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Pros: With a 5 megapixel camera and improved touchscreen responsiveness, along with a new zoom bar and vibration feedback, the Touch Diamond2 comes with some significant improvements over the first Touch Diamond.

Cons: The zoom bar has a bit of lag and the nice camera has no flash. There also isn’t a 3.5mm audio headphone jack on the Touch Diamond2.

Verdict: With ample RAM and a sophisticated look, along with the upgrades to Touch FLO 3D, the Touch Diamond2 is a worthy successor to the original.

By Cassandra Turner

REVIEW: HTC Touch Diamond2 Hands-On

4.7By Cassandra Turner August 27, 2009 06:30 PM

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REVIEW: HTC Touch Diamond2 Hands-On

The original HTC Touch Diamond was by far the best-selling Windows Mobile device ever. The Touch Diamond2 features a bigger 3.2-inch screen, along with improvements to the Touch FLO User Interface. I’ve used the Touch Diamond2 for a few weeks now and tested every feature thoroughly for the purposes of this review. Let’s take a look at the device and see if it has what it takes to stand up to the competition, which now includes some pretty nice Android devices.

Let’s start with the wireless connectivity which includes HSDPA (900/2100MHz) and quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900MHz) together with WiFi b/g and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR. The operating system on the device is Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, and this is upgradeable to Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional when available. The CPU is a Qualcomm MSM7200A with 528 MHz and includes 288MB RAM with 512MB memory.

Inside the box you’ll get the typical HTC charger pieces, a pair of headphones, a USB data cable, an extra stylus, a screen protector, a user’s manual, and software cd.

The first thing you’ll notice about the device are its stunning looks. The HTC Touch Diamond2 is certainly a sophisticated character, looking as suave as any Bond accessory; and even makes the iPhone look like a boxy old clunker (will there be a government program for that??), and that’s quite a feat, given the iPhone is the ‘apple’ of Steve Jobs’ eye. The Touch Diamond2 has a flat back, minus the etched backing of the original Touch Diamond, which I don’ really miss. It’s super sleek and thin and fits into any pocket, though I guess you won’t be hiding it in a pocket most of the time.

Going on a tour of the device, it measures in at 108x53x13.7mm and 117.5g, bigger than the original Touch Diamond. The front display screen is 3.2-inches versus 2.8-inches on the original Diamond. Its display offers 480x800 WVGA resolution and below the display is a scroll strip that is new on the second edition of the Diamond series. Under the zoom bar are the usual four buttons – call send, a windows button, a back button, and call end (which doubles as a home button). The top of the device has a power/lock button, and the left side has a volume control rocker. The right side is blank, and the stylus is clipped to the lower right-hand corner.  On the bottom of the device is the extUSB port. On the back of the camera is the 5MP camera. Removing the back cover you’ll see the battery and microSD slot, which thankfully is not located underneath the battery.

We found the screen quality to be excellent, bright, and crisp. It delivers sharp images and a sensitive touch screen for being resistive, making it accurate even when using fingers. We now get a touch-sensitive zoom bar that is located just below the display. Moving it to the right allows you to zoom in, while dragging your finger to the left zooms out. This makes zooming in and out much easier than on the predecessor. The stylus is clipped to the phone rather than being magnetically attached. Unclipping the stylus still rouses the phone from its slumber.

The Touch Diamond’s on screen keyboard (which is available in T9, SureType, and QWERTY) was quite usable as a trusty alternative to a hardware keyboard. The upgraded keyboard on the Diamond2 is even better and offers three types of feedback for the user: visual feedback through a large pop-up screen above the keys, audio feedback with a typing sound as you enter text, and haptic feedback through vibrations that are felt when keys are pressed. I found typing on the Touch Diamond2 to be a bit frustrating at first, however; after a few hours of use it got pretty easy. Auto-correction is excellent, with simple typing errors still resulting in the right word being produced in the end in most cases. I found it backed me up quite well if I got a bit clumsy.

The Diamond2 comes with a PeopleCentric version of GUI with threaded messaging system in TouchFLO so you are never dropped back into Windows Mobile. PeopleCentric shows a thread of all correspondence you’ve had with each of your contacts. Plus finger-friendly upgrades for adding photos, phone numbers, and details to your contacts. These are welcome improvements to the original Touch Diamond, showing HTC’s desire to make its devices more people-friendly.

More upgrades were made to TouchFLO 3D, including app menus and pop-ups. They look better and are now reskinned nicely. They are also larger and scroll more smoothly. You now get a calendar tab with appointments, as well as day and month views. No week or year views, but that should be updated. The email tab shows larger email previews and the weather tab has a four-day forecast. Also included is a stocks tab, which is handy since minding your stocks is an hourly task these days.

The browser is a natural launcher for Opera Mobile 9.5 with a Push Page where you can set bookmarks to auto load at certain times of the day. That’s a nifty feature if you are a news hound like myself. The browser looks pretty sweet on the Diamond2’s display.

On a smartphone, you end up testing so many things before you ever make a phone call. The device is a phone, and you’ll be happy to know that as a phone, it operates beautifully. Call quality is great on the Touch Diamond2, delivering clear sounding calls on both ends. I tested the phone both indoors and outdoors, as well as driving down a busy street with my window down. The phone delivered full sound that enabled me to hear what was being said by my caller. We didn’t receive any complaints for sound quality during our testing.

The speakerphone works nicely, though not as robust as on the Touch Pro2. It isn’t meant to be a professional level speakerphone, and that’s just fine. The Touch Diamond2 is a bit more hip than the Touch Pro2 and the speaker performs nicely for calls as needed. For playing music, I’d stick with Bluetooth headphones, especially with the lack of a 3.5mm jack and powerful speakers.

Speaking of Bluetooth, pairing was easily accomplished with a Jawbone Prime headset and Plantronics Discovery 925. During testing the sounds were great on both ends of calls with very little echo. Sound was even good if I kept the phone in my bag while operating Bluetooth.

The 5.0 megapixel camera on the Touch Diamond2 takes some pretty impressive pictures, though as you can imagine; the camera doesn’t operate nearly as well in low light, due to the lack of a flash. HTC says they preferred to make some software tweaks instead of throwing an LED on the camera. It would be nice to have our cake and eat it too, though. Perhaps future releases of HTC phones can feature awesome software along with a flash for the great cameras that are included on HTC devices.

Videos on the Diamond2 can be taken at up to VGA resolutions of 640 x 480, making for some pretty good video quality; if you are in an area with good natural light, like outdoors during the day (on a sunny day). Luckily for the Touch Diamond2 it was sunny during our week of testing the video quality, which gave us some nice videos. One other note on the video quality is that if you switch your focus in mid-shooting, your auto-focus will be lost and you’ll need to stop recording and begin again to get it back.

Battery life on the HTC Touch Diamond 2 is listed as 5.6 hours of talk time and 15 days of standby time. We tested nearly 8 hours of continuous talk-time, which is pretty impressive. Under normal usage, the phone operated for a full day without needing extra charging time.

The HTC Touch Diamond2 is faster, sleeker, and more intuitive than the original Touch Diamond. We love the aluminum-trimmed look of this phone and appreciate the addition of the zoom bar on this version. The phone comes with enough RAM and battery-life and the improvements to Touch FLO 3D make the Touch Diamond2 a pleasure to use. Though we would have preferred a flash on the 5 megapixel camera and a 3.5mm jack, but we’re willing to live without them to have a device as gorgeous as the HTC Touch Diamond2.


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Comments (6)


By tinker2000 September 17, 2009 09:27 PM

Great review. Having a TD2 myself, I would agree with the reviewer that a 3.5mm headphone jack would have been useful..I now use A2DP to connect via bluetooth

(Reply)

By scuttle September 24, 2009 08:05 AM

I've been using TD2 for 2 weeks now. The battery is great, I can use the device for 2 days with normal use; SMS, few minutes browsing.

(Reply)

By Dinky October 08, 2009 06:36 PM

how can i get the windows 6.5 download for my diamond 2

(Reply)

By Deeks November 05, 2009 04:29 AM

Great handset, picked one up about a month ago - I've flashed to Dutty's Holy Grail R0 ROM and it's fast and stable and looks very slick.

(Reply)

By shark_ers December 12, 2009 09:18 PM

great phone ... realy !!!!!

(Reply)

By aaamador December 26, 2009 02:09 PM

The HTC Touch Diamond2 is a great device. I am pretty happy with it.

(Reply)

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