The Touch Diamond 2 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 Windows Mobile device. This is my first opportunity to really use TouchFLO, and I can see why folks have been raving about it. Everything is great, 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 device settings. The settings application allows me to change and rearrange tabs at will to personalize my user experience, in addition to controlling wireless communications, changing wallpaper, etc.
Wireless & Call Quality
I’m not quite sure about this phone’s voice quality. 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 was probably a situational aberration. Some of my test callers didn’t report any background noise at all, and I could hear and be heard just fine.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth worked flawlessly; no complaints here.
One of the highlights the HTC Diamond 2 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 only HTC has actually done it.
GPS functionality is included, and it works flawlessly with Google Maps. My location was pinpointed in less than two seconds after I first started the application, and it was able to give me a full route to my selected destination in just a couple of seconds. The location-based services on this device are far better than anything else I’ve tried so far.
The phone also includes the full complement of Mobile Office programs, including Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, PowerPoint Mobile, and OneNote Mobile, as well as Remote Desktop Mobile and a Lite edition of Adobe Reader.
A dedicated YouTube application, music player, and an RSS reader ensure that you will never be bored, no matter where you may find yourself. They all worked flawlessly, with the YouTube application starting you off with the ten most-watched videos of the day, or you can browse by category or perform a key-word search. Make a selection and your video starts instantly, in full screen, just as it does on the iPhone/iPod Touch
Music playback with Windows Media Mobile works as expected, and 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 — if you want to use the Diamonds as a music phone/iPod replacement, you’ll probably want to get a headset for a better experience.
The RSS Hub works well, allowing you to choose from a small list of popular sites, search for feeds, or enter your own feeds if you know the proper URL. It works just as you would expect, and it’s nice to have a built-in application instead of having to purchase your own or relying on Google Reader in the included Opera Mobile web browser.
The 5 MPx camera takes good quality shots, as you would expect, but it has some problems with exposure, especially if you’re trying to take a photo in a shady spot on a bright, sunny day. The background often is “blown out” while the foreground is too dark; this can be a problem with any camera, but I have never experienced it on any of the other phones I’ve reviewed, and it was especially noticeable with this device.
The lower resolution cameras on other devices have done a much better job with exposure. Some of this can be rectified by changing the settings, but the camera was something of a disappointment compared to all of the other great features on this phone.
No worries about battery life at all — the Touch Diamond 2 seems to sip power, instead of sucking it down like some devices I’ve seen.
The charger that comes with the device is relatively compact and extremely light, with folding prongs for convenience. It works with the USB cable included with the phone to charge your device. When the phone is charging, an orange light glows at the top, just to the left of the speaker. When fully charged, the light turns green so you know you’re ready to go.