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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Messaging is integral to the performance of the HTC Desire HD, and once again HTC has come up trumps with the range of things you can do with it.

We're talking email (both POP/IMAP and Exchange) SMS, MMS, IM, Twitter and Facebook – and all are just slick and superlovely to set up too.

Things like automatically suggesting the email address you used to sign into Google for Facebook signing in show that a lot of thought has gone into the UI of this phone, and will instantly make you coo with delight at the ease of it all.

In fact it only takes around two minutes to set up all the above accounts, even Exchange – that only takes a user name and password and in 90% of the cases you'll be receiving work emails in a trice. If not, then manual set up is just a click away.

HTC desire hd review

The keyboard on the HTC Desire HD is once again fantastic – it's highly responsive, works out which words you're after most of the time and defaults to them, and also has cursor keys at the bottom to move around the text when you only want to change a single letter.

HTC desire hd review

We were expecting it to be even better than the original HTC Desire because of the larger screen, but that wasn't the case – it's probably the equal, although in landscape mode it's pretty much unerring.

HTC desire hd review

Email has been overhauled with the new Sense UI as it now offers more swipe-able options at the bottom of the screen to make navigating through the multitude of messages.

HTC desire hd review

For instance, you can swipe along to only see messages from your favourite contacts, meaning you can quickly get to the important stuff from the cool people easier.

You can specify who this group is – we initially thought it was locked to favourites only, but a bit of digging showed that lists can be altered using the 'View' category in the menu.

Google Mail has also had a few tweaks, with larger icons making it easier to reply and scan through your messages – it's these little tweaks that Google is making to Android that make using devices like the Desire HD a constant pleasure.

In terms of social networking, there are three clients included in the box – although Twitter is doubled up, so it's technically four.

Both the official Android Twitter client and HTC's Peep are included out of the box, which is odd – especially when HTC's Peep is the one that serves the notifications that you have mentions and messages automatically.

HTC desire hd review

Both are easy to use though – Peep is a little less functional but perfectly usable (and integrated with the phone book) and Twitter offers more in terms of wider searching – although there are other (in our opinion, better) options available on the Android Market, like TwiDroyd.

Facebook is handy, as it's been overhauled to offer up new elements like a photo stream under the icons grid, and of course Google Talk is included too for instant messaging.

You get chat notifications as well as the ability to have multiple chats at once –it's not earth shattering, especially if you've never used it, but if you're one for a spot of Google Talking then this is a pretty good way to keep it happening on the go.

However there are other options in the market too that let you connect with Windows Live Messenger, so check those out if you fancy chatting via other avenues.

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.