Modern touchscreen phones – the showdown between Symbian, Windows and Android

Touchscreen phones are rocking the world. Let’s take a look at three of the coolest currently on the market.

Nokia 5530

Nokia

The first phone up is a totally new entrant into Nokia’s Xpress range of music mobile phones, the stunning Nokia 5530. This one’s quite obviously designed for music and video. Then, of course, the Nokia 5530 has a glorious touchscreen, to let you play with those different media files. Basically, the Nokia 5530 was designed to be a teeny portable jukebox and movie player, and as music phones go, this is just about the sweetest. The Nokia 5530 has also got a 3 megapixel camera, HSDPA data access and sat-nav, making it a wonderful all-rounder, as well as a superb media gadget.

Toshiba TG01

Windows Mobile haven’t been resting on their laurels, and the new fruit of their labours is the ultra-powerful Toshiba TG01. Not only does it have the biggest screen ever seen on a mobile phone, measuring in at 4.1 inches, but the Toshiba TG01 also has the most powerful processor put into a mobile phone. Dubbed Snapdragon, the 1GHz processor gives the Toshiba TG01 power, and lots of it, and since that’s what’s needed to let Windows Mobile live up to its full potential, the Toshiba TG01 is arguably the best WinMo phone that’s ever been announced.

One thing’s for sure, though, the Toshiba TG01 is definitely the most powerful phone on this list.

HTC Hero

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So, there’s the Toshiba TG01, which relies on raw power to make Windows Mobile truly awesome. And then, there’s the Nokia 5530, which wows you with its Symbian OS and its music playback. However, there’s an open source alternative to those two. Android is trying to take over the world, and its new home is the beautiful HTC Hero. It has all the good stuff that made the first Android phone (the G1) good, but puts it all in a touchscreen-only body, which is both sleek and sexy. Since the keyboard has been removed, the HTC Hero also has a full, onscreen keyboard, and a sumptuous new interface called Sense. You also get the Android Marketplace, which lets you download and install third party apps to your HTC Hero, and it ends up creating a smartphone that really can morph into whatever you want it to be. Based purely on that logic, the HTC Hero ably demonstrates just why Android is such a threat to the incumbent operating systems.

I am sure you have seen evidence of LG’s latest add campaign promoting there new Smartphone handset; the LG GT540 Optimus, it is a high powered social networking device with high speed web connectivity. The phone is app heavy and supplies you with apps for Wikitude, YouTube and links to Social networks. The advanced Android Smartphone has a media player, digital camera and FM radio tuner to satisfy the need for entertainment and location services are also covered with Google Maps pre-loaded into the GT540′s system.

Despite the South Korean company’s efforts to make the Optimus affordable it feels very well made and robust, the 320 x 480 3.0inch display is fully touch sensitive and responds instantly to swipe and tap finger commands; it is very bright and holds its own inside and out. Much like your PC desktop you can move, add and remove widgets on you home screen as you please, you can have access to your e-mail, web browser, media and contacts, direct inks to YouTube and social networks all from your home screen. The Android 1.6 operating proves to work well on the Optimus, games run very smoothly on the device, another outstanding perk is the Android Market; it has thousands of apps for games and other cool features ready for download, the Optimus gives you full access.

LG have pre-installed a Social Network manager which allows you to filter updates from just Facebook, just Twitter or both, Bebo has also been thrown in for the younger buyers. Both Facebook and Twitter clients enable you to send messages make tweets/status updates and handle your profiles; you can also integrate them with your phonebook so you can check out the latest SN activity there too. The E-mail application offers a pretty wholesome experience; setting up personal accounts sending and receiving mail, and opening attachments is generally a very smooth process. As the Optimus uses Google’s Android operating system the phone comes pre-loaded with Gmail and the GoogleTalk IM client. The slender curves on the top and bottom of the hone are a big factor in the messaging experience, when you take advantage of the screens accelerometer and flip the phone to landscape it is very comfortable to hold and the on-screen QWERTY keyboard has well sized keys for even easier typing.

LG have packed the Optimus with 3G network technology and Wi Fi for wireless hotspot web surfing; both are very reliable and are a contributing factor in the success of the phones web browser, LG are using the Dolfin Browser; it loads pages quite fast and the on-screen scrolling is very smooth indeed, unfortunately the screen is resistive so it wont support multi touch control but once you get used to the zooming system you will find yourself rocketing through web pages like a pro. Navigation wise the LG Optimus is well equipped with Google Maps and A-GPS, when combined pinpointing your location and planning routes is done in no time at all. The device has a 3 mega pixel camera which will take care of your attempts at photography and film making and the built-in music player comes well serviced with a 3.5mm jack for you to plug in and listen.

The LG Optimus GT540 is an affordable Smartphone experience; the user interface is easy to control and the Android OS coughs up loads of helpful features. LG have just about covered all aspects of modern day mobile phone requirements that buyers are asking for and its all wrapped up in a sleek well designed package.

T-mobile MyTouch 3G Slide Cell Phone Details

The MyTouch 3G slide is a sleek and excellent capacitive touch screen phone based on 2.2 Android operating system which is available in three colors, red black and White. The high resolution 5MP camera is the biggest advantage of this phone. It is the refined version of MyTouch 3G and G1. It is one of the best Android phones with great 8GB internal memory and slide out keyboard. The phone offers virtual text with Swype software which is usable in faster and accurate typing. The inclusion of distinctive three widgets such as Genius Button, MyModes and the Faves Gallery are viable for controlling the phone, emailing instant messaging and social network updates. The phone comprises of all latest gadgets like Wi-Fi, HSDPA, stereo Bluetooth connectivity, 3G, GPRS and much more.

The cellular phone plans is available with a variety of individual or family plans at T-Mobile stores. It’s time to upgrade your mobile phone to MyTouch 3G which is available with Android system, advanced technology and excellent display and high resolution camera.

Camera and Video

T-Mobile myTouch 3G

The cell phone is equipped with 5MP camera with high resolution 2592 x 1944 pixels and auto focus lens which is usable in taking nice shots and pictures. The user can upload images and videos to YouTube, facebook and other social networks through wireless connections.

Display

The 3G slide has an amazing display with bright and clear capacitive TFT touch screen of 3.4 inches, shows 65k colors and resolution of 320 x 480 pixels. The virtual full QWERTY keyboard can be used in both portrait and landscape mode. Accelerometer is helpful in rotating the images

Size and Weight

The MyTouch 3G slide is easy to carry device which measures 115.6 x 60.2 x 15.2 mm and weighs 164.4g.

Sound

The voice quality of MyTouch is excellent 3.5mm audio jack. The MP3 polyphonic ringtones are downloadable. The phone can be placed on vibration when user is engaged somewhere.
Talk time and Battery Life

The phone has a strong Li-Ion battery of 1300mAh with a maximum of up to 286 hours standby and 400 minutes in talk time mode.

Technology

T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide

The cell phone is embedded with three widgets which has made this phone an extraordinary device. The Genius Button is viable in surfing the net more quickly; My Mode provides its users different modes for work or home use. The Faves gallery provides a list of up to 20 favorite people and different ways to communicate with them. Apart from them it has other support system such as Bluetooth, GPRS, 3G, Wi-Fi and much more
Instant messaging

MyTouch 3G slide cell phone features multitasking capabilities and one-touch access to the Google services including Google Search by voice, Google Maps with Street View, YouTube, Facebook and Picasa. It also provides easy access to both personal and corporate e-mail, including support for Exchange, Gmail and most other POP3 and IMAP. It also combines instant messaging support for Google Talk AOL, Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live Messenger.

Unique selling points

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• Android system 2.2
• Strong camera
• Excellent messaging
• Marvelous display

On the Flip side

• Average battery life
• Difficulty in merging contacts from emails

Summary

MyTouch 3G slide is one of the best Android phone which is well equipped with all the latest widgets and features. It is a user friendly device for smart phone users. Its biggest advantage is its camera and bright display which was missing in Mytouch 3G and G1. The cell phone is multi tasking and multi features and is capable of fascinating its users.

The LG Optimus One Allows Further Apps To Be Downloaded Form Android Market

The LG Optimus One is a new smartphone featuring the Android operating system, digital camera, and touchscreen navigation. It is perfect for those who are looking for smartphone features on a budget as this is a handset which won’t break the bank.

The handset measures 11. 5x 59 x 13.3 mm, and weighs in at 129 grams. Therefore it is a lightweight and relatively compact device making it pocket friendly. The 3.2 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen is able to display up to 256K colours within the confines of it s pixel layout of 320x 480. This makes for great display quality of the on screen imagery. There is a built in proximity sensor as well as accelerometer sensor, the latter of which automatically rotates the contents of the user interface based on the angle at which the phone is held.

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170MB of available internal storage spec is available within the LG Optimus One. However further storage is available in the form of a micro SD card slot. This has a 2GB card already installed; however it is able to accommodate a card of up to 32GB. Therefore, users can easily store their digital music collection on their phone along with any other files such as videos or photos.

Class 10 versions of both EDGE and GPRS keep the LG Op  timus One connected to cellular networks at all times, whilst internet access is initially provided via 3G coverage. This is courtesy of an HSDPA connection which provides speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps. Wi-Fi offers an alternative method of internet connection, by taking advantage of the signals emitted by local wireless internet routers. This makes for a faster and more reliable internet connection. Additionally, Bluetooth and micro USB finish off the package of connectivity features.

The LG Optimus One is an effective camera phone. It comes with a 3.15 megapixel unit which has a high operating pixel resolution, resulting in clear, sharp images. Autofocus, face & smile detection and beauty shot mode are all included to instantly improve the quality of still images. As an added bonus, users can also shoot video in VGA quality at 18 frames per second.

LG Optimus Black review

The operating system of choice is Android 2.2 Froyo (upgradeable to later versions), which works in conjunction with a 600 MHz Qualcomm processor. These combine to create a fast user experience and a versatile user interface. Additional apps can be downloaded from the Android Market, infinitely increasing the potential of the phone on terms of productivity and entertainment. Social networking integration along with multimedia applications are all included as standard.

The versatility of the LG Optimus One puts it on the same level as many more expensive Android smartphones, making it an ideal alternative for those on a budget but do not want to sacrifice features.

The HTC Legend utilises Android v2.1 as its operating system of choice. The user interface, however is the manufacturer’s custom UI called HTC Sense. This is a highly customisable alternative which allows user to set a number of homescreens to their preference by adding apps and widgets of their choice. Up to 7 customisable homescreens can be set, and by pinching the screen they are all displayed in a thumbnail overview and can then easily be selected just by tapping the screen. Another feature of Sense is the FriendStream App. This consolidates the feeds from a number of sources such as social networking sites and messages, and displays them sorted by contact rather than source.

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The HTC Legend has a number of great entertainment features. The internal media player is versatile and supports a large number of different music and video file formats. A stereo FM radio player with RDS is also included as well as a selection of pre-installed games along with downloadable games from the Android Market. The Android Market allows users to browse and download thousands of Apps, similar to the Apple AppStore for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Social networking integration is a big part of the HTC Legend; however it also caters to business users and students thanks to a document viewer, organiser and voice memo recorder.

Budding photographers will love the 5 MP digital camera, as will people who simply like to take spontaneous snapshots when out and about. The resulting images of the camera are impressive thanks to the pixel resolution of 2592x 1944. Video of up to VGA quality can also be shot as an alternative to taking still images. A number of image enhancing features are included within the camera software allowing users to make changes to the way the camera operates, altering the resulting images.

Browsing the web is a pleasure with the HTC Legend. With pinch zooming and flash support, it is similar to surfing the net on a computer. For the fastest connection, Wi-Fi gives similar speeds to a broadband connection where available; however 3G provides respectable internet access at speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps via an HSDPA connection.

A long list of additional features is included, making it easy to see the potential of this handset. With its versatile functionality and customisable UI, along with its stunning looks, it is easy to see why the HTC Legend is such a popular smartphone.

Top 5 Coolest Uses for your Bluetooth Cell Phone

 

Did you know that the Bluetooth feature that came with your new cell phone has a lot more uses than just hooking up to a wireless headset? With a Bluetooth enabled cell phone, you can access the internet with a secure connection on your laptop – wherever you get a cell signal, use your phone as a digital camera, mp3 player, or just share your favorite files with friends and family. Now, its true that you can do these things before, but Bluetooth allows you to do it all wirelessly without the need for messy cables and connectors.

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However, not all Bluetooth phones are created equal. In order to do any of the cool stuff mentioned here, youre mobile phone has to support OBEX, which stands for Object Exchange. You see, the Bluetooth specifications allow for many different functions, such as connecting to headsets, sharing data, etc. One function the one were discussing here, is OBEX, which allows your phone to exchange data wirelessly with other devices. Now, a certain cellular carrier (whom we will simply refer to as V), along with a few other manufacturers, have chosen to cripple the functionality of their phones by deliberately disabling OBEX. They do this for a number of reasons, but the end result is, if your phone doesnt support OBEX, you cant do any of these cool things. So, the next time you shop for a new cell phone, you may want to first check to make sure your Bluetooth is not crippled in any way before making a purchase. (By the way, even if the manufacturer has disabled OBEX, it may still be possible for users to enable it do a web search to try and find a software fix for your phone. Of course, be aware that you may void your warranty if you screw up, so be careful!)

The top 5 coolest things you didn’t know you could do with your Bluetooth cell phone.

1) Use your phone as a wireless modem for your laptop – surf the internet by connecting wirelessly through your cell phone. This is my top pick. Why spend extra for a cellular modem and separate data plan when Bluetooth lets you use your cell phone to connect wirelessly to the web? Many cellular companies offer some sort of data usage plan – for just a few bucks extra per month, you get unlimited data transfers. So, by installing the right scripts in your laptop, you can configure it to connect to your cell phone with Bluetooth for instant, wireless internet access. The real beauty of this setup is that, since most people already carry their cell phones with them, they can get a secure internet connection wherever they get a signal, and not worry about carrying adapters or having a special modem card. Also, I feel much safer using my own connection anyway, rather than rely on open public hotspots especially when I want to access my bank accounts or other private sites. Every cell phone is different, so if you want to find out how to connect with yours, just google it. Try using the terms “how to use my (phone model) as a Bluetooth modem”.

2) Take pictures on your camera phone and download it to your computer – without having to search for a cable or adapter. With today’s camera phones packing as much as 3 or more megapixels, you may find it to be a very credible alternative to a standalone digital camera. So, the next time you’re on vacation, or out with friends, and you just happened to forget to pack your camera, chances are you probably have your cell phone. Just snap away, and when you’re done, use Bluetooth to download those pictures onto your laptop wirelessly.

3) Synchronize your contacts list with your computer – tired of manually entering all your names and numbers into your new cell phone? Just use Bluetooth to automatically synchronize your phone’s contacts list with the one stored in your computer. No more having to use your phone’s keypad to enter all that tedious information. What’s more, your phone probably comes with software to automatically keep your contacts list up to date whenever phone is placed near your computer

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4) Use your phone to play music, with stereo Bluetooth headphones – don’t have, or don’t want an IPod? Tired of carrying yet another gadget when you just want to listen to some music? Why not use your phone instead? Many come with slots for removable flash cards and music playback capabilities. Just pop a 4 or 6 GB memory card into your phone, and start downloading all those mp3s stored in your computer wirelessly, right to your phone. And, some of the newest phones also support stereo Bluetooth playback, allowing you to listen to your tunes with wireless stereo headphones.

5) Share your favorite pictures, songs, games, and ringtones stored in your phone with your friends by sending them wirelessly to their phone. Have a great ringtone, or some pictures you just took on your cameraphone that you want to share with a friend? Send it to them via Bluetooth, and never have to think about having the right cables to connect. Just make sure your friend’s Bluetooth is turned On and Discoverable, and start sending.

So, there you have it. Some of the most useful and fun things you can do with your Bluetooth cell phone. And remember – you can’t do any of these things unless your cell phone supports the Bluetooth OBEX, or file transfer, protocol. So, the next time you’re shopping for a new mobile phone, just be sure to check first before spending your hard earned cash. With all the benefits Bluetooth provides, it’s time for smart users to demand that manufacturers stop crippling our phones. Have fun!

Google Needs To Improve The Android Marketplace

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Way   back in June 2007, Apple launched the iPhone. Apple revolutionised the mobile phone world beyond recognition. The boys form Cupertino recognised that mobile phones did not need to be the same as every other phone but instead could become a multimedia centre full of music, video and additional applications to enhance the users enjoyment and ultimately make Apple billions in the process.

By doing this, Mobile phone companies had to stopped puffing on there big cigars in boardrooms all over the world and instead had to work for there Buck, Yen or Euro. In short, Apple had kicked started a Mobile phone revolution and customers liked what they offered. The game had changed and companies knew they had to adapt as customers now demanded more.

Apple continued to lead the field uninterrupted and without reply until Google decided to enter the mobile phone market in October 2008 when they launched the first of their Android platform in the form of the G1. With phones being built by Taiwanese company HTC, who have a big history of providing hardware running Window Mobile OS platform the history and strength was there to last within this competitive market.

The G1 got the foothold in the mobile phone market they required and Google have built on success and have got stronger with each new handset released. With a number of alternatives to the iPhone being rolled out with technology that is equivalent to and in some cases exceed what the iPhone can offer. With superior technology such as faster chipsets, greater handset with bigger and better spec’s than its rivals these are indeed good times for Google. However with all this enhanced technology and an improving reputation with the market, Apple continue to lead the pack and although the chasing pack are maintaining and in some cases gaining ground on them, why cant Google catch Apple?

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The reason for this and where Google should hang it’s head in shame is in the area of downloadable application.
Apps, apps, apps. The world of mobile technology is now full of apps. There is an application that can help from the moment we awake to the time we sleep. In short apps are everywhere. As Apple subtly put “Theres an app for that”. There is potentially an app for almost anything and everything.

The notion of an app is amazing and we can all think back now to what life was like without Mobile Phone apps. You can download a game of your choice, check the next train times. Hey, they pretty much can do anything and everything for us to make our lives more productive.

Having seen the Google Marketplace grow, from its launch in October 2008 the Android Marketplace has provided over 10,000 applications to download. In comparison to the Apple App Store whereby since its July 2008 launch date has seen over 140,000 apps designed for it.

In the game of poker which is comparing the apps on the platforms, I’m afraid to say that the App store is holding a full house. Currently, Apple do have strict guidelines to follow, maybe too strict, but by doing so keeps the quality of the applications submitted and released of a high standard.

However, the impression from the Marketplace is one of un-thought, slapdash and quantity over quality with a purpose from Google of getting as many applications into the Marketplace regardless of what these are.

These are not split by region, for example an application created for the Asian market, is shown in the UK. I admit, there would be many takers of these apps in the UK, but if that was the case then they would have advertised this for sale in Pounds rather than the Yen advertised wouldn’t they? By not having these split by region applications written in foreign languages make it difficult to understand whether this app would be useful. By releasing and sorting app’s by region would allow developers to tailor there app’s to different markets.

Furthermore, there are applications being released which are asking people to pay for referrals to websites which are freely available by opening the browser. Why would Google allow this? More to the point, would Apple all
lications which are both innovative and ground breaking and push the Android platform to its limit.

Having looked further at the Marketplace, there is now a trend for applications showing pictures both of famous people and of semi and nude photos. Is this the direction that Google wish to take the Android Marketplace? Do these infringe copywrite or trademark? If so, by doing this Google are openly allowing this by allowing these application through.

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Whilst there are many pluses and minuses for both stores, but taking the market assumption that Apple are the market leaders at the moment, Google must take a quick glance to see what they are offering and then take a look at their store to see where they can improve.

In conclusion, Google have the hardware in place, the operating software to a good standard but in order to become the definitive market leader, they will have to improve the quality in which they allow on to the platform otherwise Apple will be adding to both there billionth downloaded application and the millions earned through their app store.

HTC Desire

Introduction   

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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.

Design

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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.

Features

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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.

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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

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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.

Conclusion

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.