HTC Desire review: A desire come true

GSMArena team, 16 April 2010.

Tags: HTC, Android, Touch UI

The phonebook we like

HTC Desire features the same powerful phonebook we first saw on the Hero, and then the Legend. It resembles the one on the HTC TouchFLO but considerably extends its functionality.

Opening a contact's details presents you with the basic info for the contact - name and photo, numbers, emails and such. What you'd notice though is that there are another five tabs at the bottom and you're just viewing the first of them.

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Viewing a contact

The next tab holds the text messages received from the contact – it would have been a lot more useful if it held the entire conversation, but for that you’d have to go to the Messages app.

The third tab holds a list of emails you've exchanged with the contact. The next two tabs are quite interesting and can turn the Legend (or in fact any phone running the Sense UI) into a powerful social networking tool.

The first holds Facebook contact updates, and the other -called "Albums" - pulls the albums that contacts have created on Flickr and Facebook.

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Facebook and Flickr albums • call history

The final tab shows the call history for the contact.

The entire People app (the phonebook) is tabbed too and with more tabs than the stock Android. You have all contacts, groups (including favorite contacts), as well as a call log and "Online directories". The latter holds information for all your buddies’ online profiles.

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Phonebook • favorite contacts • groups • online directories

The contact editing screen looks exactly as in the Hero. There's no plus key to add a new detail of a certain type, just a delete detail key. This saves some space (one line per each category) but you have to scroll down to the bottom every time you want to add a new detail.

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Editing a contact

There is a lot of information you can store per contact as usual, and searching the phonebook is very easy - just press the search button.

Telephony

Voice quality in calls is quite good, even though the Desire lacks the noise-cancellation secondary mic of the Nexus One. In ear volume level is great – you don’t have to set it on maximum to have a nice audible sound. Reception is trouble-free as well.

The dialer features a keypad, a call log shortcut and a list of contacts beneath (you can hide the keypad). Smart Dialing is also available – no news since the HTC Hero, but quite an achievement compared to most other droids.

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The dialer • calling Dexter

The built-in proximity sensor makes sure the screen automatically switches off when you hold it next to your face during a call. That way you don’t risk pressing any keys by mistake with your ear or cheek.

The built-in accelerometer gives the HTC Desire a familiar cool feature: you can mute the ringer by simply turning the phone face down on the table. If you turn the handset back up, the ringing won't resume by itself.

The call log shows the latest dialed, received and missed calls all in one.

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The call log holds incoming, outgoing and missed calls

The HTC Desire doesn't have voice dialing enabled.

We ran our traditional loudspeaker test and here is how the Desire stacks among some other handsets we’ve tested.

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOverall score
Apple iPhone 3G66.1 62.171.7Below Average
Motorola MILESTONE69.778.066.2Good
Google Nexus One69.966.679.1Good
HTC Hero76.771.977.7Very Good
HTC HD275.772.878.0Very Good
HTC Legend78.074.379.7Excellent
HTC Desire76.675.784.6Excellent
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