HTC Touch Diamond

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jethro's picture

Following the mishap of my Nokia N81 (broken screen) I needed to obtain a new phone. As I had another phone that was out of contract I was able to get the new HTC Touch Diamond. This is an awesome touch screen phone. The apple iPhone is basically a poor copy of the HTC touch phones only running substandard software including the Music crippling DRM iTunes software. In reality there is no comparison. The iPhone is an iPod with htc touch diamond a phone application attached. It does the internet badly (no java or flash support) has no Bluetooth (OK it has bluetooth but you cannot use it to transfer files or data – isn’t that he point of bluetooth?), cannot MMS pictures, has a very bad battery life and you have to install and run iTunes before you can even use the phone application. The HTC Touch Diamond by contrast is first and foremost a Smartphone. That is, it is a PDA phone  running the Windows Mobile 6.1 software. Not only does it have the full phone functionality that every mobile phone should have, it combines this with the PDA capability of Mobile Office, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, integration with Outlook and Exchange, SMS and MMS, photos and video (using a 3.2Mega Pixel camera) has a touch screen interface including some cool scrolling applications just like the iPhone has. Data connectivity includes Bluetooth, Wifi, multi-band Phone (3G, GSM and HSDPA). GPS can be integrated easily (using an external device which is good because it doesn’t then rely on cell coverage). Possibly the only poor comparison to the iPhone is the internal storage is fixed at 4GB. The battery life is also poor, but it can be replaced unlike the iPhone!

I have had a fantastic experience with it so far. In fact the only frustration experienced so far has been with the network provider. This is actually my fault as I bought this from one provider (Telstra) and promptly put my Optus simcard in it. I needed to do a hard reset and then add the Optus internet configuration settings to it, which a simple phone call to their technical support people provided me with. They stayed on the phone and walked me through all the settings to customise it to their network and then emailed me a PDF file containing all the settings as well.

The phone itself is very sleek. It is physically smaller than the iPhone and much better fit to a shirt pocket. The screen size is 2.8 inches compared with the iPhone's 3.5 inches. However this is because the HTC includes some hard buttons as ell as the soft ones. In my experience these are good as they can find a fast way to deal with the phone. Answer and Hang up, Home and return as well as a combined secondary navigation and enter button fill the bottom section of the phone. The also allows you to hold the phone without obstructing the screen. As a PDA it also comes with a stylus so there are effectively three ways to interact with the device (or 4 if you count voice control). The USB connection is non standard which I find surprising. This maybe because it also doubles as the charger and can be plugged into the mains but I don’t see why they had to alter it. It a normal mini USB sized connection, but one side has been squared off (not diagonal) This also doubles as the headphone socket.

The only other external buttons are the volume up and down and the on off button.

The touch screen itself is not too sensitive. This means that brushing against it doesn’t change things and a firm swipe over the screen is required to scroll though things. The animation on the scroll is pretty cool also. It is orientation sensitive and will rotate images and internet etc depending on whether you hold the phone in a vertical or horizontal way. Zooming and out is an easy double tap and there are also settings in most apps to alter text size etc as required. Even my dodgy eyes found that the text was very readable at small sizes. However non mobile enabled internet pages needed to be zoomed in for me to see them.

Photos are crisp and clear as is video. Its not jerky or blurry. It is a 3.2MP auto focus camera, unlike the iPhone's 2 MP fixed focus camera which cannot make video calls and the HTC contains a second camera on the front for video calling.

Being smaller this phone is also lighter than the iPhone. I think it is a better size for using as a phone. The iPhone is clearly designed as a portable application device first and a phone second.

All the technical specs between the two can be compared, HTC Touch Diamond SpecificationsApple iPhone 3G Specifications.

For those who are tossing up between an iPhone and a regular phone, then this review should clinch it for you. Get the HTC Touch Diamond.

Here's a list of iPhone issues and missing / useless features along with some other reviews.

EBay review

cnet iPhone review - (and to be fair the cnet HTC review)

I took a bunch of photos of the unpacking and then some screen shots as well.

IMG_2669 IMG_2671IMG_2674 IMG_2672

The box is like an inverted pyramid with the top cut off (if that makes sense)) – basically like a diamond!

Opening it you are presented with sleek shiny hard plastic black case the same shape as the outer cardboard wrapper. The top opens off and inside the lid there is the software. In the top of the main case the phone sits on a plastic tray with the headphone buds presented along side. Lifting out the phone there is a hole to stick your finger through and lift the whole tray out. Under neath there is another small plastic tray containing the charger, headphones, USB cable, spare stylus and battery. Below that are the manuals.


HTC.pdf62.42 KB


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Kate Carruthers's picture

HTC phones rock! I'm not

HTC phones rock! I'm not surprised to see your positive review on the HTC Touch diamond after my recent acquisition of the HTC Dual Touch. Very similar experience. They are really functional phones and PDAs with easy to use everyday capabilities. Glad yours is going well.

jethro's picture

Thanks Kate

Thanks Kate

matt's picture

Hey Tim, just thought it

Hey Tim, just thought it should be noted that when you say "It does the internet badly (no java or flash support)" about the iPhone, you should take into consideration that the iPhone doesn't actually need flash, Apple have given Safari Mobile stacks of additional CSS and JavaScript functionality that is also starting to appear in Safari for the desktop and simply put, you can do almost as much with the CSS and JavaScript/ECMAScript on an iPhone as you can with Flash and ActionScript. Biggest difference, it's quicker since it doesn't have to load any plugins. Of course that doesn't really help for sites that use Flash, but Flash is cumbersome and alienating anyway.

I'm not entirely sure on the Java part, Java is native in OS X though so I would assume it is native in the iPhone, happy to be wrong though.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not fond of the iPhone, my Treo 750 is better than it as well, but it should be pointed out that Safari Mobile is the most advanced and feature extensive mobile browser there is. Opera Mobile for Windows Mobile users is getting there, but it's still a distant second to Safari Mobile.

Also, "running substandard software including the Music crippling DRM iTunes software" if you copy your own music from your own CD's into iTunes, it's DRM free, and besides that, Apple have been offering DRM free music for almost a year and a half now -

Gah your website hates me! Keeps asking me to enter a captcha, over and over and over and over and over and over and over...

jethro's picture

fair enough on the

fair enough on the "substandard" comment mate! i was a little less than objective there!. Good to see Apple does DRM free music - still it was enough to turn me off iTunes and i have never had a reason to go near it after using it a couple of times on other peoples pcs. i think even windows media player 11 is better. winamp kicks its arse.
captchas not required now for logged in users - thanks for letting me know

Natalie's picture

Glad to see your Touch

Glad to see your Touch Diamond is working out for you. There are a lot of people complaining about the Diamond and I've managed to get a first look on a prototype before it was commercially released. The prototype suffered from different problems and it seems that HTC wasn't able to address this before they released their first commercial device although some say the ROM update greatly improved the device.

jethro's picture

ive read a few of those

ive read a few of those reviews and not suffered any of the problems they reported. I have also tried to download a ROM update, but my phone has the latest already - so maybe theres the answer.
I have only had to soft reset it once so far.

compared to a dedicated phone, the htc falls behind a nokia for useabaility. the nokia software is the best there is. Ive tried most phones and nokias are the only dedicated phone i will buy now. Samsung, Siemens, Sony, Motorola etc are all light years behind Nokia. However this is not a phone - it is a smart phone running windows software - and it is the best smartphone i have had now. I have had several PDA's a Jornada, then an iPaq, and then 2 smart phones - a samsung that i left at a train station after it completely died and the O2 (what a disaster). The HTC is completely different
the build quality is nokia or better, the finish is superb, the software is smooth and works - a little slowly but it works. It doesnt crash, the phone works fine, the calling quality is awesome etc etc.
If you want a smartphone - this is the best i have seen or used including iphones.

Natalie's picture

Nokia builds user-friendly

Nokia builds user-friendly phones. From what I can see, if you have had one Nokia, then you've seen ALL Nokias. Nokia appeals to those who doesn't want to tinker with the phone while winmos are all about customization. As for me, I like my Samsung Omnia better over the HTC Diamond (I just hope that HTC lovers won't bash me for saying that). :)

jethro's picture

no bashing allowed here!

no bashing allowed here! thanks fro your comments natalie

Anonymous's picture

I just bought a HTC Touch

I just bought a HTC Touch Diamond from a Telstra dealer & when I put in the Optus prepaid sim it doesn't send or recieve MMS or internet. Can I have the settings to put it in manually?.

jethro's picture

heres what optus sent

heres what optus sent me

Thank you for your call to Optus Mobile Customer Care.
The Mobile Data Setup Instructions you requested are attached to this email. This guide is not a definitive or exhaustive technical manual however based on the information that you have provided, this guide should assist you.
If you are an Optus Mobile Prepaid customer and wanting to connect to Optus Zoo via GPRS, please ensure you modify your WAP settings to include the following GPRS access Point - prepaidyesoptus
If you did not receive the attachment intact or have difficulties applying the instructions, please call us on 1300 307 937 at any time on any day.

Kind Regards,
Optus Mobile Customer Care.

I have attached the PDF file to this article

pat's picture

can u please send me the

can u please send me the instruction to get the htc to work as im having same prob
thanks pat

Anonymous's picture

Thankyou, thankyou,

Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou!. All good. I'm sorry I didn't see the pdf file attached as I did read through this entire thread. You are a life saver. :-D


jethro's picture

no worries - it wasnt

no worries - it wasnt attached before so you didnt see it - i only attached it after you asked
glad it helped!

Anonymous's picture

Can you please send me the

Can you please send me the pdf file that would be great thanks as i have only just brought the new htc diamond!

Anonymous's picture

Can you please send me the

Can you please send me the pdf file that would be great thanks as i have only just brought the new htc diamond!

jethro's picture

its attached to the article

its attached to the article