HTC Desire Review
This is a global GSM phone. It can be used with AT&T and T-Mobile USA, but without 3G.
It all began with the Motorola DROID back in 2009, but things got quickly out of hand with all the fuss and excitement surrounding the operating system that escalated when Google announced the Nexus One (a device manufactured by HTC) at the beginning of 2010. This added fuel to the fire for HTC fans, who began to dream about a similar device, equipped with the famous HTC Sense interface instead (preferred by many). Said device was not to be introduced until MWC 2010, where we finally found out it would be called the HTC Desire. So, this is how eager high-tech buffs started counting the days...
But enough history. The important thing is the HTC Desire, the most powerful Android cell phone of the manufacturer to date has finally arrived and we got our hands on it. There is no way we fail to compare its specifications to the Nexus One and not notice the differences are... minor. The major distinction between them is the HTC Desire features extra 64MB of RAM, i.e. 576MB instead of 512MB.
There is nothing really groundbreaking or innovative into the box of the HTC Desire – just a wall charger, USB cable, headphones and 4GB microSD card. The latter is welcome indeed, since it provides ample space for your multimedia files. Unlike the Nexus One, the Desire doesn't come with a pouch, so you will have to find your own way of protecting the precious from dirt and scratches.
Now we're talking! We have recently had the pleasure to review the HTC Legend and this is how we chose to summarize everything about its design:
„All told, the HTC Legend is certainly among the best Android handsets today in terms of design. We can even go so far as to say that the Legend is one of the top three smartphones ever.”
The HTC Desire also belongs to the same category of "the best-made Android handsets to date", although it's not as spectacular as the Legend. Its body is not made from a single chunk of aluminum and therefore, it just doesn't provide the same feeling of a sturdy, reliable item. The only metal part of its body is the metal framing around the screen – the back is entirely plastic, unlike the Google Nexus One. The battery cover is coated with a soft, rubberized material that provides perfunctory cohesion between your hand and the phone body. By the way, the panel is relatively hard to remove, because it bends easily and gives off rather disturbing sounds in the process. Moreover, you will have to take out the battery in order to reach the SIM and microSD card slots underneath, which is somewhat inconvenient.
"It's huge!", "No, it's not!"... one of the arguments that split our otherwise solidly united office when the Desire arrived. We felt we had to resort and, therefore, invent an innovative visual comparison system (take a look at the results below). It turned out the cell phone has totally acceptable overall dimensions for its class... and screen. The iPhone is more compact, even if marginally, but its display is smaller. Actually, the major reason that provoked the unrest was the particular way the HTC Desire feels in your hand. Because of its overall weight or perhaps, the lack of proper balance (the upper part is slightly heftier, just like in the case of the Nexus One), the Desire feels enormous in to hold in your hand. Its thin profile, however, guarantees the device will certainly not make your pocket overly bulging.
You can compare the HTC Desire with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
The reason behind the bulky size is, of course, the 3.7-inch display that utilizes AMOLED technology. Images are unbelievably vivid indoors and their colors are very saturated and pleasing. Unfortunately, it gets rather hard to use in direct sunlight, even with the brightness set to its maximum value. We suspect that, similarly to the Nexus One, the Desire integrates the PenTile RGBG technology or, in other words, does not really offer true WVGA resolution - rather, 392x653 pixels stretched to 480x800. Alongside of the Motorola MILESTONE/DROID, you will certainly notice that texts (say in the browser) are not as crisp and detailed. It's a good thing you need to peer into the screen really hard to spot such particularities. All told, the display of the HTC Desire is quite good indeed, features proper touch-sensitivity and supports multitouch. It would have been great if it came with oleophobic coating, because it can get dirty quite easily.
The standard set of buttons typical of Android handsets is located below the screen and you have home screen, menu, step back and search keys. The HTC has opted for an optical pad instead of trackball, but either way, this is not an overused hardware feature really. As a whole, we didn't encounter any issues pressing the buttons and they all have proper travel. The bad thing is that, when you hold the handset in such a way so as to use the entire display with one hand, the keys are too far away from your thumb (at the bottom) and you will have to keep adjusting your grip or, alternatively, use your other hand. This affects the usability of all massive displays and there is nothing you can do about it.
The HTC Desire is charged via standard microUSB port and there is a 3.5mm headphone jack located on the top side. The power on/off button is one of the most pleasing we have ever touched.
We can hardly think of a new handset manufactured by HTC with a disappointing design. The Taiwanese company does offer one of the best-made and most spectacular smartphones today and the HTC Desire is an illustrative example. By the way, the handset is expected to hit the shelves not just in brown, but silver color solution as well.
HTC Desire 360 Degrees View: