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I Desire-d HTC

HTC Desire

Rating: ★★★★☆

I first bought the HTC Desire thinking, “here we go, Apple’s clutches are going to be firmly removed from the scruff of my neck” what has actually happened is that i’ve found something that i want nestling next to an iPhone 4 (sigh).

When i first got my upgrade to a Desire, the revered iPhone 3GS was still the king of the castle while there was a multitude of rumours spewing forth on the internet about the iPhone HD, iPhone 4, iPhone 3.5 and other such monikers, none of which grabbed my interest. So, after reading a few previews, then reviews, i decided to betray Apple, promptly went to my local store and upgraded to a pretty good deal it has to be said considering what i had been paying i.e. a FREE phone!

The phone itself is really nice looking which is an almost redundant feature due to the fact that most people will buy a cheap tacky case for one to keep it safe, so maybe the design department may want to make a plastic block resembling Lego next time and save a little cash. The camera is great in the first month but the lens cap protrudes and gets a little marked, making photos lose that little bit of clarity the phone deserves, but design and camera are the features of the past, what is the real draw to this phone is the all singing, all dancing, for cheaper….Google Android software. ooooh…..

Yeah, i am still after 8 months very impressed with the apps market. The volume of apps is growing as is the amount of FREE apps, free sat nav, free fitness workouts, and the all important FREE ANGRY BIRDS! A claim recently was that nearly 140’000 apps are available while 70% of those will be free, something that nearly everyone likes in the current financial climate, this is not the only Brucey bonus point to the Android platform though.

I personally love gmail, i have had a gmail account for years and would never dream of using another one, i link both of my gmail accounts (personal and band) to this handset and everything’s so easy to get round you’re left looking for that fruit logo. The internet browsing is easy as pie to use while the touch screen response is very fluid like, the only gripe in this aspect i have is that a certain sports page crashes on me constantly, no software update has cured this and i think i may be the only person in the world that this affects???

I also like the recently added feature where i can use my handset as a wifi hotspot to run my laptop’s internet access, very valuable in times of having to edit and forward (as you can view, not edit spreadsheets on the handset) “that” document, just make sure your provider gives you a large data plan! The good thing about Android is that it almost makes your future purchases of handset like looking through a standardized carbon copy, maybe again you will look to design and camera spec as the deal sealer features.

This is all good right? Well, not quite, the battery life is very poor (although there are battery boosting apps, free i might add too) even by other smart phone standards. The handset has also suffered from a few occassional “Force Close” issues where the handset will close all open processes and reset to the home screen, even a few times switching the handset off completely.

I can live with these though, the battery, well i just charge it every night, and the software glitch is so rare that i usually just find it funny.

One thing though, this is not an iPhone 4, if you want Apple buy Apple, if you fancy a change i rate this one as the best that i have tried, even above the newer Desire HD, plus people ask you what it is that you’ve got and why you chose it over the iPhone? That’s when all new debates in your favourite public house arise and you may find yourself singing from the hymn book of HTC, not taking a word against them or like me, just admit to your bank balance; you want them all. It is a little unfair to HTC to only talk about this great handset as an “alternative”, but they have in all fairness marketed the handset to people who will have the past been likely to stick to Apple.

All in all, it’s a really cool handset, but go try one out, the shops usually have working demo phones on display and see what you think.

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • Free sat nav via Google Maps
  • Fully customisable home screen
  • WiFi tethering from handset

Cons

  • Battery life
  • Small occassional bugs with software
  • Will chew through data very quickly on small allowance packages

Verdict

Top handset, in all areas if a couple of imperfections, highly recommended.


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