We took a look of the Touch Pro 3D2 interface in the Touch Pro 2 review. I had some request to look even deeper so we’re going to spend the next hour getting to know the interface.
That was the Touch Pro 3D2 interface. Okay, just kidding. We’ll take a quick run through and see how everything works. We’ll also be checking out how the T9 and software QWERTY keyboard works. HTC’s custom user interface Touch Pro 3D2 works on top of Windows Mobile 6.1 and the upcoming 6.5 that launches in the fall.
On a side note, Diamond2 and TouchPro2 users will be getting a free upgrade to Windows Mobile 6.5 when it comes out. Touch Pro 3 and 2 adds a little style to the aging Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system.
While all Windows mobile interface is still looming in the background, the improvements of the new rendition of the user interface has added much needed depth into the user experience. The clock, the calendar, and the messaging programs are now better integrated into HTC’s custom user interface but as you can see the old Windows mobile UI is an only a few steps away. Let’s take a moment to compose a short email and test out the software QWERTY and T9 keypad.
The T9 works nicely and the vibration feedback is a nice touch. The software QWERTY is a bit small for my fingers. I don’t always hit the intended keys but it seems to work quite well with the stylus, so is the software keypad any good? Yes it is. But can I operate the software keypad after a few drinks? No, I can’t. After using the Touch Pro 2 hardware keyboard, it takes a while to get used to the software version.
A very cool new feature add, it’s the Opera Mobile 9.5. It is the push internet. Push internet basically means that you can set your web browser to fetch and preload your favorite pages so you don’t have to wait for them to load. This is a good concept and works well with the Diamond2. You can set your favorite pages to load at a predetermined time and as you can see loading time is next to nothing. I used this feature on a daily basis when checking out my favorite sites. The zoom bar is a nice addition some times you just got to get it nice and close to read small text and other stuff.
The actual zooming could be a bit smoother and faster but it works well enough. Double tapping usually gets you where you want to go as well. Next stop is a short comparison into loading time between 3G and WiFi speeds on the Diamond 2. Loading times on the 3G and WiFi are decent, WiFi being the obvious victor. Loading speeds on the Diamond2 match results I previously got on the Touch Pro 2 review. No surprises here, the two devices are packed in the same hardware.
The music application is much like cover flow on certain popular Apple devices and it runs nicely. The sound qualities on speakers are okay not as good as on the Touch Pro 2 but it is decent. There is no 3.5 millimeter headphone jack and the Diamond2 headset is plugged in to the USB port. The Diamond2 headset works okay but if you want to use your high end inner earplugs, you have to buy the adapter which is sold separately. Not cool.
A new addition to the tabs is the Stocks tab. How are my stocks doing? Not good, I'm shocked, moving on. The device ports two cameras, one in front for video calls and the five megapixel camera on the back of the device. The camera can be accessed in the album tab. There are no hardware keys to operate the camera. Everything is done using the touch screen.
I took a bunch of pictures in different lighting levels and the results were as expected, a very good picture in good lighting and not so great pictures in lower lighting situations. The Diamond2 camera is undoubtably better than the camera on the Touch Pro2. The optics and the megapixel count are larger, this translates into a better pictures for example in low light situations. You can check out my Diamond2 test chats in native resolution at www.teknoreview.com.
In the weather tab you can get current weather information about cities near or far. A new addition to this tab is the weather forecasts icons for the next four days as well. In the settings tab, you can adjust your communication settings as well as other essential settings. In the customize tabs menu you can rearrange your tabs to your liking. Okay, moving on to some benchmarks. We’ll be putting the Diamond2 to the same routine of test and benchmarks I did on the Touch Pro2 review. In this first test, I’m going to fire up the Diamond2 with a dozen of programs running in the background and see how much performance setters.
Okay now, I’m pretty much filled up the device memory and as you can see there is some slow down although nothing too dramatic. Switching between programs works quite smoothly. You probably won’t be running all these programs at the same time but it is a good thing to know that it is possible.
Next app is the GPS. The device comes with Google maps which would point you in the right direction but that’s about it.
I purchased the TomTom7 software which work great with the Touch Pro2. I took to the streets today and the application worked well with my Diamond2. I got a nice constant signal and notice no GPS lag. You know having Yoda giving you driving directions is a good for a couple of chuckles but after driving a couple of blocks, I’ll be sending the green little bastard back to Dagoba.
Alright, next stop is a 3D gaming test. I’ll be using a game called extract. It’s a nice looking game and the Diamond 2 has it running at a stable frame rate. It is not exactly running at a smooth frame per second but for a non-gaming device, the game runs and handles okay. The EA’s need for speed undercover also runs quite smoothly on the device. The graphics are pretty decent and the game is controlled using the touch screen.
Being a hard core gamer, I really am not getting any special kicks from playing with a Diamond2. I’d rather play games on devices that are meant for gaming.
Okay, last but not the least we’ll see how the Diamond2 handles different video codecs. Again, I will be using CorePlayer 1.32 which can be purchased online. It is in my opinion the best mobile video player around because it can play all the most current formats. It is fast and easy to use. I’ll be running the benchmark tool within core player and we will be reviewing the video playing properties in terms of image quality and frame rate.
As our benchmark video, we’ll be using the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen trailer. I actually like the first movie. It really appealed to the kid in me, although Megan Fox may have appealed to something else in me. Anyways, to the video codecs benchmark, as you can see the 3.2 screen is not too bad for watching video content. As I mentioned earlier, the contrast and white levels could be better but still the device produces some good looking picture quality. Having the exact same hardware as the TouchPro2 the Diamond2 does about the same in the benchmarks. It can’t handle HD content but I found an optimal bit rate and a resolution for the TouchPro2 which works great with the Diamond2 as well.
When you keep the vertical resolution at 720 and the bit rate under 1500 kilobytes per second, you will be getting a constant 100% playback speed and good picture quality. The Diamond2 like his big brother Rainman here is pretty decent in terms of video playback although both devices would be awesome with—
In conclusion, I really enjoy the Diamond2. It is a thing of beauty and of quality. If you are looking for a touch screen mobile device with other slider keyboard, the Diamond2 is probably the best option at this time. Although there are a lot of new devices coming out in the fall which will definitely take on the Diamond2. But for now it’s the best thing in its category. This was actually the very first video review posted on our new web site.
Go check it out at www.teknopreview.com and feel free to comment on the videos and the site itself. I hope you enjoyed the review. Thanks for watching. This is LP from Tekno signing out.