mind. Neither of Eten devices however has hit the shelves, so we are yet to see if their performance is a match for the Diamond.

A few members of the Gigabyte g-Smart lineup also feature VGA screens and comparably lightweight bodies. i350, t600 and MW998 are a few names that come to mind. We doubt it however that the PocketPCs manufactured by the relatively less popular GigaByte can be considered as a serious rival of the Diamond.

Now if you have already gone through the HTC Touch Diamond and Samsung i900 Omnia head-to-head article you are probably wondering if this review is worth your time. Well, truthfully, we have put our every effort to make it worth it:

  • we've added a number of new unpublished photos - both of the device and the interface
  • we've added a whole bunch of unpublished camera samples
  • we've covered new topics such as detailed TouchFLO Home screen description, the FM radio, the organizer, the mobile office and the full range of preinstalled applications
  • we've covered the Opera 9.5 web browser in greater detail
  • and finally, we've added a whole new chapter on Tweaking and Modding that would hopefully allow you to unleash the true power of your Diamond

So basically, we really hope that you would enjoy this detailed review as much as you enjoy most of our articles here at GSMArena. Well, if we've got you interested enough, hit this small jump for more on the HTC Touch Diamond.

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