First Impressions Of the HTC Desire HD
Regular readers of this site will know that my mobile phone contracts are due for renewal soon so I am eagerly looking around at the available smart phones to find potential replacements. Recently, I managed to spend a short while looking at the HTC Desire HD, and thought I would jot down a few initial thoughts based on the time I spent with the device. I am planning a closer look at the device soon so this article is just a “first impressions” if you like.
Doing the job I do I get to see a lot of phones and I mean a lot of phones. However, one phone that I really love is my HTC Hero. Ok, it may be running an old version of Android, by todays standards, but it is a solid and sexy looking smart phone that has become the mainstay of my travelling gadget bag. With that in mind I was curious what a later generation HTC Android device might have on offer – and so we have the HTC Desire HD.
Ok, lets get some specs out of the way first. You can get all the details from the official HTC Desire HD website so I’ll only cover what I think are the key ones here. The screen is an impressive 4.3” running, what seems to be becoming standard, 480 x 800 resolution. The operating system is a snappy Android 2.2 (probably due to the 1Ghz processor on board) and there is an 8 megapixel camera (with auto focus and dual LED flash) onboard – and the device can record video at 720p high definition.
When held in the hand the Desire HD feels substantial, almost like a mini tablet in some ways, although its still only a small device. It feels substantial and well made in the same way that Hero does but it doesn’t have the angled design at the bottom which made the Hero stand out – however this isn’t necessarily a detraction as it makes the Desire easier to slide into a pocket. It also feels nice in the hand – I’m not sure what they’ve done to the back of the device but I like it!
The minimalist feel to the buttons is great – and it’s nice knowing that you’re unlikely to switch the thing off when you hold it in landscape mode (a problem with the Galaxy TAB). In fact, other than the front facing touch keys, the volume control, and the power button there aren’t any others (note to other manufacturers – less is sometimes more!)
The first thing I jumped into was the web browser and this is where the screen size makes a difference – websites fit more comfortably on larger screen devices and it’s refreshing not having to zoom, scroll, zoom, scroll, to read a blog post (and Flash works). The 480×800 screen looks set to become standard across mobile devices though when you consider the iPhone 4 fits 960×640 into a 3.5” display there is a sense that a larger 4.3” screen might benefit from a higher resolution, although I have to say it seemed perfectly usable at the time.
It’s a bit of a shame that the Desire HD only has a 1230 mAh battery so it looks like typical daily use may also result in the need for daily charging and let’s face it – with an 8 megapixel camera and high definition video recording on offer it would be a real shame if the phone only had regular light use.
So, does it oust my current favourite, the Nokia N8? Possibly. After all, it has a similar battery size but bigger screen and higher resolution (although the N8 is AMOLED) but the N8 does have that 12 megapixel snapper. The deciding factor could be that the Desire HD runs Android 2.2 (rather than the latest sprinkling of Symbian) – but that may all change when I finally get to see a Windows Mobile 7 phone in operation. At the moment the HTC Desire HD is definitely in the top three and I’m looking forward to spending some more time with it shortly.
Current Reviews for the HTC Desire HD
- Engadget: HTC Desire HD review by Vlad Savov – “its strengths reside in the critical areas of expanding functionality, choice, performance, and screen dimensions”
- CNET: HTC Desire HD review by Flora Graham – “The HTC Desire HD may be too monumental for some, but if you think bigger is better, this is the uber-smart phone you’ve been waiting for.”
- Zath: HTC Desire HD Review by John Thompson – “All things considered, it doesn’t ‘wow’ me as I think it could have done had some of these issues been addressed, but it’s a very solid Android phone.”
- Tracey and Matt’s Blog: HTC Desire HD Review – “If you are a currently an Android user and looking to upgrade to a touch screen only device then you cant really get a better option than the HTC Desire HD.”