It's been less than a year since the original HTC Touch Diamond impressed us all with its diminutive size, usability and impressive features list, all of which put it firmly in iPhone bothering territory. HTC Touch Diamond 2 HTC's Touch Diamond 2: uses Windows Mobile, but it's well hidden But with a 5Mp camera, improved …
"In short, it's a great little do-it-all handset"
Excuse me? The camera sounds utterly useless. 7 seconds to take a photo? That's worse than a Samsung! It doesn't have a headphone socket, so it sure as hell isn't a music player. In all, that's not what I'd call a "do-it-all handset". I should know, I've been waiting for someone to build one for five years now.
One test worth doing - how long does it take to set up and authenticate to a WPA-protected wifi network from the 'home' screen. If there's one thing that makes me want to jump up and down in hobnail boots on every WM phone I've ever seen, it's that.
Does look very nice though.
Great review, apart from you neglected to mention text input.
Seeing as you sung the praises of the messaging features, I would have thought it would be an appropriate addition.
No 3.5m Jack = Failue
For any would be iPhone botherer...
It's (one of) the (many) reason(s) my Nokia N73 is gathering dust, and one of the reasons I just brought an iPhone to replace my current iPod *and* phone rather than one of the others.
May be a great smart phone, but iPhone botherer... Nah.
(And I'm in no way an Apple fanboi... Only run Windows machines and wanted to hate the iPhone until I actually played with one...)
Just placed my order with play.com. Damn sweet phone, and an upgrade path to 6.5 which is looking even sweeter. At 3.2", the screen should be big enough to type on reasonably, so I can forego a hardware keyboard at last. Apparently the keyboard has haptic feedback too, which helps. I've found Windows Mobile to be the most flexible and hard-working phone OS - I use it as much for running my business as I do for entertainment - using Excel at full zoom-out requires a stylus to select cells as they're way too small for fingertaps, so I'm glad the stylus has remained. Some apps just aren't suited to touch input.
close but not quiiiite there
No xenon flash is a pity on a model that is clearly TRYING to be a well rounded phone (otherwise why bother with a 5MP sensor?) No customisable buttons is a problem.
I dont think it will uproot the iphone as it is still running on clunky WM but then again at least you dont need to give your phone your credit card details yet.
"It's been less than a year since the original HTC Touch Diamond impressed us all with its diminutive size, usability and impressive features list, all of which put it firmly in iPhone bothering territory"
And yet let's be honest - it didn't bother the iPhone all that much in the end, did it? Neither, I suspect, will this.
It's about time that people who should know better, like Reg journalists, stopped trying to slap the "iphone botherer/iphone killer" label onto everything with a touchscreen. History is catching up, and the evidence is mounting against the idea that any of the competition to date has even been in the same room as the iPhone, let alone bothering it even remotely. The current iPhone 3G is about to hang up its crown and pass the mantle to a new iPhone (subject to Apple's next announcement in June) thoroughly unbothered by this or any of the other "contenders" that have supposedly stormed onto the scene since this time last year.
I'm not knocing the Diamond 2, if you're not interested in the iPhone or need feature x or y of Windows Mobile then I'm sure its a great choice as was its predeccesor, but if it *is* the iPhone you're interested in then any HTC phone is only going to dissapoint, so please stop peddling them as alternatives.
Then where are DivX, Xvid, OGG, FLAC, APE, etc. :P
Such a Shame
You had me till you said Windows...
In all honesty I am on cell phone protest right now... The G phone is a hunk of junk (what is with the near side-kick-ish wax on wax off keyboard?), the Iphone while having a crap load of apps while is nice and I could see my self buying it if there wasn't a piece of fruit on the back (or may by if apple released its iron fist and let us do what we want with the phone we bought). And the black berry storm is about as useful as a jimmy with a hole in the liquid capturing reservoir.
I want a strait up Gphone with no mechanical keyboard running linux... is that too much to ask for?
Have you tried Iris? I use it over Opera now. Unfortunately google are messing about with their user agent detection code atm, so you won't quite see the full advantage of google's web-kit pages.
Also wondering how the Diamond 2's screen compares to the HD's screen.
"HTC's Touch Diamond 2: uses Windows Mobile, but it's well hidden"
err.... whats that icon in the top left corner?
on board memory
Correction: "The 512MB of on-board memory is twice as big as the original Diamond's". The original Diamond actually has 4GB of on board memory, but no expansion slots.
If you like this one...
... you'll love the Touch Pro2
HTC Touch HD?
Um... sounds pretty much exactly like the HTC Touch HD. Is there a difference at all apart from the somewhat less rounded look?
I really like my HD a lot by the way, even though I still haven't found all those mythical apps that are apparently available for Windows Mobile. There are only a handful pretty boring ones on the MSFT website.
@HTC's Touch Diamond 2: uses Windows Mobile, but it's well hidden
Yeah, just don't click on the "Start" button at the top 8-)
Waiting for 3rd iteration of iphone before I decide ... although anything running Windows has to be at the bottom of the list from my ... damn must reset it ... experience.
What about typing?
Does it have a nice soft keyboard?
Help! I'm being oppressed!
Hey guys. Just out of curiosity, was my earlier comment ignored because you're tired of my constant moaning about the lack of true convergence in mobile devices, or have HTC slipped you a few beer vouchers to keep whingers like me quiet?
Ner, not it's not
The best alternative to the iphone? Wrong.
The best Windows Mobile handset is the HTC Touch HD... with the ROM from this thing loaded onto it! Gotta love xda developers.
Still not as good as an iphone to be honest but far more usable.
If you're a geek and love messing around with things then WM is the way forward... I've been tweaking my SE Xperia X1 for 2 months now and its running nice and smoothly, lots of apps on it now and runs as well as my wifes unmodded iPhone
Classic test on a WM device is to play an MP3 whilst doing other tasks on the phone... if the music keeps coming out nice and steady then its running sweet
Of course if you just want something to work out the box then pick your WM phone carefully... from what I've heard though HTC owners are generally a very happy bunch
"Um... sounds pretty much exactly like the HTC Touch HD. Is there a difference at all apart from the somewhat less rounded look?"
3.2" screen rather than 3.8", newer touchflo (though you can flash the HD to the same, well worth doing, it's a lot faster), and slightly different case - eg that zoom bar. I think the hardware is pretty much the same internally though. Personally I prefer the extra screen of the HD, makes reading things like web pages a lot better.
Anyway, it and the HDs are nice smartphones, the new rom and touchflo have improved it no end. If you like tweaking things to your preference, it's better than an Iphone. If not, it's not.
Could have been a killer phone...
... I was lucky enough to see a test version from a friend who works at a UK carrier and this is a very, VERY tidy phone and is indeed the best non iphone iphone to date. It could have been superb if not for one thing. No freakin 3.5mm headphone jack! Not even a 2.5mm that you could at least buy an adapter for. Either HTC are monumentally stupid or arrogant in thinking forcing customers to use USB headphones isn't harming uptake of their devices. Just spend an hour in a mobile shop and you'll hear people say 'wow I love this', shortly followed by 'oh I can't use my headphones with it?,' and hand the HTC phone back.
Let us not debate the merits of the device itself, but look at how shoving a proper headphone jack into the N95 made this phone one of the longest selling, and longest kept, mobiles to date.
Well done HTC, well done. I'm surprised the R&D department can still wear shoes they must have so many holes in their collective feet.
Gordon F. Bennett Esq.
The reason the iPhone has a 3.5mm headphone socket is because it doesn't support stereo bluetooth headphones.
Wired headphones are going the same way as Infra-Red communication ports.
The next iteration of the iPhone will finally have bluetooth headphone support (well done to Apple for catching up at last) which makes me wonder if they'll do the decent thing and ditch the superfluous headphone socket. Really. Having to have a wire running from your ears to your phone is ridiculous in this day and age. You might as well have your phone plugged into a wall socket while you're about it.
I'm not quite sure why everyone is making a big thing of usb headphones and the lack of 3.5mm jack.
If it's anything like the touch pro (I have the XDA Serra - same difference) it'll come with a handsfree kit with detachable headphones via, you guessed it.....
A 3.5mm jack!
Personally I think it's a better idea than a 3.5mm jack anyway as you can still pickup calls while listening to music and you have a remote control.
As for WM6.1 it's a real dog, an old one to boot, however you can still teach it new tricks. No apps store needed. If you want an iPhone, buy one and leave us people who need more functionality alone.
Can we please stop this talk of iPhone killer, the HTC phones are mainly designed for people who need BUSINESS phones, not a consumer mp3 player and phone merged together with a very restricted if very usable and stunning OS.
Mines the one with the Turn by Turn navigation software installed.
You can buy various adaptors to plug in normal headphones.. I've got a splitter type that gives you a 3.5mm headphone and a standard USB for syncing/charging... Cost less than a tenner from expansys..
No idea why HTC don't include them!
USB vs. 3.5mm jack socket
Basically using a USB socket to push the audio through means the OS has to manage both the audio playback software, AND the USB socket, AND pushing the audio out through the USB socket. It all generates overhead for the OS which in turn gets pushed onto the CPU and memory.
Not a massive issue people can arguably say, but HTC have a history of providing well spec'ed hardware only to write very inefficient ROM's that effectively cripple hardware gains. Shoving the audio out through the USB socket is simply creating a vicious circle for any HTC phone, as all of the ROM's seem to have bottle necking built it, and trying to do more than JUST playback audio sees slow down. And when you get slow down you get lag at the USB port which effects either playback or sound quality. No it doesn’t happen all the time but they’d save themselves a lot of bother and criticism, as well as gain customers, if they would opt for a standard 3.5mm jack. To say HTC are only intended for business users is not correct any longer. They have been gunning for the consumer market for two years now and the shift from clunky ludite designs and slick interfaces is a key sign of this.
HTC seem to be constantly gambling on increases in hardware specs to overcome the inherent problems with audio out via USB and still maintaining performance during multi tasking. Which would be fine if they would just produce phone firmwares that were coded properly to take advantage of the hardware grunt. Only they don't.
Which, if any, network is likely to pick this up?
Please Oppress Jerome
He's asking for it, and he's making it sound like HYS around here.
A wired connection will always perform better than a wireless one not to mention giving access to a much wide range of headphones, earphones, etc. My noise canceling headphones have a 3.5mm connection for example and sound a hell of lot better than a wireless headset.
There are also places where wireless is not allowed. In the last 6-12 months I flown with BA, KLM, Finnair, BMI Baby, Easyjet & Ryanair. Only BA and Easyjet have an official policy that would allow you to use bluetooth. Official policy at KLM & Finnair still expects you to turn your phone off completely (rather than put it in flight mode). Ryanair expects phones to be switched off completely unless you are on one of the 20 aircraft fitted with mobile phone receivers.
I have the Touch HD and can see why HTC needed to put their own interface on top of WM, Microsoft are designing the OS just for 240x320 screens! When you have to peel back the TouchFlo interface you have to get out the magnifying glass. What is the point of a WVGA resolution if the icons, etc are so small on the screen as to be useless????
Oh for fu-er-goodness' sake!
LET'S SCRIMP ON THE CAMERA, THAT'LL BUY ANOTHER MODEL
Again, HTC fall short of uber by needlessly missing out a key feature.. such a shame, they nearly had my £400.
But is it better than the Touch HD?
The Diamond 2 looks much like a smaller (if slightly fatter) and cheaper Touch HD, with a smaller battery and otherwise pretty identical features - except that HTC intend it to cope with WinMo 6.5 and it's got the permanent zoom bar.
I've got no issue with the smaller dot pitch - my current phone is a G900 and even smaller - but I wonder whether the shrink would make any difference to typing on it with my fat fingers. It might be the deciding factor between getting a Touch HD (no permanent zoom, bigger screen, no WinMo 6.5?), a Touch Diamond 2 (smaller, cheaper) and a Touch Pro 2 (fat, less good camera, hard keyboard). My G900's hard keyboard is so insensitive that I may be able to convert to touch screen only without much loss, but not if I have to use the stylus the whole time.
As for camera lag, a shame it sounds as bad as the G900's (although not worse). I'll be glad if it doesn't crash the phone when pointed at something bright, though.
Wait for WM6.5
Good hardware and a hacked in UI launcher is no substitute for WM6.5. I would wait for WM6.5 as it will be better.
No 3.5mm socket?
No app store?
Android is the best iPhone platform, it's fresh and new. WM6 is stale and the 1990s take on what a mobile device should be.
Who cares about an "app store"?
I don't know what it is about Mac-lovers, and their insistence that there should be an "app store" or a "iTunes store" or something else owned entirely by Apple, and that can only be accessed using their software (and/or hardware).
The point of a reasonably open device is that you can buy apps from *anywhere* that sells such apps. So if you spent 5 seconds googling "windows mobile applications", you'll find any number of sites and vendors offering WM applications, including MS's own offerings, various freeware, and the excellent pocketgear.com or wm6software.net.
But if you prefer only buying what Uncle Steve lets you have, fine, go to it. Don't pretend it's a desirable "feature".
RE: Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 24th April 2009 13:12 GMT
'Which, if any, network is likely to pick this up?'
Here in the UK, T-Mobile are taking it as the Compact V. It seems we will be getting the exclusive as well, or at least that's what the boss is saying. And I hate to say it here, but it will be locked to T-Mob.....
People (quite often even non "mac-loving" people) care about the appstore because it's a bloody good idea that benefits both developers and customers. The appstore model is simpler, cheaper and more attractive to developers than peddling their wares independently, and delivers economies of scale which make everything cheaper for the consumer too, along with some guarantee of quality from whoever's in charge of the store (ie Apple). That's why the iPhone now has the lion's share of mobile development, and customers downloading a billion apps, despite only being open to apps for less than a year. Google can see the advantage of that, hence the Android Market. Microsoft know it too.
Windows Mobile has been completely open to apps downloaded "anywhere" for many, many years - so too has Symbian. The net result is two smartphone platforms which are now dying, slowly and painfully, with ever-diminishing developer support.
I've now got this phone on O2 and I have to say after jumping into the windows settings and tweeking a few things it is a delight to behold and use.
The multiple input options offered by Windows Mobile are good, and the screen is big enough to use the transcriber input well. Failing that you can always use the old 3 by 4 on-screen input method.
Performance is good, can be improved slightly by disabling Touch-Flo but the TF3D interface is pretty snazzy.
Camera time of 7 seconds is only first load, you can just keep it running as a background task, it is true it does take a few seconds to take a picture when you have automatic focus on but it does give you good quality snapshots.
Lack of flash is a bit of a downside though.
Has good software features and configuration options such as the touch focus and optional back light and shutter sounds. Not too good on the effects aspect with only Grayscale, Sepia and Negative available.
Has lots of decent applications installed by default including the mentioned Google Apps, and the GPS is quick to pick up.
Choice of Opera or IE is good, although installing Flash add-ins for Opera is going to cause you a few headaches.
Having Mobile Office is also a handy thing to have about when you receive documents as email attachments on the go and would previously have found yourself without a way to view them.
The phone dialling interface does its job although you can occasionally go clicking on peoples names or such expecting a menu and instead finding yourself calling them immediately leading you to tap like a madman at the end call button - a confirmation here would have been useful.
If you're wanting to get one of these phones you'll also want to invest in a MicroSD card, I just paid £17 for an 8GB class 4 card off eBuyer and the phone is much better for it.
The TF3D media player is not much to look at but that is no problem as you can turn it off and use the Windows Media Player with ActiveSync to play your music with a lot more freedom.
The included YouTube app is strange, as it finds videos in a different way to what you would get if you did a search on the website, often missing the ones you're after.
* No flash
* No vibrate on key click when connected via USB
why the fsck does this phone get a good review? it's running windows mobile!!!! windows smegging mobile is DESTROYING MY LIFE. It "reminds" me of apparently nothing at all at random times during the night, the alarm clock which sometimes work was written by that chimpanzee that throws rocks at passers by, it runs a good 6 hours on battery power, its got a START MENU for fucks sake!!!
Shame About The Camera
I have a Touch HD and it sounds like this has the same problem with the camera: The quality is really good but the camera is virtually useless because of the time it takes to take a picture, a real shame :(
another review to make us buy more bad tech
I own a HTC Touch HD which I've had for 5 months, which uses the same camera hardware and controls.
REGHARDWARE it's useless! It's like having Fast Speedboat with a hole in it. You can talk about the Specs in the pub all night - you just can't use it!
REGHARDWARE - please give us REAL: reviews:
1# Camera in normal use. i.e. people#not statues or Portraits# your 3 seconds behind the moment you want - yes that includes slow people walking.
2# Use this camera indoors#in the day) a joke!
3) Poor Auto White balance - quite often wrong. OK if set manually
4) If you want to take pictures outside in FULL daylight of Landscapes, Statues of Frozen the ground people - this camera is for you.
5) 5MB picture that's a lot of data for a uP with a crippled driver, save a few on your memory card then try and change to internal memory. 2 - min wait. Maybe you have to reset.
Yes, I have had support from HTC and they can do nothing. Have I done a hard reset - Yes.
This phone will be better than the HTC HD cause it has a real keyboard.
My 3 year old Windows Mobile 6.1 Samsung i600#Blackjack) was a much better phone than the HD for email, txt and calls.
apart from the huge lack of a 3.5mm, and the fact its touch screen i might actually buy it. It looks nice