HTC Desire Review

 


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Hazard is a new member of the stanleyrumm.com team and should be along here more often to discuss techy things, or anything else that takes his fancy. Or not.

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In an ingenious plan along reverse-engineering lines Hazard is being paid in monkeys, so we’re expecting peanuts from him and we’re certain we won’t be disappointed!

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Take it away Hazard…

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.isOn a basic level, as a phone the HTC Desire has the best coverage for making and receiving calls that I have experienced to date. In my house, with any previous mobile (on the same network), I would have to go upstairs to get stable coverage for a call. The HTC is the first phone I have had that allows me to make calls anywhere in the house. Seems like a basic requirement but this is my first time being able to do this :)
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Next greatest thing about it is the apps – there are over 100,000 of the things
now and there is an app for pretty much anything you want. Obviously these are also available to any other Android phone, but since the HTC Desire is my first move into this world I’m putting it down as a plus here.
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I’m not talking about the stupid fart apps and cartoony games, but genuinely useful stuff like SSH client, Remote Desktop viewer, an excellent web browser with full Flash support, a brilliant app for geocaching (the GPS accuracy is unbelievably good by the way), Dropbox for accessing your files anywhere, Torque for connecting to your car’s engine and logging data, an IMDB app, Google Maps and Navigation (yes unlike
Nokia maps these need a net connection – but having a phone like this without a data plan would be crazy). Plus the Android user base has definitely reached a critical mass now, so any cool app you hear about on the iPhone will generally exist on Android too. When companies release an iPhone app for something (e.g.
RTE, Amazon, Paddy Power, etc etc) they will now make an Android version too.

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Also I like the way it integrates with your Google account to keep all your stuff. Some folks might not like Google having their fingers in everything but when you have your contacts, calendar and email all stored in the infamous “cloud” then it becomes less of an ordeal if you need to switch phone. On a new Android device, all I would have to do is run the initial setup wizard with my Google login & password, and from then on the phone will download and sync with all my stuff automatically. Plus if someone gives me their phone number, I can just create a new contact in Google contacts on my PC and it will pop up on the phone seconds later.
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Again, this is the Android aspect and so not related specifically to this phone, but since they are features of the HTC Desire I feel they are appropriate to state.
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Other things I like about it – it’s fast, it’s stable, it’s tough (as seen on holidays when I basically sat on a pointy rock with it in my back pocket.. the cheap screen-protector I had bought on ebay was torn, but thankfully the screen itself was undamaged. Phew!). It can act as a portable wifi hotspot, allowing its data plan to be used to connect your laptop to the net when you’re on the move.
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Anyway, yeah, I like it! So, what don’t I like…
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#1 – the internal storage for apps is too small. Applications usually consist of a certain size of “core” data that must be on internal phone memory, and then the rest of their data sits on the SD card. If you have a lot of apps that require large core data storage, then you’ll start to run out of internal memory. And then you have to uninstall stuff in order to put on new stuff. It requires a bit of discipline but I suppose it’s manageable. Would be nice to have more internal space tho. I have an 8GB SD card btw. You can go up to 32GB.
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#2 – the external speaker is woeful. You certainly wouldn’t enjoy watching videos or listening to music on it for any length of time without headphones. It’s barely good enough to make ringing noises. The Nokia 5800 has spoiled me in this regard I think, the sound quality from that was excellent, way better than any other phone before or since.
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#3 – some people complain about the battery life. It doesn’t bother me personally, but you pretty much need to charge the phone every night. If you don’t, chances are you’ll be in the red sometime the following day. When you get the HTC first, the battery life seems to be only a few hours! However the battery itself takes a few recharges in order to reach full capacity, and also during the first week or so, you tend to be playing with it constantly… once you get past the first week or two though the battery life isn’t really an issue.
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Ummm… that’s all I can think of.

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As a personal aside, I beliece now (early 2011) is not the best time to buy a new droid -or any smartphone for that matter. The rate of development at the moment is scary – all the manufacturers are ramping
up the specs to compete with each other (apart from Apple who are content with their direction -and why not?).
In another six months you’ll have dual-core cpus in mainstream phones and more internal storage. And next year, quad-core!
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Of course, whether you need any of that in a phone is debatable :) But when the phones nowadays are basically Linux computers you can put in your pocket, more power is always welcome.

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Reviews that might help

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Gadget Review

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IN DEPTH REVIEW: HTC Desire outguns the iPhone?

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Youtube review

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Hazard out.
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