Review: HTC Desire

Make: HTC
Model: Desire

By Mike Wheeler

Mobile vendors were behind the eight-ball when Apple’s iPhone hit the market three years ago, and most have been trying to play catch up ever since. Now a few are starting to make inroads and even get ahead of the pacesetter – one such company is HTC, and its Desire flagship.

Out of the box, the HTC Desire just looks and feels smart. It has a nice skin – both back and front, which is warm and inviting. When first turning it on, the brightness of its AMOLED screen just leaps out at you, and in the bright midday sun, you could still easily read messages, send emails, or surf the next with little or no glare.

It comes standard with seven different customisable home screens, whereby you can pinch the screen, so you can see all seven and choose which one suits. There is also a massive range of preinstalled applications including the very useful Friend Stream, which is a way of aggregating all your social networking sites under one widget. Most handsets released this year come with something similar.

Other preinstalled practical apps that caught my eye were news, weather, finance and music – although being a keen amateur (very amateur) astronomer the Google Sky Maps app was the coolest of all. That aside, it's worth remembering that there is supposed to be at least 50,000 Android apps available already, with a whole lot more to come.

Connecting to the internet is pretty straight forward, although I did find the lag time for initial set up slow. Once there though, it was all go with the wifi performing to perfection. Messaging and emailing were very easy, although it did bring about one little bugbear that I have with the unit in that the touchscreen is a little too sensitive for my likings. I’m not sure whether it is because I have clunky fingers or if the sensors under the screen are too delicate.

The unit has an ordinary five megapixel camera – I did notice a half second/second delay when hitting the optical trackball to take a picture. It comes with a micro-SD card, which is installed adjacent to the SIM card and battery in the back end. The card offers up 2GB of storage, which should be plenty to store those pics and camcorder files until you download them to your PC.

Overall, this is one top-end smartphone, that, with a few small exceptions, fits the bill perfectly if you are in the market for a handset that fits all your social, messaging and mobile communications needs. Some technical specs include a 1Ghz Snapdragon processor, 2.1 Android operating system, Bluetooth capabilities and GPS receiver.

Pros: Great screen, easy to navigate, Android O/S very user friendly, nice and light to carry around

Cons: Battery life could be better (especially seems to suck up the juice when using apps – more so than similar phones), touch screen a little too sensitive.

Price: Available on Telstra for various plans.

4.5 out of 5 Shacks