HTC Desire S review

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

TODO alt text

HTC Desire S review: Camera

HTC desire s

The HTC Desire S has proved to be a beast of incremental upgrades over the original Desire, and the camera is no exception. The five-megapixel sensor hasn't changed, but it's now possible to record in HD at 720p.

There are no scene modes on the Desire S for easy tweaking, though you can manually adjust the sharpness, saturation, contrast and exposure using sliders, and you can select the white balance and ISO value yourself as well (though we found the auto settings fine).

Photos can be geotagged, and there's a face detection option. You can leave the camera to autofocus itself, or you can tap to focus to bring a specific area into focus.

There are also several effects you can apply, including Distortion, Vignette, Greyscale, Depth of field, Dots and more.

HTC desire s

The camera is fast to operate, with little noticeable shutter lag, and reviewing photos is quick and easy. As is so often the case these days, there's no dedicated camera button, so you'll have to use the on-screen shutter, but this worked well enough in our tests.

HTC desire s

Click here for full-res version

OUTDOORS: The brightness of this shot is good, and the colours and shadows are all accurate for the scene. There's a good amount of detail for a phone camera in the tree's branches, but the size of the sensor really becomes obvious when you study it at full size – everything becomes soft quite quickly. It's still good, though

HTC desire s

Click here for full-res version

CONTRAST: There are parts of this shot that become really quite blurry (the tops of the towers on the left, for example), but it's generally quite detailed, and handles the contrast between the bright sky and shaded guitarist brilliantly

HTC desire s

Click here for full-res version

VIGNETTE: The Vignette effect seems to boost the colours as well as shade the corners (you can adjust the exact amount that gets blacked out), and the result is blurry and overly vibrant mess

HTC desire s

Click here for full-res version

WARM VINTAGE: This is the Warm Vintage effect, and it picks up slightly more detail than the Vignette version

HTC desire s

Click here for full-res version

POSTERIZE: The Posterize effect in all its fuzzy glory

HTC desire s

Click here for full-res version

INDOORS: This was taken in good indoor light, but the camera had trouble focusing. Everything's a little blurry, and the artificial lights have washed out the colours slightly

HTC desire s

Click here for full-res version

CLOSE UP: There's no macro mode, which sort of shows. The pink is captured well, but the texture of the fake petals has been mostly lost

HTC desire s

Click here for the full-res version

FLASH: Poor Wall-E is in a sorry state. The flash only barely illuminated him from about 50cm away, and there's lots of digital noise in the picture as the camera tried to compensate. Focusing was also an obvious issue

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