The HTC Touch Diamond is a brave new product that tries to capture some of the iPhone's popularity by featuring a finger-friendly interface that looks better than anything we've seen on a Windows Mobile handset before. But can HTC apply Apple's success by using Windows Mobile and a fancy new interface?
The HTC Touch Diamond will be available soon on most major networks for free on a monthly contract.
The HTC Touch Diamond looks fantastic compared to any Windows Mobile phone we've seen before. It's not too large or small and has a thin profile, which makes it easy fit into a pocket. Unlike previous models, HTC has added an attractive twist to the design of the back of the phone by using a prism-like surface. It looks less boring that your traditional smart phone.
The Touch Diamond's VGA (640x480 pixels), 71mm (2.8-inch) touchscreen is very sharp and displays pictures really well. Unfortunately, it's very glossy, so you may struggle to see what's going on in bright light. Another disadvantage of the Diamond's glossy surfaces is that they pick up unsightly fingerprints on the back and face grease on the front. Expect to clean this phone often if you want to keep it looking good.
Underneath the touchscreen, you'll find a set of flat, clickable keys. Interestingly, the four-way navigation key doubles up as a touch-sensitive scroll wheel in certain apps such as the photo viewer, letting you zoom in and out of pictures. Bizarrely, the scroll wheel doesn't work everywhere, which is a shame, particularly since we would have liked to use it to scroll through long contact lists or music tracks.
Considering its size, the Touch Diamond is packed with features. It's one of the most feature-rich Windows Mobile phones out there and boasts almost everything you'd need on the move. There's GPS that you can use with Google Maps -- it looks great on the Diamond's screen, too -- and HSDPA and Wi-Fi, which makes browsing the Web and picking up emails fast and possible almost everywhere you go.
A customised version of Opera Mobile also makes surfing the Internet enjoyable. It lets you see an entire page and then zoom in on the parts you want to see properly. Opera Mobile also lets you open new tabs, which means you can navigate through a few different pages without needing to open new windows. It's one of our favourite apps and it works well on the Diamond's ample touchscreen.