HTC Touch Diamond Phone - Is It Worth It?

HTC Touch Diamond

The HTC Touch Diamond phone got introduced today in London. It’s a pretty device but I have some serious doubts about how well it will do in the marketplace vs. the popular Apple iPhone, particularly in the US market. The press info for it said that here in the US we wouldn’t see this device until late 2008, if by then. Some European and Asian markets will have it available by next month.

It uses the Windows Mobile 6.1 and sports a 2.8 inch VGA screen that can rotate between landscape and portrait modes. The screen also has one touch navigation including dialing and browsing. Of course, they demo’ed all the dazzling options like playing YouTube videos and pulling up web news and weather site videos and animations.

But, here’s the kicker, they aren’t giving out pricing info yet. I think there is a reason for this once you start examining the news reports about it. You’re going to pay through the nose for the privilege of owning one then your wallet will be pounded to death by extra fees.

I don’t know how things like this work in Europe and Asia but here in the US mobile phone providers charge quite a fee for wireless Internet access in most areas. Who wants to pay $5 to watch a 1 minute video on YouTube on their Touch Diamond. Maybe, eventually, as the number of these devices enter the market the price will become roughly even with home broadband service but now it’s too expensive, at least here in the US.

Secondly, I can see that they’re probably going to be limiting users of the Touch Diamond access to putting things like music, games and other applications, wallpapers and ringtones onto their phones. Expect to pay and pay and pay for the simple pleasure of loading a favorite song or picture onto your phone. Great for those marketing those services but not so great for the end user.

Lastly, I don’t think the HTC Touch Diamond Phone will be worth it because it appears that they plan to make a lot of it proprietary. Word has it that the unit doesn’t have a standard headphone jack so if you buy one you’re stuck with whatever they decide to offer. No quality headphones for you.

What do you think? Do you think the Touch Diamond is going to be worth the price or should you just wait and see?


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Comment by Robert
2008-05-07 00:47:19

The HTC Touch Diamond phone looks rather impressive, but I still like my Wizard (Imate K-Jam) with it’s slide out keyboard. I make use of the PDA functions a lot more than the phone functions. I’m vaguely anti-social. :)

Comment by jfc
2008-05-07 08:01:22

Hi Robert,

I’m holding out for a holographic screen, like in Minority Report and Red Planet. :)

As for what I use now, I go with older refurbished phones that I can use on my pay-as-you-go plan rather than having the latest and greatest now and being locked into a 2 to 3 year contract.

2008-05-07 04:11:16

I’ve got my HTC Trinity at the minute (an Orange SPV M700 in the UK).

I’m holding out for the HTC Touch cruise I think at the minute, the HTC touch dual might have done it for me if hit had the GPS system!

Comment by jfc
2008-05-07 08:09:12

Hi Keiron,

Orange is the company that’s going to be providing the HTC Touch Diamond in the UK from what I’ve read. No word yet who’s going to be marketing it in the US but I suspect it will be Verizon or Sprint since AT&T is doing the iPhone.

GPS is an interesting addition. However, I’m always skeptical of cramming every possible function into a handheld device. I’m a big fan of Don Norman.

Comment by Chris
2008-05-25 11:54:45

I’m on my 2nd HTC phone right now, the HTC Touch Cruise. GSM providers rarely cripple their phones like you are suggesting. Besides, Windows Mobile phones have so much flexibility and developer support forums behind them that they are relatively easily uncrippled (Verizon, I’m looking at you).

In this day in age, I’m really suprised you are thinking that a youtube video costs $5 for download. I have an unlimited data plan, download youtube at my fancy, use Skype over my data plan to call my brother in France and relatives in Haiti regularly for free, browse the internet heavily, check/respond to e-mail thoughout the day, and occasionally even tether so that my laptop can use my phone’s 3G internet. Cost? $20 unlimited AT&T plan…

As far as proprietary, Windows Mobile is the most open phone platform to date. Over 18000 applications! Hardware wise, phone jacks=silly, bluetooth stereo headphones=the future/the present if you’re smart (and HTC knows this, hence no jack - but if you’re really fixated on wires HTC offers adapters ranging from simple to Apple remote style so you can plug your own headphones in).

To the last commentor, GPS isn’t gimmicky and is quite well implemented. A GPS fix happens faster on these phones than it does on a stand a lone unit as the cell phone towers help the GPS chip cooperatively. Furthermore, software makers like TomTom provide the same software you find on the stand a lone devices on your phone. I use it and love it! (Just don’t fall in the trap of using and paying month for GPS access via a phone companies service i.e. ATT TeleNav)

Comment by jfc
2008-05-25 12:30:43

Thanks for the info Chris,

It sounds like you have a really good data plan. I reviewed some data plans about a year ago and they were all quite expensive for me here in the Atlanta, GA metro area. I’ll have to check into the AT&T plan you mentioned and see if it’s available here. The plans for AT&T and Verizon sucked here last year and don’t even get me started on Sprint!

As for the crippling of phones, I see this as an emerging trend as phone providers try to lower the initial and monthly costs while sticking it to consumers on the backend with extra fee after fee. Hopefully competition will prevent this from going wild but it is something to watch out for.

Comment by Chris
2008-05-25 12:01:36

And I forgot to mention, this is way off…

Secondly, I can see that they’re probably going to be limiting users of the Touch Diamond access to putting things like music, games and other applications, wallpapers and ringtones onto their phones. Expect to pay and pay and pay for the simple pleasure of loading a favorite song or picture onto your phone. Great for those marketing those services but not so great for the end user.

This is Windows Mobile, NOT a Verizon Moto RazR. These issues are nonexistant. I sync 8GB’s of music onto my phone for free, have at least ~25-30 3rd party applications, my entire 2GB photo collection, all on my phone w/o any fees or going though AT&T. I just use a standard mini-USB cable and/or a Bluetooth connection to sync (no proprietary connections here!).

Comment by jfc
2008-05-25 12:32:42

Thanks again Chris.

I’ve been thinking about developing applications for Windows Mobile but I haven’t gotten started with it yet due to this concern and a few others so far as distribution goes. I’ll have to give this a second look.

Comment by Jacob Angel
2008-07-16 14:09:39

I think that the HTC Touch Diamond Phone is simply gonna be coming to the party too late. The new iPhone has clearly rocked the market, with sales more than double what business analysts were predicting.

I just don’t see the HTC Touch Diamond Phone gaining enough market share to catch up.

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