WSJ Reviews the Sprint Diamond

Katherine Boehret over at Walt's D|All Things Digital / WSJ site has been using the HTC Touch on Sprint for a week, she's not had a good time:

It reminded me of the brown paper bag book covers my Dad helped me make for schoolbooks when I was a kid: They looked great on the outside, felt sturdy and clean and created a blank canvas for homemade doodles that were often more interesting to me than the books they covered. But my book covers couldn’t change what was underneath; pages of frustrating algebra were just a flip away.

The issue, if the metaphor escapes you, is that she's not a fan of the 'outdated' Windows Mobile operating system (ouch) and how TouchFLO 3D drops you into it so often. While it's true that the standard WM elements don't look so good compared to TouchFLO, the news that the difference is jarring isn't exactly new to our readers.

Otherwise, there's not a lot of crunchy Windows Mobile / spec / performance stuff to be had here beyond Opera 9.5 slightly underperforming.

Thanks to Jerry for the tip!

WC Staff
  • That was a biased review from a person that probably doesn't use a WM device enough to actually be use to it. WM may not be extremely intuitive right off the bat but no device is. I admit WM has a steeper learning curve than some other OS's but when you give it a few weeks to get use to it, it kicks the crap out of everything else out there!
    And if you aren't use to it after a few weeks then you are just being difficult and are probably irrationally holding on to some inferior loyalty.
    She was just grabbing on to the fact that the touchflo 3D doesn't appear to be 100 integrated. I agree that it should be but that sure the heck doesn't make it inferior to the iphone. The iphone may be flashy but as far as functional....... It doesn't compare,,, WM is simply more functional. Each to their own I suppose.
  • My 2cents:
    Walt's D|All Things Digital / WSJ site sucks!!
    If it wasn?t for the all things D conference they would be completely irrelevant to me. Actually let me rephrase that; Walt's reviews supplier marginally factual information to those I would consider less then mediocre techy people that the quote their findings as their own which then gives me the chance correct them before leaving coffee machine (which actually makes my day better lol)
    Back to the review: Good to see someone else is playing the Sprint diamond. Windows mobile doesn?t have the most attractive UI however it?s a workhorse. So HTC put a mask on Mr. Ed, sounds like a step a great direction. She mentioned the on screen KB was to hard to type on even with the stylist (LOL) is she kidding. Then she mentions Kinoma Play uses a different gesture base the touch flo 3d, I guess she is suggesting all app should have the same universal gestures. But what she forgot to mention is if you don?t like something in WM you can usually replace it with something better. I can?t wait for the diamond and not only because of the Touch Flo 3d UI but for the increase spec, the VGA res and the other goodies that come with the hardware.
  • I posted this in the comments, but "strangely" its been waiting 8 hours for "moderation" when comments after have shown up already.
    “Unlike the iPhone, Web sites that are opened on the Diamond’s browser don’t resemble the actual site as you would see it on your computer. I opened and, two sites that are packed with text and graphics on a regular browser. On the Diamond, they quickly were rendered in list format with mostly text-only. I easily touched the screen to follow links to full stories.”
    What crap. Here’s screenshots from CNN and WSJ, and except for the absence of flash, they look near identical.
    WSJ - HTC Touch Diamond
    WSJ - Desktop
    CNN - HTC Touch Diamond
    CNN - Desktop
    She complains about the keyboard, when the Touch Diamond has 3 finger-friendly versions built-in, one with gigantic keys. She complains of WM popping up all the time, and gives the example of e-mail, when thats the only place where it goes straight to the wi-mo (very powerful) e-mail client.
    Very biased interview.
  • I like this comment from the comment section:What kind of ridiculous review was this? You basically give your opinion that you don?t like Windows Mobile. Great. Now how about a phone review? I think you told us the camera was Ok.
    Failed to mention the screen was full VGA (better than the Jesus phone). Lied about the Opera browser (you must have had the settings wrong - it is actually better than Safari on the iPhone because it will reflow the text into your zoom dynamically, plus Flash functionality has been announced). Better battery life maybe? Sharper screen? Need I go on?
    I?m not saying this phone is or isn?t better than the iPhone - that?s a personal call based on your needs. But this wasn?t a review of the phone at all, basically a ?Yuck, I hate WM? diatribe.
    I guess that?s what happens when Walt let?s his secretary do a review. Go back to making the coffee, honey, and let the real men do the gadget reviews.
    Not that Walt would have done any better either.
  • Her review made perfect sense to me after that comment about her math book. Personally I found algebra to be pretty darn easy. So after some thought I was able to read deeper into her review and I came up with this.
    " I like the iphone, and I don't like WM. Coincidentally I am not a very smart person, and without jiggle style buttons on the very front of the screen I cannot manage to use a phone's OS that somewhat resembles the OS on my computer that I've been using for years.
    Further more, I will be sure not to make any reference to the non-sprint version of the diamond other then admitting it's existence, and surely I will not make note of sprint takign away the expandable memory or thickening the phone. I will be sure not to highlight the features that beat out the iphone, like MMS, since they will make it look bad."
  • Walt just equates style and ease of use with quality. For all major tasks (save email composition), TouchFLO 3D is stylish and more efficient than the iPhone's UI. I've gone through the number of steps it takes to do major functions (checking next appointment, viewing email and sms, music, internet, pictures, video, program launcher, and weather)... TouchFLO 3D gets you going in fewer steps without sacrificing style. It's a completely different UI that borrows from nothing I've ever seen before. The iPhone's UI is just a prettier, animated version of PalmOS's UI. No one seems to realize that Apple completely ripped off Palm for the basic UI layout (turn on phone to see program icons arranged in a matrix, touch the icon to launch the program).
    The WSJ completely downplayed or outright ignored all of the benefits of WinMo... stability, versatility, security, flexibility... etc.
    TouchFLO 3D may be a pretty cover on the confusing WinMo textbook, but at least I can do anything I want on it while still keeping it 90% stylish.
  • The iPhone's UI is just a prettier, animated version of PalmOS's UI. No one seems to realize that Apple completely ripped off Palm for the basic UI layout (turn on phone to see program icons arranged in a matrix, touch the icon to launch the program).
    I've been saying that since the iphone was released and the bad part is that if Palm's new OS is based around the same concept of UI everyone will say its an apple knock off :confused:
  • This is why I hate Apple elitism.
  • Sometimes you have to wonder: Where do they get these people that spew such crappy "reviews"? This was just a rant of "I hate Windows Mobile and Love iPhone". Almost no attention is given to the actual features of the phone. In fact, several things in the review where just plain wrong:
    [*]Opera renders pages every bit as well as the iPhone does (in fact better because of reflowing the text). Surur's post shows that the pages rendered nearly identical to the desktop. Is she smoking something?
    [*]There are several built-in on-screen keyboard choices, but even the Full QWERTY is usable with thumbs or fingers (especially a stylus).
    [*]No mention of the fact that the Diamond's screen has twice the resolution of the iPhone's. She only goes out of her way to point out that it is a "smaller" screen.
    [*]Regarding the G-Sensor and web pages, she didn't mention which web sites would not rotate. Hmmm. I wonder why.:rolleyes: If that's a true statement (which I doubt), I wonder why no other reviewer has mentioned that issue.[/LIST]When I read a review of a smartphone, I expect there to be some mention of what the phone can do for me. What's included with the phone? What kind of services are available? If this is supposed to be a review of the Sprint version of the Touch Diamond, where are the comments regarding the Sprint music store, Sprint Navigation? What features were crippled by Sprint (if any)? Did Sprint add anything special? How well did the wi-fi feature connect? How did the bluetooth perform? How did the phone perform AS A PHONE? None of those questions were addressed. It makes me wonder if she really used the phone at all (or if she merely played with it one day and let it sit in a drawer the rest of the week, while she wrote her "review" and waxed poetry about the iPhone).
    This wasn't a review as far as I'm concerned. This was just an uninformed writer pontificating the virtues of the iPhone and downplaying the merits of a REAL smartphone like the Diamond.
    I expect more from a publication that purports to tell people how to spend their money.
  • No one seems to realize that Apple completely ripped off Palm for the basic UI layout (turn on phone to see program icons arranged in a matrix, touch the icon to launch the program).
    I don't know if Apple were the first but they did it before Palm:
  • I love how she starts with
    "New iPhone competitors continue to crop up, though most are mobile devices from companies that simply slap on a touch screen in hopes of fooling consumers"
    ...My PPC 6700 may be a POS now, but it sure got the job done for 3 years. Oh and that's right it has touch screen. These Apple junkies act like the iPhone was the first, last and only smartphone. I can't wait to get my diamond!
  • The WSJ is being dishonest, they did not have the Sprint version prior to Sept 10th, in fact they never said they had Sprints version. However, the bias review gave the impression the WSJ did have Sprints version. WSJ had the same version CNET and Gsmarena had which was the GSM version, according to Computerworld Sprints version made it's American debut on Sept 10th at the CTIA show in San Francisco. Aside from that, the reviewer obviously did not know how to use Winmo and had a hatred towards Winmo!