HTC Desire HD review

The Desire's successor finally lands but is it an improvement?

The definitive HTC Desire HD review
The definitive HTC Desire HD review

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HTC desire hd review

We haven't been as excited about a new phone in a while as we have with the HTC Desire HD - the original Desire was so close to perfection in our eyes when it came out that we couldn't wait to see its successor.

The Desire HD certainly has the specs to make the step up, and we were intrigued by the prospect of a new Sense UI too - but what about that massive screen?

We liked

Well, where do we start? If you've already become a full signed-up member of the Android brigade, then there might not be as much to surprise you on the HTC Desire HD - but that doesn't mean there's nothing to enjoy.

From the flawless interface to the superb web browser, we fell in love with Android all over again thanks to the HTC Desire HD.

The HTC Hub adds a whole new layer of functionality and customisation to proceedings, and the Fast Boot blew our socks off. Metaphorically, not literally.

The camera performance is fast, the gaming experience is up there with the best - we just need some better games on the Android market now.

The elements that worked well on this phone we can't praise highly enough - it has that 'playable with' factor that will have you reaching for it to read a book, watch a video or listen to a track when you're bored, not because you need to - and that's something HTC has nailed in the smartphone experience here.

We disliked

We're sad to report that there were more things to dislike on the HTC Desire HD than we were expecting - and battery life was a big one.

We're not sure how it will stand up over time compared to the HTC Desire original, but it doesn't bode well when under medium usage we can only get just under 24 hours' use out of the phone.

Why is there such a small battery under the hood? Surely that would solve the issue?

Of more concern is the reason: that large display sucks an awful lot of juice, and it doesn't even have the wow factor of the Samsung Galaxy S' Super AMOLED screen.

The screen is also going to be a turn off for some people. If you can handle a screen of this size, then you'll love this phone no doubt... we really do, and we don't want to give it back.

But it is a little big in the hand, and it's hard to hit some functions without having to resort to a second set of fingers, which is annoying.

The size also means it can fall out of your hand a little easier, which could lead to more breakages.

The video issue is really annoying, as it should be one of the main selling points of this phone - HTC, get this sorted soon please.

That stupid Bluetooth audio issue is still hanging around, and the portal needs sorting out soon, as it's not functioning at full power just yet.


It would be a massive step too far to say we were disappointed with the HTC Desire HD, as it's only because the bar has been set so high with previous iterations in HTC's Android portfolio.

The screen size will be an issue for some people, but that's subjective; you'll either want it or you won't.

A more pressing issue is the battery life - people might be coming round to the daily charging idea, but if you can't last a day in some instances that's going to get tiresome very quickly.

Believe us when we say that the HTC Desire HD is going to be the perfect handset for a lot of people (providing the price stays at a reasonable level) and we'd certainly recommend it as the phone to get if you want the very latest in cool smartphone technology that actually works.

But that battery issue, combined with a few other niggles, leave us wondering if HTC has started to reach a little too far with the ultra-cool factor on its handsets.

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.