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Review of Sprint's new Touch Diamond from HTC

Review by Michael Oryl on Wednesday September 10, 2008.

ctia fall 2008 · htc touch diamond · sprint · wm reviews · smartphone reviews · htc news · wm news · smartphone news · michael oryl

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While the original HTC Touch Diamond, a device that operates on GSM and UMTS networks, has been around for quite a few months, it took until today for the first U.S. carrier variant to show up. Sprint's version of the Touch Diamond shares the same basic form factor and capabilities as the original, but has been given a toned down appearance on the outside while its internals have been updated to include support for Sprint's EV-DO 3G network.

Since the vast amount of the review on the original HTC Touch Diamond applies directly to the Sprint version of the device, this review will be significantly trimmed and will focus mostly on the differences between the two devices.

Physical Aspects

A number of not-so-subtle changes have been made to the Sprint CDMA version of the Touch Diamond. For starters, the design has been softened up. Straight lines have been curved a bit, corners are less sharp, and the high-gloss faceted rear cover of the original has been replaced by a smooth, fingerprint resistant plain cover that has a nice red soft touch paint on it. The new cover is thicker than the original, as well, since the Sprint Touch Diamond houses a significantly larger battery - something the original sorely needed.

That extra girth provides the room for a respectably large 1340mAh battery that offers nearly 50% more battery life than the original. I believe that the extra large battery is worth the 3mm cost in additional girth, which brings the Sprint Touch Diamond to 103mm x 52mm x 15mm (4.1" x 2.0" x .6") in total size. The phone's weight has gone up 14g, as well, to 119g (4.2oz).

The other differences are fairly minor. The front-facing camera that was used for video calling on the original has disappeared. The stylus, which is housed in a silo with a magnetic latch, is now red. And, perhaps most importantly, the round edge of the touch-sensitive d-pad controller has been raised, which seems to significantly improve the way it works for both navigation and zooming, both of which were somewhat weak on the original. The VGA resolution touchscreen display and the volume keys remain largely untouched.

Core Functions

Audio quality on the Sprint Touch Diamond seemed pretty good to us here at the office - better than many CDMA phones we've tested recently. The speakerphone was also good. It was obvious to both parties that the speakerphone was being used, but the audio was clear and loud enough to be easily understood in general. The battery in the phone is rated for 4.2 hours of talk time, but should be good for probably close to two weeks of standby time if left to sit idle on a desk. The EV-DO data rates were not as fast as we had expected, though, with the Sprint Touch Diamond managing only about 650Mbps on a mid-level quality Sprint network signal in our area. Luckily WiFi is still available, as is Bluetooth.

Profile support is minimal, as on most Windows Mobile Professional devices. The ringer volume can be quickly adjusted or set to vibrate or silent by using the volume key. Contacts and messaging are also straight out of the Windows Mobile playbook, with SMS, Picture Messaging, and both POP/IMAP and Exchange Activesync push email (and synchronization) on board. A link to the freely downloadable IM client is provided in the Windows Mobile programs folder. Voice dialing support is also in the Diamond, which is a plus.

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Akit Singh Seo @ 1:38:12AM EDT on Wednesday September 29, 2010

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About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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