The HTC Touch Diamond2 will be the replacement for a high-end Windows phone that was released around the world last year.
I am just starting a full review of this consumer-oriented smartphone, but I’m going to go ahead and share my first impressions.
BUILD AND DESIGN
The HTC Touch Diamond2 is one of the coolest, sleekest phones I’ve seen so far. Sometimes that means that the functionality and productivity aspects of the device are less than one might hope, but that certainly is not the case here.
All of the basics are here, including Windows Mobile 6.1, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth wireless connectivity, as well as some superb extras like a 5 MPx camera, a forward-facing camera for video calls, and a phenomenal touch interface.
The exterior is metal on the front and sides, and black plastic on the back. I remember the original Diamond had a blocky, “faceted” surface evocative of a jewel, but the new one has a smooth, sleek back so the device is much more comfortable to hold in the hand.
The buttons on the front of the device are very small and understated, but functional. Overall the phone feels substantial and well made, with no creaking or flexing in the casing
The 3.2-inch TFT-LCD Touchscreen runs at 480 by 800 (WVGA) resolution, and is truly spectacular — crisp, clear, and easy to read. Photos look simply stunning, and while I haven’t had a chance to test video playback yet I suspect that it will be a good experience.
The external speaker is capable of extremely loud volumes, the loudest I’ve heard so far on the devices I’ve tested. The sound quality is good, but not spectacular.
The Touch Diamond2 is based on a 528 MHz Qualcomm processor, and performance is very snappy indeed. That was a surprise to me, considering the extra-slick TouchFLO 3D interface — it’s hard to believe that Windows Mobile 6.1 can look this good and perform this well. In fact, if you don’t look too closely, you may even forget you’re using a WM device.
This is my first opportunity to really use TouchFLO, and I can see why folks have been raving about it. Everything from the cool retro clock on the home screen to the zoom bar at the bottom that takes me instantly to any necessary feature, from messaging and weather to stock quotes and settings.
The touch interface is remarkably responsive, and the on-screen keyboard works pretty well. I had some at first, mainly due to the word prediction software not guessing right a couple of times, but I like the large, easy to read keys on the virtual keyboard. Haptic feedback with each keypress ensures that with some practice you will be highly accurate. You can also use the included stylus, but I found that my fingers worked well enough.
Voice quality will require more extensive testing than the few hours I’ve had with the device so far. A couple of my callers said that while my voice comes through loud and clear, they could also hear quite a bit of noise in the background. There was quite a lot going on during my first test calls, from garbage trucks rumbling down the street to church bells pealing a couple of blocks away, so it’s hard to say right now if this is a general problem with the device or if it was a situational aberration.
One of the highlights the HTC Diamond2 offers is people-centric communication, with call history and SMS messages grouped by contact rather than date — it’s one of those things that makes perfect sense, but HTC is the first to actually do it.
Wireless networking, the camera, GPS functionality and much more will be covered in the final review.
More extensive testing over the next few days will soon be followed with a complete review of the HTC Touch Diamond2. My initial impressions are quite positive, but stay tuned here at Brighthand for everything you need to know about one of the latest mobile devices from HTC.