If you had read other reviews before reading this, you would probably have seen a lot of other reviews (and users) mentioned that the HTC Desire is basically a twin of the Google Nexus One. So, is the HTC Desire similar to the Nexus One? The answer would be yes. We can’t help to not notice that the differences between the two are minor. The HTC Desire simply features an extra 64MB of RAM (576MB compared to Nexus One’s 512MB) and the Sense UI which is preferred by most smart phone users.
The only metallic part of the HTC Desire’s body is the metal framing around the screen while the back portion is entirely made of plastic. The battery chassis is made of rubberized material which provides a sturdy congruity between the hand and the phone’s body. The cover is relatively hard to pry off because it curves easily. Furthermore, the SIM and microSD slots can only be reached by taking out the battery which proves to be rather inconvenient.
The 3.7 inch display utilizes AMOLED technology with WVGA resolution. The images provided by the screen are vivid and the contrast is astounding. The screen is brilliant indoors but the sunlight legibility could be better outdoors. The screen also utilizes capacitive technology. Due of this, it reacts to the simplest of touch.
Above the display we find the earpiece and two sensors (proximity and light). The typical buttons of any Android handsets are located below the display. They are the Home, Menu, Back, and Search keys. These are physical press buttons instead of capacitive keys. In between the keys, you will find the trackpad, which is not essential because you can get around easy with the touch screen.
The HTC Desire’s left side features slightly long and thin volume button and there is nothing on the right side. It is charged via standard microUSB port on the bottom part. The port also accommodates the data cable. There is a 3.5mm headphone jack and the power button located on the top side. The power button also functions as the screen lock key.
The main feature of the HTC Desire would be the Sense UI as previously mentioned. It runs on Android 2.1 and takes full advantage of the 1GHz processor’s performance. As a result, the pre-loaded Sense UI is faster and more fluid.
The Sense UI revolves around Scenes. They are essentially custom home screen setups; each scene changes the wallpaper and has a different theme (Home, Work, Travel, etc). The HTC Desire offers seven scenes which can host various shortcuts and folders. In addition to that, there is a “Helicopter view” function which shows all seven scenes at the same time. This function can be accessed by clicking the Home button or by “pinching” the screen. We do like this feature because it allows users to get right to a scene without having to scroll around.
The 3.7 inch display provides ample space to type away on the virtual screen keyboard of the Desire. Furthermore, it is available in several modes, including alphanumeric, compact QWERTY, and portrait QWERTY.
The Desire features both HSDPA 7.2Mbps and Wi-Fi functionality. The internet surfing capability is amazing. The function works smoothly and you can zoom in and out on things via the multi-touch function. This works hand in hand with the 3.7 inch size of the display as it is convenient for reading and shows the larger part of most pages.
It is also equipped with a 5MP camera with flash and the autofocus function. The camera is merely acceptable for daily use and allows instantaneous sharing of images over social networks if you are connected to the internet. However, it cannot replace your typical digital camera.
Unfortunately, the video shots does not support HD recording. It would be great if the Desire was capable of recording in HD but our expectations were a bit too high there. Speaking of videos, movies are a marvel to behold in full HD. However, the device does not support DivX and XviD formats, so we had to make do with MPEG-4 videos.
The Desire’s loudspeaker is pretty loud but the sound produced is overly sharp. While it will certainly wake you up in the morning with a loud alarm call, we do not advise listening to music with it. The sound through the headset that comes with it is not powerful but it is fit for minor use. If you happen to be a perfectionist who insists on audio quality, get yourself a set of proper earphones we say.
Pros and Cons
The intuitiveness of the Sense UI gives it high marks already! The incoming call quality of the Desire is fairly high. Also, there is Adobe Flash support for the browsers. The AMOLED display is fantastic and the overall speed and performance is terrific.
With a 1400mAh battery and power consuming AMOLED display, the Desire is able to provide up to 6.5 hours of continuous talk time and has an operational lifetime of 15 days on stand-by. If used moderately, charging is required at least once a day. This is below average in our books.
The Desire is a formidable rival for the Nexus One. The Desire has the slight upper hand but it is not as capable as promised. It boils down to the preference of the market users. It is even capable of beating the iPhone in terms of web browsing fidelity and performance.