back to article HTC Desire

Much has been made of the fact that the HTC Desire is really Google's much-touted Nexus One under the hood. But, truth be told, despite HTC's considerably lower profile among the general public, the Desire has several features that mark it out as superior not just to Google's smart phone debut, but also to the vast majority of …


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  1. BasilF
    Thumb Up

    I want one

    I want one

    I want one

    I want one

    I want one

    I want one

    I want one

    I want one

    I want one

    I want one


  2. Ryan Barrett

    iTunes sold me on Android

    The fact that iTunes is a prereq for the iPhone is the reason I've not bought one. Unless you use a single PC and have the patience of a saint and don't see the need for backups then iTunes is a horribly broken mess.

    Hate to think how much it fails when you try and use two devices (iPod/iPhone) on the same PC.

    So yeah, not being forced to use iTunes is a big selling point for Android :)

  3. Andy 97
    Thumb Down

    What? No gapless playback?

    Sounds like a great phone, but no gapless playback of media files?

    How hard is it to put this feature into their media player?

  4. D@v3


    If I was having any problems with my iPhone 3g, which I'm not, I would be very tempted by this.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Surely not...

    "it beats the iPhone..."

    Have we at last found the ... the... iPhone killer?

    and the author didn't even use those words in the title!

    Kudos to him, I am renewing my subscription immediately!

  6. Rob Crawford
    Thumb Up

    Hmmm Desire

    It isn't normal for me to have the newest device as phones et al are utility devices to me, however I got my Desire just over a week ago and I am incredibly happy with it.

    I strikes me as being everything the iPhone should have been (and more).

    Unlike my experience of the iPhone the actual phone performance is excellent and the battery performance is much better too (with the option of battery replacement).

    I was very pleased with the camera considering the tales of other HTC devices.

    Audiowise for playback I find it considerably better than my iPod touch (original version) or my daughters 2nd gen device both of which have a constant hiss through decent headphones (UE SuperFi 5s), no it's quiet, and I have no issues with a flat eq (the UE phones create enough depth for me)

    Any complaints:

    battery life after 11 days I still have the desire to fiddle with it & murder the battery though I can get (almost) 2 days if I only use it as a phone & email device

    Touch screen is very sensitive and screen can act weird because the fingertips of my phone holding hand is just brushing the screen.

    1. Tim Cook
      Thumb Down


      This is how much it fails with more than one device on the same PC --><--

      Believe it or not, it recognises that they're two different devices and treats them accordingly. Each gets their own sync settings, etc. For true independence you can of course have two or more distinct iTunes libraries on the same PC by simply having separate user profiles. You can also share libraries across more than one PC on your network using iTunes sharing.

      Gosh. How difficult.

    2. Studley

      Re: What? No gapless playback?

      As oppposed to all the other phones which offer gapless playback?

      (No, serious question. Are there any that offer this? I've not exactly seen any handsets where this is yelled out as a killer feature.)

      1. Jerome 0


        Surely that's the whole beauty of Android - if something doesn't work how you want, someone will write an app to sort it. If there isn't already a media player on the Android marketplace that does gapless playback, I'd lay money that there will be soon.

    3. Law
      Thumb Up

      another +1 respect points to author for not putting iPhone in title! :)

      that is all.

    4. Paul Boocock (UK)
      Thumb Up

      Better Android Battery Life

      Download JuiceDefender from the Market. It does wonders for your battery life.

      If I only use my Motorola Milestone lightly with JuiceDefender turned on, I can get almost double the usual battery life. I'm sure it would have a similar effect on the HTC Desire.

      The heavier you use your device, the less effect JuiceDefender has. It saves battery by doing clever (magic?) things whilst your not using your phone.

    5. MattyB
      Thumb Down

      Do Some Research

      Your comment is ill informed at best.

      It is Possible to share an iTunes library over multiple PC's/Macs.

      You don't need the patience of a saint, I've found iTunes to work flawlessly with my 3 iPods (Classic, Touch, Shuffle).

      You can backup the library, and export it directly from iTunes as well.

      iTunes is not perfect by any means, but do your research before you start attacking it. You not knowing how to make a piece of software do something, is not the same as the software being incapable of doing it.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      @Ryan Barrett

      Uh-oh, now you've done it.... you've gone and woken up all the Apple Fanbois. I'm gonna sit back with some popcorn and watch the fanbois' flames that are going to be heading in your direction.

      On a completely different note, are you related to Dave Barrett, who used to be a DJ on GWR radio when I was a kid?

  7. Geoff 3


    I've had mine for since Saturday and I'm very pleased with it after 18 months with my rooted G1 and its extended battery.

    I've found it to be as customisable as the G1, have ditched the Sense UI for the more Nexus-like HelixLauncher and have got it running the way *I* want it to. The battery life could be better, but then I could say that of any phone I've owned in the last five years.

    Its a great phone but no doubt there will be another one along soon!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    iTunes sync

    Download an app from the market called iSyncr - you can then happily sync your (DRM free) music and videos with iTunes. I've been running it on my Milestone for a while - made the transition from iPhone to Android a piece of cake.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Are we there at last?

    We finally have good smart phone hardware that free of the evil three (In decreasing order of evilness - Google, Apple and Microsoft).

    Now I'm guessing software wise this is pretty free from the tentacles of Apple and Microsoft but what about google? Is Android 2.1 truly open source? Can I be sure my details remain mine if I use this phone or would I need an alternate Android build? Can Sense run on alternate builds? Can I geotag without google? Navigate without google? Browse and search without google? Chrome needs an immediate uninstall obviously and I'm afraid my faith in Opera is shaken by their current sponsorship arrangement. Is there a Mozilla for Android?

    Gimme links people.

    AC because obviously I'm paranoid.

  10. Robert Grant


    First phone to sound better than the iPhone, yet no mention of an iPhone killer. Where's the hype, Reg?

  11. Flenser

    So...'s just the HD2 with a different OS (hidden behind the Sense UI and a smaller screen then, yeah?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Android has arrived

    Had the Desire for over a week and its an impressive Smartphone. Quick, fully featured and lots of useful apps from the Android market place. Only downside is the battery life - not as good as the HD2. But the Desire provides a better overall experience than the HD2 and that AMOLED screen and great sensitivity are key factors in making the Desire better. Hopefully HTC will make a Pro version with a keyboard (or I could use a BT keyboard I suppose!).

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    best phone?

    >Arguably, the best Android smartphone around

    but is it "Arguably, the best smartphone around" ?

    1. Rosco


      That's a bit like saying "so it's just a Land Rover without wheels and different buttons then, yeah?" The detail of the 'different OS' turns it into a completely different device, from the notification system to the market to the homescreen widget system.

    2. Tim Cook


      How can it possibly be free of Google, it runs their OS! And yes, it's tied into their apps - you can use others, but you can't get away from theirs.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Better than the HD2

      The AMOLED screen and sensitivity mean using the Desire is a better experince and I prefer my Desire over my HD2.

    4. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      But can we ditch WinMo on the HD2?

      I have an HD2, and find it fantastic - yes, even Windows Mobile is usable on *that* screen, however I've always been curious what Android is like in daily use. Considering that the HD2 and Desire seem to be essentially the same HW, I'm wondering if some people smarter than me can port the Desire ROM to the HD2?

      Must be possible - shurely?

      Pint because anyone that manages it gets one from me...

    5. Jerome 0

      best phone

      Well, Android is arguably the best phone O.S. around, so yes - let's just say that the Desire is hands down the best smartphone ever.

  14. Jerome 0
    Thumb Up

    Desire: the best smart phone ever

    I've been waiting a long time to say this (and posted many a critical comment on the smart phone reviews you've published in the mean time) - this is a *great* phone. So much so that I bought one on the day of release.

    The one and only criticism I have of it is the battery life which, in my experience, is more like "just about lasts the day with heavy use" than the day and a half you quoted.

    The camera is also great, despite the rather luke-warm reception you gave it. I'm sure there are better phone cameras out there, but the quality on mine is brilliant - it's in a different league to the rather poor camera on the iPhone 3GS.

    The screen looks beautiful and is highly responsive, and the UI is smooth as silk. It's a good size too, ideal for surfing, yet the device still feels eminently pocketable. They've even nailed some of my pet design annoyances with phones - there's a standard 3.5mm socket for headphones, and a standard micro-USB socket for charging and PC connection. I love it.

  15. Him over there ↗
    Thumb Up

    Glad to hear it.

    Mine should arrive in the next day or so.

    The past 18 months with an iPhone 3G have been reasonable, but really only as an eye-opener as to what really should be possible with a truly smart phone.

    Looking forward to making it mine.

  16. OffBeatMammal

    was that a camera or a smartphone review? :)

    okay, so a full page given over to photos and no word about if it supports full Exchange sync (calendar, contacts and email, security policies etc) or what the real world battery life is like.

    looks like a really nice device though

  17. Skip

    Desire finally drew me into the smartphone world

    Internet on the go (whether WAP, smartphones or mobile broadband dongles) had never interested me before now and all the smartphones I saw fell short of what I wanted. Nothing in particular against the iPhone, but when I tried it I was nice but no wow factor (for me). Though it did help in popularising the smartphone in non-techie circles, and more competition and choice is always good.

    There was something about the Desire that interested me even when just looking at the specs, and so I gave in and got one last week. I've not got much to compare it with, apart from playing with friends' iPhones/other smartphones, but I'm certainly sold on it. Good solid hardware, good spec, very flexible and with a simple option to all the installation of non-marketplace apps. The screen is gorgeous, very fine and clear. And standard connections! Hallelujah!

    All I'm waiting for now are the Dropbox and GoogleEarth apps - the former should be out in the next couple of months, and for some reason I can't seem to get the current version of GoogleEarth working, even though it's compatible with the Desire's almost-identical-sibling, the Nexus 1.

    Oh yes, and it's silly I know, but I also love the (brief) indication of current weather on the screen when you start it up (e.g. clouds passing by or raindrops on the screen which are then cleared away with a windscreen wiper). Useful when waking up, barely glancing at it and then deciding to crawl back under the duvet...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Exchnage sync okay

      Yes it does support Exchange (using Activesync) and will sync email, contacts & calendar and supports security policies (one that forces yu to have a PIN lock on the phone). You can buy other sync solutions that will cover To Dos as well.

      1. Ossian
        Thumb Up

        Great Phone.. Great UI... Great Activesync

        I just love my HTC Desire. Our company policy is no Android phones however as this one has the enhanced Exchange support (thanks HTC!) I am now getting Push mail from Exchange, my Calender, and Contacts on the move. To me this is invaluable. I had tried other android phones but they were slow and the touchscreens were inaccurate and unresponsive.

        The only quible is that the Apple appstore is currently better than the UK selection on the Android Market. However the overall performance of this baby makes it a great buy!

        The only thing I miss is not having access to my Notes in outlook. Still it's a small loss on what is a fantastic phone with a great browser.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Google Earth

      I have installed Google Earth on my wife's Desire from the market. It is a t-mobile phone and worked without issues. However, I prefer google maps to GE and still trying to see what am I missing in my judgement :)

      1. Rattus Rattus

        re: Google Earth

        I'd have to agree, Google Maps is more useful and more CPU (and therefore battery!) friendly. However, I put Google Earth on my Nexus One anyway, 'cause it's just more FUN than Google Maps. That's what Earth has over Maps.

  18. sleepy

    best geek phone? yes, for now

    It's nearly a year since the iPhone 3GS, and unfortunately for HTC it's the next generation iPhone this will most often be compared with. But it's nice to finally see a worthy iPhone competitor. RIP Nokia, RIM.

    1. Mick F

      best geek phone? yes

      Interest in the iDon't is stumbling and it is not a geek phone - it is only a fashion accessory.

      The great thing about Android - no Apple thought police!!! No lock in to iTunes and a simple setting to be able to install what you want from wherever you want.

      Get fed up with the look & feel of the OS then it is simple to root & replace with a different developers ROM, not just stuck with the same tired interface with lots of pages of icons and iAd's to make things worse.

  19. batfastad
    Jobs Horns


    This looks seriously great. If only it had FLAC support though, yeah I know I'll never get the benefit of listening to FLAC from a phone with even £40 earphones, but it would save me effort of converting to MP3 when putting new music on there.

    But with FLAC this could replace my aging Meizu Miniplayer music player and my aging SE P1i phone.


    1) Can I run old Java apps on Android (like TrekBuddy for my 1:25k OS Explorer maps)?

    2) Can I tether it via Bluetooth and use Dial Up Networking to get my netbook on the internet when out of Wifi?

  20. paul 97
    Thumb Up


    After breaking my iphone I opted for an android rather than get a new iphone was because of iTunes.

    It is such a horrible bloated piece of control crap - why so may people adore the fruit company that came up with that mess I will never know.

    1. Matt2012

      Yes to both

      You have a number options - there is beta version of trekbuddy for android

      But I use RMaps and have downloaded os map tiles using the Mobile Atlas Creator so I have offline os map.

      You can use pdanet for bluetooth or usb tether

    2. Dafydd Lawrence

      RE: Sold!

      1) You can't run java apps directly but they are usually reletively easy to port. TrekBuddy is available for android (however I prefer Rmaps).

      2) Don't know about bluetooth tethering as I only have the Hero which doesn't yet have the new 2.1 profiles, but that can do tethering via USB (built in with no need for an app). It doesn't use DUN it uses NDIS ans so just shows up as a network adapter and you don't need to do any configuration apart from have the HTC drivers installed - works flawlessly.

      1. frymaster

        re: network tethering

        and, I might add, it works with similar flawlessness on linux :)

        but yeah, it'd be interesting to know what's possible with bluetooth on the new hardware / new OS

  21. Law

    can somebody with the phone tell me...

    ... if you make a call using a handsfree bluetooth device, once you end the call, does the phone then leave itself unlocked in your pocket??

    That is the only massively annoying bug on the Hero, that I'm hoping is fixed mid-April with the update, but I'm interested in the Desire, so would need to not be a problem on that too.

    Thanks for anybody running the test! :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No unlock after BT connection

      Happy to report that the phone remains locked after taking a call using a BT headset. In addition, the AD2P sound quality the best I have heard.

      1. Law

        thanks! :)

        Looking at upgrade packages now! :)

  22. Monkey


    ... no it's bloody well not. Having used both devices I can honestly say that is possibly the most ill informed comment I've seen in here for quite some time.

    1. Flenser


      You haven't really elaborated there, have you.

      So what did I get wrong: the Desire has larger screen than the HD2? Different hardware? It's not Sense UI overlaid over the OS? What?

      I think my post was factually correct from what I have seen.

      1. Rosco

        @Flenser: What you got wrong

        What you got wrong is that the OS makes a massive difference. Android (with or without Sense UI) is a fundamentally different OS to Windows Mobile (with or without Sense UI) and that makes the two phones extremely different to use. The notification system is very different, the homescreen widget system is very different and - crucially - the available 3rd party apps and distribution model (Android Market) is very different. There is also a wealth of smaller differences in the basic UI structure that make them totally different to operate.

  23. Gordon861

    Xperia X10

    It will be interesting to see this phone when compared to the Sony that should be out any day now. That's the only thing delaying my move to a smartphone now.

  24. Logicalstep

    umm any chance?

    I know it's a smartphone, but it still has phone in the title, so any chance you could give us a clue as to how it operates as a phone?

    Not one mention in the review, I know it should be taken as red that it works on as a phone but, I have the Touch HD which is great at being smart, but crap at being a phone!

    Call quality ok?

    Signal ok?

    Speaker phone ok?

    Does it cut out when switching between 2.5g and 3g like my Touch hd?

    Many thanks

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      As the review says, great phone as well!

      Call quality similar to best of Nokia and SE. Gets a signal where my SE W960 does not get a signal! Not noticed any major issues with regard when switching between HSPA/3G/Edge & GSM.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No multi-touch

      Main issue with the X10 - no multi touch!


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