HTC Desire review

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

The definitive HTC Desire review
The definitive HTC Desire review

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

The battery in the HTC Desire was 'only' a 1400mAh effort - we'd have like to see a 1500mAh option there, as is the case with so many other smartphones at the moment.

We're also a little concerned about the battery life - it dropped rather quickly, and although you'll get a day's worth of use out of it under normal use (ie web browsing, calling etc) it can drop a little alarmingly fast at times.

HTC desire

We had a little look at what was munching on the power so much (thanks to the Android battery meter) and it seems to be the widgets (in particular FriendStream) and synchronising that's taking a lot of the power, along with the constant flicking to roaming networks and back to 3G.

We found a big increase in battery life if we stopped updating Peep, Friendstream and emails all day long, and when set to '2G networks only' the battery life also improved to three days' use without problem.

HTC desire

We'd also advise you download Advanced Task Killer from the App Market - it's a great way of shutting down running programs and thus saving you a lot of battery life.

We're used to having to charge a smartphone every day, so we don't see this as much of a problem, and it's good there are options to extend the battery life if you want it to last longer.

Google Maps, as you can imagine, is included as standard - we urge you to upgrade to GMaps 4.1 as soon as possible.

HTC desire

Basically, this has overhauled the UI so you can swipe through categories when clicking on an address - you can see information and reviews much more easily than before.

The GPS signal also locked on very fast with the HTC Desire, making finding yourself on a map very easy.

HTC desire

The UK still isn't deemed worthy enough to have the Google Navigation feature as yet, and we're starting to doubt if we'll ever have it, especially if it's a legal issue for Google.

It's a shame, as this could be a great Sat Nav with the bright and clear screen to play with - and the Nexus One is clearly set up to be just that in the US.

There's one last cool surprise with Google Maps 4.1: a new live wallpaper.

You set it up, and suddenly the background shifts to where you are, highlighted by a little dot.

And if you're friends are nearby and logged into Latitude, you can see that as well - creepy but handy if you don't want to have keep logging into maps to see what's going on in your area.

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.