HTC Touch Diamond Review: Geek's Best Friend: Organizer, Mobile Office, Applications, GPS Navigation

By 07:25 Sun, 08 Aug 2021 Comments


Windows Mobile offers several time-management features and all of them are easily syncable with MS Outlook. As of Windows Mobile 6.0, the Calendar allows browsing the events to come. It offers daily, weekly and monthly view. You can have the week start on either Monday or Sunday. You can also cover weekends from the Calendar if you utilize it for business strictly.

The Windows Mobile Calendar

The To-Do list allows you to add tasks and assign them priority. The Notes also come in handy, as you can either type or directly write the text down on the screen. The Voice recorder and Calculator go without saying.

To-Do list • The Notes app allows handwriting too, as well as QWERTY input • the fine recent calculator is back

The Alarm clock has three alarm slots. Each Alarm can have its own repeat pattern. Unfortunately, due to the small customization options in the default Alarms application, we recommdiscontinue you check out some free third-party alternatives.

Your mobile office is here too

Among the other WM core applications is the Office Mobile package featuring support for viewing and editing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. With the latest version of the Office Mobile, you also have the OneNote application.

The Office Mobile allows viewing and editing Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote files

Once again, the Video Graphics Array (VGA) display of the Diamond proves superior in fitting as much of the documents contents as possible.

Thanks to the Adobe Reader LE, there is also support for viewing Portable Document Format (PDF) documents. We are pleased with the performance of the Diamond in this area, as opening and handling Portable Document Format (PDF) documents is usually rather slow on handhelds.

Opening Portable Document Format (PDF) documents with Adobe Reader LE

Another application is the rather handy Search software, capable of searching throughout the whole file system and applications. You can set filters, so that the application searches only in the places you need.

The system-wide Search application

The whole nine yards of software

The Touch Diamond comes loaded with additional third-party software to meet various Windows Mobile user needs. It's got regular stuff such as the RSS Reader and Streaming Media manager, but it has some really original applications to go along.

First of all, it's nice of HTC to have preinstalled a Task Manager on the Diamond. Unfortunately, it's only available via the TouchFLO homeclassy screen interface upon a tap in the top correct corner. We would have liked it better if the Task Manager was available across the Windows Mobile interface too.

The Diamond task manager is available only on the TouchFLO home screen

The RSSHub app is an RSS reader for staying abreast of the latest news and content at your favorite web places. The Streaming Media manager allows access to custom sources of streaming audio and video.

The RSS Hub reader • the Streaming Media manager

HTC Touch Diamond also ships with the MP3 Trimmer app. It allows you to crop MP3 tracks to create your own ringtones. Another goodie is the Remote Desktop Mobile client. It allows you to connect remotely to any Windows-based computer. It's a really handy feature that - if you ask us - should come preinstalled on all PocketPCs.

MP3 trimmer for making your own ringtones • the Remote Desktop is a remote computer access application

Next, the Diamond impresses with the amusing Teeter game, which puts the built-in accelerometer to fine use. Navigating a ball around a maze of holes became a favorite pastime of our team members. Teeter easily impresses with its polished graphics and the handset even produces well-balanced vibrations each time your ball hits the walls of the maze.

The Teeter game is highly amusing and is really life-like

And finally, kudos to HTC for the excellent YouTube client, which offers a fluid and excellent looking interface - even better than the one on iPhone.

The Diamond YouTube client: Most Viewed Videos tab • video info display • video quality settings

GPS navigation

The HTC Touch Diamond features a built-in GPS receiver - it's the elegant Qualcomm gpsOne chipset, which comes along with the elegant Qualcomm 7200A platform. It's the same chipset used in earlier HTC models such as the HTC TyTN II and the HTC Touch Cruise.

The Diamond supports the Assisted-GPS technology, commonly known as A-GPS. It means you can download current satellite data over Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) or the 2G/3G network for a much faster satellite lock.

The Diamond A-GPS data download manager

The Diamond doesn't have a GPS navigation application pre-installed, so you have to purchase one separately. With a dedicated GPS app installed, it performed admirably as an in-car navigation unit. When it comes to displaying maps on screen, the Touch Diamond's Video Graphics Array (VGA) display is a clear advantage. It offers much more detail than the iPhone for example at a relatively the same level of magnification.

Here's a quick head-to-head comparison using the free Google Maps for Mobile app.

Viewing a map on the Touch Diamond (Google Maps, Barcelona)

Viewing a map on the first-gen iPhone (Google Maps, Barcelona)

While we are pretty excited with the GPS sensitivity of the elegant Qualcomm gpsOne chipset, the same doesn't go to its energy efficiency. The competing SiRF Star III chipset is much better at that. And coupled with the small power battery and the high-res display, the Diamond can't simply offer much power autonomy with the GPS switched on.

We did a dedicated GPS battery test to see how far you can acquire with the Touch Diamond in GPS mode. It ran out of juice after 2 hours and 20 minutes of full satellite lock in still position. You should bear in mind that in a moving vehicle those numbers will be lower.

Just for the sake of comparison, the HTC Touch Cruise and the HTC TyTN II lasted about 3.5 - 4 hours in this same test. The Asus P750 with its SiRF Star III chipset however managed to outshine them all by a fine margin - it kept going for 6 hours straight.



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