HTC Touch Diamond 2 review, video
As it is clear from the name, HTC Touch Diamond 2 is the next generation of a popular HTC Touch Diamond handset.
And it’s a pretty impressive update, with a new smoother TouchFlo 3D interface, more responsive touchscreen, 5 megapixel camera, bigger and better 3.2” WVGA (480×800 px) display.
For now HTC Touch Diamond 2 runs on Windows Mobile 6.1, but as soon as WM 6.5 is out, free upgrade for this handset will be made available.
For those who prefer viewing video to reading, here’s a video review of HTC Touch Diamond 2:
For those who prefer text to video, read-on.
HTC Touch Diamond 2 design
The overall look of HTC Touch Diamond is in the current touchscreen phone tradition – a keyboardless candybar with most of the front surface used by the touchscreen display.
Only in this case HTC stayed true to the original Diamond design with the wholly rectangular shape, instead of a more rounded corners on most of the other touchphones.
The back of Diamond 2 is a bit different from the original – HTC decided to stay with traditional smooth back cover, instead of faceted diamond like surface on the First Diamond Touch. Less visual effect, but much more usable.
The touchscreen display and the zoombar at the bottom is covered with the protective plastic. The bottom part, including the front keys are from metal. The sides of the handset are metallic too. The backcover of Diamond 2 is made from the glossy plastic.
As mentioned before, the largest part of the front side is taken up by the touchscreen and the zoom touchbar below it. The latter is used for zoom function in maps, pictures, camera and other apps.
Touch Diamond 2 has 4 keys at the bottom- “Answer”, “Windows/Start” key, “Back”, and “Cancel/Home”.
Interestingly enough, HTC decided to forgo the trackpad or joystick control on Diamond 2. I guess the reasoning was that this feature is not necessary on a full touchscreen phone and the space would be better used for a bigger display and zoombar. And, IMHO, the resulting combination works pretty well.
At the top of the front side there’s a power/message LED indicator, phone speaker, ambient light sensor and front camera for video calls.
On the right side of the device is a speaker, on the left side – volume controls. The top of the Diamond2 houses “on/off” power button. On the bottom of the device there’s a mini USB port, that is used for charging, data/sync and headphones, and a mic. On the bottom right side of the device we have a stylus.
The back of the device features 5 mpx camera with autofocus.
Opening the back cover we find a 1100 mAh battery, Inside of the device there’s a battery, with USIM card slot beneath it. On the right side of the device, next to a stylus is a microSD memory card slot.
The size of HTC Touch Diamond 2 is 107.85 x 53.1 x 13.7mm, weight – 117. gr. It fits comfortably into your hand or pocket, is easy to hold and carry around.
HTC Touch Diamond2 Display
The display on HTC Touch Diamond 2 is really a good improvement over it’s predecessor (Original Dimanond). While 0.4” difference (3.2” vs 2.8”) doesn’t sound big and is not that important for normal phone operations, it gets noticeable when browsing or watching video.
The display itself is really bright and has a good WVGA 480×800 resolution. It fades some when in bright sunlight, but still remains readable.
HTC Diamond 2 Touch Interface and Software
HTC Diamond 2 features traditional TouchFlo 3D user interface with some minor updates.
The main difference from previous devices is a zoombar at the bottom of the display. By sliding the finger up or down on it you can zoom in and out in apps where these this functionality exists – e.g. browser, gallery, maps, camera. It works pretty well most of the time, though we noticed some lagging in some instances when using gallery and maps.
HTC Touch Diamond has a nicely designed contacts and calling app. Among interesting featres of this app are nice 3D effects, name/picture integration, grouping of messages and calls for each contact under a single tab, integration between contact address and Google maps.
For Internet browsing, HTC D2 comes with Opera browser and supports full HTML browsing, with zooming, panning and scrolling functions well optimized for finger touch interface and small sceen.
It also comes with auto screen rotation feature, native for multiple apps and has a full QWERTY on-screen keyboard that works pretty well.
For a more detailed overview of HTC Diamond 2 software check out the videos above.
HTC Touch Diamond 2 Camera and Gallery app
HTC Touch Diamond 2 comes equipped with a pretty good (for Windows Mobile devices) 5 megapixel camera. Of course, 5 megapixels is nothing special nowadays, but it’s really noticeable improvement over 3.2 mpx and allows you to take perfectly adequate pictures, similar in quality to those of lower end digital still cameras.
Here are some sample pictures taken by HTC D2:
Another improvement in Diamond 2 camera, over the one we had in original diamond is it’s speed. The camera on D2 is really fast and you can only barely notice any shutter lag time at all.
HTC Diamond 2 camera comes with autofocus, it also allows you to adjust the focus point manually. Just tap a finger on a part of viewfinder (touchscreen display) and the camera will focus on that point.
Digital zoom in camera app, controlled via zoombar, works well and is pretty responsive in this case.
The gallery app in D2 is pretty nice and optimized for touch interface. You can slide through pictures in a gallery with a swipe gesture both in landscape and portrait modes. You can also zoom in and out and then move the picture around with a finger. The interface is really fast and responsive.
And, of course, if you need to quickly browse through a large collection of pictures, you can switch to a grid mode with pictures displayed as small icons.
HTC Diamond 2 Navigation
HTC Diamond 2 comes equipped with GPS sensor. It does not have it’s own Nav software, but is well integrated with mobile Google Maps app. The phone can plot your position on the map via GPS sensor and Google Maps functions, including search, directions, Google Latitude, etc; are available too.
Google maps are also integrated with a contact app on Diamond 2, so when you press a map link in an address book, it will show you location of your contact on the map.
If you need something more, like turn-by-turn voice navigation, you’ll have to buy and install Windows Mobile compatible 3d party navigation software. But there’s plenty of those available in most markets.
HTC Diamond 2 Multimedia
Though it is more a business, then a consumer phone, HTC Diamond 2 has a pretty good multimedia features.
The music player is accessible directly form the home screen and is easily navigable. The song layout is a traditional for most music players and can be classified by artist, album, genre or playlist.
The sound quality is not excellent, but OK for a handset that is not primarily a music phone. The only problem I have is the lack of a standard headphone jack. If you want to use something else then a headset provided by HTC, you’ll have to get a miniUSB adapter for that.
HTC Diamond 2 has a built-in FM radio that you can access via FM Radio app. Nothing very interesting here, standard FM app interface with scan and radio pre-set functions. It works both in headset and speaker mode.
Built in video player can play WMV, ASF, MP4, 3GP, 3G2, M4V, AVI files. Video player interface is pretty traditional and video playback is good.
HTC Touch Diamond 2 review. Conclusions
Overall I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of my experience with HTC Touch Diamond 2. If you never used a Windows Mobile or HTC device before, it can take few minutes to get used to it.
But HTC is getting really good with full Touch interfaces, and HTC Touch Diamond 2 was a pleasure to play with. Adequate 5 megapixel camera, easy Wi-Fi connectivity and good multimedia performance make this a pretty good choice in mid to high end full touch smartphone category.
This review was made in cooperation with Dawid Gatti from Pda.pl