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HTC Touch Diamond 2 Mobile Phone

by on Jun.29, 2009, under Gadgets, Mobile, Technology

HTC’s Diamond upgrade is a much waited product. Unlike other things the sequel The Diamond 2 seemed to live up to the expectation. What do we have to say:

Form Factor
This handset, is better designed than its predecessor. It’s slimmer and sleeker and the large display at 3.2-inches makes quite a lot of difference for touchscreen functionality. The display resolution is 480 x 800 pixels with 65K colors. Just below the display is a touch sensitive zoom bar that can be used for WebPages, images etc. A set of volume keys are located on the side with a universal all-in-one mini USB port located at the base. A thin stylus can be popped out of the corner from beneath the handset. The Diamond 2 has a microSD card slot that can only be accessed by slipping off the rear panel. A VGA camera for video calling is placed above the display and the main 5 megapixel lens is located at the rear.

HTC Touch Diamond 2

It’s much lighter and easier to carry around. The screen is not scratch resistant so you might want to get a screen protector as it tends to pick up scratches every time you slide it into or out of your pocket.

Features and Performance

HTC’s TouchFLO 3D user interface isn’t any different in this handset. The larger display, makes it a little easier to navigate. The quick access pages make activating and using various functions very easy. Though HTC has tried to make this handset’s UI as finger friendly as possible, the underlying WinMob UI seeps through the cracks ever so often and then you find yourself having to remove the stylus and use both hands instead of just one.

HTC Touch Diamond 2

The onscreen keypads are available in a variety of forms – Full QWERTY keypad that also automatically gets activated when in landscape mode via the accelerometer, an alphanumeric mobile keypad, the regular WinMob QWERTY keypad and forms of handwriting recognition options as well. The problem is that the keypads are a bit too small, even in landscape. It’ll take a lot of getting used to and even after extensively using it I couldn’t. The Phone keypad is a little better if you prefer that option, but there was surely room for that to be larger too.

HTC Touch Diamond 2

The good thing is with a Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional OS and UI along with a Qualcomm MSM7200A 528 MHz processor, the handset is quite quick even with a page full of apps running in the background.

The bundled headset is very comfortable to use as you can’t really opt for an easy change considering it has a mini USB port for connectivity. So no AV out option is available. For music you can opt to use the Default Windows Media Player for the TouchFLO player, which is easily accessible. The issue of quality emitting from each player specifically is moot as the handset’s audio capacity is pretty good from volume to tone. The Audio Booster provides additional quality and preference options with EQ presets and a 10 channel graphic EQ setting that can be customized. An MP3 trimmer is available for making your own ringtones. We found that the speaker phone was not very conducive for taking calls as the volume was a little low.

HTC Touch Diamond 2

Quite impressive is the FM radio. It took about 13 seconds to store and preset all the nine available stations and reception during my commute was also quite decent.

HTC Touch Diamond 2

From the video section, the Diamond 2 supports popular mobile video format playback like 3GP or MPEG4 files. I’d recommend using Windows Mobile to play video files as the secondary player is quite annoying when it comes to touch control for scanning and pausing. Other video options include a quick access to YouTube by a Native application and a separate app for Streaming media. The flick control for viewing images works smoothly.

The Diamond 2 is well laid out for connectivity. It’s 3G (with HSDPA) ready even though we’re still a long way away from the country being ready, so in this case you’ll have to suffice with EDGE/GPRS connectivity. The handset like most others in its class can also be used as a modem for your PC or laptop via the Internet Sharing option. Wi-Fi connectivity is also present for when available. Other options include Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP and of course USB 2.0 for PC connectivity for back up through ActiveSync etc.

Like all other WinMob handsets it supports Push mail (via Exchange) and you can easily configure your IMAP and POP3 accounts as well in a few easy steps. Aside from the standard IE browser, Opera for mobile is also made default via the TouchFLO interface. It’s a lot faster than IE and the accelerometer allows you to seamlessly view web pages in landscape to get a better perspective. You can also sign into a Windows Live account and even use MSN Messenger for chatting. An RSS feed reader is also on board.

A GPS antenna is also in-built but sadly there’s no software provided. You’ll have to settle for good old Google Maps with support from A-GPS.

HTC Touch Diamond 2

The 5 megapixel autofocus camera is sans any flash so low light pictures are not too great even though it has an ISO setting. Ithas a touch focus feature that allows you to tap any portion on the screen for the camera to focus on. This is similar to what the iPhone 3G S is incorporating. Other features include a Panorama Mode, White Balance and Widescreen.

HTC Touch Diamond 2

The color reproductions that the camera is capable of providing is very good. Even close ups are not bad at all.

HTC Touch Diamond 2

Another amazing feature with the new Touch Diamond is the battery life. On a single charge you’ll very easily get about 2 full days of usage, unless you have your Push Mail service on or Wi-Fi active constantly for downloading or connecting. Talk Time averaged in at almost 4 hours which is great.

HTC Touch Diamond 2

The Bottom Line
On the whole the Touch Diamond 2 is a great package. However the pricing is a issue. Touchscreen handsets are a little high priced these days and at Rs. 29,990 the Diamond 2 is in that category. So if you’re a Windows Mobile Touchscreen fan and are willing to put a hole in your pocket, the HTC is a good choice.

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