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HTC TOUCH DIAMOND2: BEST SMARTPHONE WITH LATEST SENSITIVE 3D SHARP TOUCHSCREEN – REVIEW AND SPECS

By • Apr 14th, 2009 • Category: ! Daily Info & Reviews

 

 

HTC TOUCH DIAMOND2: BEST SMARTPHONE WITH LATEST SENSITIVE 3D SHARP TOUCHSCREEN  - REVIEW AND SPECS

 

When you first see and start exploring the HTC Touch Diamond2, you’ll be struck by its brilliant looks and amazed by the intuitive controls.A great 3d interface in large 3.2in TFT LCD touch-sensitive and very sharp video. 5.0 megapixel camera. The HTC Touch Diamond2 is possibly the best touchscreen phone since the Apple iPhone 3G, and a best smartphone .  it lived up to the hype, with its compact size, distinctive TouchFLO interface, easy email, exemplary browser, impressive touch screen, loads of potential apps thanks to its Windows Mobile base.

HTC Touch Diamond2, is slightly bigger and heavier with a larger touch screen and upgrades the camera to 5 megapixels. The build quality of the case has also improved, and there are also a few tweaks to the interface, a new zoom bar which works for both pictures and web, upgraded applications and improved battery life. It doesn’t exactly break the mould of the original Diamond but it offers a very creditable upgrade with improvements in almost every area.

The Diamond2’s extended screen is a beautiful thing – it’s a large 3.2in TFT LCD touch-sensitive one offering 800×480 pixel WVGA resolution (that’s VGA, but wide). It’s sharp, bright and clear and acquits itself well for display purposes. In terms of sensitivity it strikes a good balance between accessing icons and doing the glide thing where you slide your thumb over the screen to scroll through menus or move pictures around. 

The HTC Touch Diamond2 is slightly bigger than its predecessor at 108x53x14mm and 118g (the original was 102x51x11mm and 108g) with the extra size being used almost entirely to deliver its extended screen – 3.2-inches rather than 2.8-inches, and covering most of the front of the phone. The plasticky D-pad beneath the screen has gone and been replaced with a thin line of buttons – call start and stop, Windows menu and a back button. Just above this is a zoom bar for use when browsing or viewing pictures.  The sides feature minimal fuss with just a volume rocker and loudspeaker, plus a slot for the stylus (it comes with a spare), a mini USB charging/headphone slot on the bottom and power button on top.

HTC’s TouchFLO 3D interface, which sits on top on the Windows 6.1 operating system is back and better than ever. You can scroll through the functions using the menu bar along the bottom of the screen or go straight to the Windows menu, accessible through the usual button in the top left of the screen, or via the hard button beneath it. Either way, there’s a surprise waiting when you get there, for instead of the usual drop-down Windows menu there’s a series of iPhone-like thumb-sized app icons, which you won’t need the stylus to access.

Several other aspects of the TouchFLO interface have been tweaked too, including a new calendar and calculator, and the keys of the still rather cramped keyboard can be set to vibrate with haptic feedback, which makes it a little easier to use, as well as an eerily accurate word correction tool that seems to know which word your sausage-shaped fingers are fumbling for. While HTC has managed to disguise the Windows Mobile system better than anyone before with the Touch Diamond2, when it comes to writing a new message the familiar clunky WinMo interface reared its ugly head again, with a sluggish interface and a convoluted method of adding in recipients.

HTC has tried to divert the user away from having to use the Windows Mobile interface by allowing direct messaging from the (pretty decent) contacts entries, with a conversation history between the user and the designated contact as well as the ability to write new messages from the entry as well.

It appears this is just another left over element from Windows Mobile 6.1, otherwise you’d imagine HTC would have skinned this element too, so we’ve now got to have faith that Windows Mobile 6.5 will sort this problem later this year.

HTC TOUCH DIAMOND2: BEST SMARTPHONE WITH LATEST SENSITIVE 3D SHARP TOUCHSCREEN  - REVIEW AND SPECS

The camera has never been a strong point on HTC’s devices, but they’ve been improving steadily. The Touch Diamond2 features a 5 megapixel model and it’s a significant jump up from the original Touch Diamond’s 3.2 megapixels, let alone the iPhone’s paltry 2 megapixel effort. You can access it from the home page and it takes about three seconds to load. There’s auto-focus but no flash and it takes about four seconds to take a pic, which makes it unsuitable for quick snaps. Maximum resolution is 2592×1552 pixels and you can adjust ISO, white balance and brightness, plus there’s a self-timer (up to ten seconds) and a panorama mode, but there are no post-pic editing options. The camera is certainly better than its predecessor, but still falls behind similarly specced snappers from the likes of Nokia and Sony Ericsson. Colours are less than vibrant and there’s not really as much detail as there should be. Video quality drops to VGA resolution (640×480) in MPEG4 format and will look okay on YouTube, but it doesn’t handle movement very well and there’s a fair degree of noise
Opera is the default browser, though Internet Explorer is also on board should you feel the need. Web access is fast too, with either the HSDPA 3G link (up to 7.2Mbps download) or Wi-Fi and the zoom slider is now constantly accessible beneath the screen, or beside it if you use the onboard accelerometer to switch the screen resolution to landscape mode. HTC has added a new feature which it likes to call ‘Push Internet’. It aims to get around delays in loading your favourite web pages by preloading pages that you set up in advance at stated intervals.
Downloaded video holds up well on the HTC Touch Diamond2’s luxurious screen. It can handle all the main video formats including WMV, ASF, MP4, 3GP, 3G2, M4V and AVI, plus there’s a dedicated app to help you get the best out of YouTube. The music player includes a ten-band graphic equaliser which you can customise to your personal taste, or take advantage of one of the 21 presets. HTC’s distinctive-looking earphones aren’t great and unfortunately there’s no 3.5mm jack plug which would make them easy to replace – you’ll need a pair that connect by micro USB or Bluetooth. The FM radio holds ups to 20 presets and gives you the option of stereo or mono, depending on the quality of the broadcast.

You’ll need the earphones to act an aerial though you can also play the music through the phone’s loudspeaker. There’s also a sleep timer so you can set it to switch itself off automatically. office Mobile is on board offering pocket-sized Word, Excel and PowerPoint document creation as well as Adobe Reader for viewing PDFs. There’s also onboard GPS with Google Maps for finding your way around
Memory:
The HTC Touch Diamond2 has 512MB of onboard memory (the original Diamond had 256MB) and the microSD capacity has been beefed up to 16GB, though there’s no card supplied. You’ll need to remove the case to get to the memory card, but not the battery, so it’s hot swappable, just about.

HTC’s products have tended to be satisfactory on battery life but the company has made more of an effort with the Touch Diamond2. The battery this time out is noticeably bigger than its predecessor and claims up to 340 minutes and 360 hours for GSM usage (300 minutes, 500 hours for WCDMA). It only promises an extra ten minutes of talk time over the original Diamond, but in practise we found that it lasted significantly longer and gave us a good three days of regular use, including web browsing using Wi-Fi.

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HTC TOUCH Spec comparison:

HTC Touch Diamond2
Size: 108x53x14mm, 118g
Screen: 3.2in TFT LCD with WVGA resolution
Camera: 5 megapixels
Memory: 512MB onboard, up to 16GB microSD
Connectivity: Quad-band GSM, HSDPA 3G, Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi
Battery life: Talk time 340mins, standby 360hrs (GSM)

HTC Touch Diamond
Size: 102x51x11mm, 108g
Screen: 2.8in TFT LCD with VGA resolution
Camera: 3.2 megapixels
Memory: 256MB onboard, up to 4GB microSD
Connectivity: Quad-band GSM, HSDPA 3G, Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi
Battery life: Talk time 330mins, standby 285hrs (GSM)
Chief among these is its glorious new larger touch screen which takes up almost the full face of the phone. Video viewing may not be quite so breathtaking as the Touch HD but it’s not far off – pictures and video look great on it and the new zoom bar allows you to get deep into your pics onscreen.

The 5 megapixel camera is an improvement on the original Diamond’s snapper, though it still lacks the clarity, depth, colour and sharpness of other 5 megapixel camera phones such as the Nokia N79 or the Sony Ericsson C902.

Email is as effective and easy to set up as ever, and the web browser is a dream, with that zoom bar every bit as effective as the iPhone’s pinch feature.

Other improvements include the improved casing – it feels much sturdier now than the original Diamond which, though lightweight, did feel cheaper and more plasticky than its impressive spec would suggest it should.

Memory has also been beefed up, with the onboard capacity doubled to 512MB and the ability to accept up to 16GB microSD cards, though none is supplied. Battery life is better too, and we managed three days of moderate use before we had to recharge.

Special mention must go, as it always does with HTC’s Windows Mobile handsets, to the very lovely TouchFLO 3D interface, which has always been good, but now has a few extra eye-catching animations to lift it well above the underlying Windows Mobile 6.1 OS, which, fortunately, you’ll have little cause to use.

To sum it up, the Diamond2 is the do-it-all jewel in HTC’s crown, and the most creditable alternative to the iPhone available anywhere at the present time.

HTC TOUCH DIAMOND2: BEST SMARTPHONE WITH LATEST SENSITIVE 3D SHARP TOUCHSCREEN  - REVIEW AND SPECS

Processor: Qualcomm® MSM7200A™, 528 MHz
Operating: System Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional
Memory ROM: 512 MB
RAM: 288 MB
Dimensions: 107.85 X 53.1 X 13.7 mm (4.25 X 2.09 X 0.54 inches)
Weight: 117.5 grams (4.15 ounces) with battery
Display: 3.2-inch TFT-LCD touch-sensitive screen with 480 X 800 WVGA resolution
Network HSDPA/WCDMA:

Europe/Asia: 900/2100 MHz
Up to 2 Mbps up-link and 7.2 Mbps down-link speeds
Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE:

Europe/Asia: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
(Band frequency, HSUPA availability, and data speed are operator dependent.)
 
Device Control: TouchFLO™ 3D, Zoom bar
GPS: Internal GPS antenna
Connectivity: Bluetooth® 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate and A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 b/g
HTC ExtUSB™: (11-pin mini-USB 2.0 and audio jack in one)
Camera:
Main camera: 5.0 megapixel color camera with auto focus
Second camera: VGA CMOS color camera
Audio: supported formats AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, QCP, MP3, WMA, WAV, MIDI, M4A
Video: supported formats WMV, ASF, MP4, 3GP, 3G2, M4V, AVI
Battery: Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery
Capacity: 1100 mAh
Talk time:
Up to 300 minutes for WCDMA
Up to 340 minutes for GSM
Standby time:
Up to 500 hours for WCDMA
Up to 360 hours for GSM
Video call time: Up to 150 minutes
(The above are subject to network and phone usage.)
Expansion Slot: microSD™ memory card (SD 2.0 compatible)
AC Adapter: Voltage range/frequency: 100 ~ 240V AC, 50/60 Hz
DC output: 5V and 1A
Special Features: FM Radio, G-Sensor

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