HTC Desire review

The most powerful Android phone ever - but is it the best?

The definitive HTC Desire review
The definitive HTC Desire review

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HTC desire

The HTC Desire is a feature-rammed phone with the hardware to support it. It's got a huge screen with the 1GHz processor underneath, and the Sense UI is a system that keeps getting better with every iteration.

Coming just after the HTC Legend, it improves on all the issues we saw with that (battery life, Peep and Friendstream slow to update etc) and adds in some decent extra hardware as well.

We liked

We liked nearly every single thing on the HTC Desire - it just works as you want it to as a phone and an internet tablet at the same time.

The Sense UI, Leap View and social network integration is all seamless and useful, the Live Wallpapers are super cool and the internet browser with pinch to zoom is fantastic.

Music and video playback was rich and simple, the camera is probably the best we've seen from HTC, the overall experience was fast and intuitive - in short it's easier to find things we didn't like.

We disliked

We'll level with you - there's not a lot wrong with this phone. The Bluetooth music playback is a little patchy and the battery will drop a little easily if you leave everything updating in the background.

Although the latter is a little annoying out the box (HTC wants you to use lots of updating widgets from the start) once you take some things down (or set them to manually update) the battery use is a lot better.


In short, this is a phenomenal phone - one of the best we've ever had on TechRadar. Usually when we like a phone on the first use, we end up horribly disappointed after a little time with it, but the HTC Desire kept on performing and achieving when we thought it wouldn't.

The screen is lovely, the design is slick and processor makes everything happen in a flash - all you'd want from a smartphone.

Sure, some people will want slightly nicer design (we'd advise you check out the Legend) or a simpler home screen and richer app store at the moment (look at the iPhone 3GS) but as a piece of hardware it's without par in the mobile world.

A stunning phone, and one that will show the world that Android isn't just for the hackers and phone geeks any more.

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Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.