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HTC Desire

HTC’s latest flagship mobile phone arrives carrying the appropriate name of Desire, where the uptake for the device merits its moniker – if sales are anything to go by.

The Desire looks and feels very much like another of the company’s recent handsets, the stateside Google Nexus One. The HTC Desire is running the current version of Google's Android OS, although version 2.2 on its way very soon. Desire has a very fast 1Ghz processor, with a large 3.7-inch 480x800 AMOLED capacitive touch screen which is very responsive and great to use. Although the AMOLED screen isn’t that great in bright sunshine, where the older LCD TFT screens can show more detail if placed side by side with the Desire – indoors it’s a whole different story.

HTC runs its own UI on top of Android called HTC Sense, which first appeared on the Hero handset and now battles with Motorola's MotoBlur and Sony Ericsson's User Experience on features. Sense has a much more easy-on-the-eye user interface than the basic Android OS, with seven customisable home screens as opposed to the standard three. It’s a decent overlay to Android, but those other mobile manufactures offer more functionality than HTC, where after a year not much really has changed since the Hero’s version.

Sense comes with HTC Friend Stream, which rolls up all the Twitter and Facebook updates into one column. The Motorola MotoBlur with its Happenings and TimeScape by Sony Ericsson has the same social networking abilities, only they are much better worked into Android and therefore come across much more thoroughly integrated. The Desire does have the multi-touch ‘pinch-to-zoom-to-in’ feature, also it has the natively ability to view Flash content which isn’t on many mobile phones around today, such as the Apples’ iPhones.

The address book on the HTC Desire is one of its better features, as it pulls in all the contact information automatically from the likes of Facebook, Gmail, Hotmail and Twitter then thoroughly integrates them all together in an intelligent way. This is thanks to both Android and HTC Sense, working in partnership to achieve the integration that works really well.

Battery life isn’t the strongest feature of the Desire, where the phone doesn’t really make it through a normal 8 hour day with all the social networking features enabled. HTC has used a 1400mAh battery instead of a 1500mAh version, which isn’t expected on the larger flagship handsets where you will see the red battery warning level appear more frequently than not.

Bottom line

The HTC Desire is a name-worthy mobile phone with a very responsive touch screen that is both large and bright, although viewing in direct sunlight lets it down. Also letting it down is that HTC Sense overlay is now looking a little dated, as compared to MotoBlur and the battery life can be bothersome too – although you can limit the features, allowing the phone to last to the end of the day. The new Android 2.2 version is arriving on the phone soon, which hopefully could bring better features to HTC Sense.

Originally published at

Rob has worked in the affiliate industry for many years with large publishers, and previously worked as a journalist on titles such as Wired, PC Magazine, ITProPortal, The Register, The Inquirer, Pocket-Lint, Mobile Industry Review, Know Your Mobile and The Gadget Show.