It should be noted that during this review we used the test build of
CPU: Qualcomm MSM7200A @ 528 MHz
Operating System: Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional (although it should
soon be upgradeable to 6.5)
Memory: ROM – 512MB RAM – 288 MB
Dimensions: 107.85 X 53.1 X 13.7 mm (4.25 X 2.09 X 0.54 inches)
Weight: 117.5 grams (4.15 ounces) with battery
Display: 3.2-inch TFT-LCD touch-sensitive screen with 480 X 800 WVGA
* Europe/Asia: 900/2100 MHz
* Up to 2 Mbps up-link and 7.2 Mbps down-link speeds
* Europe/Asia: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
Device Control : TouchFLO 3D and zoom bar
GPS: Internal GPS antenna
Connectivity : Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR and A2DP for wireless stereo
Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 b/g
Camera: 5.0 megapixel color camera with auto focus plus second VGA CMOS
colour camera for video calls Battery Capacity: 1100 mAh Talk time:
* Up to 300 minutes for WCDMA
* Up to 340 minutes for GSM
* Up to 500 hours for WCDMA
* Up to 360 hours for GSM
Expansion Slot: microSD (SD 2.0 compatible)
Special Features: FM Radio, G-Sensor
It’s only a few months since we were down in London for the launch of
the original ground-breaking HTC
Touch Diamond. I guess you’re probably
asking yourself what the differences are between this and the original
Diamond? Should Diamond owners be upset? Well, no. To be honest. The
spec sheet has remained pretty much the same and the original Diamond
is still a fantastic handset. The CPU in the Diamond2 is the same
speed, the OS is the same (although the Diamond2 will be getting an
official 6.5 upgrade at some point), it’s still got the GPS, Bluetooth
2.0, FM radio and WiFi. The Diamond2 does have some improvements in
hardware though, most noteably the camera, upped from 3 megapixels to a
new 5 megapixel shooter with auto-focus. The Diamond2 also has 512MB of
ROM and 288MB RAM, whereas the Diamond had 256MB and 192MB respectively.
The new Diamond2 also gets a bigger screen – a 3.2 inch TFT with
480×800 WVGA resolution compared to the original 2.8 inch TFT in the
original Diamond which had VGA resolution. The new 3.2 inch version is
again flat against the front of the device giving you direct contact
with the screen and haptic feedback thanks to a small vibration when
you tap on the TouchFLO 3D system.
The other big difference of course is the addition of removable
storage. The original Diamond had 4GB on-board with no external storage
possibility and that, if we’re honest, was the only problem we could
find with it. When you pitch a phone with 4GB of internal storage up
against the iPhone and other handsets it soon becomes a little
restrictive. The Diamond2 adds the possibility of loading up your own
mircoSD which is SD 2.0 compatible, but it does add a little to the
size of the handset. The Diamond2 is a little heavier (117.5g) than
than Diamond (110g) plus a little bulkier (107.85 X 53.1 X 13.7 mm)
compared to the original 102 X 51 X 11.35 mm, but I’d challenge anyone
to really notice the difference. The Diamond2 is light, quick and
First impressions? Well, I have to say that the polished silver outer
rims did make me think of an old calculator I had at school. The back
of the device lacks the previous “diamondesque” design, favouring a
flatter, smoother panel. The triangle shape is still introduced with
the addition of the camera lens, which is surrounded by a triangular
brushed-metal panel. There’s no camera button either.
Up top, the power button sits on the left of the handset as you face
it. Tap to put the phone into standby / lock mode, or hold it down to
knock the power off completely.
Down the right side of the phone you’ll find the external speaker near
the top whilst, near the bottom, lives the stylus. This isn’t a
magnetic one and won’t pull itself back into the holdster. We’re not
sure why this isn’t magnetic, perhaps there was a space issue – we
liked the original magnetic one – however it still wakes up the device
when you pull it out. Nice touch.
At the bottom edge is the miniUSB connector. Here you’ll plug in your
charger, sync cable and audio headset / handsfree kit. Next to it
you’ll see the microphone hole and the lanyard loop.
Up the left side you’ll find the volume up and down controls which are
pretty self explanatory.
The device is light to hold and has slightly rounded edges at the rear
which make it comfortable to handle. The device is incredibly speedy
and the lack of navigation pad isn’t a problem. The four control keys
(seen below) allow quick access into the new HTC TouchFLO system. It’s
the obvious stuff – the left “call” key will take you into the call
screen or it’ll dial the number you entered. The Windows key next to it
used to just open the Windows program list but now it jumps you into a
custom HTC programs screen that used to be inside a tab on the TouchFLO
3D system. This makes the whole thing more unified and less fragmented.
On earlier versions you’d find the Microsoft Windows Mobile Programs
list AND the HTC TouchFLO version. Here you just get the shortcut menu
into your favourite programs when you hit the magic Windows flag….
easy enough to add other programs into this list and, as with the
original Diamond, you can slide your finger up and down the screen to
scroll through the programs and games you have. There’s no “recent
programs” here though.
The back button does a couple of different things. In most programs and
menus it’ll return you back to the home screen or the screen you were
looking at previously. In others, such as the in-built Opera browser,
it’ll go back to the previous web page you were viewing. If you’re in
the contacts tab it’ll take you back to the earlier tab if you hit
“More Information” etc. The call “drop” key has a couple of uses too –
tap it to drop your call or, if you’re not in a call, it’ll take you
back to the HTC TouchFLO 3D home tab with a nice soft “pong” noise to
tell you it’s done. Press and hold it to lock your phone.
Well, as you can see from the screenshot above (which is directly from
the device and unmodified), the resolution is very high and makes for
massive images. We’ve reduced all screenshots in this review to 50% of
their original size for viewing.
One feature I spotted almost immediately was the contacts handling.
It’s easy to understand and a whole lot more advanced than before. Now,
when looking at your contacts, you can see every discussion or
interaction you’ve had with them.
This video shows some of the contact tweaks. You can also have a look
in HQ here.
Not only do you get call history but,
just by swapping the tab, you can see all the emails you’ve sent and
received from them, all the texts you’ve sent and received and more.
Very handy, very helpful, plus you still benefit from the huge amount
of contact details available in Windows Mobile. Enter birthdays,
anniversaries, home address details and even family members.
The contacts system on the Diamond2 is now a lot easier to use too.
Adding details used to mean dumping you into the standard Windows
Mobile contacts screeen but now, thanks to HTC TouchFLO 3D, you get a
glossy interface and on-screen keypad which is designed for your
finger, not a stylus. Great stuff. The contacts tab features a
rolla-dex system of flipping through your favourite contacts. Adding
contacts, snapping their photos and quickly zipping through larger
contact lists can all be done from the top part of the screen here,
plus you can text or call them by pressing the appropriate buttons. You
can also use the “Menu” softkey on the lower-right to do extra tasks
like opening the contact, changing their picture plus you can add or
remove a favourite.
Adding a contact is easy enough and again the HTC
TouchFLO system has smoothed the rough edges of the existing data-entry
form to create a smooth and clear contact card for you to enter
details. This HTC contact card entry system is brilliant and features
clever switching from alpha-numeric to numeric for phone number entry
and ringtone choice for each person you add, plus there’s separate
screens for additional information like “Home Address” Unfortunately as
default it stores everyones name in Lastnight, Firstname format which I
personally can’t stand. If the average Joe is anything like me they’ll
want it displayed the “normal” way.
Calls, texting, emailing and all forms of communication have been
totally centralised on the new TouchFLO 3D system. If, for example, I
go into one of my contacts and open up their contact card I’ll see the
same screen as I do when I open up a text conversation from that person
– the only difference is the tabs at the bottom. Imagine, if you will,
that each contact is allocated a box. Each box has four segments – one
for texts, one for emails, one for calls, one for calls sent and
If you want to open a text from someone, you go to the box
and look in the text segment. If you want to see calls received and
made between you and someone else, just go to their box and open the
appropriate segment. This whole thought process makes locating and
tracking conversations between people much, much easier than ever
before. Open a text message and you’ll go to the contact card of the
sender, with the “text” tab open. You’ll see the conversations you’ve
had with them and then, by selecting a different tab, you can find out
when the last call was made to them etc. Although you’ve still got
various ways of getting to the information you need
it’s neatly organised in one place per on a per contact basis.
Also within the contacts tab is the “Favourites” section, where you can
quickly add who appears on your rolla-dex. This is a really quick way
to add people in and it helps to make lengthy contact lists more
Windows Mobile, as usual, will synchronise the contacts on
your computer with the phone, so just plugging the included cable
between your PC and phone will magically push all the details you have
across to the Diamond2. Contact pictures will be included, as will
appointments, tasks, emails and more.
You may remember that, in our Touch
HD review we stated that the TouchFLO 3D system didn’t go
deeply enough into the system. The Microsoft calculator was one
example, whilst the continual Microsoft “you’ve got mail, you’ve got a
text, I’ve found a WiFi hotspot” notifications kept annoying the hell
out of you when you least wanted them. Now, thankfully, there’s a
“Notification area” where stuff like this goes. Got a voicemail? Missed
a call? It’ll be in the notification area, and an alert will appear in
the top bar quietly, just to let you know that something has occurred
that you might want to look at, when you’re ready.
Plus, to access the
notification you don’t need to grab your stylus any more either – now
you can just tap somewhere near the top-right of the screen with your
finger. It’ll show you all the notifications in a separate screen like
this AND it’ll show you other useful info, like the WiFi hotspot you’re
connected to, the phone network you’re on, how long you’ve been
connected to it etc. At last. At last someone has made Windows Mobile
intelligent. This is what I’ve wanted for such a long time. I’ve lost
count of the amount of unnecessary times I’ve hit “Close” whilst using
my phone to write an email or text and had “WiFi found” popup or I’ve
had to fiddle around with the stylus to hit the tiny notification
bubble on the top status bar, only to accidentally get the battery
status, or the network status, or something else. With Windows Mobile
you can do so much, receive so much information – it’s great to have it
organised at last.
The new TouchFLO system also brings some funky sound effects for events
like voicemail and text – again this is something I’ve been wanting
from Microsoft themselves since 2002. Now I love hearing the
“Appointment” sound effect or the “Text received” sound on the
Diamond2. The default ones suit the phone and give
it added style, making the Diamond2 a much more complete package. To
alter the sounds I simply need to go to “Settings” and the “Sound” and
I can change the ringtone, ring type and profile. Now, in previous
reviews we’ve always been amazed how quickly HTC rectify the tiny
criticisms we make, so here’s one I hope they can twiddle for the next
version. If you look at the image below you’ll see that I can do a
whole load of things in the “Ringtones” tab but I can’t
alter the text message sound. I’m also unable to alter the email sound
or the appointment sound etc. To change these I need to press the
“Advanced” soft-key on the right. However, when I do that I have to
grab a sick-bag as the retro 2002-style Pocket PC screen appears. Come
on HTC, fix this bit too, then I’ll come down to your offices and kiss
As you may know by now the HTC TouchFLO 3D interface is in use here.
I’ll go through each tab in a moment, but first I wanted to highlight
the Internet tab which comes with a new feature called “Push Internet”.
This is not to be confused with Push Email but it’s equally brilliant.
You can easily set your Diamond2 to download a webpage at set time
You can add four sites to this tab so, even if you don’t
have a web connection or you don’t want to have to refresh the page
yourself, it’ll appear on your device with fairly up-to-date
information. This is all very configurable too, with roaming and data
charges being managed through further settings to avoid big data
The HTC TouchFLO 3D system starts with the home tab. If you’ve not seen
the TouchFLO system before it’s the HTC control interface for Windows
Mobile. Sure, Microsoft offer their own solution and are about to push
out 6.5 to try and make the OS more finger-friendly, but the HTC
eclipses it already. It’s good, it’s really good. This is an interface
that has been hacked and ported to other Windows
Phones that aren’t meant to have the interface. When you see things
like this happening then you know it’s a good
The main tab has the main things you’ll want to see when you turn on
the Diamond2. Last year one of the top HTC guys told me that most
people looked at their phone just to find out what time it was or what
the date was. This is why a large clock occupies the main screen. You
can reduce the size of this clock if it’s not your thing merely by
sweeping your finger up the screen, plus there’s other useful
information such as your missed calls, voicemails, calendar
appointments and more. As you can see from the shots above there’s two
different clocks to choose from here.
Tapping that Calendar option takes you into a new HTC tab we’ve not
seen previously. This is the calendar tab and, at last, it hides the
ageing Windows Mobile version. This again adds an extra layer of
integration between the HTC TouchFLO system and the Microsoft
“back-end” and pushes TouchFLO nearer to a total solution, rather than
just a skin-deep GUI. I say “nearer” because this calendar tab doesn’t quite
go the whole hog. It’ll let you see what’s happening today, it’ll let
you see what’s happening this month and it’ll let you add appointments
but there’s no weekly or yearly view and the appointment entry screen
drops you back into the standard Windows Mobile data entry screen we’ve
learnt to groan at over the years. That said, I’m glad they’ve added it
in as a new tab and I’m hoping it’ll continue to develop, just like
TouchFLO itself is developing.
Now perhaps I should stop to mention a few smaller things like the
menus. Look at them – big, fat, finger-friendly menus appear now
instead of the horrid stylus-driven Windows Mobile ones we saw before.
Whilst the menus have grown in size it also means that they sometimes
don’t fit onto one page. This isn’t a big problem, as you simply scroll
/ flick down the menu list to find the option you need. Here’s a couple
of shots of the menu in action. It’s triggered from the soft-keys. This
should, in theory, appear across all applications.
I tried it in Word
Mobile as a test and yep, it was a nice smooth menu that appeared when
I touched the lower-right of the screen. Whilst I mention Word Mobile,
it’s interesting to see that apps such as Word Mobile, Excel Mobile and
Powerpoint are tucked away under “All Programs” – they’re not really
promoted on this handset even though they’re included. The small but
important addition of smooth and finger-friendly menus to the core of
the OS makes Windows Mobile 6.1 a much better experience and I’m
prepared to bet that it’s almost as big as 6.5 will be in terms of GUI
The texting tab shows the messages you’ve received and you can simply
swipe up or down to glide through them. Tap on one to read the entire
message if it won’t fit, plus you can reply easily too. The messages
are grouped by conversation and, like we’ve seen, it’s easier to keep
track of all your communications.
The email tab will (when you get it setup) show you a little envelope
and a preview of the email you’ve received. Sweep your finger up or
down to scroll to the next or previous email or tap it to open fully.
You’ll also get the full HTML experience if the email has been sent
that way. Setting it up is easy enough and it’s made simpler once again
by the HTC TouchFLO improvements which guide you through steps. The
on-screen keyboard is also much better than the stock Windows Mobile
one and there’s a choice of T9 or ABC mode on the QWERTY or phone
keypad as shown below..
The Internet tab has three key features. First, a nice big search field
so you can hop onto the net without having to type google.co.uk first.
Next, a big globe which sends you into Opera 9.5. Thirdly there’s the
new “Push Internet” feature that we mentioned earlier.
Going into the
browser lets you use the zoom bar at the bottom of the screen. Press
and slide your finger across here to zoom in or out of a web page. The
zoom happens quickly and smoothly, perhaps in part thanks to the
additional memory. You can rotate the device around with the on-screen
keyboard open too, so if you’re having trouble entering a web address
or search it’s just a matter of turning the device on it’s side to get
the full widescreen feel.
In the shots below you can see me doing a search in landscape mode. The
screen will also switch to full-screen mode once the page has loaded, a
neat touch which reduces the amount of stuff on the screen. It may just
be me, but the G-sensor seemed more accurate on the Diamond2 than the
previous Diamond. Before, when I rotated the device and placed it on
the desk it would have a bit of a fit and not quite know which way the
screen should display. Now it sticks in place properly, which is much
When the device is in landscape rotation the zoom-bar sits under your
right thumb and makes for an easy browsing experience. In the portrait
setting you’ve again got the zoom-bar positioned under your thumb for
quick zooming-in of text and images on websites. It should be noted
that the zoom-bar and the G-sensor rotation only works in selected
apps, however I found the zoom function especially useful in the HTC
Gallery system (Album) – it worked fantastically with the pan / scan
system so you can quickly highlight a section of the picture.
In the video below I show the zoom-bar being used with the HTC Album
plus a couple of other tricks. Get the HQ version here.
The Photos and Videos tab is the portal into your camera / video app
and it’ll also show the shots and videos you’ve taken so far. Flicking
up and down will push the pictures along and you can use the inbuilt
Album feature to see them in a grid-system. Click on a picture, then
use the zoom bar to zoom in on the picture. You can then press and hold
on the picture to drag it around and see various parts of the photo.
The G-sensor works in this page too, letting you flip your photos
around along with this grid system of preview images. You can also
create favourite albums – this is a great little feature that sets your
default directory / album to be the one you want. For example, if
you’ve just inserted a microSD card you can set this to be your
favourite – it’ll then switch the tab preview shots, the album and the
default save location for photos to the microSD card. Great for keeping
your shots safe and organised.
Also, once you click on a shot, you can perform various options such as
emailing the photo or sending it via MMS. You can also save it as a
screen image, set it as a contact picture, delete it, start a slideshow
from it or go back.
Clicking on “Slideshow” brings up a smooth a controllable slideshow
which blends each photo into the next. This is ideal for showing people
your holiday shots 🙂 There’s various options available here such as
transition types (fade, slide, blinds, split, cover and more),
orientation and duration of each picture.
The camera itself is very nippy and there’s a prompt “snap” noise
accompanied by a white flash on the screen when you take a shot. It
still struggles a little in low light and alas there’s no flash but
it’s still a very high megapixel shooter and the images can be
extremely good. Various options are available within the camera
application including a touch-screen focus point which lets you focus
on a specific area of the photo, even if it’s not in the centre.
There’s other geeky settings that I don’t pretend to understand such as
ISO setting, white balance and timer etc.
Oh, and while I’m here I’ve got to mention my usual gripe with camera
settings – sometimes they’re not set to the highest resolution
out-of-the-box but, in this case it’s the full 5 Megapixel (2592×1552)
which is really good to see. Also I appreciate the fact that
“widescreen mode” is enabled (I’ve had issues with the Sony Ericsson X1
before) and the shutter sound isn’t annoying, in fact it’s rather
pleasant. 🙂 You can also switch to storing data on your data card if
you have one. It’s a great camera app, but I’d still love a dedicated
As usual we’ve got example photos direct from the device below. Just
click them to see the un-tweaked original.
The camera performed well and pictrures were crisp with fast-moving
shots coming out with a lot less blur than I expected. Here’s a few more shots including interior photos. You can see how the camera struggled a little with the internal low light. When you look at the preview screen it looks even darker but, to be fair it did brighten up the resulting image once you took a photo. I should also mention once again that we’re using the test build of the software here, so things could change in the final build.
There’s also lots of different shooting modes including sepia, greyscale and negative. Here’s a look at the differences..
The music tab will scan through your device looking for MP3’s and the
like for you to listen to. This’ll be through the speaker, Bluetooth
stereo headphones or your included miniUSB headphones. You can use
standard earphones too, but you’ll need a little adaptor for that. The
main music screen lets you play and flick between music, plus you can
skip to various portions of the song in question – ideal if you love
that guitar riff more than the intro. A description of the song plus a
time-line is also displayed along with album art if available, but in
practice getting this album art onto the screen can be a little tricky.
It’d be nice if it could query some central repository to get this.
Inside the “Library” softkey is a range of options which will let you
setup playlists, plus you can choose songs based on genre, composer,
albums or artists.
The weather tab was much talked-about when we first saw the original
Diamond. The 3D engine and hardware means that rain droplets fall
lightly onto the screen followed by a windscreen wiper to clean your
screen. It’s all very nice to look at, especially with the glorious
quality picture. The weather tab lets you add local(ish) cities and
towns in and you can have it update automatically so there’s no problem
choosing between an umbrella or shorts. Data download settings are also
available – choose to download automatically, then choose whether to
download whilst roaming too if you want. Various cities can be added in
from all over the world plus you can see the weather for several days
Finally we have the Settings tab which you can scroll up and down.
It’ll let you tweak your Sound settings, Wallpaper options (choose your
favourite picture and have it behind the clock on the Home tab) and
Now, I’m going to pause here and mention the Communications tab in more
detail. It’s a little different now and doesn’t just feature an “off /
on” functionality. Sure, you can still do that but it’s merely by
hitting the right side of the screen over the “off
/ on” switch. Now, when you click on the left side
of the screen it’ll enter a wizard or settings screen. For example, if
I have my Bluetooth on and click the left side of
the Bluetooth option I get this screen …
Brilliant, an intuitive, intelligent GUI! This is what happens if I hit
the left-side of the “Phone” option..
..look – there’s that cool feature that lets you reject the call with a
text message – just tap it to change the text reply you’d like to send.
Ideal for meetings and a very cool feature that deserves to be
bumped-up the menu a little. It’s great to see HTC doing this. I know
it may seem small, but the small things impressed me on the iPhone
recently, and it all adds up to a more complete package. The video
below shows you how easy it’s become to setup the WiFi. We also take a
look at the Opera browser, plus you can see the video in HQ here.
Call handling is a polished affair. When calls come in they’ll use the
picture you’ve allocated them, plus it’ll use the ringtone you’ve
I’ve mentioned in earlier reviews how the HTC TouchFLO 3D system seemed
to be just a “cover” which tried to hide the Microsoft Windows Mobile
back-end. Now however, HTC have got extremely close to completely
pushing the Windows Mobile interface under the carpet. Does it make
Windows Mobile less usable ? No. Does it mean that I can’t do what I’ve
always done with a traditional Pocket PC ? No. Sure, I’d like to tweak
some bits. I’d like the screen to rotate in every app and every tab
throughout the phone so I can use the on-screen keyboard easier (it’s
great by the way, but I’d love to use the widescreen version of it
more), plus I’d love to see the new calendar tab enhanced and an
integrated video player that’ll handle every format I throw at it.
Also, if I’m honest I’d say that the original HTC Diamond was a better
design. Lovers of physical keyboards may grumble slightly, but with the
improved HTC TouchFLO system and easy on-screen keyboards you can
easily control this phone.. and the interface looks good too.
HTC have again pushed the envelope. They’ve improved not just the
navigation but the operating system greatly. It makes me feel that HTC
are doing more for Windows Mobile than Microsoft themselves. This is a
HTC phone – not a Microsoft one. The spec is simply brilliant. Come on,
who can grumble at GPS, microSD card expansion, FM radio, WiFi,
ultra-quick mobile connectivity, 5 megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.0,
gorgeous screen and great battery life in a device of this size ?
It’s a fingerprint magnet but, as I write the last bit of this review
I’ve realised that it’s the first Windows Mobile I’ve ever
reviewed completely without the stylus. It’s true. I’ve
reviewed the whole thing but I’ve not take the stylus out once. That
speaks volumes alone. The stylus is still there of course, because deep
down WinMo 6.1 and the legacy apps (hello WinMo Media Player and the
terrible “Photos and Pictures” application) will have you stabbing at
them angrily with the pointy stick. These particular apps aren’t needed
any more though, because HTC has eclipsed them with far, far, far
The phone is great and the software is great. HTC are now at the stage
where the phone has become “whole”. It’s a package which is neatly put
together and I think this is well worth anyones money. Well done HTC.