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HTC Desire HD Review

HTC Desire HD

Posted: , by Basil K.


Internet and Connectivity:

Aimed at the European market, it has all the bells and whistles someone (in Europe) might hope for. There's a GPS on board to take full advantage of all HTC Sense has to offer, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and quad-band GSM, as well as dual band 3G. In addition to this, you also get the DLNA functionality, which should work with a Windows 7 PC or another DLNA enabled device.
Email, as can be expected, is pretty typical for an Android phone. HTC have incorporated enhanced usability in terms of widgets and Sense immersion, while and the core emailing experience is very good. We set up our Gmail account on it in minutes, and Android brought all our Google contacts, emails and calendar information onto the phone very easily.

The HTC Desire HD has a GPS on board - HTC Desire HD Review
The HTC Desire HD has a GPS on board - HTC Desire HD Review

The HTC Desire HD has a GPS on board

If there was anything the HTC Desire HD Screen is perfect for other than browsing photos and videos, it's surfing the web. A responsive screen coupled with speedy responsive scrolling through even larger sites makes this an incredibly good, pocketable web browsing device. Thanks to Froyo, the real high point comes when browsing Flash sites, with the HTC Desire HD manning up to the challenge incredibly well, especially when playing embedded video. The other great thing is that unlike, say, Symbian^3, which left us installing Opera Browser to maximize the web browsing potential, like the rest of the features on the HTC Desire HD, web browsing is at a high point out of the box.

Surfing the web with the HTC Desire HD - HTC Desire HD Review
Surfing the web with the HTC Desire HD - HTC Desire HD Review
Surfing the web with the HTC Desire HD - HTC Desire HD Review
Surfing the web with the HTC Desire HD - HTC Desire HD Review

Surfing the web with the HTC Desire HD

Where the HTC Desire HD excels in terms of connectivity is with regards to HTC Sense. Once again, HTC have blurred the lines, this time between connectivity and software.  While we've covered the feature set HTC Sense equips you with, it turbo-charges the phone's standard connectivity features. Take the GPS, Sense makes it more usable, caching maps and making the world revolve around you using the in-built compass. Now let's take the network connectivity. On its own - useful; with HTC Sense - unique, giving you connection to your phone, even when you don't know where your phone is. We really cannot stress enough, for any gripe we may have with this phone, and it's certainly not perfect, there is just an abundance of positives.


When it comes to software, HTC have re-skinned Android with Sense in a way that blurs the lines between software and interface. For example, HTC Friend Stream is deeply rooted in the interface, but also provides additional software support in the form of an app. The navigation app is also enhanced, featuring improved caching and interaction. This makes the whole experience of using an HTC Sense phone feel more integrated.

Social networking integration, as mentioned is extremely pervasive on HTC Sense. On the surface, you've got Friend Stream, a widget and app that pulls your Twitter and Facebook updates to a big, clear tile on your homescreen or a respective standalone window in app format. Dig a bit deeper however and you find HTC has found a nifty way of merging your phonebook with your social networking contacts. Initially requiring confirmation that the contacts it suggests to merge are indeed one and the same, given time, it can become an asset to heavy social networkers, for example, making accessing a friend's Facebook and Twitter accounts through their single contact location a piece of cake. The feature is more intuitively integrated than MOTOBLUR or Sony Ericsson's Timescape and earns HTC another thumbs up.

Friend Stream - HTC Desire HD Review
Social networking - HTC Desire HD Review

Friend Stream

Social networking

Additional software includes Adobe Reader, Amazon MP3, Car Panel (a Nuvi Phone type interface making everything you might need in a car more finger-friendly), Connected Media (a DLNA type application), HTC Hub (access to HTC content), HTC Likes (suggested Android Content), Locations, Reader, Search Anywhere, SoundHound (a Shazam type music identifier), Peep (HTC's Twitter client), Qucikoffice, Stocks, Weather and YouTube.
Needless to say, Android Market provides an abundance of apps to improve functionality, and HTC Likes is a great way to identify the good ones.

All apps - HTC Desire HD Review
Connected Media - HTC Desire HD Review
Android Market - HTC Desire HD Review

All apps

Connected Media

Android Market

  • Options

posted on 05 Nov 2010, 07:57 1

1. jaadx (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Nov 2010)

Great review for great phone
Thank u phonearena but wish to see a galaxy s vs desire hd review that will be so nice

posted on 05 Nov 2010, 13:04 1

2. Jigar (unregistered)

well the review looks fantastic...great job phonearena...
i've been using n95-8gb for over 2.5 yrs and m currently looking for a gud android phone..
had shortlisted Desire and Galaxy S...but now Desire HD looks simply awesome...

Only concern is the battery life...hope its taken care of in future updates...the phone should at least last a day (like n95-8gb)

Good job HTC...

posted on 05 Nov 2010, 22:31

4. ghost_uwi (Posts: 47; Member since: 05 Nov 2010)

WOW @ N95 had that a while back great phone. When you upgrade you will be blown away by almost any of the new high end (grade 9.0+) phones out

posted on 05 Nov 2010, 14:34 1

3. ghost_uwi (Posts: 47; Member since: 05 Nov 2010)

Wow excellent review. After reading about 20+ reviews on this phone you hit the nail on the head with this one. My only gripe is where is the video review :(

posted on 06 Nov 2010, 01:31

5. fakhri (unregistered)


how realistic would the desire hd be as a primary ebook reader?

if anybody here is a ebook reader, please do chip in your opinions. id like to know whats the minimum screen size for comfortably reading an ebook.

trying to decide whether i can get a big screen phone like Desire HD or Droid X, or go with a phone + separate ebook reader.

thnx PA. great review

posted on 06 Nov 2010, 15:26

7. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 258; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)

Hey Fakhri,

Thanks for the positive feedback on the review.

As for whether the HTC Desire HD could double up as an ebook reader, this is subjective. The onboard ebook reader is a bit harsh on the eyes, though we really like Aldiko. It's a free ebook reader that lets you make the background black and text white, making it much easier on the eyes. Also, it isn't really usable in portrait as lines are way too short, though landscape is ok.

If you're looking for a "pocket friendly" Android phone that could double up as an ebook reader, we're using the Dell Streak at the moment and it does a really great job of handling ebooks and just about fits in your pocket. You will be sacrificing on Sense UI however.

A good idea would be to try out the native app and if possible Aldiko in a store near you.

Hope that helped,

The phoneArena Team

posted on 06 Nov 2010, 10:07

6. bbbb (unregistered)

its really funny that symbian^3 smartphones with 'outdated' cpu and tiny amount of RAM are more stable and can do better multitasking than desire hd.

posted on 06 Nov 2010, 18:23

8. Donny Dee (unregistered)

Verizon this month I hear? Incredible Pro or HD?

posted on 07 Nov 2010, 13:27

9. Mark (unregistered)


If you have heard about the Voodoo lagfix (it speeds up Samsung Galaxy S, and avoids the 'lag' you were facing in your review), then can you please tell me which phone is better, this or the Samsung i9000 Galaxy S

posted on 07 Nov 2010, 16:57

10. ghost_uwi (Posts: 47; Member since: 05 Nov 2010)

*grumbles @ missing video review* :P

posted on 08 Nov 2010, 07:19

11. ..... (unregistered)

guys can you help me pick. i can't choose between the desire hd and samsung galaxy S wich 1 is better

posted on 03 Feb 2012, 18:52

24. ilandror (Posts: 1; Member since: 03 Feb 2012)

htc desire hd.

posted on 08 Nov 2010, 08:28

12. Eingild (unregistered)

It's nice to know that Phonearena is now responding to the comments of the readers. This is a definitely + points for the user experience. Kudos to PA.

posted on 08 Nov 2010, 13:31

13. admin (unregistered)

guys, I have the Desire HD.

It doesn't last as long as my "old" Galaxy S.
Nor does it have as much storage 1.5gb vs 8gb.
Doesn't take as good photos as my SGS, not videos either.
In the complete darkness yes the DHD CAN take pictures/videos but...
Also I prefer the more nimbler body of the SGS, but I do like the metal body of the DHD. btw is there a swype app out there? I really need it in order to type fast but thats me.

The screen on the SGS, must be hands down the best I have ever seen (so far)

I don't know if I shall give the DHD back to the store and get my self a Galaxy S again (remember 2.2 is out now)

I dont have any lag on my DHD, phone arena you should check out "USB DEBUG" mode on the device, some are having problems that the CPU is active for no given reason.

and I do agree on the plastic covers, I fear I might break them if I need to open it up again...

posted on 09 Nov 2010, 18:45

14. ghost_uwi (Posts: 47; Member since: 05 Nov 2010)

Oh sweet video review *grabs popcorn*

posted on 10 Nov 2010, 17:07

15. Mike (unregistered)

I bought the htc desire HD after letting my iphone 3gs go which i had since release. First impressions were good, but sadly i didnt turn out to be very happy with this phone. I was impressed with the camera, htc sense and the speed of phone, oh and the best thing it can be used as wi-fi hotspot, but it was not long before i had some niggles.The internet crashes very frequently, when i take pictures using the camera after perhaps a day the pictures are shown only as error grey boxes, a surprising amount of the apps i downloaded either dont work properly or cause the phone to crash and occasionaly the phone crashes where i cant even make a call without restarting the phone (only happened 2/3 times but not good with owning this only 2 weeks or so). I had really high expectations due to the hype of the original desire so its a shame!

posted on 10 Nov 2010, 18:18

16. admin (unregistered)

Mike, have you installed the latest 2 updates?

posted on 11 Nov 2010, 01:38

17. notlying (unregistered)

i have the desire build on my hd2 and i have had no problems with apps, maybe you should learn to use your phone first before complaining...

posted on 12 Nov 2010, 02:04

18. icooon (unregistered)

how's the comparison b2een HTC desire HD and the samsaung galaxy tab which plays phone role. Ur comments pls.

posted on 13 Nov 2010, 05:13

19. Dan_p (unregistered)

I'll play the devil's advocate here. I'm not really that into what the HTC Desire HD's offerings. Will gladly go for a stock android experience on any day as it is more stable. The phone should at least give the user the option to turn Sense off.

Aside from iPhone 4 and Nokia N8, the attempt on HTC Desire HD to marry steel and plastic looks desperate at best. There have been reviews in other sites heavily criticizing the clunky handling of battery cover, ill fitting parts, and physical gaps... I hope these get fixed. Totally unsightly for a supposed flagship.

The impact of battery life is simply understated, a dead high-tech device is simply unacceptable for the corporate types who need to be connected most of the time.

I would still gladly recommend the older HTC Desire or the Samsung Galaxy for a more rewarding Android experience.

Symbian-wise, N8 makes up for a very compelling offering with its excellent build quality, unrivalled spec list, and a reliable and functional OS.

iOS-wise, iPhone 4 is definitely the only choice that offers simplified OS to cut across all intellectual levels, a compelling collection of apps in its app store, and a universally likable build.

posted on 13 Nov 2010, 11:57

20. Mad Max (unregistered)

@desire HD users:
can anybody tell me something about the Microphone-quality?
I need a recorder, that works quite as good as the iphone-recorder.
A friend has got the old desire and that has got a real bad mic-quality...

posted on 18 Mar 2011, 23:14

21. dkvc (unregistered)

Symbian^3 got dated functionality? What hell? What you think about iOS then that doesn't even have Widgets? That was such a biased "observation" from the reviewer.

posted on 05 Apr 2011, 19:47 1

22. diogorva (unregistered)

The phone was way overated. You got a giant screen but you can't see anything in direct sunlight, the battery is terrible, the HD video-recording is bad, if you read the GSMArena review, you will see that even the audio quaility is poor. You can have better phones for way lower prices.

posted on 05 Apr 2011, 19:52

23. dkvc (unregistered)

Dated functionality is much more related with iOS doesn't even have a proper homescreen or widgets, but how PhoneArena would dare call the almighty iOS dated? It's much more convenient to say that Symbian that got dated functionality, since it became usual to bash this OS.
I really like PhoneArena reviews, but sometimes you act so biased.

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HTC Desire HD

HTC Desire HD

OS: Android 2.3.5 2.3 2.2
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display4.3 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (217 ppi) S-LCD
Camera8 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon S2, Single core, 1000 MHz, Scorpion processor
0.75 GB RAM
Size4.84 x 2.68 x 0.46 inches
(123 x 68 x 11.8 mm)
5.78 oz  (164 g)
Battery1230 mAh, 9.16 hours talk time

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