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HTC Touch Diamond Backlights Permanently Dying, No Fix Yet

Illustration for article titled HTC Touch Diamond Backlights Permanently Dying, No Fix Yet

At Giz Gallery, Tom alerted us to a serious problem with HTC Touch Diamonds: After a few minutes, the backlight becomes permanently dim, making the phone unusable, and there is no fix yet.Updated 9:15AM

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Tom's unlocked Touch Diamond that he showed us was a sad little brick, barely readable, and absolutely impossible to use in the daylight. Interestingly, according to the mod wizards at XDA, the issue doesn't appear to be a hardware cock-up—it's apparently a firmware problem that HTC has yet to fix. Modder efforts have also been unsuccessful, since a standard firmware flash seems to leave the problematic code untouched.

Worse, HTC's support system is broken as well. They're not able to fix the phones, and have been directing users to deal with carriers—which leaves people with unlocked phones effectively screwed. Tom was simply told to buy a new one, even though his is just a few months old, and, you know, an unlocked Diamond costs several hundred dollars. BTW, Sprint Diamond owners, how are things on your end? I suspect this issue might be behind the delays there.

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This stupid backlight problem illustrates two seemingly contradictory points about today's tech. We live in a beta culture that leaves us constantly waiting for updates and fixes to crappy firmware and software shoved out the door, and that it's safer than ever to buy first-gen hardware, since refinements in design and manufacturing mean most of the problems we run into as early adopters are the kind that can be updated or patched.

Not that this makes it any less goddamn infuriating. Fix your ducking phones, HTC.

Update: HTC responds to the issue:

"HTC’s tech team has looked at the XDA developer thread and determined that the problem is limited to people installing cooked ROMs that do not match the firmware on the HTC Touch Diamonds. Apparently very few people have experienced this problem..."

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[XDA Developers - Thanks Tom]

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DISCUSSION

kaisermachead
kaisermachead

Beta culture is one thing, but piss poor support is a far worse problem. With beta-like software and hardware, proper customer support can mitigate the issue by at least having problems solved with minimal (preferably zero) cost to the buyer. When my Macbook had shutdown issues, and when it had bad display flickering, the quick repair time and active support made this problem totally forgivable, as it only cost me 4 cumulative days of missing my laptop. Those issues made me wary of my next purchases, but at least I was comforted by the fact that I'd at least have a good amount of support in case the worst should happen.

Fuck you HTC. Good thing I don't buy your crap.