Product Type: HTC Smartphone
Newest Review: ... III my partner has, which is thinner and quite a good looking gadget. I don't think this HTC Desire tries to be particularly good looking.... more
My hearts desire
Member Name: 85fiona
Advantages: great features, reliable, easy to use
Disadvantages: slighty dated now, better phones available
I've had this phone now for over 18 months and I have to say I love it, it's my first ever smartphone so I don't really have anything to compare it to, but it certainly is a nifty little gadget.
I got this phone on a 24 month contract from O2, I have been with them for a number of years and this is my third contract phone with them. I used to be with vodafone but O2 were offering a better deal so I changed to them. The phone cost me £90 and the contract is around £37 a month including insurance (thats about £8 I think) and includes unlimited texts to any network, 1gb of mobile internet (it was unlimited but I think it might be capped to 1gb, but I am not sure, don't use that much internet really) and 200 any network minutes. Not the best deal in the world I know, but I stuck with O2 because I get my broadband with them and you get £5 off a month if you are a mobile customer. I did shop around before I got this contract and it was the best deal for me. Of course this phone is a bit on the old side now so you would probably be able to get a much cheaper deal or a much better phone for the same price now adays.
I did a lot of research on phones before I got this one, to start with I wasn't definitely going to go with a smart phone, but after lots of research I decided thats what I wanted. I did toy with the idea of getting an iphone, but the contract prices were a lot higher and upon reading reviews I was directed towards the HTC desire, a smartphone which was suggested to be better than the iphone and was a lot cheaper.
I got my phone in an O2 shop because I wanted to be able to see the phone in person before I decided to get it. I was torn between the HTC desire and the samsung wave, I probably would have gone for the wave but its operating system was samsungs own system called Bada which was fairly new at the time, so I was swung towards the HTC desire and I ended up being very pleased with my choice.
This phone has a lot of features, I will try to go through the most important ones and not bore you too much with technical details.
The phone itself is black with a silvery coloured border round the screen. It is very sleek looking and has HTC printed both at the top part of the screen and in larger letters at the back. If you have never had a smartphone before the size of it takes a bit of getting used to but it can still easily fit into a handbag or a pocket.
The HTC desire has a 3.7inch AMOLED capacitive touch screen. Below the touch screen area is a set of 5 physical buttons, the home button, menu button, a rollerball button, back button and search button. On the left hand side of the phone is a volume up/down control and at the top is the lock/unlock button and an audio jack. The charging cable fits into the bottom of the phone and it can be charged both through a mains plug and through your computer via usb.
The physical dimensions of the phone are 119 x 60 x 11.9mm and it weighs about 135g. The phone has a camera, as would be expected from a phone these day, the camera is pretty good at 5mp and has an LED flash. The camera can be used for both photographs and videos. The quality is pretty good for a phone, though sometimes the flash can make photographs look over exposed. The whole back of the phone cover can be removed, which is a bit tricky, behind the cover you will find the battery (1400 mAh), the sim card and a microSD card slot, I think the phone comes with a 4gb card but you can put up to 32gb in the slot.
The phones operating system is android, most smart phones these days are either android, apple or blackberry, so it is a tried and tested system which is regularly updated and problems with it should be resolved quickly. There is an android market where you can download apps for your phone, some are free some you have to pay for. There are literally hundreds of thousands of apps available in the market so there should be an app for anything you want to do! The phone comes preloaded with a number of apps such as an internet browser, gmail, facebook, calendar, messenger ect I can't remember exactly what it comes with but any other apps you want can be easily downloaded from the store, I've got tons of apps and they have all been free :)
The phones home screens are very customisable. You have 7 home screens which you can slide between using your finger on the touch screen or using the rollerball button bellow the touch screen. Each of these screens can be customised with shortcuts and widgets of your choice, you can also change the background which can be any picture you want really, there are even pictures that move. The widgets I have on my home screens include the calendar, weather, clock, bbc news, facebook and fml (very funny ;) ). I also have shortcuts to text messages (I use handscent sms instead of the messenger app that comes with the phone), market, camera and camcorder, msn talk, email and web browser.
Of course as its a phone it can be used to text and to call people. The phone has a QWERTY keyboard which pops up on the touchscreen when texting, the phone can also be turned to a sideways orientation which can make it easier to text. Phoning people is easy. At the bottom of each home screen is a large button saying "Phone" with a picture of a phone on it. Pressing this takes you to screen with the numbers on a touchpad plus a list of recent calls or you can switch to your phone book to choose who you want to call. People in your phonebook can also be linked to their facebook account so their facebook pictures appear next to their names, I find this to be a bit glitchy as the pictures don't update when the person changes them on facebook.
The phone can also be used as music player, I have an ipod so I don't use it for that unless my ipod runs out of battery! Music can be played through the headphones or through the phones speakers if the headphones are not plugged in. The music player app is fairly easy to use, not as good as an ipod I would say but thats maybe because I am just used to my ipod.
Music, videos and photos can be added to your phone via a usb cable to your computer, this is fairly easy to do, I have music on my phone to set as ringtones and as my alarm. You can also take pictures and videos you have shot with your phone and move them to your computer, these can also be directly uploaded from your phone to sites such as facebook or sent via email.
Internet browsing on this phone is very easy, it comes preloaded with an internet browser but I downloaded dolphin browser as I prefer it. The different apps like facebook or twitter which use internet also work very well. How fast the internet is mainly depends on how good the 3G signal is, I live in a city and the internet runs pretty fast, my parents live in a more rural area and the internet there can be very slow at times, you can always use wifi though if that is available.
The main grumble people tend to have with smartphones is the battery life, I have to say the HTC desire battery life isn't great, my old phone used to go for 3 or 4 days without needing charged, this phone I usually charge every night or every other just in case (I use it for an alarm so I don't want it to die in the night!) I find the battery can last for up to 3 days if I hardly use it, the "official" battery time is up to 360 on standby which is a massive overestimation, though maybe if you just left the phone sitting and did nothing to it it might last that long, where's the fun in that though ;)
Have only had a few minor issues with the phone, occasionally it will freeze or randomly reset itself, but that is really uncommon, am talking only once a month at most, but most electronic items have their freak out moments on occasion so I won't hold it against it.
Overall I have to say this is a great phone. It was first released nearly 2 years ago so it is slightly dated now, but is still seriously good. It maybe be slightly more difficult to get this phone on a contract as it is quite old but you can pick it up sim free from amazon for £220, when it first came out you were about £450 for it.
My real dilemma is whether to keep my phone on a sim only contract when my renewal date comes (only in about 3 months) up or get a shiny new phone. The first option should be cheaper and there is really nothing wrong with my desire, but the lure of a new phone is always tempting :)
Summary: a great smart phone