HTC Desire HD vs Samsung Galaxy S


On the Samsung Galaxy S the voice quality is decent – fine clarity in the earpiece on our side, albeit a bit quiet, but the mic was sending background noise and slight voice distortion to the ears of our listeners. The HTC Desire HD has a very good microphone with active noise cancellation, so the people we called said they were hearing us very well. The earspeaker is good, without static noise, but it lacks a punch in the volume department. Overall, we liked the call quality better on the Desire HD.

Talk time with 3G on is rated at 6.5 hours time for the Samsung Galaxy S, and 5.5 hours for the HTC Desire HD. In everyday use, we could definitely declare Samsung's handset the winner here. After the Froyo update, the battery lasted almost two days with average use, while the Desire HD had to be charged every evening, even with moderate tinkering. Of course, it's a case of a bigger 4.3” screen on a smaller 1230mAh battery, compared to 4”, and 1500mAh, so even a 45nm chipset can't pull up many tricks here.


If we had to choose, we want a 4.3” Super AMOLED screen on an aluminum unibody handset, that is as thin as the Galaxy S, and carries the new HTC Sense UI on it. Any of the two chipsets will do. Just kidding, but it might happen next year. 

However, out of the HTC Desire HD and the Samsung Galaxy S, we would pick Samsung's finest, and we'll tell you why. It's not the silicon – both phones have excellent chipsets, and the theoretical advantage in the graphics department of Sammy's Hummingbird didn't translate into better frame rates in the 3D games we played. It's not the built-in 16GB of memory on the Galaxy S, and lack thereof on the HTC Desire HD. Memory cards are cheap these days, and the Desire HD beats the Galaxy S in the camera specs department with higher resolution cam and a ho-hum LED flash, which compensates the absence of in-built memory for us.

Our preference was not based on the screens either – despite that we'd personally take the Super AMOLED before an LCD of the same resolution any day, the sheer size of the one on the HTC Desire HD is also quite appealing. We have to admit that the new HTC Sense UI almost tipped the scales for us, with its fast boot, amazing personalization options, cloud-based services and offline navigation functionalities. But it will be coming on all HTC Android handsets from now on, and inventive souls are working towards porting it over to the Galaxy S as well.

It's the battery life and the design approach. In practice, when the first “wows” subside around the sleek aluminum chassis of the HTC Desire HD, you'll be seeing the black rectangle where the screen is most of the time, but notice the considerable heft of the device, and the fact that you have to use both hands to operate it more often than not. The Galaxy S might be bland looking in its all-plastic body, but it is incredibly thin, light, durable and easy to handle because of that - for a handset with a 4” screen, that is. We also know that we'll be cursing ourselves that we chose a slightly bigger screen if the battery runs out after just an average day with the device, and we have no way to charge it. Of course, you can always buy and remember to carry a spare battery, but the new side-loading way of swapping it is a nuisance thanks to the stiff slot cover on the Desire HD. Bigger screens is the way to go, but only if the handsets are kept slim and light, and battery life is worth it, which is not the case with the HTC Desire HD.

There are not many alternatives to the HTC Desire HD and the Samsung Galaxy S, considering the latest generation chipsets in both. Screenwise, there is no AMOLED like the Super AMOLED, and 4” is as large as it goes. The only other such screen is in the Samsung Omnia 7, with the fledgling Windows Phone 7. Also, devices with 4.3” LCD screens of HTC make, such as the EVO 4G, or the HTC HD7 with WP7 can do the trick for you. All of these phones are carrying first generation Snapdragon chipsets, which still run whatever you throw at them, so they could be viable alternatives to the HTC Desire HD, and the Samsung Galaxy S.

HTC Desire HD vs Samsung Galaxy S Video Comparison:



1. ghost_uwi

Posts: 47; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

grabs more pop corn

2. Mart unregistered

A very close call between these 2. I'm still trying to decide which phone I upgrade to in Feb 2011. By that time maybe Samsung will have launched their upgrade to the Galaxy S, as rumoured. If that's the case then my choice is simple - come on Sammy, let the games begin !

3. Yassham unregistered

Uhhm , Sorry For Your Conclusion But : 8MP 2xLED Vs 5MP No LED ( Hanging With Some Friends In The Night And To Say Sorry I Don't Have Flash ' ! ) 1GHZ 786 MB RAM Vs 1GHZ 512 MB RAM ( Booting In The HTC Is Way Quicker Than The Samsung... ) 4.3" SLCD Vs 4.0" SAMOLED ( I Understand That SAMOLED Are Better Than SLCD But It A 4.3" Will Be Better On Typing And Browsing Web ) HTC Desire HD Vs Samsung Galaxy S ( Better Sound Quality And Loudness , Better Voice Quality, Better Navigation On The HTC . Just Some Option In The Samsung That Are Better Than The HTC Which Are : SAMOLED, A 1h Difference Of Battery , Plastic Design . I Would Definilty Choose The HTC Desire HD

4. argumon unregistered

One thing is completely left out, as it will not occur under test conditions. The more apps are installed on an SGS, the it lags, making it completely unusable with 10 or so screens of apps (not running, just installed). Search for SGS lagfix and you know what I am talking about. This can be fixed if you like to be a kernel hacker on your phone. But for the average user, the SGS will become mostly unusable with more apps installed. This problem does not occur out.-of-the-box or with just a handfull of apps, so it is not covered in test situations. I gave my SGS back for that reason

5. Jaskaran unregistered

SGS is really very nice and powerful device. using it for a month with 100+ apps installed but no lags. its pretty fast....... I think I made a good decision

6. Alui unregistered

Desire HD is just too big. I played with a showroom unit and I did not like it how it feels in the hand. Also it does not have a secondary camera (to be used for video calls or taking pictures of the guy who stole your phone with Track and Protect app:) ). Why? Why did HTC not put the secondary camera on their flagship Android phone? I think there should be a clear limit between smartphones and tablets. With 4.3 inch screens the phone is a small tablet in fact. So IMHO, the screen smartphones should be 4 inch tops. Tablets from 7 inch onwards. Any screen between these sizes does not make much sense for me. What smartphone producers should do, is to increase resolution of the screen, not the size.

8. ItsMichaelNotMike

Posts: 8; Member since: Nov 21, 2010

Although I own the Samsung Galaxy S (T-Mobile Vibrant) and love the phone (probably the best I have ever owned), I am not biased toward it. I can objectively say that this shoot out ("review") is spot on accurate. It's also very detailed, well written and thorough. Have to say it's one of the finest product reviews I have ever read. I have an HTC HD2, a MyTouch Slide, and Touch Pro2 (oh, and a G1). So I am familiar with HTC products and I have always said HTC is the hottest handset maker on the planet. So I was quite surprised that the Samsung Galaxy S turned out to be as good a handset as it is. Sure, there's a few things I don't like, but no handset and software has ever been perfect, in my experience. A pleasant surprise is that my Vibrant has held its own against the 2010 holiday phones. I figured that by now a Samsung competitor would have come out with some phone that might motivate me to consider the Vibrant "outdated." But so far no one has debuted a phone that beats my Samsung Galaxy S in terms of hardware, form factor, specs, software and performance. After having used the Vibrant for six months now, the only complaint I have is that when shooting a video the volume rocker at the side of the phone functions as the digital zoom adjustment. I have accidentally hit that at times when shooting videos with one hand. I'd like to be able to disable that feature (digital zoom). Interestingly, that's all I can come up with, in criticism of my Samsung Galaxy S. LOL.

9. ItsMichaelNotMike

Posts: 8; Member since: Nov 21, 2010

Oh, I have my HD2 to compare HTC's 4.3" handsets with, both in form factor and weight. I have to say the HD2 has a great, quality feel to it (when I got it in March 2010 I was thoroughly impressed with it. It was pleasing to the touch and felt like the $500 I paid for it.) However, comparing the two, I prefer the Vibrant's extremely light weight. I know some criticize the Vibrant (Samsung Galaxy S) as being and feeling like cheap plastic. But that doesn't bother me because a lot of my expensive phones are "cheap plastic." For example, my Touch Pro2, an excellent HTC phone that debuted in August 2009, had an expensive looking back, the battery cover looking like brushed metal. But the cover was simply "cheap plastic." And that phone was HTC's flagship product at the time, costing $550 retail here in the U.S. and over U.S. $700 in Europe. It is kind of amusing how people (even professional reviewers) commented on how "cheap" the Samsung Galaxy S felt, simply because it was so light. I guess people thought (and continue to think) that expensive electronics should feel expensive, as in being heavy.

10. tanchev unregistered

Your voice is so stupid man, just go and kill yourself somewhere.. i don`t want to listen to your voice because it`s so stupid. Make some blowjobs and maybe your voice will change. Varna bitch!

11. unregistered

I've got 2 questions. Does the Desire HD have frontal camera? Does the Samsung Galaxy S have flash with the camera? I guess the answer to both are "no".

12. Sven

Posts: 10; Member since: Feb 19, 2009

it's really amazing how people on this site are "HTC-haters"!!!!! when you read a comparison review or a single htc review, it's always HTC who's the worst!!!!! stop doing this to our lovely HTC mobiles please! every phone has its + and - !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

13. GalaxyS Rocks unregistered

Galaxy S is the best! Using it from last one month and very satisfied overall. Just updated to FROYO through Kies, no hassle no lag prbs. Already installed almost 95+ apps from the market no crash no hickups etc...And who use mobile camera's to capture the photo's at night????..Foolish, even if you have a flash you can't capture a good quality pictures at night as compared to any handycam(5mgpxl). Galaxy S is a full entertainment box in terms of size, price and handling..Jumbo HTC need a jumbo hands and jumbo pocket to caryy it. :)--------------

14. MVB unregistered

GalaxyS Rocks posted: Jumbo HTC need a jumbo hands and jumbo pocket to caryy it. Sucks to have suck a low IQ as yourself if you think that 3.8mm wider, 1.9mm thicker and .6mm taller makes the HTC so much more larger. Desire HD = 68mm(2.68") X 11.8mm(0.46") X 123mm(4.84") Galaxy S = 64.2mm(2.53") X 9.9 mm(0.39") X 122.4mm(4.82") The size difference is minimal and I'm sorry to hear about your small hands.

15. crytek unregistered

My personal experience Sense UI is the only advantage of HTC`s flagship unit Samsung is all the way better in everything else, hands down crytek

16. Don.Camello

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 10, 2011

I spent hours reading your valuable comments everyone. I think the choice is still hard to decide between both devices. but, I think I will go for the HTC today, because of the larger screen, which is easier to type for larger fingers as I use emails most of the time. But I'm really worried about the battery issue, I think I'll have to buy a car charger and another emergency charger.. although I hate to walk with all that wires in my pockets :-) But still the HTC Desire HD is the one who grapped my most attention.

17. snuski unregistered

The battery could be uppgradable to 1800 m on desire hd i heard somewhere

18. Ashmit unregistered

It was a very difficult decision......but I chose Galaxy S.....but that doesn't mean Desire HD is not good. 1. DHD has 8 MP cam but Galaxy's 5MP cam is equivalent to it even better in some daylight pics, DHD has flash but LED flash doesn't make much difference. 2. Galaxy has world's best 4" Super AMOLED screen(Scratch resistance Gorilla glass display) and full touch phones are all about navigating on screen like browsing internet, watching videos, watching pics you took or uploaded into your phone, playing graphics rich games etc all is pleasure on Galaxy's screen. DHD has 4.3" S-LCD which is good too but .3 inches doesn't make any difference as 4" is more then enough and S-LCD can't be compared to Super AMOLED. 3. HD video quality is far better in Galaxy S and has video out capability. 4. Galaxy S has front facing cam for video calling. 5. Better Audio quality. 6. Most importantly battery life.....DHD needs to be charged by evening after moderate use but Galaxy S's battery works whole day even more. I compromised on build quality and LED flash because that is not much important for me then the other things specially Display and battery backup.

19. the critiquer unregistered

I must say that the desire hd is an awesome phone... Probably the best match up for galaxy s. I can clearly see why people would prefer the htc with its monstrous 4'3" display, fast download speeds and so on. However, it is not perfect. All these features... including those in the o.s overlay, do eat away at the time you have with the phone. What's the point of so many features if you won't be able to use them long? Take my advice, the sgs delivers where its most important. Its close, but sgs just about remains as the smartphone king for now.

20. James1998 unregistered

Hi also just spent hours trying to figure out which one to buy. Eventually I chose the Samsung, mainly because the screen looks a lot nicer and the battery life is better. The HTC looks nice, but a little too big and that screen looks washed out compared to the Samsung. Plus, I'm worried about battery life. The lack of flash on the Samsung bothers me. I have the Nexus at the moment and the flash was very useful. But hopefully I won't miss it too much. I receive the Samsung tomorrow. Can't wait!

21. Rubadubadoobag unregistered

Well, maybe the Samsung is better. But Im pretty sure the Desire will do better, because as a casual buyer/user, I looked at both of them and decided to pay more for the latter because the former felt and looked cheap and lightweight. Like it or not a book's cover is part of the purchase calculus and the Galaxy S's build will tell against it even if it is objectively a + for women and small-handed men.

22. Kustom unregistered

Why has no one expanded more in the multimedia section and the gorilla glass of the phones? I have owned HTC mobiles for the past 4 years and have loved them, but after getting a SGS, I am douptful of returning to HTC unless they can make something pretty good, and the DHD isnt one of them. I have the SGS and have to say that it has been able to play any video format Ive thrown at it. I have a lot of HD Tv shows and movies that are usually .mkv format. The SGS just plays it straight out of the box without any computer conversions required. I just plug in the phone to the PC and copy any movie I want to play on it. Cant do this on the DHD or any other android phone for that matter without converting it at home. Additionally, if you have a Samsung TV on your home network you can instantly stream photos / music and videos to it as long as your TV is on through Samsung Allshare app built into the SGS. No messing around with TV remote at other then turning the TV on. Shoot some video footage while out and about, come home press allshare, select Samsung LED, select the vids to play and then they start streaming in 720p on the TV. People have this thought in their head if a device is lite it cant be good. I was the same when I first got my SGS, but after having it for the past 4 months there is no way I want to go back to a heavy brick like DHD. There is no problem with the build quality of the SGS. The gorilla glass is great as well. I dont have any screen protector on my phone and havnt got any scratches on the screen after months of use. This is a major advantage as most people do not review a phone with a screen protector on it, which usually decreases the screens visibility and responsive ness. this makes the SGS screen an outright winner in this category.

23. sammie unregistered

Hi everyone. I started to thinking about a new phone. I am choosing between the Samsung Galaxy S and HTC Desire HD. But I can not decide. I can get Galaxy for better price, but I prefer HTC. Which one would you suggest and why? Thanks for any help! P.S.: Sorry for my English. Regards.

24. Jim unregistered

I spent 12 days with the Galaxie S. I did like it, but found it buggy, It reboots several times a day. ey claim to be working on a fix) Also it did not play nice with the Ford Sync. I had 14 days to take it back. On day 12 the Desire HD was released in Canada. I switched the sim card to the Desire HD and never looked back, While it may be spec'd better the HTC is easier to set up. I much prefer the htc keyboard. htcsence online is neat, will ring your phone when you can't find it, also turns the ringer back on. Not to mention the gps find your phone feature. Big brother may not like these features, but I do. It is way less buggy than the Samsung, and was running on 2.2.1out of the box. I returned the Samsung the next day. No contest in my mind. Tried the screens side by side, running the same applications, and found the HTC was easier to see. Not sure why, but liked the contrast better.

25. sammie unregistered

Thank you, I will buy HTC Desire HD.

26. Rikki unregistered

Kaixo, I'm now in Australia and I am no sure to buy the Desire HD or the Samsung Galaxy S. Samsung seems to go better In Australia with Telstra Next G coverage, compared to to the DHD which can only run on 3G. I think I might go for the Samsung 'cause of the battery life. If the DHD had a better battery option, I would choose that as I love it's features. So it's the Samsung Galaxy S for me, and I'm a chick, so I don't have fat stubby fingers, but the life of the battery is important. Byieee.

27. Nick unregistered

is that battery life really that bad on the DHD?

28. KD unregistered

I must say, I'm quite surprised the Galaxy S was the winner here. I got the Desire HD recently and my friend the Galaxy S. I've played around with both quite a bit and I'm glad that I got the desire HD. The 4.3 inch screen is just the right size for me and the device sits perfectly comfortably in my hand. Also when comparing the home screen on the DHD and Galaxy S, both with full brightness, the colors on the DHD's S-LCD are SO MUCH more vibrant. Great performance and the battery lasts fine too. I love this phone!

29. Ameya unregistered

Many thanks for this comprehensive thorough review. It helped me make a decision.

30. mb unregistered

htc desire doubts!!

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