After a gruesome wait for almost 6 months I finally was able to get my hands on my HCT Desire. After venturing in to the Smartphone giants like Nokia and SE, I was not much satisfied by the features and performance they offered, especially with Nokia E75/72 that was supposed to be some kind of revolution in Smartphones with its latest Syambian OS and QWERT slide keyboard, at the time when it was launched.
I was etching for a Smartphone that can act as my personal assistant, social networking hub and as well as decently handle my multimedia needs, without slowing down at any given point of time.
After all this years I was under the impression that iPhone “might” be the solution, but it was always an unaffordable preposition for me, until recently when I did decide to shell out 30K for a high end smart phone, including iPhone 3GS, and hence started my research for the same, some 3,4 months back.
As always is the case, my research for a gadget is always in extensive detail whatever may the product be. Though I would confess that in this case I was already getting inclined towards getting am iPhone 3GS.
To start with, Just a couple of Google searches gave me enough options to narrow down my purchase and also provided me a brief insight of Android. I decided with the following choices…..
1. Nokia N900 with MEMO OS
3. iPhone 3GS
4. SE X10
5. HTC Desire
6. Samsung Galaxy S (i9000)
Where in HTC and Samsung were soon to be launched, or Samsung was already just launched (I don’t remember). Point which I want to share is that the last two options (Desire and GS) were the least interested ones for me, at that time when I first started my search. But with time and knowledge (courtesy Google Uncle) the same last two contenders became the strongest one for me in the next coming month.
I would skip the CONS of Nokias and SEs and come straight to what I finally decided to choose from. After a brief research it was either the HTC Desire, Galaxy S, or iPhone 3GS. With Samsung and Desire both being on Android platform, I was more interested how the comparison faired between iPhone 3GS and HTC Desire…………and Boy I was heading for a surprise.
Android needless to say is a different ball game all together and took me with a fair bit of surprise and respect with its customization and openness. Though frankly the mind set was still based on a thorough research through reviews, readings and YouTube videos only, I was nevertheless pretty convinced that Android was thing to look forward to.
The decision for a smartphone, or for a simple phone for that matter as well, is highly dependent on individual’s needs and the priority of the features the user expects in it, and before deciding on a phone its very important to know your requirements, else you might just land up spending a high amount, on what others suggest and still end up dissatisfied.
Following were few of the major point I considered that made me decide between Desire, Galaxy and 3GS.
1. Customization: I love to customize my gadgets; even my Win 7 is pretty much attuned and customized according to my interest.
2. Amazing Net Experience: Super Fast and Smooth, internet experience, with flash support, full pinch, zoom support within intelligent alignment.
3. Full Integration :: full integration between contacts, phone book and widgets and as far as possible
4. Last but not the least, the entire experience should be butter smooth, with no lag what so ever.
You might have noticed, I did not bring any multimedia needs in to my criteria, that’s because multimedia takes a back seat as far as my priorities are concerned. Not that I am ok with any run of the mill features, but I am ok with a decent 5 meg cam and 800x400 video recording. With these features and priorities in mind I finally decided to go for HTC Desire. Following is my review for the Gadget with exclusive comparison with Galaxy GS and iPhone 3GS.
Let’s start with details specifications, courtesy gsarene …
Now the major difference between the Desire launched in India and rest US mainly is the Display which is Super LCD as against to AMOLED. Most of the people are curious to know if super LCD is any better. Well if you ask me (or infact get on some online reviews as well), super LCD is more or less same as AMOLED. Few of the minor differences include …
1. SLCD seems to perform better under direct sunlight. Though personally I have not used AMOLED under direct sunlight, so can’t comment, but indoor both look exactly same.
2. Colors on AMOLED may look a bit strong.
3. Text is sharper on SLCD.
4. SLCD tends to drain battery faster than AMOLED.
The following video shows the difference between SLCD and AMOLED indoors.
To begin with, HTC Desire is exactly same as Google Nexus in teams of physical factor, and inbuilt features. HTC ramped up the processor and introduced its HTC Sense and launched with the name HTC Desire. Other major difference is the presence of physical buttons like the home and the back key unlike the touch sensitive buttons in Nexus.
The below video from engadget gives you a small insight of the few major differences of the two.
Viddler.com - HTC Desire review - Uploaded by engadget
Let’s start with the positives ……
SENSE UI:: Undoubtedly the best part of HTC smartphones is the UI. If you look at the videos and reviews, it becomes pretty evident, that HTC has spend a lot of time designing the UI, the way most of the users would perceive it and called it Sense UI. There are loads and loads of big and small features that have been brought in the sense UI. Few of the most noticeable ones are…..
1. The way contact/phone book is co related and integrated in to the system:: Opening the contacts details ofcourse presents you with the basic info for the contact (provided the contact is stored on phone memory, if its on sim memory, the attributes are far less). The main thing what you'd notice is that there are another five tabs at the bottom,… of which it’s the first one you are viewing. Those 5 tabs actually provide the complete correspondence with that contact in one single screen, be it messages, mails, face book, or Flicker. The last two tabs representing facebook and flicker actually connect you with the social networking part for that contact. All this is placed neatly in one single screen. Along with this any update that the contact does on facebook or flicker is updated automatically in the phonebook itself, and it shows not only in the notification bar, but on main page as well while doing any sort of correspondence with that contact. Very neat if you ask me.
Digging deep in to contacts you can have groups with different names like work, fav etc and can set these groups on your home screen as a widget. So I can have favs stored right on my home screen for faster access. It’s a scrollable widget with photos and can be set to directly call, SMS or open a screen to choose an action. Very neat and thoughtful.
2. Customizable screens:: With sense UI, HTC has also brought the concept of themes, that can change the entire look and feel of your phone. To start off as you must know that HTC gives you 6 home screens to play with; you can customize all seven home screens with different widgets and applications, contacts or shortcuts. The entire setup can then be saved in a Theme, say for example “HOME”. You can have 6 of these themes with you. Say for example “TRAVLE” theme that would have its own desktop background, its own 6 home screens which you can again set up with your travel applications, widgets and shortcuts ……
Apart from we have a unique and very handy way of accessing all the home screens at one go. If you are at the extreme right screen and want to go to extreme left, you don’t have to swipe your way all across the screens, just press the home button (or pinch in on the screen) and you would be presented with all 7 desktops in small thumbs. Just click on the screen you want and you are there.
Few of the other noticeable features include …
a. When the phone rings, the ringtone volume is what you have set, but once you pick up the handset, the phone senses this and automatically reduces the ringtone to bare minimum. This means the phone knows it has been picked and the user knows it ringing and so minimizes the ringtone automatically.
b. To silent the phone ringtone, (say in a meeting) all you need to do is to flip the phone upside down and, it goes in to mute, and remains in that condition even if you flip back the phone again. (and yes you can do the same the conventional way as well by pressing the home button and choose Mute)
The above examples is just the tip of the ICEBERG, there are lots of small/Big changes that makes this phone experience unique. The following video shows the different things we can do with Sense UI, very informative video.
YouTube - The New HTC Sense Demo
To conclude the UI part I can say, the best part of Android incorporated with Sense UI is the ability to customize the phone like I want, not the way Apple wants me to … (serious pun intended)
3. Browsing: Net Browsing on Desire is THE BEST out there period, and I have seen enough comparison to claim so bluntly. The best part is the default browser itself is so fast you don’t feel the need to go for any other alternative, unlike other phones where opera mini has scored heavily. The browser has everything sorted out to right till the end.
a. Full HTML support :: Site load with full HTML support exactly like they would ona regular desktop, with an option to switch between the mobile view as well
b. Full Adobe flash 10.1 support:: Very handy to view flash embedded videos on various site that supports it.
c. Full pinch and zoom support:: Pinch and zoom in Desire works with exact precision like any iPhone, with full cut copy and paste support, very much like the iPhone.
d. Other features include visual bookmarks, which appear like small thumbnails, and you can choose one to open. Downloading of images by simply long-pressing the image and selecting save.
Coming to the main thing, how fast is the darn thing…….. And the answer is the fastest, even faster than iPhone 4 browser. As somebody said visuals are louder than reviews, below are the videos that compare the Desire browsing with Samsung GS and iPhone 4.
First with Samsung GS
YouTube - Samsung Galaxy S vs. HTC Desire Browser Speed Test
Then with iPhone 4
YouTube - Apple iPhone 4 Vs HTC Desire browser speed test.avi
Let’s now have a small comparison head to head and then few negatives to conclude the review
Coming to the negativities.
All is not hokey Dorky with the phone, despite of the fact of desire being claimed the Best smartphone out there, I was able to find some really basic irritating flaws which cannot be neglected.
1. Speaker Phone:: One word “Pathetic”, there is no phone as cheap as 800 bucks whose speaker was more crappier then HTC Desire. Its so bad that I am hardly able to converse properly on the speaker while driving in light traffic. Same goes while playing songs or FM. I simply could not understand why on earth HTC settled with such a low quality speaker with such a high price………Thank god the earpiece is of optimum quality.
2. 720p Recording :: Well it was said that with Froyo, Desire would get 720p recording, and yes it did, but unfortunately its no way near to the one Samsung GS or iPhone 4 has, yes it better than the normal 800x600 we get these days but actually 720p is much more sharper/vibrant colored than what Desire offered with Froyo update.
3. Custom Folder For Messages:: Ok with such an extensive, phone book with quality messaging features, how can they not include, a simple way to create your own custom folders to save your SMS. Yes there are ways to take a complete backup of the message box, but no way to individually save your messages in a customer folder.
4. Battery Life: Once of the most irritating factor of this phone. Yes I know battery life of almost all high end smartphones is somewhat poor, but desire takes the cake in this. Even with proper calibration, the battery does not last for more then 7-8 hours, that too on a casual use. With some heavy fiddling forget to cross 5 hours, and if you are like a social networking hog, make sure to carry a third part battery pack that can power the phone when down ….
5. Internal memory storage: Another irritating factor for this phone. The internal memory though claimed to be 512 MB, but that just total, after the OS update and everything what is left for installing your applications is just 140MB!!! As against to 16GB that GS gives. Ok I know what you people must be saying, that with Froyo we have the ability to install the apps on the external card. Through correct this is not entirely true.
a. First not ALL applications are installed on the card, latest ones does but its on the developer if he has provided the facility to install the application on card. For older application its again on the developer if he brings an update, so that the application can be moved on to the external card ….
b. Second even if the application is installed on the card the updates and system files of the application still remains on the phone, so if we have an application of say 1MB, 20% of the files still remains on the phone even after we have moved the application one the card.
A user like me who is an application freak and likes to use his smartphone in all possible ways seriously feels frustrated, when the memory runs short. I have like 40-50 applications on my phone and I cannot install more because of the memory shortage. GS wins hands down in the regard to provide 16GB of internal memory.
RAM on the other hand, thank god is sufficient and running multiple application simultaneously is a smooth ride altogether.
This concludes my review for HTC Desire, any questions and Queries I am more than willing to ans
Edited by sam9s, 01 January 2011 - 10:11 PM.