Hands-on with the HTC Desire: Telstra’s first Android smartphone

We get up close and personal with the HTC Desire

HTC's Desire includes a feature called HTC Friend Stream, combining contacts from multiple social networks including Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.

HTC's Desire includes a feature called HTC Friend Stream, combining contacts from multiple social networks including Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.

Jointly unveiled by HTC and Telstra at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, HTC’s Desire will be the first Android smartphone available through Telstra. We were fortunate to get a quick hands-on demo with the new handset. So is it really desirable?

Our first impressions were largely positive. The HTC Desire looks very similar to Google’s Nexus One smartphone, which of course was also designed and built by HTC. It has the same 3.7in AMOLED display, so brightness, colour and viewing angles are particularly impressive.

The HTC Desire features an upgraded version of HTC’s Sense UI. Two new features include the ability to pinch the home screen to quickly display and select one of seven home screens — called Leap — and a new contacts feature called HTC Friend Stream. The latter integrates all of your social networking contacts including Facebook, Twitter and Flickr into one organised “stream” of updates. This effectively negates the need to access separate applications to view this information.

The HTC Desire that we tested was running the latest version of Android, 2.1. Combined with the 1GHz Snapdragon processor, most tasks are performed fast and efficiently. We were impressed with the general speed of the phone — applications opened and closed quickly, there was no evidence of any lag and the overall user experience was a positive one.

Overall, we’re really looking forward to the launch of the HTC Desire, which Telstra says is “on track” for April. No pricing has been announced, but Telstra has promised it will be priced “aggressively” — we can only hope its definition of aggressive matches ours.

Ross Catanzariti travelled to Mobile World Congress 2010 as a guest of Samsung.

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

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