>First Impressions of Sprint’s HTC Diamond

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I spent some time with the HTC Diamond from Sprint last week. Here are my initial impressions.

The phone is everything bloggers and critics say it is – it is small and powerful. What really astounds the first time you see the phone, especially if you’ve accustomed yourself to a 320×240 display on last year’s HTC phones (Touch, Mogul, XV6800, etc), is the sharpness of the display. The colors are incredibly rich and crisp. I maneuvered to the device’s YouTube app and opened a random video and was amazed at how great the video looked.

I actually had a chance to play with an unlocked GSM version of the HTC Diamond before seeing Sprint’s version. One difference between the GSM and Sprint’s CDMA version is the back cover. The original GSM version of the Diamond has this faceted back meant to simulate the surface of a diamond. Sure, it was a fingerprint magnet, but I liked it. The Sprint CDMA version has a smooth soft-touch burgundy back. Some might like the new back, but I favor the original back better. The Sprint’s HTC Diamond phone is rounded and just a tad thicker. The phone is still tiny, but not as small as the original GSM version. It’s all a matter of preference but I find the original GSM version of the Diamond to be slicker; all black design, etc.

The new 3D-Touch Flo works fine. The unlocked Diamond had some lag issues as reported by CNET, but Sprint seems to have taken care of these problems. One should remember that underneath all the glitziness of the new GUI is still Windows Mobile 6.1.

I recommend the Sprint HTC Diamond for heavy multimedia users. Without a full qwerty keyboard, business users may want to wait for the Touch Pro, although MoDaCo reported in one podcast that the HTC Diamond’s touchscreen keyboard isn’t bad and works reasonably well (for an all touchscreen device). That being said, CPG is more a fan of sliders, and waits patiently for the HTC Touch Pro.

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