updated 07:55 am EDT, Tue May 6, 2008
HTC Touch Diamond
HTC this morning at a London press event unveiled its anticipated Touch Diamond, the company's first major update to the core Touch model since its unveiling a year ago. The phone is the first to incorporate HTC's new TouchFLO 3D interface and uses it to access messaging, media, and other features without reverting to a stylus or the directional pad; common operations such as calling should be usable with just one finger, the company claims. To support the new interface, the Diamond uses Windows Mobile 6.1 and includes a 640x480, 2.8-inch touchscreen that offers four times the crispness of the original, 320x240 Touch.
The phone is also pitched much more aggressively as a media-savvy phone and comes with 4GB of built-in flash memory for storing media in addition to a microSD card slot; an upgraded 3.2-megapixel camera is also backed by a front camera for video calls.
Data is a similarly strong focus, and the Diamond adds full HSPA support for 3G Internet access, including 7.2Mbps downloads and faster uploads than on ordinary HSDPA. Wi-Fi is also built-in, HTC says. Google Maps is preloaded to take advantage of live navigation with both real and assisted GPS.
HTC plans a worldwide launch of the Touch Diamond that starts with a widespread European launch in June, coinciding with an expected 3G update to the iPhone; similar launches are planned in Asia and the Middle East. A North American version is planned for the second half of the year and should see HTC make changes to ensure 3G support in the territory. A CDMA version isn't official but is expected for Sprint in late fall.