In the first week of May HTC announced the HTC Touch Diamond, which I was able to get my hands-on at the local HTC product launch event in Utrecht (Netherlands).
Although I was heavily impressed by the size of the HTC Touch Diamond and the speed of the TouchFLO 3D interface, as a power-user the device simply lacked a hardware QWERTY keyboard. Several rumors and specs about a HTC Diamond WITH a full QWERTY keyboard were hitting the web … until yesterday.
A fellow Dutch colleague, who I met at the launch event of the HTC Touch Diamond, managed to take some pictures at a T-Mobile press event. And there it’s at its full glory, the HTC Raphael aka T-Mobile MDA Vario IV. [ref01]
MoDaCo provides the mobile community with an additional list of specifications:
- Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
- Qualcomm MSM 7201A @ 528MHz
- 256MB ROM / 128MB RAM
- 7.2MB HSDPA / HSUPA (rev A EVDO for Sprint versions)
- 2.8″ VGA screen
- Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR
- 3.1MP Camera with flash
- Forward facing camera
- TV out
- Orientation sensor (a-la-iPhone)
- FM Radio
- microSD expansion
- 1350mAh battery
- Raphael: 51x99x17mm [ref03]
The looks are comparable with the HTC Touch Diamond (except for the hardware keyboard), while the specifications are further development of the HTC TyTN II. For the business and power-user the HSDPA connectivity option is improved (from the 3.6 to 7.2 standard). Furthermore the hardware keyboard is changed, from a four-row, to a five-row design. It really has a notebook layout, and remarkably is the fact that the keyboard includes a CRTL key [ref05]. This could mean that the copy paste functions are now supported by the hardware keyboard. Also the 1350 mAh battery seems to be a quite acceptable choice and compared to the HTC Touch Diamond with the 900 mAh (while having the same connectivity) a real win !!
The pictures of Gsmhelpdesk.nl show the device with the screen turned off. I wonder if the interface is comparable with the HTC Touch Diamond, or that the HTC guys already have a new iteration available of the TouchFLO 3D interface. Also still a question mark is the fact that the tilt-mechanism (know from the TyTN II) is embedded or not !? Finally I’m very curious what the HTC branded device will look like, will the Diamond theme be followed or not ?
While there still remain some question marks, there is no doubt that this is a great device. As a full QWERTY keyboard user I prefer this device over the HTC Touch Diamond. Since the release-date is announced as Q2, this device hopefully quickly hits the shelves.
The Unwired has some updated specifications and additional information !