By >Daimaou - G.G-B
HTC Touch Diamond, Simply Beautiful and… Only Beautiful?
Here’s one of the most elegant and beautiful WiMo devices available on the market, the HTC Touch Diamond.
When it was announced earlier this year I was amazed by the beauty of this little beast, but wondered how nice this PDA phone would actually be. Yes, the press release pictures were gorgeous, but pictures are sometimes deceiving… When HTC sent me a Diamond earlier this June, I was impressed by its appearance, but that was it.
Let’s put things into perspective, the Touch Diamond for me is similar to an Aston Martin DBS. Both the WiMo device and the car are stunning examples of design, and when you show them to friends they either drool like babies or look at you with envy. Things get real ugly when they do both at the same time…
Strangely, once turned on both the HTC Touch Diamond and Aston Martin DBS failed to impress us… Both are in fact poorly manufactured with cheap materials and slow and unreliable.
I have been using the Touch Diamond for a month now and I’m sad to report some puzzling facts:
- First we have the material used on the Diamond, cheap plastic, especially on the back. After using it for a week it begins to make little noises around the stylus silo, if you happen to hold your phone firmly at this end.
-Then you have the screen, a nice VGA little wonder which is “burned out” by the the phone’s backlight. On our demo unit, the right side of the screen seems to be brighter and “burned” compared to the other side.
- Slow like a dead snail. Don’t get me wrong here, but I hate having a 500Mhz plus powered device in my hands that’s slow to respond when I tape on an application. I can assure you I’ve seen worse, but the Diamond is sluggish and you have to tap the screen several times in order to start an application.
- TouchFlo 3D… Why did HTC recreate what others have already beautifully done, like the SPB Mobile Shell 2.0? I complained earlier about the Touch Diamond’s speed, well believe it or not, the Diamond is slow mainly due to the TouchFlo 3D environment.
There are NO doubts that the UI is gorgeous and will amaze you with it’s nice graphics and animation, but after 15 minutes you’ll find yourself in the Settings Panel removing TouchFlo 3D from your Today List. If you don’t care about speed and enjoy taking your time doing things, consider this… You’ll will spend much of your time scrolling left or right when accessing certain applications. Let’s say for example that you’re at the Home screen and want to access to your web browser with TouchFlo 3D… You’ll have to scroll left or right 5 times to arrive to your final destination. If you’re like me and don’t care about the camera feature or Mp3 player, guess what, there is no way to remove them!
-Too much “tapping” to launch applications! Similar to the TouchFlo 3D interface, HTC also made things worse by adding unnecessary additional steps to get to your “Notification”. Since our VGA screen is smaller than many of those found on other devices, HTC decided to add an additional pop-up page to let you choose between different notification icons like EMAIL, PHONE, NETWORK ,and so on. This adds a further step to the process.
-Weak radio. I own several HTC products, like an MTeor, a Hermes, an Advatange X7510, and now the Diamond. Among all of my HTC toys, the Diamond is the only one which often loses the network when I leave it alone for a time. I have tested this at several different locations and where my MTeor had a signal, the Diamond could not catch anything. Even more puzzling is how sensitive the Diamond is… I was outside Tokyo for a video shoot on the new Toyota Crown Hybrid. Where I used it if I swung the phone to my left I had 3 signal bars, to my right, none… Scary!
-GPS? Well… Yes the GPS works, but don’t be in hurry to get your location.
Pros? There are some don’t worry. The camera UI, as well as the photo album UI and audio UI are stunning, beautiful and fast! I uploaded several pictures taken straight from my 30D Canon in the Diamond and didn’t have any slow down at all when viewing them, even when rotating them. Another nifty feature is the 4GB of HDD storage which can be used as an external USB thumb key. Honestly, this feature works pretty well on any MAC or PC, I even loved the way how HTC presented this with a nice pop-up page asking you if you want to connect your Diamond to the PC via ActiveSync or HDD storage. Well done!
Once again, I say that all UI animations are well done and really gorgeous, if things could be a little bit faster the HTC Touch Diamond would have made my day.
How should I finish this review, if I can honestly call this one… If you put aside the iPHONE 3G for a moment, the HTC Touch Diamond is definitively a good Windows Mobile Device, and this compared to any previous models. The Touch Diamond’s design is really nice, the TouchFlo 3D’s UI is stunning, and we have a very small form factor PDA phone in the hand. However, there are many things that need improvement, like the weak radio and the TouchFlo 3D’s speed, especially when now the Touch Diamond is not the only cool WiMo device out there (Sony Experia and Samsung).
So HTC… now everything is in your hands, just bring us ROM updates!
We just received a new ROM from HTC, which fixed MANY flaw of our current ROM version the 1.37. The ROM 1.93 that we have offer a faster device with an improved RADIO (3G in our case), so PLEASE make sure to update your DIAMOND ASAP