Review: First impressions of the HTC Touch Diamond2

Summary:The HTC Touch Diamond2 was included in my Clash of the Touch Titans articles and in my summary article I selected the Diamond2 as MY personal favorite due to the "virtually limitless functionality". What I meant by these words was that there is really nothing limiting the Touch Diamond2 from performing any function possible on a mobile phone. It supports MMS, video capture, a multitude of Bluetooth profiles, GPS voice navigation, touch and stylus input, and much more. HTC has taken a solid and sleek Diamond device and improved it in just about every respect. I spent some time at various times with the device and have now had the chance to play with it for a solid day and offer you these first impressions. Check out my image gallery for a few product photos and screenshots from the device. I also included a video of the Touch Diamond2 and the Diamond.

The HTC Touch Diamond2 was included in my Clash of the Touch Titans articles and in my summary article I selected the Diamond2 as MY personal favorite due to the "virtually limitless functionality". What I meant by these words was that there is really nothing limiting the Touch Diamond2 from performing any function possible on a mobile phone. It supports MMS, video capture, a multitude of Bluetooth profiles, GPS voice navigation, touch and stylus input, and much more. HTC has taken a solid and sleek Diamond device and improved it in just about every respect. I spent some time at various times with the device and have now had the chance to play with it for a solid day and offer you these first impressions. Check out my image gallery for a few product photos and screenshots from the device. I also included a video of the Touch Diamond2 and the Diamond.


Image Gallery:A walk around the HTC Touch Diamond2 Windows Mobile Professional device.
Image Gallery: Diamond2 in hand
Image Gallery: Diamond2 Home screen

The HTC Touch Diamond2 was shown off at Mobile World Congress and CTIA a few months ago and is just now starting to hit the streets. The model I am evaluating is the European model that does not support 3G here in the US. I am sure the device will come eventually to at least one US wireless carrier, but do not have any news on when that may be or who that will be from at this time.

The box that the eval unit came in is not the retail packaging since it was a plain black box with no labeling on it. Inside this box was a wired headset, USB cable, and A/C adapter. A slip leather case was also included to offer some protection in your bag or pocket.

Like the HTC Touch Diamond, the Diamond2 feels great in your hand. It is slightly thicker and longer than the Diamond, but still extremely pocketable and compact for a device with all of these wireless features.

Specifications: The HTC Touch Diamond2 is the new premier touch screen Windows Mobile device with the following specificatons:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard operating system (will be upgradeable to WM 6.5)
  • Qualcomm MSM 7200A 528MHz processor
  • 512MB ROM/288MB RAM (about 250MB ROM and 95MB RAM available for the user)
  • 3.2 inch 480x800 WVGA display
  • Quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) and Dual-band HSDPA (900/2100 MHz)
  • Integrated GPS receiver
  • Integrated Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support
  • Integrated 802.11 b/g radio
  • Integrated FM radio
  • G-sensor accelerometer
  • 5 megapixel camera with auto focus
  • 1100 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery
  • microSD card slot with support for SDHC capacities
  • Dimensions: 4.25 x 2.09 x 0.54 inches, 4.15 ounces

Differences between the Diamond and Diamond2: If you have a Diamond or have seen one, then you may be interested in knowing what has been improved or changed in the Diamond2 this year. Here are some of the key differences between the two:

  • Diamond2 ROM increased from 256MB to 512MB
  • Diamond2 RAM increased from 192MB to 288MB
  • Diamond2 has microSD card slot while Diamond has integrated 4GB flash
  • Display went from 2.8 inch 480x640 to 3.2 inch 480x800
  • Camera went from 3.2 megapixel to 5.0 megapixel
  • Battery capacity increased from 900 mAh to 1100 mAh (some Diamond variants had larger battery too)

HTC also improved TouchFLO 3D performance and made the device snappier. I haven't had a chance yet to evaluate the camera performance to see if the jump to 5 megapixels as much of an improvement yet, but plan to over the next few days. The navigation controls are also slightly different and may require some learning to get used to not having a directional pad.

Walk around the hardware: On the front of the device you will see the beautiful 3.2 inch 480x800 display that blows just about every other mobile phone display out of the water. HTC definitely has the display technology down pat and leads most all others. HTC improved the touch screen display sensitivity as well so in many cases it acts just like a capacitive display. This gives you the best of both worlds with great touch sensitivity and the ability to use a stylus for input flexibility.

Along the bottom of the front is the touch sensitive zoom bar that lets you dynamically zoom in the Opera browser, Google Maps, and when viewing images. Below this zoom bar is the send, Windows/Start, back, and end buttons in a straight line across the device. The Windows/Start button takes you to an application shortcut page to quickly get into apps, rather than popping up the Start menu. This is done to mimic what WM 6.5 will show you and seems to be a good strategy by HTC.

The volume bar is found on the upper left side. A mono speaker is on the upper right side with the stylus silo down towards the bottom. The top has a single power button. The HTC ExtUSB port is found on the bottom of the Diamond2 with the mic opening down there as well.

The only thing on the back is the 5 megapixel camera with auto focus. The same frame design is found around the camera while the back is slick and glossy, which makes it a fingerprint magnet.

Walk around the software: The HTC Touch Diamond2 comes with Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional with the announcement that it will be upgradeable to WM 6.5 later this year. HTC also includes RSS Hub (Ilium Software RSS reader), Windows Live Messenger, HTC Calculator, Teeter game, FM radio, YouTube, Google Maps, JBled Java client, Opera Mobile 9.5. I quickly threw on the new WM Facebook application and PocketTwit applications that both ran just fine.

HTC also included a new updated QWERTY keyboard that works very well with haptic feedback. Windows Mobile has an amazing predictive text engine and that combined with this keyboard makes for a very functional text entry system on a very capable device. HTC also provides a keypad method, the standard Windows Mobile QWERTY, Transcriber, Letter Recognizer, and Block Recognizer.

Final first thoughts: So far I am quite impressed with the HTC Touch Diamond2 and now I have to figure out whether I want to go for a slimmer Diamond2 or the thicker Touch Pro2 with full QWERTY keyboard. I really liked the keyboard on the Touch Pro2 that I tried a few times and it will be tough to resist, especially if it comes to T-Mobile as the rumors clearly state. I am not sure if the Diamond2 is coming to T-Mobile, but am sure we will see it on at least 1 US carrier.

As I spend some time with the Diamond2 over the next couple of weeks, please feel free to post any questions you have about it or things you want me to check out in the Talkback section.

Topics: Operating Systems, Hardware, HTC, Mobility, Software, Wi-Fi, Windows

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

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