HTC Desire S Overview

HTC Desire S Review

With a fantastic design and sleek user interface, the HTC Desire S attempts to build on the popularity of its predecessor through minor enhancements.

Although it upgrades little in terms of hardware, for some the vast improvements tied to Android 2.3 Gingerbread itself is enough to justify a new purchase. The HTC Desire S is available for about £400 SIM-free, and approximately £25 per month on a contract.

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A Guide to The HTC Desire S

The original Desire was an aesthetically pleasing device, yet the new Desire S with its aluminium body makes it look shabby by comparison. Similar to the HTC Legend, the entire chassis has been fashioned from a single piece of metal, providing the casing with solid durability and feel. The small elements of plastic, such as the slide off cover for SIM cards, does little to impede this effect.

The tactile buttons ensconced under the display screen have been removed in favour of touch sensitive keys as seen on the Google Nexus series of handsets. The optical trackpad has also been removed in favour of touchscreen controls. A front-facing camera is positioned up top for video calling purposes.

The casing and design aside, the Desire S boasts hardware similar to the original HTC Desire. The 3.7 inch display is serviceable given its size, and the 480 x 800 pixel resolution matches some of its larger competitors. The single core 1 GHz Snapdragon processor is helped along by 768 MB of RAM and an Adreno 205 GPU. The hardware is good enough to provide a fast browsing experience but falls well short of the influx of dual-core powered handsets that will be on the market later this year.

What the HTC Desire S lacks in hardware it compensates with software. Running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the machine runs far more efficiently than its predecessor. From better memory management and performance boosts to video calling capability, the operating system is a significant upgrade from the older Android 2.1 running on the HTC Desire.

Overlaying Gingerbread is the HTC's proprietary Sense 2.2 skin. Although many skins on the market serve only to clutter and slow down the Android interface, the HTC Sense provides genuine enhancements to the stock software. Sense adds a number of customisable settings, including motion control. Silencing an incoming call is as easy as turning the phone over.

The browser comes preloaded with Flash, with pinch to zoom features and automatic text reformatting. Furthermore, The Desire S has access to the growing Android Market, with apps to further improve the overall experience.

The camera on the HTC Desire S is a disappointing 5 MP with an LED flash, capable of recording at 720p HD. While this may seem adequate for most consumers, with 8 megapixel cameras and 1080p recording becoming the norm, many may choose to opt for the higher tech.

Even after recording a video, the lack of an HDMI port makes connecting the handset to a television cumbersome for those without a wireless streaming device. Similar to the philosophy espoused by Apple, HTC hopes to make streaming the primary vehicle for connecting devices to your home theatre.

Features and Specifications

  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread with HTC Sense 2.2
  • 1 GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon processor
  • Qualcomm Adreno 205 GPU
  • 768 MB RAM
  • 1.1 GB internal storage with up to 32 GB upgrade through microSD
  • 1450 mAh Lithium Ion battery
  • Dimensions: 4.5 × 2.3 × 0.46 inches
  • Weight: 4.6 oz
  • 5 megapixel camera with Auto-focus and 720p HD video recording
  • 3.7 inch display Super LCD with Gorilla Glass
  • 480 x 800 resolution

The HTC Desire S is undoubtedly an upgrade over its predecessor, yet the device is competing against more than its previous model. As handsets with dual-core processors and high quality cameras hit the market, the HTC Desire S may quickly become antiquated. Nevertheless, the inclusion of Android 2.3 and affordable pricing will help its cause, coupled with the fact that many handset-based applications may not require overpowering hardware.

Pushing the hardware capabilities of a smartphone, after all, means little if the platform isn't designed to make use of it. HTC hopes the Desire S provides enough of an update to satisfy these standards, while maintaining the sleek and impressive design that remains a staple of the Desire series.

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HTC Desire S User Reviews

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