back to article HTC Desire

Much has been made of the fact that the HTC Desire is really Google's much-touted Nexus One under the hood. But, truth be told, despite HTC's considerably lower profile among the general public, the Desire has several features that mark it out as superior not just to Google's smart phone debut, but also to the vast majority of …


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  1. BasilF
    Thumb Up

    I want one

    I want one

    I want one

    I want one

    I want one

    I want one

    I want one

    I want one

    I want one

    I want one


  2. Ryan Barrett

    iTunes sold me on Android

    The fact that iTunes is a prereq for the iPhone is the reason I've not bought one. Unless you use a single PC and have the patience of a saint and don't see the need for backups then iTunes is a horribly broken mess.

    Hate to think how much it fails when you try and use two devices (iPod/iPhone) on the same PC.

    So yeah, not being forced to use iTunes is a big selling point for Android :)

    1. Tim Cook
      Thumb Down


      This is how much it fails with more than one device on the same PC --><--

      Believe it or not, it recognises that they're two different devices and treats them accordingly. Each gets their own sync settings, etc. For true independence you can of course have two or more distinct iTunes libraries on the same PC by simply having separate user profiles. You can also share libraries across more than one PC on your network using iTunes sharing.

      Gosh. How difficult.

    2. MattyB
      Thumb Down

      Do Some Research

      Your comment is ill informed at best.

      It is Possible to share an iTunes library over multiple PC's/Macs.

      You don't need the patience of a saint, I've found iTunes to work flawlessly with my 3 iPods (Classic, Touch, Shuffle).

      You can backup the library, and export it directly from iTunes as well.

      iTunes is not perfect by any means, but do your research before you start attacking it. You not knowing how to make a piece of software do something, is not the same as the software being incapable of doing it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      @Ryan Barrett

      Uh-oh, now you've done it.... you've gone and woken up all the Apple Fanbois. I'm gonna sit back with some popcorn and watch the fanbois' flames that are going to be heading in your direction.

      On a completely different note, are you related to Dave Barrett, who used to be a DJ on GWR radio when I was a kid?

  3. Andy 97
    Thumb Down

    What? No gapless playback?

    Sounds like a great phone, but no gapless playback of media files?

    How hard is it to put this feature into their media player?

    1. Studley

      Re: What? No gapless playback?

      As oppposed to all the other phones which offer gapless playback?

      (No, serious question. Are there any that offer this? I've not exactly seen any handsets where this is yelled out as a killer feature.)

      1. Jerome 0


        Surely that's the whole beauty of Android - if something doesn't work how you want, someone will write an app to sort it. If there isn't already a media player on the Android marketplace that does gapless playback, I'd lay money that there will be soon.

  4. D@v3


    If I was having any problems with my iPhone 3g, which I'm not, I would be very tempted by this.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Surely not...

    "it beats the iPhone..."

    Have we at last found the ... the... iPhone killer?

    and the author didn't even use those words in the title!

    Kudos to him, I am renewing my subscription immediately!

    1. Law
      Thumb Up

      another +1 respect points to author for not putting iPhone in title! :)

      that is all.

  6. Rob Crawford
    Thumb Up

    Hmmm Desire

    It isn't normal for me to have the newest device as phones et al are utility devices to me, however I got my Desire just over a week ago and I am incredibly happy with it.

    I strikes me as being everything the iPhone should have been (and more).

    Unlike my experience of the iPhone the actual phone performance is excellent and the battery performance is much better too (with the option of battery replacement).

    I was very pleased with the camera considering the tales of other HTC devices.

    Audiowise for playback I find it considerably better than my iPod touch (original version) or my daughters 2nd gen device both of which have a constant hiss through decent headphones (UE SuperFi 5s), no it's quiet, and I have no issues with a flat eq (the UE phones create enough depth for me)

    Any complaints:

    battery life after 11 days I still have the desire to fiddle with it & murder the battery though I can get (almost) 2 days if I only use it as a phone & email device

    Touch screen is very sensitive and screen can act weird because the fingertips of my phone holding hand is just brushing the screen.

    1. Paul Boocock (UK)
      Thumb Up

      Better Android Battery Life

      Download JuiceDefender from the Market. It does wonders for your battery life.

      If I only use my Motorola Milestone lightly with JuiceDefender turned on, I can get almost double the usual battery life. I'm sure it would have a similar effect on the HTC Desire.

      The heavier you use your device, the less effect JuiceDefender has. It saves battery by doing clever (magic?) things whilst your not using your phone.

  7. Geoff 3


    I've had mine for since Saturday and I'm very pleased with it after 18 months with my rooted G1 and its extended battery.

    I've found it to be as customisable as the G1, have ditched the Sense UI for the more Nexus-like HelixLauncher and have got it running the way *I* want it to. The battery life could be better, but then I could say that of any phone I've owned in the last five years.

    Its a great phone but no doubt there will be another one along soon!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    iTunes sync

    Download an app from the market called iSyncr - you can then happily sync your (DRM free) music and videos with iTunes. I've been running it on my Milestone for a while - made the transition from iPhone to Android a piece of cake.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Are we there at last?

    We finally have good smart phone hardware that free of the evil three (In decreasing order of evilness - Google, Apple and Microsoft).

    Now I'm guessing software wise this is pretty free from the tentacles of Apple and Microsoft but what about google? Is Android 2.1 truly open source? Can I be sure my details remain mine if I use this phone or would I need an alternate Android build? Can Sense run on alternate builds? Can I geotag without google? Navigate without google? Browse and search without google? Chrome needs an immediate uninstall obviously and I'm afraid my faith in Opera is shaken by their current sponsorship arrangement. Is there a Mozilla for Android?

    Gimme links people.

    AC because obviously I'm paranoid.

    1. Tim Cook


      How can it possibly be free of Google, it runs their OS! And yes, it's tied into their apps - you can use others, but you can't get away from theirs.

  10. Robert Grant


    First phone to sound better than the iPhone, yet no mention of an iPhone killer. Where's the hype, Reg?

  11. Flenser

    So...'s just the HD2 with a different OS (hidden behind the Sense UI and a smaller screen then, yeah?

    1. Rosco


      That's a bit like saying "so it's just a Land Rover without wheels and different buttons then, yeah?" The detail of the 'different OS' turns it into a completely different device, from the notification system to the market to the homescreen widget system.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Better than the HD2

      The AMOLED screen and sensitivity mean using the Desire is a better experince and I prefer my Desire over my HD2.

    3. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      But can we ditch WinMo on the HD2?

      I have an HD2, and find it fantastic - yes, even Windows Mobile is usable on *that* screen, however I've always been curious what Android is like in daily use. Considering that the HD2 and Desire seem to be essentially the same HW, I'm wondering if some people smarter than me can port the Desire ROM to the HD2?

      Must be possible - shurely?

      Pint because anyone that manages it gets one from me...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Android has arrived

    Had the Desire for over a week and its an impressive Smartphone. Quick, fully featured and lots of useful apps from the Android market place. Only downside is the battery life - not as good as the HD2. But the Desire provides a better overall experience than the HD2 and that AMOLED screen and great sensitivity are key factors in making the Desire better. Hopefully HTC will make a Pro version with a keyboard (or I could use a BT keyboard I suppose!).

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    best phone?

    >Arguably, the best Android smartphone around

    but is it "Arguably, the best smartphone around" ?

    1. Jerome 0

      best phone

      Well, Android is arguably the best phone O.S. around, so yes - let's just say that the Desire is hands down the best smartphone ever.

  14. Jerome 0
    Thumb Up

    Desire: the best smart phone ever

    I've been waiting a long time to say this (and posted many a critical comment on the smart phone reviews you've published in the mean time) - this is a *great* phone. So much so that I bought one on the day of release.

    The one and only criticism I have of it is the battery life which, in my experience, is more like "just about lasts the day with heavy use" than the day and a half you quoted.

    The camera is also great, despite the rather luke-warm reception you gave it. I'm sure there are better phone cameras out there, but the quality on mine is brilliant - it's in a different league to the rather poor camera on the iPhone 3GS.

    The screen looks beautiful and is highly responsive, and the UI is smooth as silk. It's a good size too, ideal for surfing, yet the device still feels eminently pocketable. They've even nailed some of my pet design annoyances with phones - there's a standard 3.5mm socket for headphones, and a standard micro-USB socket for charging and PC connection. I love it.

  15. Him over there ↗
    Thumb Up

    Glad to hear it.

    Mine should arrive in the next day or so.

    The past 18 months with an iPhone 3G have been reasonable, but really only as an eye-opener as to what really should be possible with a truly smart phone.

    Looking forward to making it mine.

  16. OffBeatMammal

    was that a camera or a smartphone review? :)

    okay, so a full page given over to photos and no word about if it supports full Exchange sync (calendar, contacts and email, security policies etc) or what the real world battery life is like.

    looks like a really nice device though

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Exchnage sync okay

      Yes it does support Exchange (using Activesync) and will sync email, contacts & calendar and supports security policies (one that forces yu to have a PIN lock on the phone). You can buy other sync solutions that will cover To Dos as well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Great Phone.. Great UI... Great Activesync

        I just love my HTC Desire. Our company policy is no Android phones however as this one has the enhanced Exchange support (thanks HTC!) I am now getting Push mail from Exchange, my Calender, and Contacts on the move. To me this is invaluable. I had tried other android phones but they were slow and the touchscreens were inaccurate and unresponsive.

        The only quible is that the Apple appstore is currently better than the UK selection on the Android Market. However the overall performance of this baby makes it a great buy!

        The only thing I miss is not having access to my Notes in outlook. Still it's a small loss on what is a fantastic phone with a great browser.

  17. Skip

    Desire finally drew me into the smartphone world

    Internet on the go (whether WAP, smartphones or mobile broadband dongles) had never interested me before now and all the smartphones I saw fell short of what I wanted. Nothing in particular against the iPhone, but when I tried it I was nice but no wow factor (for me). Though it did help in popularising the smartphone in non-techie circles, and more competition and choice is always good.

    There was something about the Desire that interested me even when just looking at the specs, and so I gave in and got one last week. I've not got much to compare it with, apart from playing with friends' iPhones/other smartphones, but I'm certainly sold on it. Good solid hardware, good spec, very flexible and with a simple option to all the installation of non-marketplace apps. The screen is gorgeous, very fine and clear. And standard connections! Hallelujah!

    All I'm waiting for now are the Dropbox and GoogleEarth apps - the former should be out in the next couple of months, and for some reason I can't seem to get the current version of GoogleEarth working, even though it's compatible with the Desire's almost-identical-sibling, the Nexus 1.

    Oh yes, and it's silly I know, but I also love the (brief) indication of current weather on the screen when you start it up (e.g. clouds passing by or raindrops on the screen which are then cleared away with a windscreen wiper). Useful when waking up, barely glancing at it and then deciding to crawl back under the duvet...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Google Earth

      I have installed Google Earth on my wife's Desire from the market. It is a t-mobile phone and worked without issues. However, I prefer google maps to GE and still trying to see what am I missing in my judgement :)

      1. Rattus Rattus

        re: Google Earth

        I'd have to agree, Google Maps is more useful and more CPU (and therefore battery!) friendly. However, I put Google Earth on my Nexus One anyway, 'cause it's just more FUN than Google Maps. That's what Earth has over Maps.

  18. sleepy

    best geek phone? yes, for now

    It's nearly a year since the iPhone 3GS, and unfortunately for HTC it's the next generation iPhone this will most often be compared with. But it's nice to finally see a worthy iPhone competitor. RIP Nokia, RIM.

    1. Mick F

      best geek phone? yes

      Interest in the iDon't is stumbling and it is not a geek phone - it is only a fashion accessory.

      The great thing about Android - no Apple thought police!!! No lock in to iTunes and a simple setting to be able to install what you want from wherever you want.

      Get fed up with the look & feel of the OS then it is simple to root & replace with a different developers ROM, not just stuck with the same tired interface with lots of pages of icons and iAd's to make things worse.

  19. batfastad
    Jobs Horns


    This looks seriously great. If only it had FLAC support though, yeah I know I'll never get the benefit of listening to FLAC from a phone with even £40 earphones, but it would save me effort of converting to MP3 when putting new music on there.

    But with FLAC this could replace my aging Meizu Miniplayer music player and my aging SE P1i phone.


    1) Can I run old Java apps on Android (like TrekBuddy for my 1:25k OS Explorer maps)?

    2) Can I tether it via Bluetooth and use Dial Up Networking to get my netbook on the internet when out of Wifi?

    1. Matt2012

      Yes to both

      You have a number options - there is beta version of trekbuddy for android

      But I use RMaps and have downloaded os map tiles using the Mobile Atlas Creator so I have offline os map.

      You can use pdanet for bluetooth or usb tether

    2. Dafydd Lawrence

      RE: Sold!

      1) You can't run java apps directly but they are usually reletively easy to port. TrekBuddy is available for android (however I prefer Rmaps).

      2) Don't know about bluetooth tethering as I only have the Hero which doesn't yet have the new 2.1 profiles, but that can do tethering via USB (built in with no need for an app). It doesn't use DUN it uses NDIS ans so just shows up as a network adapter and you don't need to do any configuration apart from have the HTC drivers installed - works flawlessly.

      1. frymaster

        re: network tethering

        and, I might add, it works with similar flawlessness on linux :)

        but yeah, it'd be interesting to know what's possible with bluetooth on the new hardware / new OS

  20. paul 97
    Thumb Up


    After breaking my iphone I opted for an android rather than get a new iphone was because of iTunes.

    It is such a horrible bloated piece of control crap - why so may people adore the fruit company that came up with that mess I will never know.

  21. Law

    can somebody with the phone tell me...

    ... if you make a call using a handsfree bluetooth device, once you end the call, does the phone then leave itself unlocked in your pocket??

    That is the only massively annoying bug on the Hero, that I'm hoping is fixed mid-April with the update, but I'm interested in the Desire, so would need to not be a problem on that too.

    Thanks for anybody running the test! :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No unlock after BT connection

      Happy to report that the phone remains locked after taking a call using a BT headset. In addition, the AD2P sound quality the best I have heard.

      1. Law

        thanks! :)

        Looking at upgrade packages now! :)

  22. Monkey


    ... no it's bloody well not. Having used both devices I can honestly say that is possibly the most ill informed comment I've seen in here for quite some time.

    1. Flenser


      You haven't really elaborated there, have you.

      So what did I get wrong: the Desire has larger screen than the HD2? Different hardware? It's not Sense UI overlaid over the OS? What?

      I think my post was factually correct from what I have seen.

      1. Rosco

        @Flenser: What you got wrong

        What you got wrong is that the OS makes a massive difference. Android (with or without Sense UI) is a fundamentally different OS to Windows Mobile (with or without Sense UI) and that makes the two phones extremely different to use. The notification system is very different, the homescreen widget system is very different and - crucially - the available 3rd party apps and distribution model (Android Market) is very different. There is also a wealth of smaller differences in the basic UI structure that make them totally different to operate.

  23. Gordon861

    Xperia X10

    It will be interesting to see this phone when compared to the Sony that should be out any day now. That's the only thing delaying my move to a smartphone now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No multi-touch

      Main issue with the X10 - no multi touch!

    2. Trixr

      Still Android 1.x

      I was looking forward to the X10 myself, but they haven't even gone Android 2 yet. And absolutely no information as to whether there's an upgrade path shortly. So yeah, I'd rather get the more up-to-date OS, although the X10 mini looks very nice.

  24. Logicalstep

    umm any chance?

    I know it's a smartphone, but it still has phone in the title, so any chance you could give us a clue as to how it operates as a phone?

    Not one mention in the review, I know it should be taken as red that it works on as a phone but, I have the Touch HD which is great at being smart, but crap at being a phone!

    Call quality ok?

    Signal ok?

    Speaker phone ok?

    Does it cut out when switching between 2.5g and 3g like my Touch hd?

    Many thanks

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      As the review says, great phone as well!

      Call quality similar to best of Nokia and SE. Gets a signal where my SE W960 does not get a signal! Not noticed any major issues with regard when switching between HSPA/3G/Edge & GSM.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      um here's yer answers

      soud quality is great

      speaker phone seams good (but I haven't used it much)

      No signal problems.

      3G, 2.5G, and 2G are all working fine and switching smoothly (it works better than my dongle and laptop)

      No cut out experienced by me.

  25. Bad Beaver

    Screw iTunes

    I don't buy from the iTMS. Regardless, I want a phone that syncs to my Mac – without pumping all my data through three loops including Google. As long as it doesn't support iSync or at least comes with a standalone sync-app for OS X, I simply don't give a rat's ass about Android. Nice phone though.

    1. frymaster

      what kind of syncing?

      as far as music goes, it appears as a USB mass storage device, so any media player written in the last 10 years should be fine

      as regards contacts syncing... to my certain knowledge it can sync directly with desktop outlook on windows via an application, with an exchange server via internet or LAN, or with google's own online system. No idea about other methods.

    2. Law

      no mac issues for me, but it does cost like £10

      There are a number of cheap but good sync applications for contacts/music/photos/email that intelligently sync on mac to most android phones.

      Since I use google for my contacts etc, I just use Salling Media Sync for my hero to replace the iphoto/itunes sync I was missing when I dropped my iphone for it.

      I'd say for contacts, apps etc you can use something called the Missing Sync:

      Obviously the music bit is based on you using iTunes for music, but I'm not sure of anything as good on Mac... not that it's perfect by any means.

    3. TheBoff

      Double Twist

      I should be getting one of these shortly, so googled for "iTunes Nexus One" (I thought I'd get more hits) and found this: which seems like it should work fine.

  26. Robert Oakes

    This may be the one

    This may be the one that will prise my beloved 2G iPhone from my hands! HTC are becoming (IMO) one of the best handset manufactures. Just need to get weaned off my apple technology

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge


      Yes, they can knock them out. But can they design a good phone? they also insist on producing their own user interface for android.

      I would much sooner Android had a standard brilliant UI than have OEMs all producing their own lame front ends. It's as bad as Windows Mobile and all the shoddy hacks that used to have dumped on it by OEMs.

      I remember reading how on the HTC hero you had to restart touchflo after running a GPS app (i think it was copilot) as the UI locks up. Why do people put up with such lame software? honestly on the iPhone people would be ranting and raving about such poor software, but if it's Android or WinMo people will let it go?!

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Manufacturers

        Sorry to burst your reality distortion bubble Giles, but the standard Android 2.1 UI is *already* way better than the current iPhone OS. HTC's Sense UI is just a further enhancement, and with that on board the Desire shits on the iPhone from a great height.

        As for the Hero, I’ve never had mine lock up. No matter what apps I’ve run on it.

        1. chuckc
          Thumb Down

          Re: Re: Manufacturers

          Here we go... The old Android vs iPhone OS debate again. I will only say that I have both a Nexus One and a 3GS and I just can't let the 3GS go: 60fps scroll, near-perfect touchscreen drivers (way more precise than Android's) and just more intuitive in general.

          1. ml100

            Hold up

            Lets not forget that Mr Jones is talking of anecdotal here-say whereas the respondent actually owns an android device.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cheap at T-Mobile

    Got my Desire for £404 inc. 100 minutes per month and unlimited internet. 24 month contract at £10 per month with T-Mobile and £164 cost of phone. Bargain!

    1. Andrew James

      Cheap deal

      Is this a standard deal or something you have managed to get due to being an existing customer and threatening to leave etc?

      Was it direct from t-mobile or via someone else?

      Does the £10 per month mean £10 per month, or is this the effective cost after cash-back etc is taken into account?

      So many questions. Such a good deal! I want the same

      1. Jah

        Cheap deal direct from T-mobile site

        The £10 per month is on the T-mobile site. You need to select the Desire phone and get past all the recommended options and seek out all the plan options and you'll see it. Same deal for all T-mobile customers.

        1. The Commenter formally known as Matt


          go via and get an extra £35 cashback. I haven't tried it myself (yet) but it is recomended by Martin Lewis (of moneysavingexpert fame)

          (that should be an automatic cashback, non of this dodgy send us your bills and dance to get your money sort of cashback)

        2. Gareth.

          T-Mobile Deals

          T-Mobile's site is actually pretty good for working out which tariff you want.

          The most interesting ones, imho, are the following scenarios...

          If you pay a tenner a month for 24 months then you can get 100 mins & 100 texts, and it'll cost you £164.

          If you pay fifteen quid a month for 18 months then you can get 100 mins & 100 texts, and it'll still cost you £164.

          If you pay fifteen quid a month for 24 months then you can get 100 mins & 100 texts, and it'll now cost you £95.

          If you pay fifteen quid a month for 24 months then you can get 300 mins and 300 texts, and it'll cost you £164.

          It's also very worth signing-up with those money back sites such as Top Cash Back or QuidCo... I got £40 from Top Cash Back when I went for the 300 mins / 300 texts on a 24 month contract, which was nice :-)

    2. MrT
      Thumb Up

      Talk to the Loyalty department...

      I find that there's no need to get shirty about leaving, demanding PACs etc. Of course, there are some out there who don't like talking to people and they can stick with the online price (which isn't too bad either).

      However, Loyalty Dept can always beat the online advertised deals if you have a chat. I replaced two phones last week and got the Desire and SE W995 for free - Desire on £35pm is 1200 minutes and 500 texts, and 3GB 'fair use' limit on Internet (beats the competition). T-M are officially classing the phone as if it were a 3G dongle since it shloops data prodigiously if you sign up to everything. This is better than the standard Web'n'Walk at 1GB. Internet is included, so I picked 120mins US/Canada calls for my free 'booster'. And then the guy knocked another £4 per month off the tariff, so I pay £31pm for 24 months and get the handset for nothing. Used to be on Flext40 w Web'n'Walk, so this is a fair saving for me.

      Plus my 9-month old MDA Vario IV (HTC Raphael) has just come back from the service guys all fully updated, so I still have a decent WM backup phone. I need the Exchange operability, with push email and calendar sync, so this is pretty much the first time I've seriously considered Android over WM.

      Pig. Mud. Happy as.

  28. Potts

    I really want one, but it's utterly useless...

    (at least to me) until Android supports WIFI connections through a proxy server. The best hope for this at the moment is an app that sets-up a tethered WIFI connection to the phone via a LAN connected laptop = messey! Hacking proxy settings into the web browser is less than ideal too, as I obviously want my connected apps online!

    Many businesses and educational establishments use a non-transparent proxy for all connectivity. Until the Android dev's support this, then many 1000's of establishments can't use this device.

    If this is also a show-stopper for you, please add your weight to this thread on GoogleCode:

  29. batfastad
    Jobs Horns


    Quick question... is this tri/quad band?

    Heard a rumble that it wasn't which would be a MAJOR disappointment. Not that I generally use phones abroad that much but it's always useful.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Triband?

      HTC sez:

      Network Bands


      HSPA/WCDMA: 900/2100 MHz

      GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

      Asia Pacific:

      HSPA/WCDMA: 900/2100 MHz

      GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

      I'd take that as a "no" then.....

      1. batfastad
        Jobs Horns


        How disappointing is that... I thought I'd found my new phone there! Booo

  30. Tim Walker


    No, nothing to do with country yokels or old sea-dogs: just wondered if the Desire can handle Layar or other "augmented reality"-type apps? If it can, I think my venerable Nokia N95 might have met its match...

    1. Rob Crawford

      yeah it does

      yeah the Desire more than handles Layar, infact the android marketplace is waving it under my nose all the time.

      It works but I havn't found a use for it (so it departed from my phone)

    2. Neil_

      AR and iTunes

      Yes it handles Layar, Wikitude and all the others on the Android Market just fine.

      RE being 'married to iTunes', Doubletwist is very probably the solution - not tried it but it supports Android and I've only heard good things of it.

    3. Jerome 0


      If the Desire can't run Layar, nothing can. It has a Snapdragon 1GHz CPU on board, which is (AFAIK) the fastest processor you can currently get in a phone. Layar certainly runs nicely enough on mine.

    4. Rosco

      Arr, me hearty, that it is, keelhaul me else

      Layar is available on the Android Market, as is Google Goggles

  31. Marky

    Smart "Phone"

    But what's it like as a phone? Most people seem to overlook the obvious and are just interested in the toys. It has to be good at its primary function. An old HTC supplied by work rarely worked in my

    home town because it was so poor in this department, but the older Nokia I had was excellent.

    (Same network and Sim card)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Read the review & comments

      The reviewer already stated this Desire is a good phone and other comments about call quality shows that this HTC is unique in that it has the usability of an iPhone and the phone radio quality you'd normally only expect from Nokia & SE.

  32. gforce2k

    Disaster - No Bluetooth voice dial

    Got the phone last week and it's great for all the extras, BUT - Disaster - didn't find out about a BIG android failing. No Bluetooth Voice Dial. In today's restrictive world in the UK this is a basic phone function. The mobile operators selling these phones should put a warning out that it has no voice dial so you won't be able to call "Hands Free" and your bluetooth kit from car, motorbike, standard headset or whatever would need to be replaced as voice dialling that has worked with all my previous phones, Sony, Nokia & HTC Tytn won't work with the Desire. Yes I've found out that some of the latest bluetooth devices download the address book and do the voice recognition within themselves, but were in the world of computing here and this should be a basic phone function!!!!!!!!

  33. Andrew James


    Me likes. Me likes muchly.

    I was almost sold on an iPhone 3GS upgrade last month, but luckily some uncertainty in my contract at work made me hold off to see what happened, and might as well see what the summer brings in terms of new iPhone model.

    Now i'm thinking the new iPhone will have to be pretty special to convince me to have one over the Desire. Of course, i'd have to have a play with it, but so far what i know of Android OS and the quality of recent HTC hardware would suggest that this would make a decent option.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Andrew James re cheap deal

    It's a standard T-mobile offering, have a look on their site. £164 for the phone up front, then £10 per month for 100 minutes, 100 texts, unlimited internet and a free booster (which can be unlimited texts, among other things). Absolute bargain. You can also get an additional £20 for going through Quidco, but the above prices don't take that into account.

    1. Andrew James


      I checked it out as soon as i got home from work last night (browsing mobile phone sites is blocked under the heading "shopping" ... yet i can buy flights or something from pc world if i want... odd).

      Its a fantastic deal. And unless HTC churn out something better in the next 8 weeks before my contract is finished, i will definately, maybe, probably, be getting one. It does seem a very strong offering indeed and at that price you can't say no can you really.

  35. David Shaw

    wifi woes

    just had the nexus1 for a day , found that I'd overcomplicated my home & work WiFi by using channel 13 (purely as most ppl use channel 1). The google HTC being 'american' couldn't scan up to ch13, so I've had to drop every router down to ch9. Also having probs in that I can't access the airport_express wifi extender operating as a clone on the faraway airport_extreme basestation. The phone is ignoring the co-channel extender and is trying to connect only to the remote BTS. I've downloaded a heap of android wifi apps to try and troubleshoot. HTC h/w is great, I like the replaceable battery - bought a HD2 car charger (HTC Car Charger For HTC HD 2 / HD 2 / BlackBerry 9700 Bold / 8900 / Storm / Storm 2 / 8520) for 3.99 from Play so that I can top up the battery whilst driving. It's a s l o w phone to charge. My wife still prferes iPhone 3G over HTC Desire/Nexus1

    1. Banjokazooie


      There are known issues with the Wifi on a number of Android handsets - possibly just HTC ones.

      Google don't seem to be much in a hurry to sort them out. This is a bug which has crippled my Magic for about a year. No sign of a fix. Not sure I'd buy an Android phone again unless I was sure they'd looked at it - shame because everything else is incredible.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Can't buy one

    Shame HTC aren't willing to ship the sim-free units to the UK, even to those of us that pre-ordered (and paid for in some cases) ours months ago.

  37. Elsie
    Thumb Up

    @Andrew James

    My current Orange contract finishes in July but I can upgrade now. They offered me a Desire for £99 on an 18 month contract for 300 mins, unlimted texts and 500mb internet. A grand total of £639.

    The T-Mobile deal for 2 years at £10 a month for 100 mins (I only ever call my Mrs to say "I'm gonna be late do we need milk?"), unlimited internet, unlimited text booster and cost of £164 comes in at £404. Im ordering when I get home tonight and then giving my Orange Nokia phone to the kids so they can text until the contract runs out!

    Just over £400 for a handheld computer / social networking / media centre oh, and a phone seems to be a bargain to me.

    1. Jerome 0
      Thumb Up

      Top tip

      Register with first, and go through their site when you order the phone online from T-Mobile. You could potentially get another £40 cashback. Just over £350 for a computer in your pocket is even more of a bargain. :)

      One downer though - the T-Mobile deal has proven so popular that they're having trouble getting the stock in fast enough, so don't get your hopes up about next day delivery - it'll probably take them a week or so.

    2. Andrew James


      I'm on orange at the moment too. Could have upgraded a month ago. Wouldn't go with Orange again though. The signal strength around where i live isn't very good, and my in-laws place is like a black hole with orange, but fine for every other network. In fact, brother in law and mother in law are both with T-mobile.

      £400 for a top phone and unlimited internet and texting is ideal. I never speak to anyone unless i can help it so 100 minutes is more than enough. I dont think i use more than 20 minutes a month. Talking is what people did before text messages and the internet were invented. Talking is now redundant in my opinion.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Few questions...

    What's the AMOLED screen like given the criticisms of the Nexus One pixel implementation, are they the same?

    Also, I'm considering moving over from a Win Mob Touch Pro but I use iGo8 and Tom Tom 7 - what are the options for GPS software apart from google maps?

    Does it have a hardware compass and the other sensors like the HD2?

    Good ebook readers available?

  39. Gordon861

    On Order

    Spoke to T-mobile last week, they had run out of stock, and getting rid of them as fast as they come in. Mines on order now...

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Great phone!

    The review is actually wrong on a couple of things. Firstly the DivX support...since it actually does have it. Although utterly bloody stupid you use the "photos" application to run movies, and annoying you can't run a movie larger than 512MB :( Image stabilisation is great when your out in the pub and trying to get pics of your mates in compromising positions also ;)

    Hardware compass yep, has one. Navigation software sadly haven't found a good one yet. So wish Google would pull there fingers out and get turn by turn nav to work in the UK.

    The best feature of all is how it makes all the smug Jesus Phone GS users shut up when you utterly out perform them. They don't even bother doing the usual gloating around the office on the "my phone can do this" these days...gotta love that!. My personal fave has been (not using the Facebook app) but logging into Facebook and running one of the older game....only runs the older ones currently due to the older version of Flash till its updated soon...and then it'll run the lot! Oh you haven't an app for that?

    1. Rob Crawford

      Facebook games

      FarmVille runs perfectly fine in a Desire browser window, I was a bit surprised

  41. Ouvavou
    Thumb Up

    I love this phone!!!!

    After reading a few reviews of this phone I decided to finally stop waiting for Microsoft to sort out WinMo (the way that Mobile 7 is going didn't encourage me to hang around) and give Android a go. I've signed up with Virgin Mobile and got the phone for free on a £30/24 month contract which seemed a decent deal to me and I'm moving from a HTC Touch Pro 2.

    The Desire is brilliant and so is Android (v2.1 is aleast). This phone does everything I want in a phone and does it well. The processor is fast and I've sometimes had 10+ apps open in the background and haven't noticed any lag. The screen is lovely. The camera seems good and I now have a flash!! Video playback is great and Divx support is apparently on it's way also which will be nice. I now also have a phone with a decent (and rapidly growing) supply of apps.

    The only negative that I can think of is the battery life but I've had HTC smart phones for years and it's no worse than the rest and I'm used to giving a phone a bit of a midday charge if I've been using it heavily (I have a pretty long commute and use it a fair bit).

    Great phone.

  42. matthew1471

    decent contract

    Depending on your usage, there's a good Orange deal available about half way down this page

    it's a free phone, 400 minutes and unlimited texts and data for 18 months.

  43. Elsie
    Thumb Up


    OK, the Desire is my first Smart Phone but I am loving it more everytime I use it. The only niggles are the sluggish net connection I am getting on Orange compared to the Smuggies in the office with their O2 Jesus Phones but that's just because O2 has better coverage here. The battery takes a hammering and needs to be topped up so I'm running from USB in the office and then charging again overnight.

    But the real delight has been showing the phone to the Smuggies, letting them play with it and see how quick and good looking it is and then asking how much they pay. £40 a month? Really? I pay £10 for unlimited data and texts ... maybe this should be called the HTC Desire app for wiping the grin from a Smuggies face?

  44. DrunkenMessiah

    DivX Playback

    ...there's an app for that...

    Download yxflash from the Market - it's a paid for app but hey, it works and the dev is pretty good with updates.

  45. Rick 18

    No bluetooth initiated voice calls? - not a 5* phone

    I don't see how you can give this a 5* rating when it's impossible to initiate a voice call without touching the phone, even with a bluetooth headset.

    I could live with the poor battery life, even the inability to install applications on the SD card, but needing to touch the phone when driving to make a call? That should be a deal breaker for all UK drivers looking for a new phone. Google don't even have it as a high priority issue.

    For more information, and to add your voice to the requests for this essential feature to be added as soon as possible, head over to

  46. AsciiSmoke

    An alternative viewpoint

    I've had my Desire a week now and although I'm getting used to it's strange little nuances I'm still bitterly disappointed by the lack of attention to detail by the OS and, to some extent, the hardware.

    I've come from using an iPhone 3G and being bored of Apple and they're lazy hardware iterations I decided to jump ship and look elsewhere for my next gen device. Granted the screen and speed of the Desire is a welcome step forward for me but in terms of software I feel like I've gone back to the bad old days of using a Nokia.

    I'm not going to write a full review here, or list the good points, they're well documented but the following bad things didn't come up in any reviews (at least before I bought mine) and would have put me off buying:

    * The mail app doesn't support folders so I can't categorise my email which is just plain ridiculous. People have been complaining on about this since sep 2008 and Google wont even give them the time of day. The thread I was reading must have had at least 500 comments pleading for at least a comment from Google.

    * Why the hell is there a separate app for just GMail, that's just pointless repetition. Most people don't have the option to abandon their existing email accounts and it's not like Gmail polls pop3 accounts often enough to be able to use forwarding. If nothing else, at least make this app be able to properly support external pop3 and imap accounts.

    * The Optical joystick is ridiculously over sensitive and can't be disabled. Can't I just have the button and not the pointless eye that I keep catching?

    * Placing your cursor in a text box is hellish, I know Google can't copy Apple's little spy-glass but they desperately need something better than trying to hit the one pixel between the last letter in a text box and the edge of the box. Maybe just allow me to run my finger along the box to move the cursor. Seriously; anyone who's got a Desire, try using the browser to google for a long search term and then try to remove the last word. you're a better man than me if you don't want to snap your phone in half before you give up and just type the whole damned thing again).

    * The 'all apps' list is just that, all your apps, in alphabetical order. No ability to sort, create folders or make the list tidy in anyway, so my list currently exists of game, game, ebook reader, file manager, game, app, app, etc, etc. UGLY, and lots and lots and lots of scrolling every bloody time!

    * No Divx / Xvid support. There are 3rd party apps but they're really bad, I created a video that was the screen's native res and tried playing on yxflash and it stuttered all the way when reading from my class 6 sdhc card.

    * The app store expects you to put your card details in every time, even though it uses Google Checkout. Why the hell can't I just use my Checkout account? If it was this fiddly to buy apps on iPhone the app store would never have made any money.

    * Considering how amazing the screen is, why the hell does the tinny little speaker sound like listing to someone else's earbud from across the room. the iPhone's little speaker was never great but at least you could comfortably watch iPlayer for more than a few minutes without wanting to stuff cotton wool in your ears. And my £50 Sennheisers hiss when connected.

    * Lastly, the 3G signal is pants, There's several places in my day where I used to use 3G for browsing or checking email on my iPhone, now I can only get signal in one of them and only in a pretty specific spot (read: standing still in the middle of a field, if I walk 10 steps I'm back to gprs).

    Don't waste your money, Android is NOT ready for the big-time yet, and from the anecdotal evidence I've read from other users Google seem to treat it as a beta and can't be bothered to respond when real users are desperate to have a dialogue about their issues. The desires hardware is great but lacking is a couple of crucial areas and HTC have already followed it up with a better alternative, the Incredible.


  47. Anonymous Coward

    Re alternative viewpoint

    "* Placing your cursor in a text box is hellish, I know Google can't copy Apple's little spy-glass but they desperately need something better than trying to hit the one pixel between the last letter in a text box and the edge of the box. Maybe just allow me to run my finger along the box to move the cursor. Seriously; anyone who's got a Desire, try using the browser to google for a long search term and then try to remove the last word. you're a better man than me if you don't want to snap your phone in half before you give up and just type the whole damned thing again)."

    Use the optical joystick. It's easy.

    "* The 'all apps' list is just that, all your apps, in alphabetical order. No ability to sort, create folders or make the list tidy in anyway, so my list currently exists of game, game, ebook reader, file manager, game, app, app, etc, etc. UGLY, and lots and lots and lots of scrolling every bloody time!"

    Er, are you nuts? The Desire has 7 desktops you can scroll or flick between to organise games and apps. Put all your most commonly used apps and functions on the desktops, and leave the applications list for stuff you only use occasionally. If you don't want to use the apps menu at all then create folders on the desktop (long press, create folder) and organise your programs that way.

    Android interface is vastly superior to the iPhone's dump-all-icons-on-the-desktop approach.

    "* No Divx / Xvid support. There are 3rd party apps but they're really bad, I created a video that was the screen's native res and tried playing on yxflash and it stuttered all the way when reading from my class 6 sdhc card."

    It's coming later this year, HTC said they didn't want to include it before it was ready.

    "* The app store expects you to put your card details in every time, even though it uses Google Checkout. Why the hell can't I just use my Checkout account? If it was this fiddly to buy apps on iPhone the app store would never have made any money."

    Not had this problem. Setup Google Checkout with the same account linked to my phone and it works just fine.

    "* Considering how amazing the screen is, why the hell does the tinny little speaker sound like listing to someone else's earbud from across the room. the iPhone's little speaker was never great but at least you could comfortably watch iPlayer for more than a few minutes without wanting to stuff cotton wool in your ears. And my £50 Sennheisers hiss when connected."

    Haven't noticed any hiss on my Sennheiser's. Perhaps you're expecting too much from a phone speaker.

    "* Lastly, the 3G signal is pants, There's several places in my day where I used to use 3G for browsing or checking email on my iPhone, now I can only get signal in one of them and only in a pretty specific spot (read: standing still in the middle of a field, if I walk 10 steps I'm back to gprs)."

    No problem here. Maybe a network issue.

    Sounds like a smartphone may be a bit complicated for you.

  48. Alastair 7

    Re: No bluetooth initiated voice calls?

    That is in no way an "essential feature". Just because you want it really badly doesn't mean that everyone else does.

  49. JDGarner

    Application issues

    Beware - lots of problems with applications you might expect to see on the Marketplace not showing up. I have owned the desire for several weeks now and the hardware is very impressive - great for Web browsing and is a great Newsreader with the "NewsRob" app - but the Android Marketplace is a total mess, with no support or interest from Google.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Google still have not activated HTC Desire in the marketplace

      I too can't get certain apps on my HTC Desire. :(

      That Google thread is over three weeks old and still Google haven't done anything about it. Is the big-G still in a spat with HTC over the Desire/Nexus One releases? I'm surprise El-Reg haven't picked up on this story, this love to report stuff like this.

  50. tom 102


    I would defently agree with them here, i haev recently got one of these and it is amazing, highly recomended. its fast very fast, the battery life is a little bit of an issue but for £20 you can have a second battery, so its not to much of an issue.

    the best HTC phone yet and well the best on the market/

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