Last week, two days after the official product launch of the HTC Touch Diamond in London, it was time to inform the local Dutch market. In the Round Control Room at Mediaplaza in Utrecht, both editors of online communities and journalists of magazines were there. Mark Moons (Country Manager HTC in Benelux) welcomed us, and started with the strategic position of HTC in the Netherlands.
- Growth and change off the overall mobile market.
- Consolidation and growth of number two position behind Nokia (in the Netherlands)
- A comparison with RIM blackberry supports that a smartphone is more than just a messaging device.
- As a result HTC uses smart segmenting and diversification as a model for growth.
In every segment HTC launched a successful product:
- HTC s710 (messaging device with T9 and full QWERTY)
- HTC Touch (touch-based device)
- HTC TyTN II (mobile office, real powerhouse in small form factor)
Furthermore the HTC Touch was the best sold device in 2007, and won a second place at the Red Dot Design Awards. With the launch of the HTC Touch Dual and the HTC Touch Cruise, they build a complete line of touch-based devices. The basic thoughts in the design process the touch-based devices are small form factor and one-hand-use.
HTC Touch Diamond in the spotlights
Analogue to the official global launch of the HTC Touch Diamond, a really nice promotional video was shown. When the lights switch back on, Mark Moons holds a “real” HTC Touch Diamond. As a technology enthusiast this was really a raising heart beat moment. Mark Moons now continues with the presentation of the different TouchFLO 3D tabs, and some live demo’s. However I will not describe every tab in detail but address the personal most important aspects from the device:
- Very small and compact device, only 59 cm^3;
- The first device on the market with WM 6.1 loaded;
- A very bright and scharp 2,8” VGA screen;
- Fast and responsive TouchFLO 3D interface;
- More tabs for better browsing, improved usability and nice animations;
- Opera 9.5 provides an incredible browsing experience;
- The youtube client even adds more internet fun;
- The build-in accelometer provides really nice additional features;
The product page of the HTC Touch Diamond provides additional info and very nice pictures and videos of the different TouchFLO 3D tabs. There is a more extensive article (in Dutch) about each tab on Pocketinfo.nl.
I will focus on Opera 9.5 and some additional (multimedia) features. In a live demon with HSDPA coverage the “Top Gear” page is used as an example. With a tab-and-hold on the page one can simple drag the page to the right position (compared to the pan view in some graphical applications). A double tap on the picture of an article immediately forces the zoom in on the article, including text wrap of the content. No left right scrolling anymore. Also the circular zoom motion of the previous touch-based models is applicable. HTC has developed its own YouTube client which shows the best YouTube experience I’ve ever seen on a mobile device. The 2.8” VGA screen also contributes heavily to this experience.
An additional cool aspect is the build-in accelometer. This makes it possible to turn off the ringer, simply by flipping over the device. There is a game included, where you need to navigate a ball with the movement of the HTC Touch Diamond. The coolness factor here is that when the ball hits the wall, there is a subtle vibration, which makes it a very really experience. In the reference list some additional “hidden” features of the HTC Touch Diamond can be found.
The localized Dutch version of the HTC Touch Diamond will be delivered in the first batch, which is on other words one of the five countries in which the device is first released. According to Mark Moons, it will be available next month in the Netherlands.
Question & answer session
- The GPS functionality is not addressed during both the press events. However no TomTom navigator will be bundled with the device.
- The 900 mAh battery seems te be a little light for HSDPA and the multimedia experiences. The power consumption however is better handled on this device, due to the contributions of the Qualcomm chipset and Windows Mobile 6.1. The latter can have contributions between 8-21% with respect to the power savings.
- The ROM upgrade for the TyTN II will be released in the near future.
- HTC has really worked on a nice set of accessories for the HTC Touch Diamond. However since the device is relatively early on sale in the Netherlands, these will arrive later. Some of the accessories have the specific Diamond design.
Conclusions, recommendations & remarks
My compliments for HTC Benelux and WhizPR for the well organized event on a great location. I really liked the no nonsense story, with a high level of technical details and the informal discussions afterwards.
The HTC Diamond is a device with a great potential, however it might have some flaws for the power users (lack of micro sd slot). The next level of TouchFLO 3D is setting a new standard in the touch-based-devices range. I compare this device with the impact of the first HTC Touch, of which millions of units are sold around the globe.
The compact and really nice design, as well as the improved usability and nice animations make this a device with a wow-factor. It will be used by both teenager and business man in a 3T suite.
Finally I would like to recommend the links in the reference list, since colleagues really have some nice in-depth articles about this great device. The extensive Dutch version of the article can be found on http://www.pocketinfo.nl
- HTC Touch Diamond Event
- HTC Touch Diamond Product Page
- HTC Touch Diamond tour (+ additional feature videos!)
- HTC Press Event (Tracey & Matt)
- VIDEOVIEW: HTC TouchFLO 3D User Interface for Windows Mobile Professional
- PHOTOVIEW: O2 Xda diamond Windows Mobile Professional Smartphone
- CONFIRMED: O2 Germany announces the launch of O2 Xda diamond Windows Mobile Smartphone [UPDATE]
- Opera unleashes innovative technology in latest mobile Web browser — Opera Mobile 9.5
- HTC Touch Diamond briefing with HTC Chief Innovation Officer
- HTC Touch Diamond notifications
- HTC Touch Diamond Zoom Control video
- Mark Moons promo video Algemeen Dagblad