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HTC Diamond

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Despite the upcoming launch of the new 3G iphone, July 11th, last week I decided to make the jump and got myself a HTC Diamond phone instead. Even though the idea of the iphone, combining a 3G phone, storage and an ipod all in one, sounds extremely appealing, in the end I decided that the iphone (even the second 3G generation) was too common and too bulky. The design is just not exactly the sleek and cool or girly and cute style that I like. I considered waiting for the NEXT generation of iphone, which is reputedly smaller than the original, but my disintegrating Nokia 6280, with its expanded battery and barely attached back cover wouldn't allow me to wait.

And so I walked into the store thinking to get a very sophisticated but cute and girly pink Blackberry. Even if I'm too cheap to get the full plan, it would look so adorable! Unfortunately, it appears that the pink Blackberry has not landed in Hong Kong yet (and I don't plan to join Verizon just for it) and they only had it in grey or black- boring. For a moment, I considered getting the grey one. But unfamiliar to the whole Blackberry craze in the US and clueless about phone functions beyond making a call, my mom was disapproving. "Why would you get that? It looks like a phone from 10 years ago."

She thought I should get one that was trendy and hip- like the one they were show casing in the glass case- the HTC Diamond (the store we were at just happened to be promoting it). I was hesitant at first. Since I've owned a phone 10 years ago, I've been a Nokia fan. They are always reliable and durable (to be fair, my Nokia 6280 has suffered through countless drops onto concrete surfaces in the last two years and a case of waterlog before coming to this state of disintegration). I was only willing to consider switching to the iphone or the Blackberry in the first place because they were just as reputable (kind of). And I've never even heard of the HTC before!

I wasn't sure about the durability and reliability of HTC (I eventually found out that it was from Taiwan). But then my mom stepped in, again proving that she is much more open minded and young about modern technology than I was. She said that I was probably only going to use the phone for two years anyway, and so I should just stop over thinking and get the model that I liked regardless of brand and durability.

Admittedly, the design is beautiful. It is small, sleek and shiny, with very cool smooth angles on the back cover giving it that diamond touch. They also very neatly fitten in a pen slot in this sleek design and it stays put magnetically. Very cool. The specs are quite good too. It is basically a touch screen PDA, with wifi and all the little PDA features like calendar, email, music, photos etc all on a very prettily designed interactive windows program that is very easy to use. Seriously. I am technically challenged and even I figured it out. There is 4GB of internal memory, so you can fit everything in. It also has a 3.2 pixel built in camera with auto focus, which is awesome, since even my very first digital camera only had 3.2 pixels. It works in North America, Europe, Australasia and Asia (including Japan and Korea) - just not South America. Supposedly it has GPS too, but I have no idea how it works. I figured since I don’t even have an internet plan for my phone the GPS feature will just go undiscovered. And this is the general gist of the HTC Diamond as I understand it. I’m no expert, so I could be wrong. For more accurate details, check out their website.

From all this, it appears that the HTC Diamond trumps the iphone, Blackberry and even the Samsung Armani (I briefly considered it since it was the same price, but it is a Korean brand phone that doesn’t work in Korea and thus I rejected it. There was also some other things not so good about the specs, though I must say the case it comes with is very nice) phone. In reality though, it doesn’t work quite like a dream. After almost a week of use, here are some things I found wrong with it

  • Even though the camera is 3.2 pixels, the pictures taken indoors tend to be yellowish and not very flattering for anyone. Seriously. Very yellowish. Outdoors, it’s not bad. But over all that autofocus thing means it takes a few seconds to actually take a picture. Not exactly snap.
  • There are a lot of functions, but it takes a while to get from one place to another. Either the touch screen is not very sensitive or it is very slow (probably a bit of both). It needs more RAM. In this aspect, the iphone is much faster.
  • Another thing is that people don’t seem to be hearing me very well these days. I used to talk to people when I’m walking around all the time and they hear me fine. Now I can hear them perfectly fine but they can’t hear me!
  • Another major thing and I’m not sure if it is only me, for two days, my phone would suddenly just switch off with no trigger and I can’t turn it on! I had to take the battery out and then turn it on again to get it to work. This is a major concern. But it hasn’t happened for 2 days now and I’m hoping that it was only an aberration. I think I’ve gone over my 7 day trial period, so I can’t exchange for a new one. And besides, I’m already out of the country……… fingers crossed!
Overall, I wouldn’t really recommend anyone buying the HTC Diamond, even though I’m an owner. I mean, besides those things I mentioned, it works fine. I haven’t personally tried out the music playing (because I haven’t gotten around to figuring out how to connect it with my computer yet- busy busy these days…), but I assume it works fine too. Still, as you can tell, they still have a way to go to perfecting this model. Once they do though, the HTC Diamond would be perfect!

*Update*

Thanks Kate. After playing around for a while, I finally figured out how to adjust the brightness/color contrast of the photos, and now the pictures look much better! Now all they need is a flash!

Image Source: Apple, HTC and Blackberry

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