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>> Bonnie Cha: Hi I'm Bonnie Cha senior editor at CNET.com and today we're taking a first look at the HTC Touch Diamond for Verizon Wireless. This smartphone has been available unlocked and through Sprint for quite awhile now but I guess better late than never. This smartphones design is a lot more like the unlocked version than Sprints model with the sharper edges and geometric shaping on the back. On front you get a 2.8 inch VGA touch screen that's really nice and sharp. Verizon added its own touch with purple and green coloring but otherwise it's got the same HTC TouchFlo 3D interface as the other models. Unlike the HTC Touch Pearl the Diamond doesn't have a physical keyboard so you'll be using the on screen keyboard. You can choose from various formats such as a full QWERTY or a compact QWERTY but either way the buttons are a little cramped and so is the layout. So it'll slow you down a little bit. Unlike the other 2 versions the Verizon Touch Diamond does include a micro SD expansion slot located here on the back. However the trade off is you get less onboard memory. You get 256MB flash and 128MB RAM which with Sprint unlocked models had 4GB of internal memory. Other Verizon specific features include support for the carriers EV-DO Rev. A network, VZ navigator and Visual Voice Mail. The Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphone also includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth which supports stereo Bluetooth headsets and dial up networking. Call quality was fine but the smartphone is a little bit sluggish. I think my biggest problem with the Touch Diamond is the price. At launch it costs $299.99 with a 2-year contract which I think is pretty high considering that the Touch Diamond is older and nearing its life cycle and also the HTC Touch Diamond 2 has already been announced and should be coming soon. So knowing that I'm not sure I'd be willing to drop $300 on this phone. If it were even a $100 less that'd be better but for now I'd recommend maybe taking a look at the Samsung Omnia for Verizon if you're interested in a touch screen smartphone. You get a bigger screen and it's about a $100 less. I'm Bonnie Cha and this has been your first look at the HTC Touch Diamond for Verizon Wireless.
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