HTC Desire HD smartphone

HTC Desire HD review: HTC's new flagship Android smartphone won't be for everyone, but the Desire HD's massive screen and updated software make it one of the best phones on the market

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HTC Desire HD
  • HTC Desire HD
  • HTC Desire HD
  • HTC Desire HD


  • Massive 4.3in screen
  • Excellent performance
  • Great Web browser


  • Poor battery life
  • Removable plastic compartments are awkward
  • Poor volume buttons

Bottom Line

The HTC Desire HD builds on the original Desire by adding a larger screen and updated software (from both Google and HTC). Aside from its questionable battery life, most of the Desire HD's flaws are minor. Put simply, the HTC Desire HD is a multimedia and Web powerhouse; it is one of the best smartphones on the market.

Would you buy this?

The HTC Desire HD is the successor to the HTC Desire. Offering a large display, the latest version of Google's Android software, an 8-megapixel camera and HTC's updated Sense user interface, this Android smartphone is only hampered by poor battery life.

Check out our HTC Desire HD vs iPhone 4 smartphone showdown.

More information on the HTC Desire HD Vodafone pricing.

Read our original HTC Desire review.

HTC Desire HD: Design and display

The first aspect of the HTC Desire HD that will grab your attention is the fact that it is big. Very big. The massive, 4.3in screen gives this smartphone a rather large footprint, though HTC's design team does deserve credit for giving the Desire HD an ergonomic design. Apart from giving the pocket of your jeans a slightly larger than usual bulge, the Desire HD's smooth edges and curved rear casing make it fit effortlessly in your hand; this is a real plus on a device with such a large display.

HTC Desire HD review

The HTC Desire HD has one of the largest screens of any smartphone: a 4.3in SLCD touchscreen.

The HTC Desire HD's body is constructed from a single piece of aluminium. In addition to looking and feeling every bit a premium piece of industrial design, the finish holds up well to the elements and is not easy to scratch or mark. To keep the device relatively thin, HTC has opted for a two compartments with removable plastic panels; one on the back left of the Desire HD stores the battery, while another at the bottom provides access to the SIM card and microSD card slots. Both compartments are fiddly to remove and don't sit completely flush with the aluminium casing. The battery compartment is a chore to click back into place, and the battery pops out as soon as you open the case; given you will hardly ever remove the battery this isn't a huge problem. A more pressing issue is the volume controls, which are awkwardly mounted on the left side of the phone and provide little in the way of tactile feedback. We also aren't a fan of the bottom-mounted 3.5mm headphone jack; it makes much more sense to us to have this located at the top of the phone.

The HTC Desire HD has a 4.3in SLCD screen, making it one of the largest Android smartphones currently available on the market. The SLCD display lacks the vibrancy of the Samsung Galaxy S's Super AMOLED screen and the iPhone 4's IPS screen, but its sheer size and responsiveness make it a winner. Viewing angles are excellent, though the Desire HD can be a little hard to see in direct sunlight due to its glossy finish. A minor design complaint is the fact that your fingers brush against the slightly raised casing when swiping across the screen, which can become annoying when you are constantly moving between home screens.

HTC Desire HD review

The HTC Desire HD has a unibody aluminium case.

HTC Desire HD: Software

The HTC Desire HD is one of the first Android smartphones to ship with the latest version of the Google Android platform: 2.2 or "Froyo". This adds full Flash support, built-in wireless tethering, and the ability to store supported third-party apps on your SD card. Froyo also offers a range of other improvements, mostly centred on speed and performance. The Desire HD is a blazingly fast smartphone; even when running multiple applications, we didn't experience any hint of slowdown or lag.

The Web browser benefits from Froyo as well as the massive screen. It's one of the best browsers you'll find on a smartphone that is not emblazoned with that shiny, chrome Apple logo. Unlike Cupertino's finest, the HTC Desire HD supports Flash video and looks great while doing so. We love that you can use multitouch to zoom out of a page and bring up currently open tabs, and both scrolling and zooming are smooth and fast. Naturally, the Desire HD's large screen is excellent for displaying multimedia and for text entry. We loaded a 720p .AVI file onto our microSD card, and played back the file through the standard video player without any issues. The Desire HD supports Dolby Mobile sound and SRS virtual surround sound; the former really did make a difference when watching movies, especially when using an upgraded set of headphones. The Desire HD is also great for text entry, and HTC's cursor magnifier makes editing easy.

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Greg Zeng


Similar size to my very unreliable HTC HD2 (Win 6.5 & Froyo) - in both hardware & software. Not the usual one-handed moble, but a small tablet computer. Luckily eBay has many replacement parts for self protection (screeen covers, cases) and repair parts. Regret buying HTC, eo chose the smaller (physically) Motorola Defy, with more pixels on the screen, but onlt one LED-flashlight.



I had HTC Desire HD for a few months now. It is one of the best phone that I ever had, especailly the ability to customise app viewing and choice that you can't find in iPhone 4, faster/larger internet view and interactive live wallpaper/skins. I chose to buy HTC Desire HD is the personal choice. I have nothing against iPhone 4 or Samsung Galaxy S. They are great phones. I have a long eye side so I need the bigger phone that I can see and read without my reading glass.... HTC Desire HD serves the purpose very well.

I chose this phone over iPhone 4 due to the attenna issue on iPhone 4. However, I missed the video call functionality but if I think about how many calls do I made for ? It is not really the big issue.

The battery issues is not a really major issue and it is more how clever you are in using multiple apps at the same time. I believe I will face the same issue with Samsung or iPhone 4. I normally use multiple functions/apps/downloads/upload when I only charge the phone. Then, the battery life is not really the issue for me.

Samsung Galaxy S is made from high grade plastic. However, it looks cheap for me. In term of design and material, iPhone 4 and HTC Desire HD is the winner for me.

It is personal choice to buy HTC Desire HD over iPhone 4 and Samsung Galaxy S.



I have seen that 'design flaw' ("our fingers brush against the slightly raised casing when swiping across the screen") is such a non-issue. Engadget (the iP4 fanboi's) started that non-sense and while I concede that it will occur, I would need to slap the person over their head if they needed to take their finger off the screen, into the body and then over the casing when they needed to move to a different screen. It takes a slight nudge in the centre 1 inch of the screen to change them! Yeeeesh!

Ross Catanzariti


Hi Akshay,

The raised edges aren't a huge issue, but I thought it was definitely worth mentioning. I think the Desire HD is a great phone, but the finish and fit is not as polished as some previous HTC phones, most notably the original Desire.



I recently bought this phone (HTC Desire HD). It has some serious design problems.... even though it has a big screen it has a very small font which can not be adjusted for the menu screen , SMS and many other applications. It is very difficult to read Text Messegaes unless you have very good vision. Having a big screen and very small non-adjustable font is utterly stupid of HTC. They obviously do not plan to sell it to people over 40. A 2nd very serious problem is the max possible volume of the phone is way to low making the speaker difficult to hear except in quiet situations.

sahil khajuria


i have just bought this phone and i must say that i have made the right decision to buy this phone. Absolutely stunning phone, great camera, nice big screen and i am loving this phone

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image, connection, music
• • •

If ur a child using this phone than yes the battery runs out esp. If ur tweeting ur bowel movements :) if ur an adult u can fix ur settings and save the battery life. Great camera! Samsung struggles getting aps to work HTC does not. I'm due for a new plan saw the new DNA droid hopefully it comes to oz the reviews are excellent. Love this phone love love




• • •

I have a htc desire hd I cracked the screen after two days {fell} everything works great, so after six months decide at my expence to get the screen fixed,,if the phone shops fix it i have no warrenty so crazy john say get it done by there people, WHO SAY IT IS BEYOND ECONOMICAL REPAIR, so im screwd for 18 months iphone can be fixed no probs, make your own mind up, HTC havent returned any responce yet been trying for a month.




fast, reliable
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I totally disagree with Micheal comment below. first, with the font small text in SMS, there is a function you can zoom in and out in there. Second, i dont find it hard to read, look at Mike comment, he/she mentioned that its easy to read, so how come you cant read it? Third, with the speaker, it actually really loud when you put maximum volume. maybe its just your phone you bought from cheap place or stolen phone? or maybe you might not root and up cooked rom. Please go to xda forums and look at the HTC Desire HD threats, you will find all your problems fixed. Cheers

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