Review : HTC Desire

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After the leak of the HTC Desire phone back in December 09, we have all been wondering what the HTC Desire actually looks like, how it actually works and most importantly, whats the next big thing from HTC.

Unfortunately, 720p video and DivX never made the final build as it was leaked it would include those features. (however, HTC will bring an update out).

It has a beautiful 3.7 inch AMOLED screen with a 1ghz snapdragon processer, 512mb ram and a 5 megapixel camera. It comes preinstalled with Android 2.1 and the HTC Sense UI.

TECHGEEK.com.au have obtained a review unit from the Australian Telco, Telstra with a NextG sim card. I have had the phone for 2 weeks now and have been extremely impressed with both the phone and the Telstra NextG network.

Check out the review after the break.


  • Score:

    8.0 / 10

  • The Good:

    Fantastic screen, very responsive, 5 megapixel camera, great sounding audio, htc sense ui.

  • The Bad:

    Slow to start, sluggish when running multiple applications, camera doesn’t do well in low light environments.

  • Bottom Line:

    The Desire is good for anyone who likes speed and reliability.

Hardware

The Desire features a snappy 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, 576MB of RAM, 512MB of inbuilt storage which is upgradable to 32GB via a MicroSD card, 3.7 inch AMOLED 480 x 800 screen, 5 megapixel auto focusing camera and a 1400 mAh battery.

It also sports 5 physical buttons on the front which are very crucial to the operation and navigation of the phone. Unlike the iPhone, the home button to the left actually quits the current application and brings you back to the main screen (I kept going for the middle button). It also has volume buttons on the left side which control ringtone volume and media volume. Plus the power button up top.

To get to the battery, sim card or SD card slot you need to open up the back which requires a lot of force the first time you open it (it nearly felt like it was going to break). Once the back has broke come off, you can rip the battery out and access the sim card and SD card. The back casing has soft touching feeling which gives a good grip.

The audio from the Desire was very clear when playing music through the inbuilt loud speaker and was also extremely clear when on loud speaker. The audio from the earpiece was also very clear with spoken language and on-hold music. The recipient of the call said that the audio was clear and could easily understand what I was saying. However, any sort of background noise such as music or birds was picked up by the microphone and slightly distorted my voice.

The Battery was also a great feature as it lasted an extremely long time. I did a test with the Desire and used it practically all day with phone calls, web browsing, games and apps and it still had enough juice in it to last another couple of hours. I would never be able to do that with my iPhone! The Battery was also light so it made the overall weight of the Desire lighter than most phones.

The camera was a good feature of the Desire and took very nice photos compared to other phones i’ve had/tried. However, the camera didn’t do well in low light environments or taking photos in the dark. The Auto Focus feature was also a great addition as it allowed for better quality of photos, however, if it did mess up the focusing, you could specify where you want to focus by touching the location on the screen. Below I have included some photos that I took.

[nggallery id=5]

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any video footage with the Desire. However the video resolutions are 800 x 480, 720 x 480 and 640 x 480.

Software

The HTC Desire sports Android 2.1 with HTC’s Sense UI which looks absolutely fantastic. The main home page has a huge clock, weather and icons. You’ll get Flash Lite as default on your Desire, which the iPhone/iPad lacks any sort of Flash support (unless you jailbreak). The Music Player can play all the standard music formats, MP3, WAV, MP4, WMA, MID, AAC even Apple’s M4A.

I found HTC Sense to be much more inviting than other Android User Interfaces. It’s default screens had the new FriendStream app and included Leap which allowed you to quickly jump between the different home screens. Accessing all your other apps was also easy, all you had to do is push the left arrow on the screen and it would take you to the app screen.

A feature I really liked was the clock display (see the picture on the right) which also displays your location and the weather for that location. When unlocking the phone, the screen would fill up with something respective to what the weather was like. For example, if it was raining, rain would fall down the screen and if it was cloudy, clouds would gather and then go. It is defiantly a feature I miss and I really enjoyed seeing all of the different animations.

The speed of Android was very fast compared to some other phones I have tried, due to the Snapdragon 1ghz processor inside the phone. It allowed you to quickly switch between apps and also allowed fast web browsing with some flash interaction. However, the phone did get slightly unresponsive when multiple applications where open. I do believe this is a Android limitation which doesn’t allow you to totally quit out of apps except by force quitting them. It would be good if you could quit the applications without force quitting them by going though lots of menus.

Note: Brent has said that HTC have an update available for the Desire which enables 720p. You can check out his comment below.

Conclusion

The Desire is another great addition from HTC and it does impress everyone. The build quality is very good, it’s fast, it’s responsive and it has a fantastic camera when taking pictures in day light. Thank you to Telstra for lending us this phone for review, your network is also extremely fast and I enjoyed using it.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I’ll try to answer them as quickly as possible!