HTC Touch Diamond 2 review

Is the Touch Diamond 2 the best iPhone alternative yet released?

The HTC Touch Diamond2
HTC Touch Diamond2 - front, back and side

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The camera has never been a strong point on HTC's devices, but they've been improving steadily. The Touch Diamond2 features a 5 megapixel model and it's a significant jump up from the original Touch Diamond's 3.2 megapixels, let alone the iPhone's paltry 2 megapixel effort.

You can access it from the home page and it takes about three seconds to load. There's auto-focus but no flash and it takes about four seconds to take a pic, which makes it unsuitable for quick snaps.

Maximum resolution is 2592x1552 pixels and you can adjust ISO, white balance and brightness, plus there's a self-timer (up to ten seconds) and a panorama mode, but there are no post-pic editing options.

The camera is certainly better than its predecessor, but still falls behind similarly specced snappers from the likes of Nokia and Sony Ericsson. Colours are less than vibrant and there's not really as much detail as there should be.

Example shots...

Video quality drops to VGA resolution (640x480) in MPEG4 format and will look okay on YouTube, but it doesn't handle movement very well and there's a fair degree of noise.


Opera is the default browser, though Internet Explorer is also on board should you feel the need.

Web access is fast too, with either the HSDPA 3G link (up to 7.2Mbps download) or Wi-Fi and the zoom slider is now constantly accessible beneath the screen, or beside it if you use the onboard accelerometer to switch the screen resolution to landscape mode.

HTC has added a new feature which it likes to call 'Push Internet'. It aims to get around delays in loading your favourite web pages by preloading pages that you set up in advance at stated intervals.

So for example if you want to check in with BBC news on a regular basis, you can set it up to download at the same time every morning and you can access it instantly, even if you're out of service on the morning commute.

Video and music

Downloaded video holds up well on the HTC Touch Diamond2's luxurious screen. It can handle all the main video formats including WMV, ASF, MP4, 3GP, 3G2, M4V and AVI, plus there's a dedicated app to help you get the best out of YouTube.

The music player includes a ten-band graphic equaliser which you can customise to your personal taste, or take advantage of one of the 21 presets.

HTC's distinctive-looking earphones aren't great and unfortunately there's no 3.5mm jack plug which would make them easy to replace – you'll need a pair that connect by micro USB or Bluetooth.

The FM radio holds ups to 20 presets and gives you the option of stereo or mono, depending on the quality of the broadcast.

You'll need the earphones to act an aerial though you can also play the music through the phone's loudspeaker. There's also a sleep timer so you can set it to switch itself off automatically.

Office Mobile is on board offering pocket-sized Word, Excel and PowerPoint document creation as well as Adobe Reader for viewing PDFs.

There's also onboard GPS with Google Maps for finding your way around