By Mike Goynes
Earlier this week I was invited to attend the Sprint HTC Touch Diamond and Touch Pro launch event and training seminar, and I can only respond with a resounding “wow”. I’ve heard all the hype about different devices being “iPhone killers” and I’ve always felt like they came up short… but not these new HTC devices!
The new HTC Touch Diamond (which connects through the ridiculously fast Sprint Now network) has a similar form-factor to the iPhone, with a large touch-screen display and an elegantly simple user-interface. The Touch Pro adds a slide-out 5-row keypad, microSD removable memory (which is rumored to support the new 16GB microSD cards), a flash for the camera (this can be used as a handy flashlight as well), and a business card reader.
I could go on all day about the basic features and awesome specs that both the Diamond & the Pro have, but you can find all that on our Wirefly product pages (Touch Diamond, Touch Pro). Instead, let me “touch” on the REALLY cool features.
The mantra of these awesome HTC cell phones is simple: “everything I do is just a touch away.”
To illustrate, I’ll pick on iPhone users again. We all know that connection-sharing hasn’t always been the easiest of things to set up, particularly with the iPhone, and a few BlackBerry devices. With HTC’s software, running on Windows 6.1, all you have to do is plug in (or use Bluetooth) the Diamond or Touch Pro to your computer, slide the TouchFlo 3D menu over to “Programs” and click on connection sharing. Viola! Done. Now your computer is using the Sprint network!
Sticking with the “touch” mantra, HTC has perfected “gestures” – since the screen of both new phones are touch AND pressure sensitive, scrolling and navigating though all the features is easy! Reading your email? Want to go to the next email? Just swipe your finger from left to right. Looking at a picture (maybe one you took with the built-in 3.2 megapixel camera) and want to zoom in on something? Just circle it with your finger clockwise. Want to zoom out? Go counter-clockwise. Tired of the zoom function? Tap the picture twice and it reverts to full screen again!
Let’s say you’re tied up with other things and you don’t have a free hand. No problem… just talk to your Diamond or Touch Pro. In the demo, we saw (in a crowded, noisy room) the Touch Diamond not only make calls to entries in the phonebook, but also tell the demonstrator things like when his next appointment was, how much battery life was left, etc… all hands free. The coolest part: this functionality can also work through a Bluetooth headset. Yes, the device will answer you through the headset as well!
Now let’s talk web browsing. Almost all phones are capable of browsing… but it’s usually not too pretty. HTC teamed up with the folks who made the Opera web browser and made it even better! I’ve used a lot of mobile browsers over the years and this proprietary browser for HTC is by far the best. It really is “desktop-like” browsing. Gone are the days I’ll tolerate mobile web browsers that show a picture in the wrong place, with text in random spacing. The new HTC devices show the page exactly like it was meant to be displayed. Double tap the screen to zoom in or out… zoom in on a large block of text, and it actually justifies it to one column so you only have to scroll up and down (instead of right to left then down). Did I mention you can open multiple pages at once? Opera for HTC has tabs.
Like YouTube? MySpace? Facebook? Yep, they are all pre-loaded on the Diamond and the Touch Pro! And we’re not just talking about “YouTube Mobile” either; you get the full catalog of YouTube videos, including easy buttons to instantly send the videos to your friends!
As if that’s not enough to convince you that the new HTC lineup represents the best of today’s mobile phones, here’s a quick list of some other features that I thought were sweet: