Thanks to the advanced notice from Tracy and Matt’s blog, I picked up my HTC Touch Diamond yesterday from the Orange Store and it’s great!
‘But wait!’ I hear you cry, ‘didn’t he go on about the experia x1 and how he wanted one?’
Well, yes, I did. I admit it – I am fickle in my affections.Since I wrote that post, I have spent time considering what I want in a phone and size has become a significant factor. The Diamond is tiny, it really is. It’s not far from the size of my old Nokia 8910 and it’s lighter than that old warhorse.
I also did a fair amount of homework. My TYTN had a keyboard. Could I live without it? Almost as soon as the Diamond appeared, the soft keyboard turned up on the web, so I tried it. I found that I was happy with the turn of speed I could manage with the new soft keyboard and I was happy that I could live without the physical one.
I’m not going to write a review – there are plenty out there that go into more than enough detail. I will give you my opinions, though. I am a business user and the Diamond has to meet my needs as a connected business traveller. Does it do that?
Well, I’ve never had a phone that was so easy to get started with. Turn it on, run through the Windows Mobile setup and then configure my exchange server. In less than five minutes I had all my contacts, emails, calendar and tasks on the new phone. Smooth, easy, no issues whatsoever. Brilliant!
The new UI makes it easy to preview new mails and the design is so slick it’s a pleasurable experience. A few swipes of my thumb and I can spin through new mails before I tap on the one I want to read. So much faster and easier than the old Touch home screen which took me a good few taps just to get into my inbox.
The same is true for SMS messages – it’s so quick to view the new message. If I want to reply it drops me into the old-style Windows Mobile UI, but many of the messages I get don’t need a reply.
The screen is fabulous. The extra resolution is so nice to have – text is much smoother and more readable. Then you open Opera (which is fantastic) and browse to a web page. When pages open, Opera zooms the view out so you see the whole page. The experience is really good, but then you look again and realise that you can actually read the text!
I don’t have TomTom on the Diamond – I have a standalone TomTom and I don’t see the need to duplicate. However, the Diamond arrived with Google Maps installed so I did have a play. To be honest, the functionality offered will do what I need on my phone – where in the big city am I in relation to where I need to be.
One thing I find extremely useful – when I receive a call that’s not in my phone book, the Diamond asks me if I want to add the number to my contacts when I end the call. For somebody who gets regular calls from colleagues and customers whose numbers I want to quickly grab, that’s great!
Overall, I would have no hesitation in recommending this phone to anybody. The only area I would urge you to think about is the keyboard. If you absolutely, positively need a real keyboard, wait until September and pick up the Touch Pro. If you don’t, you really won’t regret picking up a Diamond.