The second Google child is here, brother to the Nexus One the HTC Desire combines Android technology with speed, intelligence and beauty. The two phones are pretty much identical bar a few key elements, let see if the Desire is any match for the original Google sprog.
In case you didnít know already HTC is the company behind the Nexus One, they teamed up with Google to create the ultimate Smartphone, however, now HTC are going alone with the HTC Desire. First impressions are good, the Desire is surprisingly compact coming in at just 119mm long, 60mm wide and a mere 11.9mm deep. Itís a little wider, thicker and heavier than its main rival, but we suspect thatís just to make extra room for the bonus feature set, whatís more, the rounded edges and rather smart bodywork do a decent job of concealing the extra weight. The exterior is remarkably similar to the Nexus One, both share a 3.7Ē AMOLED touchscreen which takes up the majority of the front real estate and they share the same styling. The key differences lie underneath the capacitive display in the form of the navigation keys. The Nexus has four virtual buttons and a rather old school trackball to get around, whereas the Desire sports hardware keys and an optical trackpad. Itís down to personal preference which you prefer, but Iíd go for optical steering over those fiddly trackballs any day. The Desire also boasts a handy rubberised back cover, something that, while isnít essential, definitely improves usability on a touchscreen handset.
So we know the HTC Desire has beauty, but does it have the brainpower to make itself known in the Smartphone crowd? A quick glance down the spec sheet will answer that, to put it simplyÖ Hell Yes! The HTC techies have gathered the best technology around and combined it with a few gems of their own to create a truly superb piece of kit. If you hadnít guessed by now, the Desire runs on the Google Android platform. Itís the latest version of the Operating System, v2.1 or …clair as itís also known, and for those of you yet to encounter this latest update, youíre in for a treat. There are some great features onboard including, live wallpapers, Google Maps, Microsoft Exchange support and a load of other goodies. As expected, HTC has layered its signature Sense user interface over the Android software, making it easier to use for the company regulars. This is also the newest version of the UI and vast improvements have been made since we last saw it. For starters itís far quicker to navigate, which admittedly will have something to do with the 1GHz Snapdragon CPU that the Desire is packing, but Sense technology will still contribute to creating the speedy transitions.
Other updated Sense features include the proximity sensor and digital compass, great for both mapping and augmented reality apps, and a brand new function called Friend Stream. As the name would suggest itís all to do with keeping in touch with your mates, it pulls all your social updates into a single stream, providing an accessible archive containing info on who youíve spoken to, by what means and when. Another newcomer is something called Leap. The HTC Desire runs 7 different homescreens, all of which can be personalised and filled with various widgets, bookmarks and shortcuts. What Leap does is offer an overview of all the different screens and gives you quick access to any one you choose. Because the Desire supports multi touch gestures, all you need to do to bring up your Ďhelicopter viewí is pinch the homescreen between your thumb and forefinger, in a similar motion to zoom pinching, from there you just tap whichever screen you want to visit.
Earlier we mentioned the 1GHz Snapdragon Processor, which essentially determines how quickly and effectively your mobile phone will run. All you really need to know is that the HTC Desire has a lot of power behind it and it shows. Menu navigation and app transitions are fast, and multitasking is a breeze. The Web browser also benefits from the impressive CPU, team that up with Flash support and the Desire provides a computer-like Internet experience, capable of handling an array of different sites from the BBC to Youtube. Finally, no Smartphone would be complete without a comprehensive media section. The HTC Desire has a 5 megapixel widescreen snapper complete with LED Flash, autofocus and a variety of different software to give the user control over advanced settings such as exposure, saturation, contrast etc. The media players are worth a mention, theyíre easy to use and, as with any decent phone can handle a number of different file formats.
With so much going on, itís a hard task to differentiate the Desire to the Nexus One. One thing that we can be sure of, however, this HTC number will most certainly satisfy all your Desires.