HTC Desire - Unleashed Android Power

Launch SRP: S$648

Design

Sharing a Desire

What makes the Desire, well, desirable, is its simplicity. At first glance, the unit bears a strong resemblance to the Nexus One, down to the curves and matted materials used in its construction. The same 3.7-inch AMOLED capacitive screen populates the front, and a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash is placed at the usual rear of the device. But this isn't an exact clone of the earlier Nexus One, and it has a few obvious differences.

The first of which is its front panel, which uses physical buttons in lieu of the Nexus One's touch panels. Further to that, the buttons have a slight change in placement. An optical trackpad instead of a trackball is placed in between the four buttons. What's more noticeable, both in sight and usage, is the swapping of the Home and Back buttons. For a right-hander, it tends to make more sense for the often used Back button within easier reach on the right. The Desire kept to its slim profile, but not exactly straight. The signature curved chin at the bottom, seen on its other Android devices such as the HTC Dream, Hero and Magic, is also present on the Desire, albeit in a more subdued form.

Both the Desire (left) and Nexus One (right) are similar in form factor and size, but that's as far as the similarities end.

While the Nexus One's Power button is built as a thin strip, the Desire chose to compress it into a thicker and shorter strip for easier access.

The obvious difference is found on the front panels. The Desire chose to use physical buttons over the Nexus One's touch-sensitive panels.

The return of the chin on the Desire, though not as pronounced as its other Android siblings.

For its input ports, the Desire keeps to the usual 3.5mm audio port and a microUSB port at the top and bottom respectively. We were absolutely pleased with what we've been seeing, until we attempted to access the battery. Rather than taking on the Nexus One's approach with a sliding casing, the Desire requires you to pry the casing open to reach for the battery, and by proxy, the microSD and SIM card. But take comfort in the fact that once you've inserted both cards within, you probably won't need to reach for it in the immediate future.

The standard microUSB once more, at the bottom of the device.

Pry, open and access the battery, microSD and SIM card behind the device.

9.0
Design
9
Features
9.5
User-Friendliness
9
Performance
8.5
Value
9.5
The Good
Enhanced and fast user experience with updated HTC Sense.
Great multimedia experience on its 3.7-inch AMOLED screen.
Availability of internet tethering and FM radio features on Android.
The Bad
Less than a day of heavy usage.
Average audio playback quality.
More work required on imaging quality.