HTC Desire S Review

Interface:

The HTC Desire S showcases the latest version of HTC's Sense spread over Google's Gingerbread. The old Sense has been a favorite amongst reviewers and consumers alike for some time now, and the new version - HTC Sense 2.1, like the phone in question is a general improvement in a few areas rather than a revolution.
 
With 7 home screens that can be customized and pinch functionality to overview these, the core HTC Sense experience remains virtually unchanged. Where you will see key improvements however are in performance and app / setting management. Performance improvements, specifically speed and stability have to be experienced to be appreciated, but are definitely noticeable.
       

As for the app and settings changes, the first we'll talk about refers to the app drawer. In Sense 2.1, the app drawer isn't free scrolling, but instead scrolls down in sections with 16 apps to a screen. This doesn't feel as fluid as the stock Android experience and is more akin to the iPhone, Samsung or Sony Ericsson experiences, which is a step in the right direction.  In addition, at the bottom of the app drawer screen is a bar with three icons: "All apps" displaying - you guessed it - all apps, "Frequent" - displaying the last 16 apps used, and "Downloaded" - showing all the apps you've downloaded. This system will save you wading through your app drawer.


Also new in HTC Sense 2.1 is the status bar, which when pulled down from the top, enables quick setting amendments to be made such as toggling Wi-Fi, tethering, Bluetooth and GPS.
 
There are extensive customization options, in the form of bespoke HTC widgets and "Scenes" offering preset environments to swap between.


The overall Sense 2.1 experience is therefore more intuitive than Android's stock offering and in turn gives the HTC Desire S the same mainstream appeal that spring-boarded the original to success. Improvements in social networking integration (Friend Stream), and contact management only add to the phone's likability.

Organizer and Messaging:

Contacts are managed in similar fashion to past iterations of HTC Sense and can be accessed through a dedicated widget or by pulling up the dialer. Once the dialer is up, type the corresponding numbers to letters and you'll quickly get to your contact. This tried and tested system is easy to navigate around and works well.
 

Beyond the standard Android organizer features, you will find the same HTC customization found on other Sense devices, with the bespoke widgets such as calendar, messaging and email being amongst the most useful, both improving functionality and better enabling you to personalize your phone.


Messaging on the HTC Desire S is a well integrated part of the HTC Sense experience. The widgets make accessing emails and texts quick and easy and the keyboard makes text entry a piece of cake. The HTC keyboard is definitely among the best found on Android, taking some key strengths from the iPhone keyboard, such as magnify upon press, and adding HTC's innovations to the mix. Therefore, with the 3.7 inch screen, we reached some pretty good typing speeds.



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20 Comments

1. big ballzer unregistered

still smokes the iphone! iphone is so dated. there is some secret society of fanboys that controls these cell phone news sites that has a golden rule of not elevating ANY cellphone above the ibore4. Almost like they are being played by the same set of rules as the news peeps. How ironic! don't you think?

5. bucky

Posts: 3778; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

why even mention it if it isnt on your mind?

11. PHONE_FREAK

Posts: 51; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

The iPhone is so dated, yet it keeps up with other current phones in terms of performance. The iOS is pretty boring, but you do have the best apps. That can't be argued. That's what most people care about - apps. Ever wonder why most phone comparisons involve the iPhone? It is a very solid device as long as your not talking purely specs. In the long run, specs only provide bragging rights if they don't improve the user experience.

2. dblue45

Posts: 77; Member since: Aug 26, 2009

What's up with phonearena and dual core chipsets? Gosh after they are released not having them just seem to a big downside for every phone!! What the heck?!! Normal 1 Ghz processors are more than enough for such phones to run smoothly!... SO Not having a dual core chip set isn't really supposed to be a disadvantage

4. loolcom

Posts: 13; Member since: Feb 15, 2011

If am buying a new phone I would rather pay some extra money and get a dual core phone ...... of course single core is not a down side but it is not an advantage point for a new phone

19. rawa989

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 01, 2011

You are right dblue... this phone is very tender and don't having dual core is not a cros.

3. foxstertail unregistered

"Sadly though, there's no shutter button, which makes taking photos a bit awkward." What's that? Sounded like an apple fell off its tree.

6. B unregistered

An excellenyt phone no doubt but for those with the origional desire and an upgrade immenent this is not gonna to do htc any favours as its pretty much the same phone. Luckily the joy of android is the large selection of options available for upgrades from lots of various manufacturers all looking to have the top of the range phone and thus android fans don't and won't have to settle forking out lots of money each year for a minimal upgrade like apple saps do.

7. RORYREVOLUTION

Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Dual core processors can't even live up to their potential until androids operating system is compatible. Which won't be for a long time and there is what only like one or two dual core phones on the us market right now? It's not like its standard on phones yet. Get over your dual core fetish and stop downgrading phones that come out today for features that won't be available until the future.

8. JC unregistered

I miss indoor samples with flash. Is one part of your reviews i love so much cos helps me figure out how good the camera is.

9. Markison22 unregistered

Data values, also known as Minecraft item ids are known as a list of blocks and other items in world,chests and inventory makred with numbers in Minecraft video game.http://minecraft-itemid.cz.cc/

10. Javad unregistered

What is your obsession with dual core processors about ?!

12. PHONE_FREAK

Posts: 51; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

People think that more is always better. Just like with cameras, there is more to a phone than numbers. Some people just don't understand that. I'm not bashing Phonearena. It is natural to want the phone to keep up with the current rage in high end devices. That rage is now dual core processors, even though they don't really add that much to the experience yet.

13. nishant unregistered

I got the delivery one day before the committed date. However, that's where things started going bad. The handset I received, would not start for full 30min. It kept rebooting. Even when it could boot properly once, the phone kept crashing and rebooting every few minutes. This is not exaggeration! SO much so that within 3 hrs of delivery, I had made up my mind to return it. For the next 2 days till i got the Dead on Arrival certificate from HTC service center, the OS kept crashing though the frequency came down. Some contacts would randomly disappear from phonebook. SD Card data would appear and disappear at its own will as well! Even the Dead on Arrival certi was not easy to obtain. The service center person was trying to act funny and asking me to deposit the phone with him for a few days, so that they could check and repair the phone! This is going to be my first and last HTC handset ever! I just hope that Flipkart returns my money in time and doesn't add to the horrible experience!

14. nishant unregistered

I got the delivery one day before the committed date. However, that's where things started going bad. The handset I received, would not start for full 30min. It kept rebooting. Even when it could boot properly once, the phone kept crashing and rebooting every few minutes. This is not exaggeration! SO much so that within 3 hrs of delivery, I had made up my mind to return it. For the next 2 days till i got the Dead on Arrival certificate from HTC service center, the OS kept crashing though the frequency came down. Some contacts would randomly disappear from phonebook. SD Card data would appear and disappear at its own will as well! Even the Dead on Arrival certi was not easy to obtain. The service center person was trying to act funny and asking me to deposit the phone with him for a few days, so that they could check and repair the phone! This is going to be my first and last HTC handset ever! I just hope that Flipkart returns my money in time and doesn't add to the horrible experience!

15. ryq unregistered

people like to bash iphone and yet its selling like hotcake. it could sell even more if not for the hefty price. it just goes to show that majority of people buy phones dont know anything about single core or dual core or whatever, most dont even care as long as it looks good and majority are swept away by good ad campaign.

16. tanknelson unregistered

When will it hit the USA? And will it go to sprint? Please say yes to both of them.

17. Alodeh unregistered

I boought the desire s 10 days ago, I already had a few problems with it. The battery drains very fsat no matter what I do, even with the app killer app. most of The applications on the android market are incompateble, including skype for android. 5 days after I bought the device it stopped charging. Know my set is with dealer for the past week and no news. Overall a very poor device and very poor aftersale support.

18. ss unregistered

This phone has been one of the best handsets ive used and trust me ive had many. Its a direct rival for iphone4 and even beats it in some ways. Camera isnt as good as iphone4 however plus only cmes with 8gb card. The price is half of iphone4 where im from so its a no brainer for me. For those who complain about battery life, stop watchng porn videos 24/7 please. Im a moderate to hard user and gets about 2-3 days wthot charging. I dont use a task killer as the phone hasnt been laggy ever.

20. ZIZO unregistered

IS IT HD ?
Desire S
  • Display 3.7" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S2, Single core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 1 GB
  • Battery 1450 mAh(7.25h 3G talk time)

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