HTC Touch Diamond: the best anti 3G iPhone device so far?
UPDATE: The iPhone 3G has launched! Full details here.
Original HTC Touch Diamond story follows:
Gizmodo didn’t like it – they said it was slow, but the people over at Mobile Tech Review said the interface is “pure eye candy, and is generally surprisingly fast thanks to some graphics hardware and software acceleration under the hood. Yes, there are occasional lags, but so far nothing that has driven us mad.”
MobileBurn has a stack of YouTube videos of the interface in action, and they say that “the switching can be a bit slow at times, but the graphical effects are quite nice.”
So, fast or slow? It seems like it’s somewhere in between. The version that was demonstrated to me via video link was a pre-release model, but it still looked very smooth, with very funky animations that visually one-upped the original 2G iPhone interface.
All of that said, the HTC Touch Diamond has, according to HTC’s own site a 3D GPU inside, so there should be no slowness whatsoever.
Perhaps a firmware upgrade will make the interface faster – but shouldn’t this have been a priority from day one?
I know HTC wants to get their device out before the 3G iPhone, like they did with the original HTC Touch, but still... it’s the little things like the speed of the interface that people will notice above and beyond virtually everything else, so the fact that people are saying it can be sluggish at times is disappointing – so I’m definitely looking forward to testing it myself.
HTC’s major achievement, however, is to take Touch Flo, upgrade it to the more more visually impressive Touch Flo 3D, and ensure that its tendrils go much deeper into Windows Mobile 6.1 than ever before, something of great benefit to users and to the Windows Moible platform in general.
The interface isn’t “multi-touch” – everything is still completed with a single finger press or swipe, and there is 4 way button that can also be ‘swiped’ in a circular motion to zoom webpages and the like, but it looks like the best single-touch interface yet.
There are things to be aware of, however. One is that the on-screen keyboard is said to be miles better than the standard Windows Mobile keyboard, and is designed for use with your finger, although the HTC Touch Diamond is still supposed to have a stylus included within.
But sadly the SMS interface is reported to only really allow one line where you can type the message, rather than several lies, as the keyboard reportedly obscures much of the rest of the screen. How true this is I’ll see when I get to test one myself.
Still, HTC is showing Microsoft the way when it comes to massively improving the user interface, whatever inspiration HTC might have received from Apple. I hope Microsoft paying attention so they can massively improve the UI for Window Mobile 7!
So, what else is inside what is nevertheless still a very shiny gadget? Please read on to page 2.
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One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks, including stints as presenter of Ch 10’s Internet Bright Ideas, Ch 7’s Room for Improvement and tech expert on Ch 9’s Today Show, among many other news and current affairs programs.