Google announced its first and only phone so far just a few weeks ago. The Google Nexus One was designed and manufactured by, of course – HTC. Today, during the MWC, HTC announced the Desire which is very similar to the Nexus One, but with HTC’s Sense personalization on top of Android.
Design-wise, both devices are almost the same in terms of dimensions and weight. The Desire has several hardware buttons on the front, as well as an optical trackball. The in-hand feel is slightly different compared to the Nexus, as its back is rubberized.
The display is 3.7” AMOLED – the same one used in the Nexus One. As you can imagine, the picture quality is superb. The rest of the specs are the same – 1 GHz processor, 5-megapixel camera, same battery…
Just like the Legend, the Desire will also come with the “new” updated Sense UI. The improvements can be seen in our hands-on video.
Our overall impressions are very positive. The hardware is excellent and greatly complimented by HTC’s Sense UI. The HTC Desire will be available across Europe and Asia in early Q2.
After a Hero, here comes the Legend. The new Android smartphone has similar “chin” as the GSM HTC Hero but replaces the plastic housing with a solid aluminum one . The build quality is fantastic! Another hardware change is that the trackball is replaced by an optical pad; it looks and sounds really cool, but is an idea that’s actually less comfortable to use. One of the biggest hardware improvements is the screen – it is now an AMOLED one and looks georgeous – we hope it will be usable in direct sunlight as well. The Hero was sometimes laggy and the Legend is supposed to fix this, with improved processor speed and increased memory. It should also offer better user experience, sporting the improved Sense interface; check out our Sense video demonstration for more details on this one.
In a nutshell: the HTC Legend looks cool, feels cool and we think it is cool. It isn’t really a huge improvement when compared to the Hero, but nowadays we are rarely surprised by something new.
HTC HD Mini
The HTC HD mini in our opinion should have been called the HTC mini; its key feature is that it is one of the smaller Windows Mobile smart phones out there. Honestly, we do not see what that "HD" label really stands for (except for marketing purposes, of course), as neither the screen resolution (HVGA), nor the camera are anywhere close to HD. This actually raises the question why HTC's Touch HD and HD2 phones bear that name, but at least they are really big you know, and that is simply not the case with the HD mini. Anyway, this small WM 6.5.3 device of course uses the HTC Sense interface, which is basically an updated TouchFLO in this model. It is one of the best WM personalizations, offering multiple homescreen pages with rich functionality and lots of custom menus.
A nice feature we are pleased to see in the HTC HD mini is that it can turn into a wireless router for your notebook and other devices. It gets the internet through 3G and then spreads it over Wi-Fi, so you wouldn’t need a 3G modem. We would have been impressed if we haven’t already seen this in the Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus, but yes, it is a great feature.
You may wonder what these four screws on the back are for. Are they to make it extra durable or water resistant? Or is there any secret stuff underneath them? No. We believe they really are only for decoration purposes. HTC announced that they expect to see many third party replacement covers, including transparent ones.