HTC Desire S vs. Samsung Galaxy S II: Smartphone showdown

Which is the better smartphone -- HTC's Desire S or Samsung's Galaxy S II?

Android phones continue to rise in popularity in Australia. The Telstra-exclusive HTC Desire and the Samsung Galaxy S are two of the most popular models sold down under and both are being succeeded in 2011 by the HTC Desire S and the Samsung Galaxy S II, respectively.

Read our detailed previews of the HTC Desire S and the Samsung Galaxy S II, and check out our roundup of the best upcoming smartphones in 2011.

The HTC Desire S has a 3.7in SLCD display with a resolution of 480x800, a 5-megapixel rear camera that doubles as a 720p HD video recorder, a 1.3-megapixel front camera for video calls, and an aluminium "unibody" design that HTC claims makes it stronger than the original Desire.

The Samsung Galaxy S II boasts a large 4.3in Super AMOLED Plus display with a resolution of 800x480, an 8-megapixel rear camera that doubles as a 1080p HD video recorder, and a 2-megapixel front camera for video calls,

So how does the HTC Desire S compare against the Samsung Galaxy S II when it comes to specifications?

HTC Desire S vs Samsung Galaxy S II: Specifications

Feature HTC Desire S Samsung Galaxy S II Verdict?
Operating system (OS) Google Android 2.4 (Gingerbread) Google Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Draw
Display size 3.7in 4.3in Galaxy S II
Display technology Capacitive SLCD Capacitive Super AMOLED Plus Galaxy S II
Display resolution 480x800 pixels 480x800 pixels Draw
Multitouch Yes Yes Draw
Camera 5 megapixels, LED flash, autofocus, geotagging, image stabilisation 8 megapixels, LED flash, autofocus, geotagging, image stabilisation, face and smile detection Galaxy S II
FM radio Yes Yes Draw
GPS Yes Yes Draw
Internal memory 1.1GB 16GB or 32GB Galaxy S II
Expandable memory microSD card slot microSD card slot Draw
Dimensions 115 x 59.8 x 11.6mm 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5mm Galaxy S II
Weight 130g 116g Galaxy S II
Application store Google Android Market Google Android Market Draw
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon (1GHz) ARM Cortex A9 dual-core (1GHz) Galaxy S II
3G networks HSDPA 900/1900/2100 HSDPA 900/1900/2100 Draw
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n 802.11a/b/g/n Galaxy S II
Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP 3.0 with A2DP Galaxy S II
NFC (Near Field Communication) No Yes Galaxy S II
HDMI-out No No Draw
Quoted talk time Up to 7 hours 10 minutes Unknown Unknown
Quoted standby time Up to 455 hours Unknown Unknown
Adobe Flash support Yes Yes Draw

HTC Desire S vs Samsung Galaxy S II: Design

HTC claims one of the best features of the HTC Desire S Android phone is its design; unlike its largely plastic-bodied predecessor, the Desire S uses an aluminium "unibody" casing, the same design used on the HTC Legend and HTC Desire HD Android phones. HTC claims this unibody design makes the Desire S lighter but stronger than its predecessor.

HTC Desire S vs. Samsung Galaxy S II: Smartphone showdown

The HTC Desire S uses an aluminium "unibody" casing, which HTC claims makes it lighter yet stronger than the original Desire.

The Samsung Galaxy S II is just 8.49mm thick, making it thinner than the iPhone 4 and likely the thinnest smartphone in the world. The Galaxy S II has an attractive carbon-like finish on its rear battery cover; in our brief hands-on with the phone it felt both well built and extremely light.

We’ve seen HTC’s unibody design in previous Android phones and were left feeling extremely impressed. Although the Galaxy S II is super-thin, a plastic build can’t match an aluminium one, so the Desire S wins in this department — just.

Tags HTC Desire Sgalaxy s IIsamsunghtcGoogle Android phonesmobile phonesGoogle Androidsmartphones

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

Good Gear Guide

16 Comments

Dan

1

So... the 'iPhone 4' is still winning the 'Display resolution' category even though it isn't in the comparison!

Des

2

You know you're an Apple fanboi when it wins even when it isn't part of the comparison.

Grrr Power

3

Galaxy S II has an MHL (USB/HDMI) port, so yes.... it does have HDMI out. All you need is the right cable. :)

Rob

4

I disagree with the verdict on dimensions - Desire is a winner here I guess. 3mm less in thickness won't compensate for the added cm in height and width.
70cm3 for the Desire vs. 70.4cm3 for Galaxy.

Sol Garlic

5

You got it wrong.
It is 80cm3 for desire (and not 70) against the 70.4 for Galaxy!

Ross Catanzariti

6

The iPhone entry was a mistake and has since been corrected.

As for the dimensions, the verdict was mainly based on thickness. Of course the Galaxy S II is going to be bigger since it has a 4.3in screen.

Lee Pattinson

7

Gee Rob u got is soooo wrong, I've a feeling you won't be posting here again. But it's terrific that Samsung got all this into the Galaxy, a unit (listen Rob) 12% smaller than the Desire.

Let's hope the extra features work well. It's no good them being there if they are just crappy low-grade stocking fillers.

jesse

8

you cant compare these phones. they are in different spec classes, as the galaxy s ii should be compared to the desire hd and when the new version of that comes out they should be compared like the desire hd and the original sgs. this is like comparing the original desire with a sgs. stupid

Ross Catanzariti

9

Actually you can compare these phones, firstly because I just did, and secondly because they will be released in Australia around the same time and will directly compete with each other for sales. Hardly stupid.

The doc

10

Ross, Thanks a ton for doing all these comparisons. Even your comparison between the iphone and desire s was good.

The doc

11

I personally like android phones except for the fact that none of the latest android phones in the market support all the 4 UMTS/ HSPA bands. If the phone is with telstra then it is restricted to 850 , 2100 and some other band. If the phone is with vodafone or optus, then that will have the 850 missing and instead will have 900. Sadly, only iphone has all the 4 bands. I might be mistaken on the androids, so if anybody knows of a phone which support all 4 it would be good to know about it.

Ross Catanzariti

12

You are right doc, it is annoying. There are no Android phones sold in Australia with quad band 3G. They are usually seperate models; 900/2100 for Optus/Vodafone and 850/2100 for Telstra.

Only the iPhone 4 and the Nokia N8 have quad band 3G.

zaf

13

"actually you can compare ... because I just did it". Very good POV, really. You're no self-centered at all :-D
No, really, you CAN'T compare two smartphones such as these two only because they start shipping on the same week or (worse) only because you want to. Size is different, price is different, aim is (plainly) different. It would be the same to compare a Ferrari to a Fiat 500 Abarth "because they are both sport cars": they have both four wheels, only one steering wheel, an engine, and they can both travel on the same tracks: "Draw". See?, actually you can compare them: I just did it! :-D

Ross Catanzariti

14

I repeat, both the Desire S and the Galaxy S II will be released in Australia around the same time and like the current Desire and Galaxy S, the new models will directly compete with each other for sales. They will both be priced around the same on a 24 month contract through a carrier.

It is nothing like your ridiculous analogy.

Luigi Falco

15

"#12 Ross Catanzariti Mon 21/03/2011 - 09:42
You are right doc, it is annoying. There are no Android phones sold in Australia with quad band 3G. They are usually seperate models; 900/2100 for Optus/Vodafone and 850/2100 for Telstra.

Only the iPhone 4 and the Nokia N8 have quad band 3G."

For the record the Galaxy S II has Quad band as stated on Samsung's website http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/galaxys2/html/specification.html

Network
HSPA+ 21Mbps/ HSUPA 5.76Mbps
EDGE/ GPRS Class 12
Quad band GSM 850/900/1800/1900
Quad band UMTS 850/900/1900/2100

Should also compare internet speeds... Galaxy S II - 21Mbps vs Desire S 14.4Mbps

Also the Galaxy S II battery is 1650 mAh compared to Desire S at 1450 mAh.

David

16

@Rob

you should compare PPI for the displays and not the resolution itself.

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?