July 10, 2008

HTC Diamond

Despite the upcoming launch of the new 3G iphone, July 11th, last week I decided to make the jump and got myself a HTC Diamond phone instead. Even though the idea of the iphone, combining a 3G phone, storage and an ipod all in one, sounds extremely appealing, in the end I decided that the iphone (even the second 3G generation) was too common and too bulky. The design is just not exactly the sleek and cool or girly and cute style that I like. I considered waiting for the NEXT generation of iphone, which is reputedly smaller than the original, but my disintegrating Nokia 6280, with its expanded battery and barely attached back cover wouldn't allow me to wait.

And so I walked into the store thinking to get a very sophisticated but cute and girly pink Blackberry. Even if I'm too cheap to get the full plan, it would look so adorable! Unfortunately, it appears that the pink Blackberry has not landed in Hong Kong yet (and I don't plan to join Verizon just for it) and they only had it in grey or black- boring. For a moment, I considered getting the grey one. But unfamiliar to the whole Blackberry craze in the US and clueless about phone functions beyond making a call, my mom was disapproving. "Why would you get that? It looks like a phone from 10 years ago."

She thought I should get one that was trendy and hip- like the one they were show casing in the glass case- the HTC Diamond (the store we were at just happened to be promoting it). I was hesitant at first. Since I've owned a phone 10 years ago, I've been a Nokia fan. They are always reliable and durable (to be fair, my Nokia 6280 has suffered through countless drops onto concrete surfaces in the last two years and a case of waterlog before coming to this state of disintegration). I was only willing to consider switching to the iphone or the Blackberry in the first place because they were just as reputable (kind of). And I've never even heard of the HTC before!

I wasn't sure about the durability and reliability of HTC (I eventually found out that it was from Taiwan). But then my mom stepped in, again proving that she is much more open minded and young about modern technology than I was. She said that I was probably only going to use the phone for two years anyway, and so I should just stop over thinking and get the model that I liked regardless of brand and durability.

Admittedly, the design is beautiful. It is small, sleek and shiny, with very cool smooth angles on the back cover giving it that diamond touch. They also very neatly fitten in a pen slot in this sleek design and it stays put magnetically. Very cool. The specs are quite good too. It is basically a touch screen PDA, with wifi and all the little PDA features like calendar, email, music, photos etc all on a very prettily designed interactive windows program that is very easy to use. Seriously. I am technically challenged and even I figured it out. There is 4GB of internal memory, so you can fit everything in. It also has a 3.2 pixel built in camera with auto focus, which is awesome, since even my very first digital camera only had 3.2 pixels. It works in North America, Europe, Australasia and Asia (including Japan and Korea) - just not South America. Supposedly it has GPS too, but I have no idea how it works. I figured since I don’t even have an internet plan for my phone the GPS feature will just go undiscovered. And this is the general gist of the HTC Diamond as I understand it. I’m no expert, so I could be wrong. For more accurate details, check out their website.

From all this, it appears that the HTC Diamond trumps the iphone, Blackberry and even the Samsung Armani (I briefly considered it since it was the same price, but it is a Korean brand phone that doesn’t work in Korea and thus I rejected it. There was also some other things not so good about the specs, though I must say the case it comes with is very nice) phone. In reality though, it doesn’t work quite like a dream. After almost a week of use, here are some things I found wrong with it

  • Even though the camera is 3.2 pixels, the pictures taken indoors tend to be yellowish and not very flattering for anyone. Seriously. Very yellowish. Outdoors, it’s not bad. But over all that autofocus thing means it takes a few seconds to actually take a picture. Not exactly snap.
  • There are a lot of functions, but it takes a while to get from one place to another. Either the touch screen is not very sensitive or it is very slow (probably a bit of both). It needs more RAM. In this aspect, the iphone is much faster.
  • Another thing is that people don’t seem to be hearing me very well these days. I used to talk to people when I’m walking around all the time and they hear me fine. Now I can hear them perfectly fine but they can’t hear me!
  • Another major thing and I’m not sure if it is only me, for two days, my phone would suddenly just switch off with no trigger and I can’t turn it on! I had to take the battery out and then turn it on again to get it to work. This is a major concern. But it hasn’t happened for 2 days now and I’m hoping that it was only an aberration. I think I’ve gone over my 7 day trial period, so I can’t exchange for a new one. And besides, I’m already out of the country……… fingers crossed!
Overall, I wouldn’t really recommend anyone buying the HTC Diamond, even though I’m an owner. I mean, besides those things I mentioned, it works fine. I haven’t personally tried out the music playing (because I haven’t gotten around to figuring out how to connect it with my computer yet- busy busy these days…), but I assume it works fine too. Still, as you can tell, they still have a way to go to perfecting this model. Once they do though, the HTC Diamond would be perfect!


Thanks Kate. After playing around for a while, I finally figured out how to adjust the brightness/color contrast of the photos, and now the pictures look much better! Now all they need is a flash!

Image Source: Apple, HTC and Blackberry


Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting review--i would probably never buy any of these, but your point to go with a respected name for quality is well-made. i hope it works out in the long run, but if not, i assume it has some kind of warranty, not just 7 days! i hope so anyway--cheers and happy travels

7/10/2008 12:10 PM  
Blogger Nay said...

actually most phones that feature data functions (PDA's, Blackberries, etc.) have much worse phone reception than those that are only phones. i recently got a Blackberry Pearl after having only regular phones my whole life and it's the same thing. also, as they take up so much battery life, many of them have an auto-off and on feature. it took me a while to figure that one out ;) good luck with the phone!

7/10/2008 3:01 PM  
Blogger Hacker Guo said...


7/10/2008 9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful fashion, it's great.

7/10/2008 11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post! I was actually going to do a phone review tomorrow, since it's the launch of the iPhone 2.0 here in the states and one of the competitors I wanted to compare it with was the HTC Diamond.

I've heard mixed/negative reviews about this phone but hearing it first hand helps!

7/11/2008 1:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

those phones are gorge. but i'm waiting for the blackberry bold!

7/11/2008 4:02 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

2 things: The yellowish tint in your indoor photographs may be caused by not white balancing. I really know nothing about this phone but the last 2 phones I've had, had a white balance feature on the camera. This might help.

Also, if this is the first generation of this particular phone, you may have to deal with little hickups like the phone just turning off for no reason. I had a first generation phone that did that once in a while and I could only turn it back on by taking the battery out and putting it back in. I traded it in for a 2nd generation and it was fine. Never did it once. Good luck! It looks like a nice phone. Hope you enjoy it!


7/11/2008 4:53 AM  
Blogger Gisandelle said...

I actually own the iPhone- it's almost a year actually since I had it. My mom calls me obsessed. I love my phone! It does have glitches but its very rare. I'm also very content with the pictures. Its like a computer on the go! And I have to disagree with you about saying it's bulky- its very sleek, skinny, and smooth. So smooth that it slipped from my hands once haha. And when it freezes, I restart it just like an iPod. Trust me on this, the iPhone has way more pros than cons.

7/11/2008 7:47 AM  
Blogger Nikki said...

there is no HTC Diamond here in the Philippines, if there was I'd seriously consider it! it looks gorgeous! i really just text and call with my phone so I have no problem with all of those other functions.

any other fashionable phones out there right now?


7/11/2008 8:56 AM  
Blogger Tu-Anh said...

wonderful post! I was considering the HTC myself... it was between the HTC Diamond and the LG Viewty. I really want a candybar shaped touch screen phone, but refuse to be a slave to the apple congromerate. Anyways, thanks for the review, I think I'm leaning more towards the Viewty now that I've read this. The LG is half the price of the Diamond and has a 5.1 megapixel cameral with xenon flash. The only downside is there is no wifi... =/

7/12/2008 3:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to nay, those are good tips. im not much one for multi-function anything, i think you sacrifice some quality and/or functionability with bundling. definitely a good reminder and your blog is interesting!

7/12/2008 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll go for the Iphone :)

Jessie - My Fashion Blog

7/13/2008 8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before I left for Taiwan, I broke my cell phone in Toronto. I considered a really nice sony ericsson phone based on it's design, but after reading reviews, I found out the keys cracked. I even asked the store sales and they said the same. What a shame! The design, colour and even wall papers of the phone are to die for. Tangent aside, I was also looking at the HTC, but I had never heard of it either. I was told that they have some sort of deal with Microsoft. I ended up with the k660, which is a great 'girly' phone - white with lime green. The features are alright, considering I'm just using it as a phone, not some sort of multitasking tool.

7/13/2008 5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My brother waited in line for 12 hours for the new iPhone, and no lie it's AMAZING. I'm hoping to get one in the next couple weeks. Besides a better camera this phone is like every thing you'll ever need. It loads pages on the internet faster than my laptop. I highly suggest it. It's worth every penny.

7/14/2008 1:30 AM  
Blogger alis said...

You think the iPhone is bulky and yet the blackberry is sophisticated? *puzzled* Your mom is right, the blackberry has to be the ugliest phone on the market right now.
HTC Diamond looks very cool, but it reminds me too much of the recent diamond concept of nokia, the sleek black phones by LG etc, like a combination rip-off of more reputable brands. Also the technical difficulties you mentioned can get very annoying in the long run, imagine being in a hurry, or being in the middle of an important talk and your phone giving you BS. I hope you can exchange it/get it fixed.

7/14/2008 10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want an HTC Diamond! I heard it can do video-calls; amazing...

7/15/2008 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will probably never buy an Iphone or a blackberry. I love flip phones and I will never buy a phone thats nota flip again. Flip phones just look so much more classy.

I also think that smart phones usually pale in comparison to other phones. They usually have a ton of features but at the end of the day a cellphone is for making calls and I personally find that smartphones dont make good phones.

7/16/2008 9:47 AM  
Blogger KATLIN said...

I have one of the crappiest (in terms of model) I know. My phone doesn't even have a camera! But at least it's small. I refuse to pay hundreds of dollars for a phone, but I have to admit that the styling of the HTC one made me think otherwise (love the diamond look on the back). But reading your review made me not want to! Haha. But hopefully your phone starts working better!

7/16/2008 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To give some history to HTC, HTC used to use the brand name QTek and they have been making phones for ages, also "anonymously" where telephone companies branded HTC/QTek phones as their own.

I have owner an HTC P3300 for about 18 months and been very satisfied with it (The P3300 is lower spec, but also has a built in GPS). The P3300 locks up for time to time (once every 2 or 3 months), but other than that, it is pretty reliable and an okay phone. Having said that, the camera is not good and the processor is too slow to play a movie.
A friend that owned the HTC/Qtek TyTn model has experienced some problems with the touch screen and lock ups. I say used to own because he now has a diamond.
I have been considering buying the diamond for a number of reasons, but I am still undecided. I use the GPS a lot, and Google maps (default for the diamond) does not (in my opinion) cut it against TomTom (as bundled with the previous HTC phones). Buying TomTom separately increases the cost of the phone by bout 28% (where I live).
Also have a couple of questions about the diamond outstanding with HTC. I have followed these up, but to date I have not received any sort of answer from them.
All in all I quite like HTC phones and I have had good experience with my relatively trouble free HTC phone. Would be nice if HTC bothered to respond to support questions though.
Hmmm... still have to decide whether or not to buy a diamond... maybe I will keep my P3300 and wait for the next model?

7/24/2008 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a 1st generation HTC touch. It gives me problem in dropping calls when on the move, people cannot hear me, echo(i can hear myself). In general, i love the phone, but i am very annoyed because a phone is to make call and they cannot get the voice equipment right. I am surprise that the diamond is still having the same problem, it shows that HTC has not improved on the quality of their products except for the softwares. I was tempted to buy the diamond because im tired of waiting for the iphone to launch in my country. now im really having 2nd thought and might just wait.. thanks for the review btw

7/27/2008 11:07 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I agree,

the new one : HTC Touch PRO !

you can enjoy this with keyboard, it is perfect. better than ever

I found it here

8/01/2008 6:05 AM  
Blogger Bryan said...

get a blackberry bold instead, its the next best thing.

8/02/2008 1:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HTC Diamond is simply incredible. Few days ago I got the occasion to play with it for the first time.
10x better that iPhone 3g!

8/03/2008 12:33 AM  
Blogger daNERd☻ said...

Touch screens are nice but I'm not really used to it, I fumble a lot. Plus, they're so expensive.

12/18/2008 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can anyone guide me how to use this phone with other service provider(RELIANCE). I HV USed it once phone is good
but the setting got changed wen i had to get a new sim

7/21/2010 2:58 AM  

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