At a Glance What’s Good: Stunning hardware design and elegant software user interface; front panel is subdued, intuitive and refined; display is bright and sharp with excellent contrast; sensitive touch-screen; amazing orientation and localized haptic feedback capabilities; secondary camera for video calls; easy internet connection sharing; glorious font rendition. What’s Not Good: Stylus is a virtual requirement for accessing certain parts of the user interface; landscape mode is underutilized and landscape QWERTY availability is far too rare; some minor integration flaws between Windows Mobile 6.1 and TouchFLO 3D; no memory expansion options; proprietary HTC USB jack for headphones. Bottom Line: With its unique body and incredibly sleek interface, HTC's Touch Diamond is a beautiful, distinguished handset. The crisp display is a joy to play with, and the screen is very responsive to the touch. The accelerometers are equally sensitive and accurate, and the localized haptic feedback is the best I've ever experienced. Innovative hard and software interface elements, like the nearly imperceptible scroll ring, are so well-integrated and gratifying that they make you wonder how you ever lived without them. It's an amazing phone, but the occasional behavioral oddity and unfulfilled expectation are evidence that the software needs to catch up with the very capable hardware. Specs: Make/Model: HTC Touch Diamond Network: GSM/HSDPA: 900/1800/1900 and 900/2100, respectively. Data: GPRS/EDGE/W-CDMA, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 Carrier: Unlocked Size: 102 X 51 X 11.35 mm Weight: 110 g Form Factor: Candy bar with Touchscreen Display: 2.8-inch TFT-LCD flat touch-sensitive screen with VGA resolution Memory: 256 MB ROM, 192 MB RAM, Internal storage: 4 GB Notable Features: Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, TouchFLO™ 3D, GPS (A-GPS-capable with additional free software), FM Radio, 3.2 MP camera with auto focus, and a secondary VGA CMOS cam for video calls. To preface this review, and hopefully prevent some confusion, I need to clarify some differences in the three versions of the Touch Diamond that are available at the time of this writing (thank you, Noah). There is the European 3G, unlocked device, which I used in preparation for this review; there is a North American 3G, GSM unlocked variation, which is identical to the European version, outside of frequency band usage; and there is Sprint's CDMA phone, which does introduce some minor changes in form and function to the Diamond line-up. One of my complaints regarding the European Diamond is battery life, which has been addressed in the Sprint release. A trade-off is that the secondary camera for video calls is missing from Sprint's phone. You can catch Noah's full video review of the Sprint Diamond here: Part 1, and Part 2. Introduction The Touch Diamond is HTC's keyboard-free follow-up to the Touch and predecessor to the Touch HD. I think the Diamond represents a sort of standard for the product line; a package of features we can expect to see refined and built upon, rather than revolutionized, as the Diamond did with the features of the original Touch. It embodies some truly original concepts in design. This is not a teenager's messaging phone, or a boring work device, or a limper into the touch screen game; it is status gear, and will satisfy the technical urges of the most discerning consumer who lusts after elite tech booty. Still, the friendly interface and sensational design will attract a broad range of users. Media hounds may balk at the inability to increase their storage via SDHC media, but with 4 Gigs of internal space, the average person's on-the-go video and picture collection will fit comfortably. HTC's use of a proprietary USB interface, rather than the standard, 3.5 mm headphone jack, is another possible detractor for A/V fiends. In the race to build the most beautiful phone in the touchscreen market, I see a strong contender in the Diamond. The hardware is advanced and high-quality tech. The most prominent problems I've encountered during my time with the Diamond were: a matter of the software's inability to properly utilize the orientation and feedback hardware inside; conflict and some lack of integration between Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional and HTC's TouchFLO 3D interface; and the nearly abject neglect of landscape QWERTY mode(!). Targeted at an affluent, but otherwise mainstream audience, the phone may lack some media-friendly options. Its niche is the simplification of the smart phone for the masses, wrapping it up in a breath-taking package. Sprint's contract-based offering prices their model for the people, as unlocked versions aren't cheap. The HTC Touch Diamond is a sensationally gorgeous phone, but its beauty is not strictly superficial; despite a few minor (and software update correctable) short-comings, there's still plenty to admire behind the curtain.