The Desire HD takes a rather large departure from the original Desire in terms of design, but we aren't complaining. Bearing a closer resemblance to the HTC HD2 and taking a leaf out of HTC Legend's unibody design, the smartphone sports a less curvy, more rectangular body, and a missing chin but sports the welcomed matte surface that was also found on the Desire. However, the most obvious physical difference, which might be a significant reason for an upgrade, is the Desire HD's humongous 4.3-inch screen - a clear physical upgrade over the Desire's 3.7-inch. Nonetheless, it adheres closely to HTC's emphasis on simplicity as the screen takes up much of the real estate on the front, alongside four touch buttons. Yes, HTC has not only done away with physical buttons this time, but has also removed the optical trackball.
With regards to its input ports, the Desire HD sports the usual suspects, namely the 3.5mm audio jack and a microUSB port. However, instead of placing them separately, the ports have been lumped together at the bottom. On the other hand, turning to its back, we realized that the battery, microSD and SIM cards have been separated. Unlike the Desire, the back cannot be peeled or pried off entirely; instead, the Desire HD sports two separate compartments, one for the battery, and the other for the important cards. While the cards are easily accessible as you are only required to slide the cover down, getting to the battery is a tricky affair as you have to pry it open for access. Fitting it back is an equally annoying affair, given that the cap is a tad small and flimsy. However, the upside is that you won't require to access the battery most of the time as it's not a shared compartment.