The HTC Touch Diamond2 features a built-in GPS receiver - it's the Qualcomm gpsOne chipset, which comes along with the Qualcomm 7200A platform.
The Diamond2 supports the Assisted-GPS technology, commonly known as A-GPS. It means you can download current satellite data over Wi-Fi or the 2G/3G network for a much faster satellite lock.
The Diamond2 comes with Google Maps. With a more advanced GPS app installed, the handset can easily replace your dedicated GPS navigation unit thanks to the large screen. Given the huge pixel count, a lot more of the map gets displayed on screen at the same zoom level.
Chipset sensitivity of the HTC Touch Diamond2 seems to be on the faster side when it comes to getting an initial satellite lock. Overall, we're pretty happy with the sensitivity of the gpsOne chipset.
And we've finally reach the real fun part of this review - at least for us, that is. PocketPCs have long been the target of custom modding, patching and tweaking. HTC for one have an especially active fan base that seem to be constantly poking and prodding to optimize the usability of their device.
So, the HTC Touch Diamond2 review would not be complete without mentioning some of the achievements on the user customization and modding scene.
Most tweaks require modifying the Windows Mobile registry. However, in case you feel anxious about messing with the system registry, you can find most of the currently available tweaks among the options of the third-party Advanced Configuration Tool (or simply the Advanced Config).
The Advanced Configuration Tool is a tweaking app, now compatible with Diamond2, just as it was with the Touch HD or the original diamond. It allows for fine-tuning a lot of options.
For example you can replace the battery in the taskbar with a clock, change splash screens, and change a lot of performance related settings. You can learn more about it and download it here.
With each new phone released running the TouchFLO, HTC manage to sweep some more of Windows Mobile under the rug and replace it with their silky smooth interface. Touch-optimization is at a level where you can almost forget about the stylus.
We guess quite some of the Diamond2 worth is in the more recent and upgraded TouchFLO 3D. Of course it will most likely be retrofitted on the original Diamond by third-party developers, so we're talking competitive edge here, not upgrader's value. Anyway, it's just not Diamond vs. Diamond time yet.
The way we see it, the Diamond2 is comfortably poised between Diamond and Touch HD, and this blending of bloodlines is its real edge.
We were very impressed with the HTC Touch HD but its size was a bit of a limiting factor. The Diamond2 packs most of the hardware of the HD into a smaller, more manageable package (using the HD with one hand can be troublesome). That coveted 3.5 mm audio jack alas didn't cross over to the Diamond2.
As to the first Diamond, we believe it's got an upgrade it can be proud of. Other than the lack of a D-pad and the faceted rear, the Number 2 is superior in both hardware and software. Of course we can see the point of those who will miss the original Diamond's D-pad. But we guess the interface, processing power, imaging and storage capacity you get in return are a fair deal. Even the more mainstream styling of the Diamond2 is not a downside. Feels like HTC took something home from working on the XPERIA.
Away from HTC home turf there are a couple of Windows Mobile phones that will arrive soon to compete against the HTC Touch Diamond2.
The Gigabyte g-Smart S1200 is closely matched screen-wise but comes up short in the camera department and has less than half the RAM at 128MB. It will use the GSmart Flash UI, which we have a short demo of from the MWC this year.
The LG GM730 is low on screen resolution but with the 5MP Schneider-Kreuznach optics, it may just make up for it. And it's no secret we like LG's S-Class interface.
In conclusion, the HTC Touch Diamond2 is an excellent Windows Mobile phone that will handle whatever you throw at it with ease. But that's no news for an HTC-made PocketPC . The news is HTC have themselves a solid upgrade of an excellent device and a strong contender in the increasingly competitive smartphone market.