The Diamond2 is quad-band so you can use it in most countries around the world and thanks to the Wi-Fi and HSDPA support the browser is fast to load web pages whether you’re at home connected to your own broadband link or out and about using the mobile network. The phone also has GPS onboard which you can use to pinpoint and track your position in real-time via the dedicated Google Maps application. The GPS in this handset was noticeably faster at locking on to satellites than the old Diamond, especially after you’ve downloaded the satellite data via the QuickGPS
Battery life on the whole was pretty decent too. With medium usages of all the main features we got around two days out of it. However, when we really hammered the GPS receiver and HSDPA for web browsing this dropped to less than a day. But let’s face it, that’s pretty much true of all of today’s smartphones.
The Diamond2 also runs a new version of HTC’s TouchFlo 3D user interface. TouchFlo has now developed into quite a mature interface, especially now that HTC has throttled back on some of the more unnecessary animations. This latest version feels much faster and more responsive to use and gives you more control over the handset’s settings, with the result that dropping back into the standard Windows Mobile interface is a much less common occurrence. However, when you do have to drop out of TouchFlo, to use say Onenote or Pocket Word, the difference between TouchFlo’s finger-friendly approach and the tiny buttons and fiddly menus of Windows Mobile still really jars.
Of course, there is also the longer term issue of what will happen to TouchFlo 3D once Windows Mobile 6.5 appears. While the new Windows Mobile 6.5 interface may not be perfect, it’s likely to feature menus and features that are similar to those offered by TouchFlo, yet it will be more tightly integrated into the core of the OS. When that happens, will TouchFlo still be necessary? The Diamond2 is Windows Mobile 6.5 ready as when Microsoft announced Windows Mobile 6.5 at the Mobile World Congress, it said that the Diamond2 would be one of the handsets that would be upgradable to the new OS. However, this of course depends on whether HTC actually releases the ROM.
We think the Diamond2 is perhaps the best Windows Mobile-based device that HTC has ever produced. TouchFlo 3D is now at a level where it provides a very fast and easy to use interface for most day-to-day tasks, and the new zoom control makes web browsing very satisfying – more so than with any previous Windows-powered HTC phone. However, as an overall package the Diamond2 is still not as slick or straightforward to use as the iPhone or even HTC’s Android-powered Magic handset.