The Google Nexus One was given the grace of a market head start but it’s no longer standing lonely at the top. And even if it looks like a brotherly reunion, the HTC Desire is in fact a formidable rival. That’s between HTC and Google though. Users have hardly reasons to complain.
The limited availability of the Nexus One only works in the HTC Desire’s favor. The HTC Desire ships worldwide and its current street price is around 440 euro. That’s just a bit more than the Google Nexus One and it won’t be long perhaps before they’re level.
As to the differences, the HTC Desire seems to get the upper hand but it’s not just quite as capable as promised. DivX support and 720p video recording didn’t make it on time, although there’s word of including them in a future update. The HTC Desire comes with the company’s proprietary Sense UI on top of the E'clair and Flash support in the web browser. We do prefer the hardware buttons to the Nexus One’s capacitive controls but the trackpad doesn’t quite cut it. We’d take the trackball any day.
Now, the complicated family issues aside, let’s look at a real competitor. The recently unveiled I9000 Galaxy S is Samsung’s most powerful Android smartphone – and quite keen to challenge for the top spot. Featuring a breathtaking four inches of Super AMOLED display and a fast 1GHz processor, the Galaxy S also runs E'clair and offers a 5-megapixel snapper. What’s more, codec support and high-res video are all there so HTC better hurry with that upgrade.
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 has the older Donut (Android OS v1.6) and its price is steep. The X10 is still quite a catch though. It has a Snapdragon inside and a bigger screen too. The real edge over the Android rivals however is the 8-megapixel autofocus camera.
So, this is the latest in Android and we have no reason to be disappointed. The Desire is confidently taking charge of the HTC Android lineup. With gadgets like the Hero and the Legend behind it, this is one of the most impressive droid fleets these days. The HTC Desire has the background and the inspiration, and it has some bonus hype, courtesy of the Nexus One. Out of two identical phones, most users will of course get the one that’s more readily available.