iPhony: HTC's Touch Diamond aims for Apple

A Windows Mobile device tries for the iPhone's pretty interface.

By Farhad Manjoo
May 6, 2008 8:26PM (UTC)
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At a press event today across the pond -- that's what clever people say for London -- the Taiwanese cell phone company HTC unveiled the Touch Diamond, a mobile aimed at taking a share of the iPhone's market.

That is, another mobile aimed at taking on the Apple. These days every cell firm on the planet is adding animated and touch-sensitive interfaces in an attempt to show that it, too, can be a bit iPhony.


The Touch Diamond does have some advantages over the iPhone -- it's shorter, narrower, and skinnier, and it's got 3G networking capabilities and GPS (the iPhone doesn't have either, yet). It's got a 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus, better than the iPhone's.

But from the demo video posted above, one is tempted to say that in its interface, the thing is iPhony: Where Apple's device responds like lightning to the slightest touch, the HTC, even in the company's own corporate video, seems to ponder a bit after a finger's flicked across the screen.

Or, as Gizmodo's Addy Dugdale, who got to handle the Touch Diamond a bit, says,

[The user interface] was much more attractive than I was expecting, but the touchscreen takes quite a bit of getting used to: it's sluggish to the touch, compared to the hot-butterish iPhone, but the HTC rep assured me that it's not a final version of the software, and everything should have been ironed out by the time of the European and Asian launches next month.

The sluggishness might have to do with its operating system, Windows Mobile 6.1, which isn't known for its capacity for pretty.

The Touch Diamond will be available through the carrier Orange in June in Europe, and then elsewhere at some unannounced time after that. The pricing, too, remains a secret for now.

See more about the Touch Diamond at Endgadget and Crunchgear.

Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

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