Finweek English Edition - - Communication & Technology - BENE­DICT KELLY

THE HTC DI­A­MOND TOUCH phone has been widely touted as a chal­lenger to Ap­ple’s iPhone. But to say that would be stretch­ing the truth. The Touch has a nice big screen and uses HTC’s TouchFlo as a cov­er­ing for the Win­dows Mo­bile 6 op­er­at­ing sys­tems. That’s its big­gest prob­lem.

Win­dows Mo­bile isn’t a very user­friendly sys­tem to use, mostly be­cause it was de­signed to be op­er­ated with a sty­lus and not a fin­ger. The TouchFlo sys­tem is meant to make it easy to use ba­sic ser­vices, such as phon­ing with your fin­ger – and it suc­ceeds to a cer­tain ex­tent. How­ever, any task that re­quires pre­ci­sion – such as typ­ing an SMS – will prove frus­trat­ing and have you reach­ing quickly for the sty­lus.

The power set­tings are con­fus­ing, in that you have to set it to turn the phone off af­ter a set amount of time to get it to put the screen to sleep. Oth­er­wise it re­mains on, per­ma­nently run­ning down your bat­tery in no time. Even with care­ful con­ser­va­tion, its bat­tery life is noth­ing to write home about and heavy users will be lucky to get a day’s use from the phone. Charg­ing is through a stan­dard USB jack in the bot­tom of the phone – the same jack used for the head­phones. That makes it im­pos­si­ble to talk on the hands-free and charge the phone at the same time.

On the pos­i­tive side it has 4GB of me­mory built in and a very funky back that looks like it fell off a stealth jet fighter, but that does noth­ing to off­set the in­nate aw­ful­ness of Win­dows Mo­bile. If you re­ally want to make a fash­ion state­ment there are cooler phones avail­able. If you need a Win­dows phone, HTC makes many that are eas­ier to use. Sadly, its Di­a­mond Touch of­fers lit­tle to make it stand out in the crowd and I’d stay as far away as pos­si­ble.

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