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HTC Desire: Android unloads in KitGuru’s face

KitGuru loves HTC and has done for a long time, in spite of the absolutely rubbish ability of Windows Mobile to actually do email. With so many great multi-function phone on the market, we wanted to see which we’d buy if pushed.

The box is attractive, neat and simple. One word of warning though, once you slice the security plastic – the phone box will happily slide straight through (luckily we were on the sofa at the time – no harm done!).

Straight away you are hit with the feeling that this is a mature product. A pro-class piece of hardware that can hold its own in the look & feel department. This is important, because any perception that a product is a ‘toy’, can rapidly affect its desirability in the corporate space.

It boasts simple controls, quick set up and ease of use. Just like the Blackberry 9700, you are highly unlikely to ever look at a manual – it is a really usable device.

Size-wise, if you remember the old HTC with the fantastic pull-out keyboard – then the new HTC Desire is about the size of the screen section. Side by side, it's about the same as an iPhone and a little longer than the  Blackberry 9700.

In use, the HTC does exactly what you’d expect of it. It scores and misses exactly where the iPhone does against RIMs market-leading business tool. Head to head with the Blackberry 9700, it comes out on top for media, but loses out against Blackberry’s superior communications infrastructure. In the same way that MSN messenger has become the de facto software for business users on the desktop, all of the serious players we know in the IT industry use Blackberry messenger for business chat on the move.

But that’s not what the HTC Desire is about. It’s about having the coolest piece of kit on the block. Something that can kick the iPhone off the park with room to spare. It’s also the prodigal son that die-hard HTC fans have been waiting for. So the question is, does it achieve its intentions or fall short of the mark ?  In this table you can see the ‘obvious wins' in bold red and the glaring omissions in bold black.

Screen Res Battery Cam Res CPU Speed RAM Storage MP3/WMA Flash YouTube Weight
HTC Desire 800 x 480 1.5 days 5 1GHz 576MB 512MB Yes/Yes Yes Yes 135
Blackberry 9700 480 x 360 2 days 3.2 624Mhz 256MB 2.2GB Yes/Yes No Yes 122
iPhone 480 x 320 1 day 3 600MHz 256MB 16GB Yes/No No Yes 135

We love it. It’s feature set matches/exceeds Apple’s in every respect – and the battery lasts a significant amount longer. It is fast and responsive, happy to work with a broad range of media while also giving you a wonderfully sharp  9.4cm  AMOLED screen. On a 24 month contract with T-Mobile, it’s around £29 a month for 2 wonderfully media-rich years (or you can just buy one for £400 and stick it on whichever network you prefer).

That said, it doesn't have Apple's illogical appeal or iTunes or the app store. It does have a widget store, plays standard windows media files and holds its own in the looks department.

KitGuru says: If you need a hardcore business tool, then you can’t easily go outside Blackberry. For everyone else?   Gone on, buy yourself some bragging rights – just don’t forget to get a whopping great microSD at the same time.  The only thing you will miss from the old HTC phones is the integrated ear-wax removal tool (I believe the manual called it a stylus).

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