Tuesday, March 1, 2011

HTC Desire

We first saw the HTC Desire back in February at Mobile World Congress and were delighted to see HTC outfit one of its HTC Sense Android handsets with a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and a large AMOLED(INFO) display. Now we've managed to get our hands on a Desire to put it through its paces and see if it's a handset to be lusted over, or one to be loathed. Read on to find out what we thought of this exciting new handset.

The Desire was shipped with Android 2.1. HTC made an update to Android 2.2 (codenamed "Froyo") available on the following dates:

The HTC Desire is much the same as the recently released Google Nexus One handset, primarily because both handsets are made by HTC and share most of the same parts. There are a few discreet differences though - mainly the lack of the Nexus One's aluminum parts on the Desire's exterior and also the Nexus One's trackball, which has been replaced with an optical d-pad on the Desire. There are also software differences, such as HTC's fantastic HTC Sense user interface, which is mentioned on the back cover of the handset.
For those that don't know what the Nexus One looks like, the Desire is a large slab-shaped handset, like most touchscreen phones these days. As with many HTC Android handsets, the Desire has a very slight chin at the bottom, though this one is much less pronounced than on other HTC handsets such as the Legend or Hero. The whole rear of the phone is coated in soft touch paint that resists scratches and fingerprints well, and offers improved grip. This paint also surrounds the buttons that are located below the screen.
Those buttons serve the usual Android functions: the Home button, Menu button, Back button, and Search button. These are set either side of the new optical d-pad that we saw previously on the HTC Legend, as well. Around the optical d-pad is a silver ring that is used as the enter/select button for the d-pad. Above the display is the Desire's earpiece, and in the top of the display's black frame is a notification LED, plus an ambient light sensor and a proximity sensor. The screen itself is a large 3.7-inch AMOLED display, with a WVGA (480 x 800 pixel) resolution. It is also a capacitive touchscreen(INFO) display, and is used to control most aspects of the handset. Thanks to this capacitive display, the Desire is very responsive to touches and also features multi-touch in the web browser, email reader, photo viewer, and Google Maps.
Atop the Desire is a 3.5mm headphone port, which allows users to connect a regular set of headphones to the Desire, and the handset's power button, also used for sleeping and waking the screen. On the bottom of the phone is the microphone pinhole and a micro-USB port for charging and data. The phone's left side is home to the volume rocker, which is used for changing the ringer, multimedia, and earpiece volumes, while the right side is totally bare. On the rear is a shiny HTC logo, above which is the lens for the 5 megapixel camera and its accompanying LED flash. Next to the flash is the grille for the Desire's loudspeaker.
The HTC Desire measures a rather significant 119mm x 60mm x 11.9mm (4.7in x 2.36in x .47in) and weighs 135g (4.76oz). Although it's a pretty large handset (to accommodate the large screen), it's still pretty thin and doesn't feel that big in a pants pocket.

The HTC Desire (codenamed Bravo)[2] is a smartphone developed by the HTC Corporation, announced on February 16, 2010 and released in Europe and Australia in the second quarter of the same year. The HTC Desire runs the Android operating system, version 2.2 "Froyo". Android, version 2.3 "Gingerbread" update coming in May or June 2011. Internally it bears a strong resemblance to the Nexus One, but differs in some features.

The phone is powered by a 1 GHz ARMv7 "Snapdragon" processor, includes a 5 megapixel auto-focus camera and an optical trackpad, and was among the first consumer devices to feature a large, full-color AMOLED display.

During late Q2 2010, HTC made the decision to switch the Desire's display to a Sony "Super LCD" panel. Although this was brought on by a severe AMOLED panel supply shortfall, the new display greatly enhances text readability because of its improved effective resolution, one of the few complaints people had with the original Desire model.

Compared to the original AMOLED display, the SLCD display has more accurate color reproduction, far less susceptibility to burn-in, similar peak brightness and optimal viewing angles, but a lower contrast ratio.

The new SLCD display was claimed to have similar or better power efficiency compared with the original AMOLED display; however, this has proved to not always be the case because with AMOLED pixels' ability to completely turn off, black or dark pixels use very little power.[3] However, in situations when the screen is predominantly bright (such as when viewing many web pages), the AMOLED display uses more power.

The hardware is capable of high-definition (720p) video recording and playback.
[edit] Software

The Desire was shipped with Android 2.1. HTC made an update to Android 2.2 (codenamed "Froyo") available on the following dates:

    * Europe: August 1, 2010[4]
    * SE Asia: August 30, 2010[5]
    * India: September 1, 2010[citation needed]
    * US: February 8, 2011[citation needed]

HTC is releasing the Android 2.3 update (Gingerbread) in May or June 2011
[edit] Availability

In the United States, the device is available from, Alltel, U.S. Cellular,[6] Cellular South,[7] Cox Wireless, and United Wireless in southwest Kansas. In Canada, the device was released by Telus Mobility on 6 August.[8]

In Europe, the carriers are Elisa in Finland, Vodafone UK, Vodafone Ireland, Meteor Irl, T-Mobile UK, O2, Orange UK, 3, and Virgin Mobile UK. In Australia, it is exclusive to Telstra. In Japan, Softbank Mobile started sales in October.[9] In Turkey, Vodafone started sales in late November 2010.

In South Korea, SK Telecom began sales in May.

In Singapore, the official launch date was the 14th of May, 2010, and the phone has been up for sale by all carriers subsequently.

In mainland China, HTC launched its four flagship smartphones including the Desire on 27 July, 2010. Unlike in other markets, the device will be shipped with Android 2.2 ("Froyo").[10]

Many of the UK mobile networks have been unable to keep up with demand; Virgin Mobile UK, Vodafone UK, 3, T-Mobile UK and Orange UK are some of the networks experiencing very high demand.[11][12][13][14]. The ash produced by the 2010 eruptions of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland led to some customers waiting a month getting their HTC Desires due to much of the European airspace being closed.

In India, HTC and TATA DOCOMO, the GSM brand of Tata Teleservices Limited, announced a partnership to launch HTC Desire in India on 16 August, 2010.
[edit] Comparison with Nexus One
A Nexus One

The Desire internally bears a strong resemblance to the Nexus One. The differences found in the Desire are:[15][16][17][18][19][20]

    * A different body shell
    * An optical trackpad in place of the trackball
    * Hardware function buttons instead of touch-sensitive buttons
    * FM radio activated (FM radio in Nexus One is disabled by default but can be activated through hacked firmware)
    * No second microphone for enhanced noise cancellation
    * No dock pin connectors, instead micro-USB is used
    * 576 MB DRAM instead of 512 MB DRAM
    * Dual band HSPA/WCDMA: 900/2100, 850/2100 or 850/1900 MHz depending on vendor[21] instead of 850/1900/2100 Tri band
    * HTC Sense interface (not present in the Nexus One)
    * All support and updates directly through HTC rather than partially through Google

Because of the strong similarity to the Nexus One "developer phone", the Desire enjoys a highly active third-party developer community. The Desire subforum is one of the most active at xda-developers, and notably Cyanogenmod is available for the device.
[edit] Reception
HTC Desire, with Sense 2.1 interface

The HTC Desire has received extremely positive reviews. CNET UK reviewed the phone on 29 March 2010 and awarded the phone 9.2/10.[22] TechRadar awarded the phone 5 out of 5 stars and stated "In short, this is a phenomenal phone—one of the best we've ever had."[23]

From TechRadar's 'Top 15 best mobile phones in the world', the HTC Desire is simply the best so far: "It's like a Nexus One only better. For this reason, the HTC Desire has entered our top 10 at number 1, and the Google Nexus One has dropped out completely. It's tough at the top."[24]

MobileTechWorld found the HTC Desire to be a fairly capable product that "manages to please casual users with HTC’s flashy Sense UI and geeks who love to tweak their handsets on a daily basis thanks to the Google’s Android OS."[25]

HTC Desire won the "Phone of the year" award at the annual T3 awards in October 2010.[26]

Manufacturer     HTC Corporation
Carrier     Singtel, MobileOne, Starhub, Maxis, Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange, O2, 3, Virgin Mobile, Meteor, Telstra, SK Telecom, Softbank, Telus, U.S. Cellular, Vip Mobile, Cellular South, nTelos, Cox Wireless
Available     February 16 2010
Screen     3.7-inch 480×800 (0.38 Megapixels) WVGA AMOLED or Super LCD capacitive touchscreen
Camera     5 Megapixel autofocus with LED flash featuring Face detection capability and Geotagging
Operating system    

Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" Android 2.2 "Froyo"
Android 2.1 "Eclair" (shipped)
Input     Dual-Touch screen with HTC Sense interface, 3-axis accelerometer, digital compass, proximity and ambient light sensors
CPU     Qualcomm QSD 8250 1 GHz (Snapdragon) with AMD Z430 GPU
Memory     512 MB flash, 576 MB RAM
Memory card     up to 32 GB with microSDHC
Connectivity     Europe/Asia Pacific: HSPA/WCDMA: 900/2100 MHz [Model A8181], 850/1900 (Telus Mobility Canada)[Model A8182], 850/2100 MHz (Telstra Australia)[Model A8183]; GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz; Wi-Fi (802.11b/g); Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR; Micro USB
Battery     Li-ion 3.7 V at 1400 mAh
Physical size     119 (4.7) × 60 (2.36) × 11.9 (0.47) mm (inch)
Weight     135 g (4.8 oz)
Form factor     Slate smartphone
Predecessor     HTC Legend
Successor     HTC Desire HD, HTC Desire S
Related     HTC Desire Z
Other     Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, FM Radio, Facebook, Twitter, MS Exchange, compass, GPS, A-GPS, Google turn-by-turn navigation, Flash 10.1 enabled[1]

1 comment:

  1. HTC Desire is the first devices based on AMOLED display. HTC Desire has the LCD display. It is honored as "phone of the year" in 2010. It works on MSM8255 Scorpio processor. It has all of the great features.