Short Take: Sprint HTC Touch Diamond

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WHAT’S HOT

Device
Size (inches)
Weight (grams | ounces)
4.44" x 2.47" x 0.52"

132 | 4.65
4.44" x 2.27" x 0.63"

156 | 5.61
4.74" x 2.63" x 0.43"

157 | 5.53
4.33" x 2.09" x 0.59"

117 | 4.12
4.66" x 2.48" x 0.47"

130 | 4.58
4.56" x 2.33" x 0.67"

188 | 6.63
4.64" x 2.36" x 0.48"

129 | 4.55
3.96" x 2.34" x 0.67"

133 | 4.76
4.68" x 2.44" x 0.67"

188 | 6.63
4.58" x 2.42" x 0.47"

120 | 4.20
4.56" x 2.33" x 0.65"

178 | 6.28
3.92" x 2.41" x 0.60"

137 | 4.83
4.24" x 2.09" x 0.53"

117 | 4.12
4.17" x 2.00" x 0.85"

151 | 5.34
4.41" x 2.24" x 0.49"

122 | 4.30
4.57" x 1.70" x 0.64"

140 | 4.94
4.88" x 2.44" x 0.53"

130 | 4.56
4.21" x 2.20" x 0.55"

120 | 4.20
4.53" x 2.47" x 0.47"

146 | 5.15
4.63" x 2.19" x 0.67"

158 | 5.57
4.35" x 2.07" x 0.67"

158 | 5.57
4.56" x 2.41" x 0.51"

125 | 4.41
4.44" x 2.36" x 0.55"

133 | 4.69
4.01" x 1.98" x 0.55"

124 | 4.37
8.28" x 4.67" x 1.08"

640 | 22.5
4.48" x 2.52" x 0.59"

154 | 5.43
4.17" x 2.38" x 0.68"

147 | 5.18
4.01" x 2.00" x 0.71"

165 | 5.82
4.41" x 2.24" x 0.49"

122 | 4.30
4.41" x 2.28" x 0.73"

140 | 4.94
4.01" x 2.00" x 0.45"

110 | 3.88
4.56" x 2.36" x 0.70"
200 | 7.05
4.30" x 2.40" x 0.60"
120 | 4.23
4.20" x 2.30" x 0.60"
136 | 4.79
3.70" x 2.30" x 0.60"
126 | 4.44
4.48" x 2.39" x 0.51"
116 | 4.09
4.60" x 2.60" x 0.50"

134 | 4.70

4.10" x 2.10" x 0.60"
150 | 5.30
4.40" x 2.32" x 0.75"
190 | 6.70

    In terms of specs, the Touch Diamond on Sprint is almost identical to the original Touch Diamond. It’s thicker by 2.5mm and heavier by 14grams, has more RAM (256MB vs. 192MB), and has a larger battery (1340mAh vs. 900mAh). Other than that, it’s running on Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro with a 2.8" VGA screen, has a 528MHz Qualcomm CPU, 4GB of inbuilt storage space, FM Radio, WiFi (b/g), Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, aGPS, and a 3.2MP camera with autofocus.

    The original Touch Diamond was a sight to behold,
but because of the network difference, we weren’t able to fully
appreciate its full potential until recently. Thankfully, the Sprint edition has
been updated internally for a smoother, more enjoyable operation.
Although the Sprint version shares the same basic functions as the
original, it has undergone a few small cosmetic changes. A lot of
people I have spoken to seem to be on the fence on this one. However,
let’s examine the details. For starters, the signature jet black
diamond faceted pattern backing on the original has been replaced with a
flat cover in satin crimson with a rubberized. Why? As pretty as the
original cover was, it housed a smaller battery which,
unfortunately, lasted about the same amount of time it takes me to
finish a bag of nacho chips. Also, after setting it on any surface a
few times, it does tend to get pretty scratched up. The new cover,
although less flashy, is a lot more practical. Housing a juicier battery that lasts much longer, not to mention serving a better
purpose in detering fingerprints. Its rubberized satin finish also
feels more secure in hand. For a mere addition to thickness, it’s a
worthy tradeup.

   
Three other subtle changes are as follows: the original Tough Diamond
was solely rectangular in shape with sharp corners. The Sprint edition
has the corners shaved off a tad bit, giving it a softer appearance,
which I really like. The once inward concave D-pad controller now has
the outer ring raised. I don’t really find any particular purpose for
this change other than pure aesthetic, but it feels nice against your
thumb. Finally, the original Touch Diamond had two cameras. A front
facing one for video conferencing, and a 3.2MP main camera on
the back for all other camera functions. The Sprint edition has done
away with the front camera (cleverly replaced by the Sprint logo),
which is totally fine because we haven’t really gone the distance on
video conferencing via cell phones in the U.S. anyway.

WHAT’S IN THE BOX

   
Sprint’s Touch Diamond comes in a noticeably plainer box, compared to
the uber-fancy original. But the important thing is what’s inside
the box: power cable, pretty looking outlet charger, multi-function USB
adapter, sweet looking Diamond-ized multi-function headset, product
manuals, setup/support CD, nifty adhesive screen protector, extra
crimson stylus and a sturdy neoprene case. Pretty neat stuff. Quick
note on the box: a few people I have spoken to complained about the
plainer looking box on the Sprint edition, compared to the expensive
looking pyramid shaped hard acrylic box of the original. Folks, let’s
remember that plastic is non-biodegradeable. Seriously, it’s a box.
Calm down. 



Above is the unboxing video.

unboxing picture

This is everything that’s in the box.

PRODUCT FEATURES

    The Sprint Touch Diamond has a wonderfully sharp VGA screen that provides a lot more definition than most phones out there, including the iPhone. Of course, it wouldn’t be called the Touch Diamond if it didn’t have touchscreen capabilities. Thanks to HTC’s ultra responsive new TouchFLO 3D, you can touch, tap and control every function with your fingertip, fingernail or the attached magnetic stylus. This has to be the biggest selling point for this device. It’s got a learning curve like all other devices, but once you get used to the TouchFLO interface, it’s a real joy to work with. Also, thanks to Sprints super fast EV-DO Rev-A 3G network, internet browsing and updates are a breeze. The graphics are beautiful and eye-popping as evident by the nifty little weather feature which actually makes checking the weather in any major city, any country in the world a fun thing to do. With a mere flick on the screen, your messages, pictures and emails move around like a symphony. 

The softer edges give the phone a lovely silhouette



Above is the hands-on video.

    Sprint’s Touch Diamond functions take their cue from the original version. With the most used functions available on the Today screen. Multiple email setup is a breeze and text messages are organized well. Pictures are a snap to take, with all functions directly on the screen which does away with the usual side button. In fact, the only outside buttons are the power button up top and the volume/ringer rocker on the left side which are very discreetly integrated into the phone, thanks to the low-profile style that doesn’t detract from the overall sleekness of the unit. Internet browsing is fast, thanks to the new Opera Mobile 9.5 web browser. Pages load up fast and are easily manipulatid with a touch on the screen. Sprint TV offers a wide array of channels that allow you to watch clearly on the phone’s sharp display. If you don’t want to buy music from the Sprint Music Store, you can easily transfer songs into the phone via computer. Bluetooth is easy to set up and actually provides a very good connection to the headsets we tried. Lastly, the Sprint Navigation is fun to use, and the turn by turn directions are easy to understand.

    The only open space is the all-in-one usb port which handles all power, headset and computer connection needs. Like the original Touch Diamond, this does not have a memory card slot for added expansion, although it does come with 4GB of memory which is more than enough for most people to store hundreds of songs, pictures and videos (heck, I’m on 700 pictures and 1,200 songs on my 80G iPod and I still havent hit the 4GB mark). All the primary functions are also controlled through the touch screen, meaning no slide out keyboard. For those that are used to the keyboard, you may have to wait for the Touch Pro to come out, which is obviously thicker but has a memory expansion slot and a keyboard.

    The magnetic stylus goes in securely so you don’t have to worry about losing it, while the satin rubberized surface provides a secure grip and greatly minimizes fingerprints. The 3.2MP camera also takes good resolution photos, although the lack of a flash makes it difficult to take pictures in low-light environments. It does however come with zoom features, quality, size, fun frames, picture adjusting options, panorama shots and other options which make it a pretty fun device to take casual snapshots with. Like most other phones though, video quality depends on a steady hand. The good thing is that you can shoot videos as long as you like until you run out of memory.

    Side by side comparison to the HTC Mogul, Sprint’s current do-it-all (ironically more expensive) HTC Windows Mobile device. The Touch Diamond is thinner, smaller, lighter and overall a heck of a lot more fabulous to look at. The Touch Diamond’s consumer-friendly functions make it a lot less scary for novices to switch from standard phones to Windows Mobile devices. Not to mention the incredibly sleek, chic look can go from the boardroom to the socialite ball in a snap! Talk about sheer power and beauty combined.

    I tested this phone everyday for close to two weeks. Overall, call clarity was good. The speakerphone is actually quite exceptional even at next-to-loudest level. When watching TV on it or browsing YouTube, the sound came through very clear and not at all tinny. Listening to music on the Windows Media Player via the multi-function headset was very nice as well. The touch dialing is wonderful, and so is the messaging once you get used to it. The battery is rated at 4.2 hrs talk time with standby of about a week, but in my tests, I have been able to talk on this thing for close to 5 hrs. Of course, it will all depend in how much you use the other functions on your phone, or how often the screen is lit up which obviously uses up battery power.

But before you think this is just another iPhone wannabe with no discernable functions, stop right there! We’ve already proven in our previous review that this kicks iPhone’s butt any day. But that’s not where it stops. The Sprint Touch Diamond is a true powerhouse Windows Mobile device equipped with the full Microsoft Office Mobile Suite for full editing of Word and Excel documents, plus PowerPoint . This has all the apps, programs and versatility that has made Windows Mobile devices a top choice for executives, professionals and very busy people like myself who need a device that handles a huge workload. In fact, you can still access all the classic and improved Windows Mobile 6.1 options from the drop-down start menu on top of the screen. The only difference is that it’s all cleverly hidden in style, which is something I know a lot of consumers would appreciate.

BUGS & WISHES

    I personally don’t see anything wrong with the new design. In fact, I like it. But because I have to take in everyone’s opinion, I did notice a few people who have seen the original Touch Diamond that were not too happy about the back cover which they say gave the Diamond its name. And as much as I can appreciate the practicality of the new back cover, I do have to admit the original cover was stunning. Besides, when have I ever been practical anyway? Some expressed concern over the lack of a keyboard or a numbered keypad. The lack of a memory expansion slot may also be a concern for the few who feel the need to store a dozen feature films in their phones. The phone is also thicker by a teeny tiny 2.5mm and 14grams heavier which may be an issue to the overly fickle crowd who want a phone as thin as toilet paper. All I have to say to those men is: Guys, be a man! Rub some dirt in it or something! Also, it doesn’t have the multi-touch option that iPhone users are crazy about. So you can’t expand a page with your thumb and forefinger. Big deal! Just tap on the screen twice and it does the same thing! The screen, albeit gorgeous, can be viewed outdoors but not without a glare reflecting off the ultra glossy screen. Ultimately, what it comes down to is that most people who don’t know much will inherently compare this to the original Touch Diamond.

PURCHASING

    The Sprint Touch Diamond can be purchased at Sprint.com for $249.99 with a 2 year contract to new customers (after $200 instant rebate and $100 mail-in rebate). Existing customers can also upgrade for the same price. Full retail price is $549.

PROS:

  • Great looking phone that’s small, sleek, shiny and befitting of the name Touch Diamond
  • TouchFLO 3D is very responsive and fun to use
  • Hardware buttons on the front are also touch sensitive
  • Graphics and animation are top-notch
  • VGA screen is ultra sharp and clear for a great viewing experience
  • 4GB built-in storage

CONS:


  • No memory expansion slot
  • No built in keyboard for those who prefer it
  • Appearance is noticeably diffused from the original
Value
Ease
of Use
Features

Overall

What do these ratings mean?

CONCLUSION:

    Although this is most definitely going to be compared to the original Touch Diamond, the Sprint version deserves a lot of credit for not only being the first to offer such a lovely device to the U.S. market, but for taking the bugs out of the original and fixing them so that the phone works more smoothly. I love the more subtle corners, the practicality of the soft rubberized satin crimson finish, and the fact that the battery power has been seriously amped up.  The "Sprintified" version will be a comforting aspect to all Sprint users, while the original menu is incredibly user friendly and fun to use. For the first time, I actually enjoy watching YouTube videos and browsing Sprint TV on this thing, thanks to the great ultra sharp screen. Of course, I cannot live without all the Windows Mobile functions which are so necessary in my lifestyle. Sure, I would’ve liked for them to retain the original look, but it’s such a minute detail compared to the useability that this phone offers. Being a Sprint user myself, I can definitely appreciate the time they took to make this an easy transition from all my other Sprint devices. This phone is all power mixed with all beauty. In fact, the thing I love most about the Sprint Touch Diamond is that sometimes, I forget I’m actually holding a Windows Mobile device in my hand.

    If you’re a Sprint user like me, or are thinking about switching to Sprint, I can honestly say that this is not only the most attractive phone on their lineup right now, but it also is the most functional and powerful. If you’ve always wanted what we executives have, or thought about upgrading to a PDA or Windows Mobile Device but you were scared of the complexity, I say this would be the easist, most enjoyable transition you’ll ever have. Think iPhone fun + laptop power. In fact, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. So you want a shiny new Diamond like I have? Don’t just run. Sprint! This is Jenna reporting for pocketnow.com. Stay fabulous! 

Click on to read more from Jenna!

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About The Author
JennaGonzalez