HTC Desire Review

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  • Screen Quality

  • Battery Life

  • Features

  • Reception

  • Style

  • Value For Money

Ollsbols's review of HTC Desire

★★★★★

“Good Points: ”

Written on: 11/08/2010 by Ollsbols (14 reviews written)

Good Points:

Great screen (colour, resolution and touch)

Fantastic user interface (Sense UI)

Fast 1GB processor

Google SatNav

True Multi-tasking



Bad Points:

Battery life not brilliant but comparable with other similar phones

Speaker not the best



General Comments:

I have been using traditional 'smart' phones for some years. Sony Ericsson P800, 910, 990, P1i. On the whole they have been pretty good. The P1i being the best.

After using the P1i for 2 - 2.5 years I decided it was time for a change. Technology had moved on sufficiently that a new smartphone would be something radically different. The Nokias are all a bit plastic and feel cheap and nasty. I have never been a fan of the iPhone mainly because for me, its all about choice and control. I want my phone the way I want it. The HTC Desire seemed to major on this 'make it yours' in its advertising. I had also played with the Hero some time ago and was impressed with the Sense UI front end.

Functionally the Desire is a huge step up from anything I have had before. Its integration with the web, social networking and location is quite something.



However getting to grips with this kind of phone after having more traditional phones for years did take some getting used to.



Size:

It is of similar dimensions to any other smart phone. Nicely curved on the back with a rubbery feel that sits in the hand easily. It fits nicely into a trouser or jacket pocket with minimum bulge as it were.



Looks and build:

My views are mixed. Feels solid. Buttons on the front feel nice, responsive and of decent quality. The main case is plastic and is no better or worse than most other phones (it does not feel as quality as an iPhone). The back cover pops off to reveal the battery and SDCard and feels a little flimsy and cheap but does seem to perform ok. At least you can get at the battery (it is not an iPhone).



Starting up:

So when you start the phone for the first time you need to go through the setup process as with most phones. However in this process you will also need to create a Google account, enter your Facebook, Twitter, Flicr details. None of these things have to be done but if you want to make use of the full power of the phone it is best. I didn't have a Google account and I have only created it for the purpose of using the phone. I don't use it for email or anything else. It just sits there. It is used for access to the Android Market and for location based info and searches. After the 5 mins of setup you are good to go.



Battery life:

Well. When I first got the phone it was terrible (1/2 day). Now, having conditioned it and having learnt more about the phone it is better (1-1.5days). But still not anywhere as good as a traditional phone. Learning what runs on the phone, why, when, how much oomph it uses when it runs really helps. Do you need the weather to update every hour? Do you need Twitter, Facebook and email updating in real time? Do you need the screen on full brightness? Do you need Bluetooth on all the time? Etc etc. Learn what it does and how it works and the phone can be tweaked to really improve battery life.



Keyboard:

This is obviously not a hard key keyboard but an onscreen one. It is pretty good. I was unsure about the idea to begin with but very quickly got used to it. It seems to figure out what you are trying to type even when you hit the wrong keys. IT is pretty good (95%). Spelling the word the way you want rather than the way the phone wants is pretty easy. The size of the keyboard changes when you tilt the phone to landscape. It has feedback when each is pressed which really helps. Like everything on this phone there are loads of options to tweak and customise it to how you want it.



Screen:

Quite amazing. It is an AOLED. What it means does not matter. What you need to know is the resolution, contrast, brightness are the tops. Better than the HTC HD2 and the iPhone. Sensitivity wise it is spot on. You will have no snags there. My advice, get a screen protector. A few quid but with save your screen from scratches (I use Martin Fields protectors).



Connectivity:

WiFi

Bluetooth

HSDPA

Edge

GPS

All the usual. There is a widget you can put on one of the 7 home screens that allows you to turn these things on and off without having to trawl through menus. Brilliant.

Internet is lightening fast.

I have Bluetooth connected to speaker, laptop, headset all without issue.

Wifi connected to my home PC, office network and many other hotspots and so on. All without problems.



Camera:

5mp. Pretty good. Not a world beater but does the job. Takes good photos in daylight with digi Zoom and autofocus. Has a xenon type light but is only ok in low light.



Stability and speed:

It has not crashed or locked up once in 5 months. It has a 1GB processor so handles the most demanding apps and games. Never seems to lag. Occasionally has taken a moment to sort itself out but never more than a few seconds and has happened only 2 or 3 times.



Multi-tasking:

You can switch between open apps at the push of a button. It has true multi-tasking so surfing the web, cutting & pasting txt from the web & txt messages etc into an email at the same time whilst keeping a game open in the background is what the Desire does well.



Apps:

Loads of apps available from the Android Market Place (both free and pay). The phone allows you to download apps from anywhere (websites, emails, from your PC) not just the Market Place.



Office:

The phone can read Word, Excel, PowerPoint & PDF documents. No editing function but fine for reading. Have opened some pretty reasonable sized documents without any snags.



Some other features:

Can accommodate up to 32GB Micro SDHC

MP3 player

Video player

Easy sync with Outlook on the PC

Easy to back up

POP3 mail (I have it set up for my Yahoo account)

Radio



Conclusion:

After 5 months use I can say it is a great phone. There is so much you can do with it. Initially hard to get your head around but soon you come to realise it is more like a PC than a phone and you can do pretty much anything you like with it.

Maybe not as pretty as an iPhone but true multi tasking, great screen, 1GB processor, functionality, speed and stability all combined with the freedom and flexibility of an open operating system, peoples invention producing apps and games and Google's innovation.

  • Value For Money

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