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HTC Desire HD Review

Apple’s iPhone is up against a new contender from the Android camp. HTC’s new Desire HD is essentially a modified version of the already successful HTC Desire, but comes with a larger touch screen, more storage space, an updated version of the Android OS and a host of improvements that should keep admirers of Android smartphones happy.

With a name like the Desire HD, you might expect the screen to be, well, high-definition. And if you’re to take that ‘HD’ you might be disappointed. Its WVGA display has a resolution of 800x400 pixels – and though the phone’s 8-megapixel camera has the ability to capture video at very high quality, it’s 720p rather than ‘full’ 1080p HD. Still, the Desire HD certainly should whet the appetites of those who appreciate high res visuals.

One consequence of that whopping 4.3 inch touchscreen is that HTC latest Android smartphone is big. Very big. It’s far larger than its predecessor, and bigger than many rival handsets like the iPhone. However, it looks and feels solid and as if it could survive some rough treatment.

The bigger screen also allows for more detail to be displayed, especially when looking at web pages. While it’s super-sized, the Desire HD still fits easily in your pocket – but it is edging towards the upper limits of what can reasonably called a mobile phone before straying into mini-tablet territory.

HTC has also done away with the click-buttons that used to adorn the facade of the Desire, replacing them with touch-sensitive buttons on the HD’s larger touchscreen, making the device look a lot more streamlined than before.

The Desire HD has hidden depths beneath those sparkling visuals, however. Web browsing is a lot lot faster than on its predecessor, which itself was fast. Sites are much easier to view with the bigger screen and look better with the phone’s improved resolution. In testing, we found Google Maps offered quicker loading times - which would seem appropriate, as HTC bravely promised “zero wait” and “zero dead spots”.

For the most part, the Desire HD’s Android OS with HTC Sense interface runs in much the same way as it did on the original Desire. There are little improvements to the menus here and there, but it’s a case of evolution and not revolution.

Lots of new HTC apps come ready-loaded onto the phone, including Locations, HTC Likes and a new Reader App, designed to tap into the growing e-book market. Of course, those who want something more than the basic range of apps supplied with the phone can customise their phone to their hearts’ content benefit using Android’s extensive app shop.

Sound quality and music playback are good. The music player app has been modified since the original Desire, allowing users to control playback from the notification bar - a very welcome improvement. The headphones provided with the unit are of decent quality, too.

HTC’s Desire HD is certainly a big step up from the original Desire. But with the recent release of the HTC Desire Z, we’re left feeling a little like this phone is bridging a gap between the old Desire and the Desire Z. That said, it’s an improvement on what was already a very good phone, with many welcome tweaks and updates.

This review was originally published on Techbuff (opens in new tab). You can read more about the coverage of the HTC Desire HD on here including the best contract, PAYG and unlocked prices.