HTC Desire S review

Can HTC's first Android 2.3 smartphone live up to its blockbusting heritage?

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HTC Desire S review: Calling and contacts

You can access contacts on the HTC Desire S using the People app, or by just going straight into the phone app. Your most recently used contacts will be at the top, though the dialler underneath to search for someone.

HTC desire s

There's a widget on one of the Home screens by default for accessing your favourite contacts.

Contact lists can be imported in several ways. The most obvious is your Google contacts, which Android adds when you sign into one of the Google apps. You can also add Twitter and Facebook contacts.

As ever, this can mean multiple entries for people. We found the Desire S to be a bit hit and miss when it came to automatically linking people with similar names. It correctly suggested links for one person, for example, but left other when their Facebook names and Google contact names were identical.

Linking contacts manually isn't too arduous, though – there's a link button at the top of every contact, and it's then just a matter of searching for the other entry and hitting Save.

HTC desire s

The People app is presented as a list, with social networking status updates appearing beneath someone's name. You can sort by forename or surname, and you can also choose to display contacts from only some of your linked accounts if you want (for example, you could have Twitter and Google, but not Facebook).

HTC desire s

You can also use the arrow at the top to quickly see your contacts from only one of your social networking accounts, or go back to seeing all contacts.

We actually had some problems getting our Google contacts to work – they wouldn't appear in the list, despite being ticked in the options. It took a lot of fiddling, unticking, restarting and general faffery (it's a perfectly cromulent word) to get them working.

We couldn't see any reason for it, and if we searched in the dialler, we could find the contacts, but the Desire S just didn't want to play nice in the People app. We did get it sorted eventually, though, likely due to sync issues with the Google server - other users will probably find it works first time.

Going into someone's contact entry presents you with lots of useful quick options for getting in touch with them. The initial screen displays their phone and messaging details, and you can tap on them to get in touch using your preferred method.

HTC desire s

However, if you slide to the next tab at the bottom, you'll be able to see your text history with that contact, presented in a threaded view. You can send a new message from here.

HTC desire s

The next tab does the same for emails, and the next shows you their recent social network status updates. There's also one to see their galleries from linked social network sites, and buried right at the end is your call history with them.

HTC desire s

Adding a new contact sees you presented with the option of choosing to save to your cloud accounts or to the phone memory or SIM. After that, you've got all the usual options, including phone numbers, email addresses, IM usernames, postal addresses, birthday and more.

Of course, the more simple method also works – just tap a number into the dialler and a 'Save to People' option appears.

Calling

Call quality on the Desire S was excellent – one of the best we've tested recently. Voices are clear and easy to understand. It's generally loud enough to hear over external noise, although you'll inevitably struggle in heavy traffic.

The signal on the Desire S is acceptable, but not great. It seems to be quite generous in its apportioning of bars – we found very few situations where it had one bar; it tended to either show two or more, or none, which makes us think the thresholds must be quite low.

The Desire S also lost signal quite easily in known trouble spots, but – as we said before – call quality was very good, so it didn't seem to affect things adversely. There's a secondary mic on the back, which is obviously doing its job.

The loudspeaker is impressively potent for handsfree calls, even to the point that voices can become a bit shrill at full volume, but you certainly won't struggle to hear the other person.

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 Memory1.10 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameHTC
Battery Talk Time9.83 Hour
Product ModelDesire S
Screen Size9.4 cm (3.7")
Screen Resolution480 x 800
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)130 g
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.3 Gingerbread
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Instant Messaging, Email
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height115 mm
Width59.8 mm
Depth11.6 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time430 Hour
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameDesire S Smarphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeG-sensor, Digital Compass, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Accelerometer
Manufacturer Part Number99HMN007-00
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.europe.htc.com
Marketing InformationHTC Desire delivers intense brilliance, sharp contrast, and true colors on the expansive 3.7-inch AMOLED display. The 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor makes the phone incredibly responsive as you multitask from app to app without skipping a beat, while the instinctive HTC Sense experience lets you wield the power of the HTC Desire with the greatest of ease.

Make it Mine
With the HTC Desire, it's all about your information, your entertainment, your multimedia ... your way. A multitude of HTC Sense widgets makes it easy to transform your Home screen with rich content that personalizes your phone experience.

If you're a sports junkie or simply love to keep up to date with the latest news, the HTC Desire keeps you in the know with the News application. News makes it easier than ever to collect all your favorite articles from across the web. Choose from a selection of channels that cover top blogs, news sites or sports pages, or get news updates based on the keywords you select.

Stay Close
The HTC Desire excels at helping you stay in touch with the different circles of friends or colleagues in your life. The new People widget lets you bring any group you create on your phone right to the surface for easy access to calling, messaging, emailing or simply checking up on social networking updates.

The HTC Desire simplifies the way that you tend to all of your social networks. With Friend Stream, your interaction with friends across multiple social networks like Facebook®, Twitter™, and Flickr™ are brought into a single easy to follow stream of updates, photo posts, and shared links. Friend Stream also lets you shout out your thoughts or feelings to all your online friends with a single comment that gets broadcast to both Facebook and Twitter.

Discover the Unexpected
HTC Desire offers an expansive display, a blazing-fast processor, and a great interface. On top of that, it has a lot of little design touches that make a big impact on your overall phone experience: like quick and easy access to any panel of your Home screen with the new seven-panel 'helicopter' thumbnail view, or the polite ringer that lowers the ringer volume when you pick up the phone.

Your work email, calendar appointments, and contacts, are right there on your phone - you can even look up any company contact in the global address book. The HTC Desire also has enhanced support for Exchange security features such as password protection and remote data wipe. And, if you forget to tell your colleagues that you are taking the much needed day off, you can set the 'Out of Office' status right from your phone.

Main Features
  • Android™ 2.1 (Éclair) with HTC Sense™
  • 119 x 60 x 11.9mm
  • 135g with battery
  • Bluetooth® 2.1 with Enhanced Data Rate
  • 5 megapixel colour camera with auto focus and flashlight
  • G-Sensor
  • 3.7" AMOLED touch-sensative screen with 480 x 800 WVGA resolution
  • Wi-Fi®
  • Optical Mouse
  • microSD™ memory card
  • Facebook™ integration
  • HTC Peep for twittering
Package Contents
  • Desire S Smarphone
  • Battery (preinstalled)
  • microSD card (preinstalled)
  • USB cable
  • 3.5mm stereo headset
  • Power adapter
  • Quick start guide
  • Safety and regulatory guide
  • Call center card (hotline card)
  • Warranty card
Limited Warranty1 Year