The HTC Touch Diamond review

Griffin McGrath

QU Mobile is a cell phone program being developed by the information technology department at Quinnipiac in conjunction with the Sprint Nextel Corporation, Microsoft and Rave Wireless. This program is designed to bring information to QU students, seamlessly integrating their Outlook Exchange email service and campus-wide messaging in hopes that it will enhance their experiences on campus.

The partnership with Rave Wireless has led to the creation of a suite of applications that are being designed specifically for the QU campus. These applications include: RaveAlert, Transit, Email, Groups, Polling and FlashCard. When using a QU Mobile phone, you will be able to use these applications to receive broadcast alerts, check school email, track the campus shuttles and participate in class polls in real time.

QU’s unique partnership with Sprint has led to the development of “Enhanced Speed Zones” in every building on campus. Sprint has fitted each residence hall and academic building with indoor antennas, giving the mobile devices the greatest signal possible wherever they are on campus. In addition to these speed zones, QU Mobile offers one-year contracts to students instead of the two-year contracts offered by other service providers. Five members of The Chronicle were given the newest QU Mobile device, the Touch Diamond by HTC, to test and review.

The Touch Diamond by HTC is a nice little piece of mobile hardware, but the software leaves a bit to be desired.

My first impression of the part touch screen, part button Touch Diamond was, “Hey, this is a pretty cool phone!” It felt very comfortable in the hand due to its diminutive dimensions and the screen resolution was very impressive for its size. The built-in camera was excellent compared to other mobile cameras with a resolution of 3.2 mega pixels. After the initial run-through of the set-up screens, though, my opinions began to change.

The Windows Mobile operating system was confusing, and at times could be counterintuitive. Using the menu at the bottom of the home screen could be hard, and the side scrolling to get to different menus was not done easily unless you pressed the screen in just the right place. Internet browsing was not as fast as AT&T’s service, and zooming in on the pages with the scroll wheel only worked about half of the time.

It took me about 25 minutes to set up my email access because of the lengthy domain names and server addresses that needed to be input into the tiny text boxes. If you think the iPhone is hard to type on, this phone will drive you mad due to its miniaturized QWERTY touch keyboard. You do have the option to change the typing mode to keypad typing, though, and you can also use the included stylus pen to punch in the letters.

Overall, the phone itself was comfortable and stylish, but the operating system and user interface were mediocre at best. If you are already using a smart phone like a Blackberry or iPhone, it will be a tough sell to get you to switch to the Touch Diamond by HTC.