x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

HTC Desire Review

HTC Desire

Posted: , posted by PhoneArena Team

Tags:

Pages
Interface:

We have already mentioned the HTC Desire runs the famous Sense interface and this is the major software difference to the Nexus One. Other than that, the operating system is the same, Android 2.1 and it does have its advantages over older editions. The most significant differences include faster speed and support for multiple accounts (plus Microsoft Exchange) and this is more than welcome for business users who store information on remote servers. Live Wallpaper (animated background for all the seven start pages) makes its first appearance within the framework of Sense, since the HTC Legend does not feature the function, probably due to its less impressive hardware specifications.

Speaking of operational speed and specifications, we just have to admit the HTC Desire is lighting fast. It's like a cheetah. This is to be expected, of course, given the snappy 1GHz processor and 576MB RAM. Still, nothing is perfect and the rules applies here as well – you can sometimes evidence software lagging when switching on an interactive Live Wallpaper, especially if you try to bring down the machine to its knees by running too many applications at the same time (say player, browser etc.). All told, we would use the animated wallpapers to impress a nice girl, but would never sacrifice the operational speed on a daily basis.

Since we have already covered all major functions of the Sense interface in our review of the HTC Hero and took a closer look at the improvements brought by the latest OS edition in our review of the HTC Legend, we are not going into details here, because the software of the HTC Desire does not offer any novelties (aside from Live Wallpapers). We will only indicate the most important aspects, so new readers may get a rough idea about the functionality of the handset. If you need further information, please, take a look at the above-mentioned reviews.

The home screen of the HTC Desire - HTC Desire Review
The home screen of the HTC Desire - HTC Desire Review
Live Wallpapers - The home screen of the HTC Desire - HTC Desire Review
The home screen of the HTC Desire - HTC Desire Review
The home screen of the HTC Desire - HTC Desire Review
  

Live Wallpapers

  

The home screen consists of seven pages that can host various widgets, shortcuts and folders. Some of the available widgets come with compact versions that do not take up much screen space, but others like FriendStream require a whole page. By the way, this is an application that provides latest Facebook, Twitter and Flickr updates from your relevant accounts. Moreover, it allows for simultaneous Facebook and Twitter status updates. We cannot call the program innovative, since it closely resembles the Happenings widget of Motorola’s MOTOBLUR interface, plus it cannot really replace dedicated applications for access to the mentioned networks.

The home screen can host various widgets, shortcuts and folders - HTC Desire Review
The home screen can host various widgets, shortcuts and folders - HTC Desire Review
The home screen can host various widgets, shortcuts and folders - HTC Desire Review
FriendStream - The home screen can host various widgets, shortcuts and folders - HTC Desire Review
   

FriendStream


You can save your home screen page settings in the form of themes called Scenes or, alternatively, use one of the preloaded ones made by HTC. We do like the “helicopter view” that shows all seven pages at the same time. You can enter this mode by double-pressing the button that takes you to the home screen or simply “pinching” the screen. Thanks to the extra feature, you can get right to the page you need in a snap, without having to scroll pages until you get dizzy.

Scenes - HTC Desire Review
Scenes - HTC Desire Review
Scenes - HTC Desire Review
The 'helicopter view' of the pages - Scenes - HTC Desire Review
   

The 'helicopter view' of the pages



Phone contacts:

The application "People" is one of the seven great wonders of modern smartphone software. You might need some time to get used to it and learn how to get around, but the phone book offers access to an excruciating amount of information and shows your Facebook contacts. You can also add a great number of extra details about each person, browse their latest pictures and profile status updates.

The phone book offers access to an excruciating amount of information - HTC Desire Review
The phone book offers access to an excruciating amount of information - HTC Desire Review
The phone book offers access to an excruciating amount of information - HTC Desire Review


Organizer:

As a whole, pretty much everything here is awesome. The calendar can be synchronized with various sources of information like Google (multiple accounts), Facebook and PC Sync. Moreover, you will be able to take a look at the weather forecast for your region on opening the calendar in daily view, which is handy indeed. The alarms, world clock, stopwatch and timer functions are unified in a single and totally cool menu. Unfortunately, the HTC Desire lacks pre-installed tasks application, although Android Market is brimming with programs with similar functionality.

HTC Desire Review
HTC Desire Review
HTC Desire Review
HTC Desire Review


Messaging:

You are allowed to set up several email accounts, but you will have to put up with the fact you cannot browse them at the same time, meaning only one can be active at a time. Like all other contemporary handsets, the HTC Desire offers automated email set up if you are registered with a popular service provider. Still, all settings relating to specific servers, like our own, require manual entry (it seems only BlackBerry devices can automatically handle the task).

Email - HTC Desire Review
Email - HTC Desire Review

Typing away is a dream come true when using the screen keyboards of the HTC Desire. The 3.7-inch display and its high native resolution provide ample space for keys. It’s available in several modes, including alphanumeric, compact QWERTY, full landscape and portrait QWERTY keyboards. Important symbols are brought onto all full QWERTY layouts and they can be typed in by holding the corresponding key pressed for a while. The feature may come in pretty handy, especially in case you need to enter passwords containing several special symbols. All told, the HTC Desire is really comfortable when it comes to message composing.

The screen keyboards of the HTC Desire - HTC Desire Review
The screen keyboards of the HTC Desire - HTC Desire Review
The screen keyboards of the HTC Desire - HTC Desire Review
The screen keyboards of the HTC Desire - HTC Desire Review


Connectivity and Internet:

Just like the HTC Legend, the Desire supports Flash (its Lite version, if we have to be punctual). This makes web pages more lively, because animated elements get loaded properly, plus you can watch videos (not everywhere) and listen to online music. Whatever it is that Apple claims, Flash is still in power today and we don't think this will change soon.

The Flash capabilities of the Desire are similar to those of its sibling, the Legend, although some online videos play more smoothly. We didn’t encounter any issues with YouTube, because the website is opened in the browser’s Flash Player (not to be confused with the dedicated YouTube player that has to be started manually). Some of the videos available at other pages like Viddler are watchable (without using the player), but they tend to stutter, while websites like the non-mobile version of Vimeo won’t load at all. The same applies to listening to audio tracks in Flash-based players – some of them work fine, other simply won’t and that’s that. Still, let’s keep in mind that many modern handsets do not support Flash at all, so we have to admit the Desire is pretty capable on that point. If you, however, feel like watching YouTube videos with proper quality, we would recommend that you stick to the dedicated YouTube application rather than resorting to the HTC Flash Player (set up as the default program).

The HTC Desire supports Flash Lite  - HTC Desire Review
The HTC Desire supports Flash Lite  - HTC Desire Review
The HTC Desire supports Flash Lite  - HTC Desire Review

The HTC Desire is an awesome device for surfing the Internet. You can zoom in and out on things via multitouch and the function works smoothly. Scrolling pages is as easy as ABC and page text gets resized so as to allow for easier reading. The 3.7-inch screen is convenient for reading and shows the larger part of most pages. Certainly, it will never replace your iPad... we are joking, of course.

Surfing the Internet - HTC Desire Review
Surfing the Internet - HTC Desire Review
Surfing the Internet - HTC Desire Review

The HTC Desire features both HSDPA 7.2Mbps and Wi-Fi functionality. We do like the option that allows for local sharing of audio tracks and pictures over Bluetooth, a feature that is conspicuous in its absence with the HTC Hero (and all other Android-based handsets for that matter). If you need to be able to send over documents, you will have to get third-party software from the Android Market.

HTC Desire Review
HTC Desire Review


19 Comments
  • Options
    Close





Want to comment? Please login or register.

HTC Desire

HTC Desire

OS: Android 2.2 2.1
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
9Excellent
Display3.7 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (252 ppi) AMOLED
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S1, Single core, 1000 MHz, Scorpion processor
0.6 GB RAM
Size4.69 x 2.36 x 0.47 inches
(119 x 60 x 11.9 mm)
4.76 oz  (135 g)
Battery1400 mAh, 6.66 hours talk time

Latest stories