What are your initial impressions on the hardware and software?
The Desire feels like a well built phone. It’s a nice weight and size and the rubberised backing is a nice touch. What I did notice is that after a few days I’d somehow managed to slightly chip two spots on the front of the phone. I’ve never chipped a phone from anything other than dropping it on the floor before so this was slightly annoying!
The camera is average but does what it needs to. For me that is capturing random moments in life when I don’t have my real camera around. The led flash is a nice touch not only for photos but also for it’s ability to be used as a torch.
Unlike other people who have cast their eyes on the Desire, I don’t believe it to be a particularly good looking phone however, I can forgive it’s simple brown exterior due to it’s awesomeness in every other department.
How would you describe the usability?
Upon starting the phone for the first time, it walks you through a setup guide asking you to log in to GMail and Facebook. Once past this stage, the phone is fairly intuitive to use with it’s touch screen which is a good thing as the phone only comes with a very tiny quick start guide.
Information online via the HTC website and forums is plentiful. Thankfully for me I have Senk9 himself as my Android tech support! The one annoying thing I initially found was that the menu button was a hardkey without an option to have it located on the screen as a softkey however, this just seems to be my personal preference.
The customisability of the Desire is fantastic. Within a few good hours of playing around with the phone I had it looking and doing what I wanted. This is thanks to the moveable widgets and scenes that can be found already preloaded on the phone.
What needs to be pointed out is that I purchased my Desire outright from Telstra. As I was very excited to buy the phone, I couldn’t wait for the phone to be released on other carriers.
The Telstra branding and start up page on the phone was acceptable as I was used to that from my previous 3 phones. What was extremely irritating was that Telstra have preloaded on ‘apps’ which are not able to be removed without rooting the phone. What makes this even more frustrating is that they aren’t even real applications. They are just links to webpages. This is enough to put me off EVER buying a phone from Telstra again. Well done to Telstra for managing to shoot themselves in the foot with that one.
How does it compare to other phones you’ve used?
Having never owned a true smartphone (yeah Nokia 5800 i’m looking at you!) I was absolutely blown away by the speed of the phone and it’s ability to multitask. As my comparisons can only be drawn from my previous phone, the afore mentioned 5800, I was in love with it’s ability to surf web pages, play music, play games and do anything else I wanted without crashing.
I don’t really think it is fair for me to compare my two most recent phones, the Nokia 5800 and the Sony Ericsson w880i to the HTC as the Desire is in a class of it’s own. Having been a Sony Ericsson fan for a long time, I am glad I didn’t buy an Xperia X10 after having a play around with one, it is very obvious that it much slower in performing the same tasks.
One of the biggest reasons why I choose this phone was due to it’s ability to sync seamlessly with google products as well as facebook.
How do you use the phone regularly?
Excluding the obvious function of actually using it as a phone to make calls and sms, the phone is used daily and primarily for checking my gmail and facebook.
I have been trying to reduce my need to carry around a physical paper organiser/diary and the Desire has definately made that transition easier. Organising my schedule is done easily with google calander and jotting down my ideas is done with a simple application called AK notes.
Google maps is also very useful and loads up quickly the majority of the time.
As I am often around a computer at home or work, I rarely use the HTC to surf webpages unless I’m out and about without access to a computer.
How’s the battery life?
On the day I purchased the phone, I managed to drain the battery after just 6 hours of use! On average I would need to charge the phone every night. On many reviews I read the battery life was always one of the negative aspects. At first I was quite offended by how little battery life it had as my previous phones would almost last 4-5 days without charge but this was solved by investing in alot of chargers for the home, car, office and bedroom! Luckily the desire uses a micro usb port to charge.
After a month of use, I’ve managed to get 2 days of life out of the HTC. This is largely due to turning off mobile networks when the phone is not in use.
What kind of reactions have you received?
When I first got the phone, most people would ask what phone it was, followed by how it compared to the iphone. Despite all it’s other features, nothing seemed to impress people more than the phone books ability to sync with Facebook!
All in all, I am extremly happy with the HTC Desire and would rate it a 9 out of 10. It loses a point due to it’s average camera and short battery life. Whilst they both aren’t a major issue, it makes the phone just a smidge short of perfect for me.
To Telstra I award 0 out of 10 for their irritating use of fake ‘apps’ that can’t be deleted.
Ying Bot – Your average noob phone user!
(Thanks to Ying for taking the time to write up her experiences!)