HTC Desire – Review

I’ve had this phone for exactly one week now and its time to put up a small review about the user experience. I won’t go into detail about the screen, OS, touch inputs, etc since you can find all that has been covered by a lot of websites already.

Setting up the phone:
The first time boot and initialization procedures of the HTC Desire was a piece of cake. You’re first asked if you have a data plan on your SIM or connect via Wi-fi. Once you’ve done that its on to your account information. Since this is an Android phone its linked to your Google account and the first thing you do is sync with your Gmail and Google settings. You can add your Facebook, Flickr and Twitter account information too and they’re synchronized quickly.

Phonebook migration:
This was one area where I made a couple of mistakes but they were easily resolved when I figured out what had happened.**Note** don’t export your contacts as xls or csv file
1. If you have a reasonably new phone you’ll have the option to export/backup your phonebook onto an SD card or MemoryStick. My W810i saves the phonebook info into a .vcf file which you can then save to your PC. Follow the steps [here] and you’ll be ok.
2. Import the .vcf file into your Gmail contacts list. Just click on ‘Contacts’ and then use the ‘Import’ option to add the phonebook into your Gmail contacts.

3. In the Android menu, go to ‘Accounts and Sync’ and select your Google account. Click on the ‘Sync now’ button and all those contacts will be downloaded to your phone in a minute. The same is applicable for Facebook as well. So if your Facebook friends have got their phone numbers and photosgraphs updated in their profiles you’ll seem them in your contacts list.

Setting up Gmail was easy as it needed only your user ID and password. I’ve also setup my office mail on the phone using the ActiveSync settings. If you’re not sure about the domain/SMTP/POP settings you’ll be able to get them from the admin or IT guys at the office.

HTC Sync Software:
When you connect your mobile to a PC you have the option of setting it to ‘Sync’ mode or ‘USB drive’ mode. I installed the HTC Sync software and successfully synced some music but there seems to be some trouble syncing my bookmarks from Firefox. I’ll need to try that once again. Although the HTC support video playback there is no option to sync video. I found this [link] that explains how you can do it.

Android Market:
The Android market is still in its infancy and therefore may not have as many apps as the iStore but if you look hard enough you’ll find some neat apps and games. You can either browse the appstore [here] or check it from your mobile. Generally just read the comments and star rating to decide if you want to bother downloading it.

GSM communication is good, voice quality is great and the person on the other end is able to hear you clearly as well.
VOIP: Voice calls via Skype and Gtalk don’t work at the moment due to various reasons but if you’re using some service like Nimgo or ActionVoip you’ll be able to use them via Nimbuzz. Check the following links;
. Add a custom SIP account in Nymbuzz [link]
. ActionVoip SIP settings[link]

The camera on the HTC is not groundbreaking in terms of features but its quite decent @ 5MP and has autofocus which I like and the flash is adequate for close range shots. Right now the Desire does not have 720p video recording but the next software upgrade; Android 2.3 a.k.a Gingerbread should fix it. The checked the resolution menu and I have 720p video recording.

Battery Life:
Most of the reviews I’ve read mentions the horrible battery life of the Desire. In my case I leave the wi-fi and Bluetooth turned on most of the time but my web-browsing and twittering are minimal during office hours so it lasts me more than a day on a full charge. I also bought a car charger with USB port just for emergency situations. The phone can be charged from any USB port via USB-microUSB cable so if you’re in a pinch you can charge from any Desktop or Laptop.

What I like: (based on my short experience)
. The device feels solidly built and the quality of materials is really good. The rear panel and bottom front has a rubber coating that feels good in your hand while the main panel has a metallic kind of feel.

. Android integrates all your online accounts neatly into the phone and updates the contacts list, calendar and even tasks list!

. You have 7 workspaces to play with and believe me thats enough space for all your apps, shortcuts and widgets

. Connection to a PC is via micro-USB cable so you could borrow a cable from someone in emergency situations

. Optical touchpad is great while scrolling through text or webpages, its responsive and easy to operate

. Smooth graphics and windows animation,  3D games play without any noticeable delay or drag

What I don’t like: (once again, based on my short experience)

. Pre-installed apps are region specific and they can’t be installed without rooting the phone

. Battery life is short and its a good idea to charge every night

. Micro-SD card is located below the battery but you still need to remove the battery to access the card also the card needs to be unmounted from the OS before you can remove it(but if you remove the battery its ok I guess)

. Theres no dedicated shutter button for the camera and you must use either the touchscreen or the optical pad to shoot. This may be easy for some people but I prefer a dedicated button

. Earphones supplied with the phone aren’t really comfortable and I would’ve prefered a pair of ‘in-canal’ types

. No option for voice calls via Gtalk and Skype although this is more of an OS/apps problem than a device problem

. Speaker sounds a little ‘tinny’ which sounds bad when you’re watching videos or listening to music but it sounds OK during a call

Now heres an interesting topic; Rooting. You can read more about it and the Pros and Cons [here]

If you’re interested in rooting your phone you can follow the links below;
HTC Desire Root Tutorial [link]

Rooting Guide [link]

If your phone has a version of Hboot thats newer than .80 then follow these steps;[link]

8 Replies to “HTC Desire – Review”

  1. I think you should check again… after the Skype update I am able to make video calls via Skype. Earlier Skype on Galaxy S could not make any calls…but that was a Galaxy S issue.

    Yeah… I found the Desire’s earphones very uncomfy.

    The SGS has the same camera issue (other than the obvious, no flash issue) – no dedicated camera button… especially messy when u wanna take a self-shot! And the SGS is bigger than the Desire, so getting your fingers around it to reach the approximate (assumed) button area on the screen is worth some practice in acrobatics 😀

  2. Make sure to have it set on 3g network only – other wise you might have a problem with calls where callers can not hear your voice, though you will be able to hear theirs. A minor quirk, but annoying as hell.

  3. I am facing a problm: My Desire shuts dwn, nd thn falls in a loop in rebooting and shuttn dwn till i take the batery and the SIM off and do a cold reboot..R U facing this issue now? nd i bought it for KD109 from Eureka.

    1. Did you change the ROM on it? I had this problem when I loaded LeeDroid so I changed to MoDaCo.

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