The Diamond2 isn't just a nip and tuck update of the original HTC Touch Diamond – it has some significant improvements which make it worth your attention.

We liked

Chief among these is its glorious new larger touch screen which takes up almost the full face of the phone. Video viewing may not be quite so breathtaking as the Touch HD but it's not far off – pictures and video look great on it and the new zoom bar allows you to get deep into your pics onscreen.

Email is as effective and easy to set up as ever, and the web browser is a dream, with that zoom bar every bit as effective as the iPhone's pinch feature.

Other improvements include the improved casing – it feels much sturdier now than the original Diamond which, though lightweight, did feel cheaper and more plasticky than its impressive spec would suggest it should.

Memory has also been beefed up, with the onboard capacity doubled to 512MB and the ability to accept up to 16GB microSD cards, though none is supplied. Battery life is better too, and we managed three days of moderate use before we had to recharge.

Special mention must go, as it always does with HTC's Windows Mobile handsets, to the very lovely TouchFLO 3D interface, which has always been good, but now has a few extra eye-catching animations to lift it well above the underlying Windows Mobile 6.1 OS, which, fortunately, you'll have little cause to use.

We didn't like

The 5 megapixel camera is an improvement on the original Diamond's snapper, though it still lacks the clarity, depth, colour and sharpness of other 5 megapixel camera phones such as the Nokia N79 or the Sony Ericsson C902.

Verdict

To sum it up, the Diamond2 is the do-it-all jewel in HTC's crown, and the most creditable alternative to the iPhone available anywhere at the present time