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HTC Desire HD review

The Desire's successor finally lands but is it an improvement?

HTC desire hd review

We haven't been as excited about a new phone in a while as we have with the HTC Desire HD - the original Desire was so close to perfection in our eyes when it came out that we couldn't wait to see its successor.

The Desire HD certainly has the specs to make the step up, and we were intrigued by the prospect of a new Sense UI too - but what about that massive screen?

We liked

Well, where do we start? If you've already become a full signed-up member of the Android brigade, then there might not be as much to surprise you on the HTC Desire HD - but that doesn't mean there's nothing to enjoy.

From the flawless interface to the superb web browser, we fell in love with Android all over again thanks to the HTC Desire HD.

The HTC Hub adds a whole new layer of functionality and customisation to proceedings, and the Fast Boot blew our socks off. Metaphorically, not literally.

The camera performance is fast, the gaming experience is up there with the best - we just need some better games on the Android market now.

The elements that worked well on this phone we can't praise highly enough - it has that 'playable with' factor that will have you reaching for it to read a book, watch a video or listen to a track when you're bored, not because you need to - and that's something HTC has nailed in the smartphone experience here.

We disliked

We're sad to report that there were more things to dislike on the HTC Desire HD than we were expecting - and battery life was a big one.

We're not sure how it will stand up over time compared to the HTC Desire original, but it doesn't bode well when under medium usage we can only get just under 24 hours' use out of the phone.

Why is there such a small battery under the hood? Surely that would solve the issue?

Of more concern is the reason: that large display sucks an awful lot of juice, and it doesn't even have the wow factor of the Samsung Galaxy S' Super AMOLED screen.

The screen is also going to be a turn off for some people. If you can handle a screen of this size, then you'll love this phone no doubt... we really do, and we don't want to give it back.

But it is a little big in the hand, and it's hard to hit some functions without having to resort to a second set of fingers, which is annoying.

The size also means it can fall out of your hand a little easier, which could lead to more breakages.

The video issue is really annoying, as it should be one of the main selling points of this phone - HTC, get this sorted soon please.

That stupid Bluetooth audio issue is still hanging around, and the HTCSense.com portal needs sorting out soon, as it's not functioning at full power just yet.

Verdict

It would be a massive step too far to say we were disappointed with the HTC Desire HD, as it's only because the bar has been set so high with previous iterations in HTC's Android portfolio.

The screen size will be an issue for some people, but that's subjective; you'll either want it or you won't.

A more pressing issue is the battery life - people might be coming round to the daily charging idea, but if you can't last a day in some instances that's going to get tiresome very quickly.

Believe us when we say that the HTC Desire HD is going to be the perfect handset for a lot of people (providing the price stays at a reasonable level) and we'd certainly recommend it as the phone to get if you want the very latest in cool smartphone technology that actually works.

But that battery issue, combined with a few other niggles, leave us wondering if HTC has started to reach a little too far with the ultra-cool factor on its handsets.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory1.50 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameHTC
Battery Talk Time9.16 Hour
Product ModelDesire HD
Screen Size10.9 cm (4.3")
Screen Resolution480 x 800
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)164 g
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.2 Froyo
Messaging TypeEmail, Instant Messaging, SMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service)
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height123 mm
Width68 mm
Depth11.8 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time420 Hour
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameDesire HD Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Digital Compass, G-sensor
Manufacturer Part Number99HL2001-00
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.europe.htc.com
Marketing Information

Fun on the web, the way you want it

HTC Desire HD has a super-fast 1Ghz processor to take you anywhere online in seconds, plus a clever zoom that automatically reflows text and images to fit your screen. Because the internet should work around you. Not vice versa.

See everything on the big screen

Gone are the days of squinting at tiny screens and missing all-important details. Now, with the HTC Desire HD, you can experience a truly great browsing experience on its large 4.3" screen. With added features like pin-sharp text display, vivid photos and vibrant video, the HTC Desire HD is designed to enhance your favourite websites, YouTube clips and Facebook photos.

Package Contents
  • Desire HD Smartphone
  • Battery
  • microSD Card
  • USB Cable
  • 3.5mm Stereo Headset
  • Power Adapter
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Safety and Regulatory Guide
Limited Warranty1 Year