The HTC Touch Diamond P3700's elegantly diamond-contoured, sleek casing, TouchFLO 3D interface and 2.8in touchscreen create instant appeal.

Recently, PC Advisor reported the imminent sale of HTC's one-millionth Touch Diamond iPhone-killer – and just two months after its launch, making the Diamond HTC's fastest selling smartphone ever. Apple sold the same number of iPhone 3Gs in three days, but we're still impressed.

Indeed, some market researchers, including Canalys and Gartner, look on the strong demand for the HTC Touch Diamond as the result of Apple not only creating a higher mark to step up to with the iPhone 3G, but forcing the expansion of the overall smartphone market.

But forget the iPhone for a moment, and it's easy to see the instant appeal of the HTC Touch Diamond P3700's elegantly diamond-contoured, sleek casing, TouchFLO 3D interface and 2.8in (640x480) touchscreen, which auto-adjusts for different lighting conditions. Yet this beautiful craftmanship is spoilt as soon as the handset is put into use – a smattering of fingerprints littering the view.

And, as we pointed out in our first look review of the HTC Touch Diamond, for a handset built for touch navigation, this is an issue.

Nevertheless, we were impressed with the HTC Touch Diamond P3700's TouchFLO 3D, which allows you to look through your contact list by picture with the sweep of a finger if you add pictures to people in your contact list, or take their picture with the phone's 3.2Mp autofocus camera. For music listeners, the album covers show up so you can flip through them in the same way you look through the contact list. Of course, you can type in names as well by hand or stylus.

However, we found it difficult to get used to the necessary finger-sweeping movements and, until we had, the HTC Touch Diamond P3700's software seemed infuriatingly slow in use. Neither did we appreciate the way that pages often seemed to be scrunched up, with overlapping options or keypads obscuring text fields.

The HTC Touch Diamond P3700's 3.2Mp camera is a better example than that found on many mobile phones, but the lack of a flash is a low point for a high-spec handset. A second camera is provided for video calls. While 4GB of internal storage is provided with the HTC Touch Diamond P3700, the omission of a memory card slot for storing media is another mark against the handset.

The HTC Touch Diamond P3700 runs Windows Mobile 6.1, which will feel familiar to most users, and comes loaded with applications, including Microsoft Mobile Office and two browsers, Internet Explorer and Opera. Both worked well, although Opera has been better customised for one-handed navigation. You can zoom in by tapping the screen twice, or pan a website with one touch. The view automatically rotates if you turn the HTC Touch Diamond P3700 sideways to take advantage of the wider viewing angle.

The HTC Touch Diamond includes the usual Bubble Breaker and Solitaire games, but we much preferred the very simple game of Teeter, which uses motion sensors as you twist the handset to guide a ball through a series of holes. While no more exciting than firing the stylus at a group of coloured balls, or never winning a game of cards, we loved the fact HTC had made the effort.

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NEXT PAGE: CoPilot in use on the HTC Touch Diamond P3700, and our expert verdict


The HTC Touch Diamond P3700's elegantly diamond-contoured, sleek casing, TouchFLO 3D interface and 2.8in touchscreen create instant appeal.

What we really liked about the UK version of the HTC Touch Diamond P3700, however, was its inclusion of CoPilot Live 7.0 mobile satnav software. We gave this easy-to-use navigation software that can be bolted on to any Windows Mobile device a Gold Award in January – but we weren't too impressed with the sluggish 02 XDA on which it came preinstalled.

Indeed, with the HTC Touch Diamond P3700 as a far friendlier host, CoPilot was quick to find a signal and, unlike its predecessor, the HTC Touch Diamond P3700 didn't cause us any road rage with frequent and increasingly inconvenient crashes.

The CoPilot software offers a range of genuinely usable travel modes, including walking and cycling. And given the reception the HTC Touch Diamond P3700 has had from some very jealous onlookers, we don't think we'd mind strutting our stuff down the high street with this one, all the time making the most of its free online location tracking (yes, we do want our friends to know our every movement when we have something this sexy on our arm).

CoPilot makes the most of the HTC Touch Diamond P3700's 2.8in touchscreen, offering large onscreen buttons and by letting you customise which information is shown on screen. Unfortunately, you still can't see all the information at any one time, and the large buttons continue to make for plenty of confusing sub-menus, despite maker Alk's revamp of the user interface for version 7.0.

We also would have liked to have seen the HTC Touch Diamond's motion sensor incorporated into the CoPilot software (or to any of the other applications, for that matter), providing us with a widescreen view more in line with traditional standalone satnavs. That said, it's easy enough to zoom in or out to increase your view onscreen, and the software gives plenty of notice for new driving instructions.

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HTC Touch Diamond P3700: Specs

  • HSDPA/WCDMA/Tri-band GSM/GPRS/Edge/3.5G Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional touchscreen smartphone
  • 528MHz Qualcomm MSM7201A processor
  • 192MB RAM
  • 256MB ROM
  • 4GB internal storage
  • 2.8in TFT-LCD (VGA)
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • 802.11b/g
  • 3.2Mp camera (plus VGA CMOS colour camera for video calls)
  • TouchFLO 3D
  • CoPilot Live 7.0
  • 900mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • talk time: 270 mins (WCDMA), 330 mins (GSM)
  • standby: 396 hours (WCDMA), 285 hours (GSM)
  • video call time: 145 mins (WCDMA)
  • stylus
  • wired stereo headset
  • 102x51x11.35mm
  • 110g
  • HSDPA/WCDMA/Tri-band GSM/GPRS/Edge/3.5G Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional touchscreen smartphone
  • 528MHz Qualcomm MSM7201A processor
  • 192MB RAM
  • 256MB ROM
  • 4GB internal storage
  • 2.8in TFT-LCD (VGA)
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • 802.11b/g
  • 3.2Mp camera (plus VGA CMOS colour camera for video calls)
  • TouchFLO 3D
  • CoPilot Live 7.0
  • 900mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • talk time: 270 mins (WCDMA), 330 mins (GSM)
  • standby: 396 hours (WCDMA), 285 hours (GSM)
  • video call time: 145 mins (WCDMA)
  • stylus
  • wired stereo headset
  • 102x51x11.35mm
  • 110g

OUR VERDICT

The main pull of this HTC Touch Diamond P3700 is clearly its good looks (and it's pretty fortunate in that department given the HTC Touch Diamond P3700's lack of customisation options), but an easily blemished exterior or a fussy interface can put admirers off. It's lucky then that for HTC's Touch Diamond, functionality comes in a close second to design.

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