MobileTechReview does the HTC Touch Diamond

MobileTechReview are well known for their well regarded reviews. Today the published their review of HTC’s latest greatest, the HTC Touch Diamond.

Their conclusion:

We applaud the HTC Touch Diamond for its ambition and promise. With the Sony Ericsson Xperia and Samsung Omni i900 coming soon (though perhaps not through US carriers), offering their own customizations of Windows Mobile 6.1’s UI and widescreen displays, the competition will be getting a little fierce. We love the small size and gorgeous design, though this is a phone Adrian Monk would loath given its propensity to collect stubborn fingerprints. TouchFLO 3D is definitely fun and interesting, though it doesn’t always translate into a more efficient and expedient UI. We wish you didn’t have to read the manual to learn the in’s and out’s of finger navigation (isn’t the point of touch phones that they should operate nearly transparently), though first time WinMo users will likely find the visual presentation easier to figure out than standard WinMo. However, in terms of price and features the Diamond is a high-end power user’s phone, and those generally attract veteran users who may grow frustrated with the visuals when wanting to accomplish tasks quickly.

Certainly, the feature set is incredible– VGA display, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, 4 gigs of storage and a good autofocus camera. And it’s a marvel that HTC fit all this in such a slim, small and light device. Based on the hardware, the Diamond is indeed a gem.

Pro: TouchFLO 3D is gorgeous to behold and mostly very functional. It may not always be the fastest way to navigate the phone’s functions, but it makes doing it fun. Fantastic feature set in a small, thin and light phone. Awesome good looks (just keep that microfiber cloth handy). VGA display is sharp and bright. USB mass storage mode works perfectly for transferring files and speed is good. Phone reception is very good and voice quality is solid. Music sounds great over Bluetooth stereo headphones and WiFi range is better than average for a PDA phone.

Con: For US users, the lack of 850MHz GSM and US 3G bands is severely limiting. No usual landscape support in Windows Mobile, Office mobile or anywhere else except the supported applications like the photo album, video player and Opera. TouchFLO 3D needs a few tweaks to improve usability (though we’re impressed overall), and it needs a few bug fixes to fix occasional lags. Opera seems to be a resource hog and slows down the device, even after exiting it. Phone screen turns off almost immediately after starting a call, presenting challenges when calling automated systems that use keypad input. Lack of an expansion slot will cramp those who want to use it as a media player and switch cards full of songs and videos.

Despite their concerns they still gave the HTC Touch Diamond 4 stars out of 5.

Read the full review here.

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