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Thursday, May 20, 2010

HTC Desire Review

I’ve had my Desire about month now having finally stumped up for a new phone after my G1 had an accident with a toilet.  My two and a half year old N95 had served me well as a temporary replacement, but once I had played a little with the Desire, I knew their was finally a phone worth getting rather than waiting for my htc-desire-540x334next upgrade.

The Iphone had always been appealing for me as I had been taking both my phone and iPod touch to work to serve my needs, an Iphone would have meant needing just one device for all my mobile, music, internet and apps needs.  However, at around £800 for a SIM free 32gb Iphone, the cost is rather prohibitive. In fact, while the Iphone is a great piece of kit, it is probably the worst value for money phone on the market.  Enter the HTC Desire at less than half the price.

The first thing to note about the Desire is the responsiveness of the screen, it incredible.  I loved the qwerty keypad on the G1, and find most touch screens an inadequate replacement for a proper keyboard.  My iPod touch is pretty good but the Desire blows even this out of the water, particularly in landscape mode where I find I can type almost as fast as on my laptop.  The only bugbear is the predictive option, which if you’re not careful can replace the word you typed with something else.

As for the rest of the interface, I also found Android very easy to use.  HTC’s sense interface doesn’t get in the way of this, and even serves to enhance it in some areas. You get seven, yes seven different home screens allowing the use of plenty of short cuts and widgets to both personalise and enhance the user experience.  Friendstream is particularly useful for helping keep track of tweets and Facebook all in one place, while both have separate apps given greater functionality when required.

The camera is amazing and produces brilliant clear images. One I have taken of a starfish on beach and set to my wallpaper is so good people think its a professionally produced wallpaper that came with the phone, and all I did was point and shoot with the default settings.


(Starfish on Skegness Beach, photo taken with HTC Desire)

Apps are plentiful and often free. My picks so far include Shazam, Spotify, beebplayer, the very addictive Robo Defense and Google Goggles which lets you take a picture and then produces Google search results based on the image taken. Another can’t do without app is the barcode scanner.  On its own its nothing to really shout about, but when used by other apps its a whole new ball game. Take Calorie Counter as an example, just scan the product barcode for food/drink and it will show you the nutritional information of the product and add it to a food diary so you can keep track of what you’re eating.

The pick of the apps though is the recent update for Google Maps which now gives FREE voice navigation, meaning the phone doubles up as a fully blown Sat Nav with no need to download (or pay for) any additional hardware or software.

I could go on about how good I think this phone is, but really I would just recommend you try it for yourself, I’m sure you will agree its a great piece of technology.  Your reasons may be different such is the versatility of the phone, but non the less, you’ll have to admit its an amazing phone.

(Official HTC Desire webpage)

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