HTC Touch Diamond

HTC Touch Diamond

Display: 2.8″ TFT LCD
Pixel Format: 480 x 640
Touch: Yes, TouchFLO 3D
Camera:

  • Main: 3.2MP f/2.8 Color Camera with Mechanical Auto Focus
  • Sub: 640 x 480 CMOS-based Color Camera

GPS: Yes, GPS and A-GPS
Processor: 528MHz Qualcomm MSM7201A
OS: Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
Memory: 256MB (ROM), 192MB DDR SDRAM (RAM), 4GB (Internal Storage)
Network:

  • HSDPA, WCDMA: Europe, Asia (900, 2100MHz)
  • GSM, GPRS, EDGE: Europe, Asia (900, 1800, 1900MHz)

Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, WiFi (802.11b/g), HTC ExtUSB (11-pin miniUSB + Audio)
Audio:

  • Built-in microphone, speaker, FM radio
  • Ring tone: MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA, WAV, AMR-NB, MIDI (0 and 1)

Battery:

  • 900mAh Lithium-Ion or Lithium-Ion Polymer
  • Talk Time: 270 minutes (WCDMA), 330 minutes (GSM)
  • Standby Time: 396 hours (WCDMA), 285 hours (GSM)
  • Video Call Time: 145 minutes (WCDMA)

Dimension: 102 x 51 x 11.5mm (Length x Width x Depth)
Weight: 110g (with battery)

HTC Touch Diamond

The HTC Touch Diamond is a beautiful piece of hardware. The Diamond part of the name comes from the back of the device that has striking angles cut into patterns that remind you, somewhat, of a diamond. But the Touch Diamond isn’t just outside beauty. The Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional has been completely revamped so that all of the functions can be governed via touch. The new UI is called TouchFLO 3D. With finger gestures you can navigate programs, browse the web, flick through contacts, photos and albums. I think flicking on a mobile phone was first started by Apple with its iPhone and especially using Cover Flow. Hmm. Cover Flow. TouchFLO. Interesting.

The 2.8″ touch TFT LCD is very special. The pixel format on it is 480 x 640. And with this type of device it is inevitable that it gets compared to the iconic iPhone. The Touch Diamond’s LCD has twice the number of pixels compared to the iPhone’s 3.5″ TFT LCD that has 480 x 320. I expect the fonts and graphics to be sharper and easier on the eyes. Although iPhone’s renderings are no slouch and they look beautiful, it is difficult to make up for a 50% disadvantage in the number of pixels. HTC has done a fantastic job of making the UI beautiful and easy to use. Finally, I think Apple has got some competition!

HTC Touch Diamond Screen

In addition there are several areas where the HTC Touch Diamond trumps the iPhone. Take for instance cameras. The Touch Diamond has two and the main one has a fairly bright (f/2.8) 3.2MP camera. The other camera is limited to VGA, but that’s the one you use to show your face to the other person on the line in a video call. I don’t think the iPhone even comes close to ‘touching’ the Touch Diamond here. A video call is possible not only because of the two cameras but because the Touch Diamond has 3G, HSDPA to be more specific. The iPhone? EDGE barely gets my non-iPhone formatted full websites loaded before I run out of patience.

GPS. Yes, the Touch Diamond also has GPS. I am not sure how well the GPS software works but if it is simply integrated with Google Maps, then that’s a whole lot better than the iPhone’s simple location triangulation, which is cool and much better than nothing.

Accelerometer. The Touch Diamond has it and reorients your screen, landscape or portrait, depending on how you’re holding it. The iPhone started it and now everyone’s doing it.

HTC Touch Diamond

Given all of this technology, you would think it might be porky. Not so. The Touch Diamond has a dimension of just 102 x 51 x 11.5mm (Length x Width x Depth). Compare this with the iPhone’s 115 x 61 x 11.6 and you can see that the Touch Diamond shaves off 13mm in length, 10mm in width and 0.1mm in thickness. Adding insult to injury, the Touch Diamond weighs less too: 110g versus the iPhone’s 135g. I don’t know if the next-generation iPhone will have gone through a Jenny Craig diet program, but it better be slimmer and lighter than the current generation to compete. I actually don’t know how HTC did this since it uses a stainless steel frame around the Touch Diamond to improve ruggedness.

But not all is perfect in Touch Diamond land. And this is a big pimple. The Touch Diamond is limited to just 4GB of internal memory! This is a huge limitation, or rather a tiny limitation. The larger-capacity iPhone has 16GB and some folks are complaining that that’s still too small. Without a slot of external memory and limited to just 4GB of internal memory, the Touch Diamond might end up being a non-player, despite all of the great design and features, for those who carry a lot of their multimedia files on their phones.

I really like the HTC Touch Diamond and I hope they quickly release an updated version with at least 8GB or 16GB of internal memory. Engadget has a hands-on with the Touch Diamond.

Update 2008.05.06 2:48PM PST
Engadget posted up some addition information about HTC’s Touch Diamond. The juicy morsels are that it makes use of procedural graphics that are GPU-accelerated, capable of 7 to 8 million polygons per second. The Windows Mobile virtual keyboard was completely reworked and enhanced (see picture below). And get this (very important!): Opera reformats and wraps text when the webpage is zoomed, something Safari on the iPhone does not currently have but desperately needs.

HTC Touch Diamond Virtual Keyboard

Update 2008.06.06 2:25PM PST
Engadget has a video up showing you how to navigate some of the Touch Diamond’s UI. It looks a little bit awkward how the images update. For instance I would like the pictures to be straight, not tilted. Same goes for almost everything else: straight please.

Source: HTC, Engadget

[tags]HTC, Touch Diamond, 2.8″, 480 x 640, Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, 4GB, Touch LCD, HSDPA, WCDMA, TouchFLO 3D, GPS, Bluetooth 2.0, 802.11b/g, Mobile Phone, Smartphone[/tags]

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