HTC Desire

htc-desire-540x334 Is this the year for everyone to think twice about the supreme dominance that is Apple? Is this yet another fairytale story featuring the glorification of the supposed ‘iPhone’ killer? A handful of ‘Palm pre’ owners nod unconvincingly. No. This time, a new challenger awaits in the form of the HTC Desire.

Firstly, it weighs in at about the same as the iPhone, but is actually smaller by just a few millimetres. The abrupt wedge end is designed to fit snugly in the hand during a call and has since been refined, now making it ergonomically superior to the Hero. It also goes out of its way to introduce the inexperienced user into the smartphone nexus by giving you several ‘real’ buttons and a touch sensitive navigation scroller, although I personally prefer the trackball from the Hero.

Most importantly, it is deep within the heart of the beast that demands a second glance. The synergy of the Android 2.1 OS and 1ghz Snapdragon CPU allows a smooth user interface that responds intuitively to your touch, thanks to the HTC Sense software. The 5MP camera has seen a remarkable overhaul, obviously in response to feedback regarding the Android’s simple ‘point and click’ limitations. The quality here cannot quite match the best of the rest, but given the correct lens would not be far off in my opinion.

Everything you could ask for is right here; 3.5mm jack, FM radio, Google maps, Wi-fi connectivity, MP3 ringtones, and so the list goes on… The 3.7 inch AMOLED screen is perfect to view images and internet pages, whilst we also see a welcome return for the ’send via Bluetooth’ option. Unfortunately, the battery life is a little mediocre and the screen awkward to use in direct sunlight, but this is surely a common problem amongst most, if not all smartphones on the market.

The iPhone has developed its own unique style of presentation. Everything is clean, smooth, and eye-catching. The Sony Ericsson X10 has a dreamy, almost hypnotic background, combined with an almost seamless fluidity. It is therefore able to bring everything from Facebook, Twitter and Spotify together into the ‘Timescape’ app, which is admittedly slightly flawed. However, the Desire seems to have missed out on this sense of flair and instead of making you the envy of your friends, distinctly lacks the ‘wow factor’ and it’s obvious that HTC are well aware of this. For example, the tab icons in contacts and messaging have been replaced by more colourful versions, whilst the settings have been compartmentalized with impressive icons that quickly define where you want to go. Unfortunately, it still suffers from the default graphite display and its rather unsuccessful ‘a to b’ functionality.

If you are content with the aforementioned flaws, you can still find everything and more that you need from a phone. What the competitors have done is made the ‘big’ apps accessible from the moment you turn on the phone. You will never need to find the big three: Facebook, YouTube or Twitter because they will already be staring you in the face!

In recent times, the Android market has been revamped, now boasting a range of apps that is starting to rival those of the iPhone. This marketplace is fast becoming a battleground for the heavyweights. Based on purely empirical evidence, this phone is surely up there with the best in the business in terms of both quality and functionality.

In conclusion, what you have in the Desire is a smart phone by its purist definition. Instead of doing what you are told, you can do WHAT you want, WHEN you want it, and who doesn’t want that?

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