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HTC Touch Diamond vs. Xperia X1, Hands-on

Let us list the things we didn't expect to see while attending the Wireless Enterprise Symposium 2008 (aka WES 2008. aka The Center of the BlackBerry Universe) along with Kevin Michaluk of CrackBerry.com.

  • Dieter defending the BlackBerry Browser against the attacks of BlackBerry fanatics during the special edition of the CrackBerry.com Podcast. (Yes, it sucks, but even a sucky browser does better with more pixels).
  • An HTC Touch Diamond
  • ...sitting next to an Xperia X1

Wait! What? That's right, it wasn't just BlackBerry Bold at WES. On the show floor was a booth for BlackBerry Connect and, lo and behold, sitting there was an HTC Touch Diamond and an X1. Sadly: the Touch Diamond was very very much pre-production; powering it on yielded nothing more than a message telling us that it was a demo unit and non-functional. The Xperia was pretty much exactly how I remembered it in my First Look Xperia X1 Review. The Touch Diamond was all new to me.

But the two next to each other? How would they stack up? Why on earth did I allow that reflection of me taking a photo onto this site? Read on!

The HTC Touch Diamond

The Touch Diamond is notable in that it's a very nice size. HTC called it “not too big and not too small.” That is indeed the case. It felt good in the hand (insofar as I could feel it with the massive anti-theft device attached to it). The edges were a little sharper than I'd like, but it's still decent enough. Note that the back of the device is, in fact, fully flat and it just appears to have extra edges. The corners are “cut” like a Diamond, however (get it? Diamond>) and it looks very nice.

As for feel and build quality -- both seemed good enough, but again this was a pre-production, not-really-functional model, so don't judge based on this.

The HTC Touch Diamond also has two other diamond-esque features. It's insanely reflective and insanely prone to picking up smudges and fingerprints. You saw it in the image above, now take a look at the images below to see what I mean. Since I wasn't expecting to run across anything, I didn't have my typical SLR, so apologies for the quality. No apologies, however, for the bright reflections and smudges. It would take demi-god-like powers to photograph this device in any sort of real-world setting without them.

A decent screen protector would allow you to make the trade-off between that glossy finish and a more matted (and protected) look. When we get our Touch Diamond (and yes, after holding even just a non-functional unit, we want one), we'll be applying a screen protector right quick.

Touch Diamond vs. the Xperia X1

The HTC Touch Diamond is a bit shorter and much thinner, as you'd expect given that it lacks a physical keyboard. Built quality seemed better on the Xperia X1, but I rack that up to the Diamond being a pre-production unit. Not a whole lot else to say here, since I didn't get to actually use anything on the Diamond.

We'll let the pictures do the talking:

WC Staff
WC Staff
18 Comments
  • Very cool. Considering the X1 has the slide out kb, it seems relatively small in comparison to past sliders - not that much thicker than the Diamond.
    How about a weight comparison?
  • @JGold: the anti-theft devices weighed a ton -- so really I can't speak to that. :(
    Basically the conditions sucks. Not my camera, dummy unit, bad lighting. Still - two unreleased devices sitting on the same table. *shrugs*
  • Wow, I'm glad that you had a camera, period! That was so cool Dieter that you got to see those two devices sitting together and get some shots! Even if I didn't know the Diamond was called the "Diamond", I would have thought of that gem when first seeing those pics due to the cut angles of the sides. Too bad the Diamond was just a pre-production model. Dang! I know you'd have loved to have gotten your hands on a working model.
  • Dieter -
    Nice photos even without your SLR. What I'm waiting for are two comparisons: the Raphael and the X1 (keyboard shootout) and the next-gen 3G iPhone and the Diamond (touch screen shootout).
    Also, at some point I'd like a price analysis. An unlocked Diamond with the sharp looking dock delivered is approaching the $1K price point. AT&T has more or less announced that the new iPhone will be priced as low as $199 with a new two-year contract. I think, though I could be wrong, that anyone could order the phone from the online Apple store for not much more and unlock it.
    So my question is: is the HTC premium reaching ridiculous highs even while AT&T and Apple appear to be aggressively marketing the iPhone with massive discounting?
  • You are comparing a locked with an unlocked phone. When AT&T carries the Diamond it will probably be cheaper than the iPhone 3G, and if Apple suffers serious unlocking of a cheap subsidised iPhone they will likely change their business model.
    Surur
  • Don't count on AT&T carrying the Diamond. When AT&T released their new data plans recently, there was mention that it would no longer carry any smartphone without a keyboard (iPhone excluded, of course).
  • Don't count on AT&T carrying the Diamond. When AT&T released their new data plans recently, there was mention that it would no longer carry any smartphone without a keyboard (iPhone excluded, of course).
    Arnt they carrying the LG Vu? If the iPhone is a smartphone, so is the Vu.
    Surur
  • Arnt they carrying the LG Vu? If the iPhone is a smartphone, so is the Vu.
    ATT doesn't consider the VU a "smartphone" as it doesn't require the consumer to choose a PDAConnect or a PDA Personal plan. The iPhone is a different beast altogether as it has it's own plan. The Diamond, is just another Windows Mobile device with a pretty interface. Notice that AT&T didn't pick up the Polaris/Cruise and it definately could have. I suspect the same will be true with the Diamond.
  • Here in the UK I would expect the HTC Diamond to be available unlocked through usual online retailers for around
  • murrayalex -
    The price I quoted was in U.S. dollars; I probably should have been more clear about that. What I did was go through the HTC Where to Buy list and made the necessary conversions.
    Surur - Yes, if and when the Diamond hits the carrier cartel in the U.S., they will discount it, though the discounts haven't been great of late since they tend to gouge premium phone users, requiring premium plans to get the discount. My expectations is that the Diamond will be at minimum 2x to 3x cost of the next-gen unactivated user-unlocked iPhone. This, when the carriers will almost have to give the Diamond away for free to avoid losing market share to the new iPhone, which will probably have more memory, a better screen, a faster chip set than the HTC device, not to mention GPS and high speed data, and a whole army of new worldwide carriers.
    To me the monkey on the HTC Diamond's back is its price. Even though it has drawbacks: 2.8" resistive touch screen, no external memory expansion, no audio jack; it has it place if priced right. Yet we don't seem to talk much about the premium price. At a time when HTC should aggressively counter the iPhone and its wantabes, it seems instead to be pricing itself out of the market.
  • In UK it will almost certainly be less than
  • Surur -
    You could be right; which only goes to show how ridiculous the unlocked pricing is...
  • Surur -
    You could be right; which only goes to show how ridiculous the unlocked pricing is...
    In France it will be 569 euro unlocked, 149 euro on a 32 euro contract which includes an unlimited data plan, 199 euro on a 26 euro contract and I think 329 euro on the very cheapest contract.http://www.mobinaute.com/139874-htc-touch-diamond-prix-vente-orange.html
    The prices seem pretty reasonable.
    Surur
  • the iphone is not a smartphone! dumb people!
  • Latest indication is that the Touch Diamond will come out in Singapore in June for S$1,098 which equates to roughly US$800 or EU510.
    Thanks for the pics - I really thought the Xperia would be thicker which is why I didn't want to get one. I already have a Dopod 838 pro and thought it would be time to go to a thin phone (yes vanity) but now I'm not so sure.
  • This last picture is a bit decieving:
    http://www.wmexperts.com/articleimages/2008/04/Picture%207-1.jpg
    Makes the HTC Diamond seem longer than the xperia, but I'm guessing it's to do with the anti-theft devices not allowing them to be in line? (hence the closer one seems bigger). Would have worked better holding them screen to screen.
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