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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Does anyone remember the Mystery of the HTC Desire and the suspect battery life? Well, this is the sequel: HTC Desire and the suspect-er battery life (that's the best we could come up with? You expect me to believe you used to work in Hollywood? Get out of my office...)

The battery life on the HTC Desire was iffy at best - it would last a day or so without a problem, but heavy usage would bring that right down to sometimes needing a midday boost.

Android 2.2 helped to make that less of an issue, but it still wasn't the greatest - and the problem was exacerbated by the fact that the iPhone 4 managed to find nearly 40% more battery life through some nice processor integration.

The video issue aside (which we hope will be fixed in the near future) this is the single biggest flaw on the HTC Desire HD – in our tests we managed to get just under 24 hours' use out of the phone without needing to recharge.

HTC desire hd review

The fear is that this will dwindle over time in the same way anecdotally HTC Desires appear to be doing.

If you start using the HTC Desire HD heavily, for video, music, camera or streaming media, then that battery life drops too, so you might need to recharge.

Where we struggled to work out what was nabbing the power from the HTC Desire, it's a pretty easy one with the Desire HD: the screen is apparently sucking half the power.

You can see when installing battery readers that the phone can hold charge quite easily in normal use – even when it's got push email on and is quietly syncing in the background, it's holding a pretty good charge, and as the signal doesn't drop too often it's not searching for another one.

HTC desire hd review

It's odd then that HTC has decided on a 1230mAh battery when it could have added in a 1500mAh option instead – surely that 20-odd percent increase is crucial?

And as it's the screen, we don't see how it can be remedied. Overall, we didn't find many days when we were reaching for the charger before we got home – but it gets a little too close for comfort.

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.