The Truth about the Diamond

After reading tens of excited reviews, I finally managed to put my hand on the sparkling HTC Touch Diamond!

I was staring at some mobile phones when suddenly I saw it…
Shiny like a true diamond, among all other devices which looked more like a decoration for the true thing…

The Good:
Look And Feel:
Holding the diamond is exciting! The device is extremely small and surprisingly thin and from the first touch you can feel that it is made out of high quality components (the hardware buttons, for example, are not as loose as the ones in the Touch Cruise version).
Look how thin is the Diamond comparing to my Treo:
In fact, the Diamond is so small that I accidently forgot it in my pocket while rushing away from the area without looking back trying to pass the guards which was already looking for the missing device...


TouchFLO 3D:
Opening the device exposes a beautiful user interface – the TouchFLO 3D.
At first look it seems almost perfect; Sliding windows, shortcuts and fascinating user interface.
Improved today screen, contacts with pictures, images, animation and other gimmicks brings real joy for the one who uses them.

Opera Browser:
One of the first things I tested was the new Opera browser – I didn’t get to play with it much but from what I’ve seen it’s by far better than the Microsoft browser (AKA the worst browser in the history of mankind…)

The Bad:
As time passed by, I started realizing that the beautiful thing I'm holding has some issues…
In fact, (and I assume some people (sorry Yechiel…) will hate me for writing that), I found that for me - the HTC Diamond is far from being a true diamond.

Why, you ask? Here’s why:
(Remember, it is only my opinion, not a recommendation of any kind, and most of all – it is based on 20 minutes only. Probably not enough time for a full report).

Screen Sensitivity
I don’t know why, but I found it hard to operate the User Interface, one of the reasons was the size of the tabs (too small for my finger), second reason was that the screen is not sensitive enough, as a result I had to press really hard to make the windows move, leaving serious fingerprints on the screen.
I know that comparing it to the iPhone is not fare, but even comparing to my devices it seemed too “tough”.

No Keyboard:
Well, this one is obvious, but I really can’t see professional users sending mails, memos, SMS, etc. with the virtual keyboard. It took me just too much time to try and type my blog address in the internet explorer – trying to move the screen to the side (to activate the landscape orientation resulted in… nothing, which brings me to my next issue:

Screen Orientation:
One of the things I liked in iPhone was the landscape more which enables much wider keyboard.
In the Diamond - I managed to turn it on only in the image viewer. Other views just didn’t react to it. It may be that I didn’t know how to activate it, but still, bummer.

Missing OK hardware button:
OK, so listen up, I may be spoiled, but in my beloved Treo, one of the most important buttons is the OK. In the Diamond, there’s only a ‘Back’ button which is nice to minimize windows, but what about applying a change? In this case, I had to pull up my thumb, stretch it to the very top of the device, making it completely uncomfortable (try it! you’ll see what I mean!), and then touch the tiny OK button located in the top right corner of the window (which was never designed for a finger size). Completely not easy when using one hand.
An important rule in ergonomics says that the most frequent buttons should be located in an accessible location – this is definitely not the case here! (and now I’m really pissed off!)

Image Viewer:
Again, it may be because of the limited time I had to learn it, but once I clicked on a picture, I just couldn’t do anything with it.
Like, I know image viewers, usually, it’s easy to activate the zoom, move, etc. – here it just didn’t react to my endless clicks.

Slow Performance
Not sure about this one, but I tried few things at the same time and it caused the device to hung. As I stated sweating, I asked how to perform a soft reset and it took hours(!!!) for the device to restart! In this point I started noticing that basic functions take more than I would have expected. Again, it may be because I did something wrong, but it did raise a concern.

TouchFLO 3D:
Hey, this one already appeared under “The Good” isn’t it?
Well, after playing with it for a while, I found myself bored with it. Yep, sorry, but even my today screen is more useful. I don’t know if there are plug-ins that can be added to the TouchFlo, but if not – I assume I would have preferred to install SPB Mobile Shell instead of it.
(Again, this is only after 20 minutes – so I need to be careful with this one…)

The Ugly:
(Or: Summary)
Amazing package from the outside, obviously has some problems from the inside, the Diamond is one of the coolest devices I had ever seen!
I tend to think that my Treo is better for my extensive day to day work, mainly due to the keyboard. (In this respect, the Touch Pro could be a better option...)
But, playing around with the Diamond convinced me that I must have this kind of toy!
I must have a good looking device!
Must have sliding windows!
Must have improved browser capabilities!
I must have the real thing!
I must have an iPhone


Cool D. said…
Ha ha!
This is why HTC hurried up to 'fix' their mistake and release the HTC Touch Pro!
david_ciccone said…
Well you should watch this video!!

Clearly shows HTC's TouchFlo code is POOR!
Anonymous said…
Good review.
But - - -
HTC are still number #1!
Anonymous said…
Ur just like all the americans. 'I only want Iphone and everything else sucks'. I recommend you watching the 'a week with the HTC touch diamond' video's on . Seems like The opposite of what you are saying in your story. It contains video proof ;)
Adel Ammari said…
I agree, this review is sorry, bullshit, a lot of people are blind with the iPhone sickness, iPhone actually sucks, typing sms on it sucks, has no features whatsoever and it SUCKS! basically an iPhone is only a piece of hardware to demonstrate capabilities of what can be done on a small device, other than that, its USELESS!
On the other hand, HTC Diamond and Touch Pro ROCK! Personally, i would not recommend a Diamond for a MALE! coz we have big fingers, and for that i always needed a physical keypad/keyboard, on they raised a concern about GSM and non actual 3G support or sth, this sounds bad coming from engadget!

In general, HTC ARE the best and the Touch Pro should be the Mother of alll phones, i feel bad for poor iphone 3G.

Recommendation from a pro user: iPhone SUCKS!

Cheers, and hail HTC.
Adel Ammari said…

So, my answer is, 20 minutes is not even close to being enough to rate a phone, a week of ACTUAL use IS.

Thanx anyways :)
Anonymous said…
Well Mr. Spoon, why don't you go get yourself an iPhone talk to us 2 weeks later...

I agree with most of your comments about HTC, I just really wonder if you are you are really going to find iPhon as the device which will answer all your prays and wishes...

Good luck ;)
Anonymous said…
Well, I actually like your post... Maybe people who are using Windows Mobile are simply afraid of the iPhone? ha?
Anonymous said…
I know you only had 20 minutes (not well spent by the sounds of things!) but why on earth complain about no keyboard and then recommend an iPhone)
Anonymous said…
hmmm... I think the guy was joking...
iPhone sucks!
Anonymous said…
Gil, I must say I agree with every word you wrote.
I found few posts complaining about the performance of the phone.
You just said it in the right way which obviously Windows Mobile people cannot stand...
Good luck!
Anonymous said…
IPhone SUCKS !!!
Torbj√∂rn said…
I have had a HTC S100 for three years. It took me about 2 days of use to realise that I should reassign the 'dictaphone' button to use it for 'ok'. An easy accessible 'ok' button is precious.
Gil Bouhnick said…
You are right.
The default location (and size) of the OK button is problematic (top right corner, far from the fingers, and too small...)
This is why you must have a hardware button connected to it...
Anonymous said…
Iphone is slick marketing with limited functionality. Not for business users or folks who need a PDA. What else needs to be said. Maybe they will fix in one of their future releases. That said the "I" generation has bought into the Apple as a maverick marketing. I give Jobs credit for that. They are slick but not consumer friendly in my opinion.
Anonymous said…
I am looking forward to the HTC Touch Pro available from SPRINT. Get with it SPRINT - we could use a PDA phone in addition to the Instinct which is not a PDA replacement device. I guess I just like my keyboards - maybe I am just older....LOL!
zain said…
you didnt play teeter? that takes up about 30 minutes! anyways, i have seen that by getting the htc touch pro when it comes out will solve about half of your problems. also, by upgrading the RAM on this phone will definitely make it faster. DONT BE A NOOB, LOOK UP NEWS FOR IT ONLINE!!!
Jon Kepler said…
I have the just-released Canadian version of the HTC Touch Diamond through Telus and every single problem you had above has been fixed. I have no problem texting with the on-screen keyboard either (even when it's not in landscape mode. I understand that the phone isn't perfect for everyone, but it's perfect for me. SO much better than an iPhone!
Gil Bouhnick said…
I'm happy to hear that.
Ever since this post, we purchased a diamond and indeed it is a cool device.
Even though I must say I prefer things like the Palm Treo Pro.
Anonymous said…
iphone and htc is like windows and mac ... windows can do somany things... mac cant ... mac for novice .. windows for pro. iphone cant do basic things like mms, video. on the other hand htc can do anything... it has 10000s of application.. many of them are developed by third party. name 1 that it cant do.