Review : Feature Tour On HTC Desire (Part 2)

June 18, 2010 by Galvin Tan in Technology with 2 Comments

We’ve done the unboxing of the HTC Desire last week and now I wanna go through with all of you with some features of the phone. After spending more than a week with this phone, I’ve discovered that the HTC Desire is not just about beauty, it’s also about brain. Today’s phones are all about the features. The ultimate feature that made the HTC Desire so desirable is probably the HTC Sence. The HTC Desire is the second Android smartphone from HTC to feature HTC Sense.

What’s HTC Sense?

HTC Sense is actually all about user experience; it’s how people use the phone. It’s how we use the phone. HTC Sense is a user interface intelligently architectured to make content more personal. It’s not just about adding or removing apps; it’s not about how we rearrange our icons and widget. It’s how we bring our content to us. The philosophy of HTC Sense is all about the user, it’s all about YOU!

HTC Sense is also about staying close and staying connected. Hence, if you’re a social media addict, HTC Sense will make a lot of sense in your everyday life.

Staying Connected

With HTC Sense, I’m always connected. The HTC Desire is the dream gadget for social media addicts like me. When I first booted the phone, I had to go through a series of configuration on the phone. Simple things like adding your Facebook, Twitter and Gmail account information; also some of other social networking sites information like PLURK and FLICKR.

After that, I’m in full control of the phone. With 3G or WiFi connectivity, I get to be connected at all times with my friends and family.

Phonebook & Calendar

HTC Sense automatically populate your phone book with all my friend’s contact on Facebook. It even comes with a thumbnail photo of your friend from Facebook. If you have a Gmail account, HTC Sense will also send you reminder from Google Calendar, pushed to your HTC Desire.

Home Screens

Another great feature on the HTC Desire is the Home Screens. Notice when I said Home Screens, it’s plural. Yes, HTC Desire on Android 2.1 doesn’t just come with one home screen, it comes with 7 home screens where you can customised it the way you want to. Simply pinching the Home Screen, I will get a Home Screen with 7 thumbnails of the Home Screens in a window.

It lets you add and arrange any widgets or applications that you want on each of these home screens. It’s not just home screens with icon shortcuts to your favourite; it’s actually active widget that brings contents to you. You actually interact directly with these home screens instead of launching an app for whatever you wanted to do. For instance, if you want to read the news from some online news website, instead of launching the browser, you simply just flick your finger to the home screen where you have the widget for RSS feed of all the favourite news website; all pushed to you onto your home screen.

User Experience

Although the HTC Desire comes with an optical joystick, the multi-touch screen alone is just magnificent. I can basically do whatever and iPhone can do, perhaps even slightly better. The scrolling of the screen is really fun and fluid and you can do all the pinching, stretching and tapping on the screen. Each action will give you a different experience.

The Home, Menu, Back and Search buttons are such an essential part of the HTC Desire. The Search button allows you to search whatever you want when you’re using the phonebook, the browser, apps or widgets. The Back button will simply get you back from where you starter from. The Menu button will launch the menu function for whatever things you are doing. When on a browser, the Menu button will bring up more options of the browser, same goes with your apps too. Ultimately, when you’re done with everything, the Home button will bring you back to the middle Home Screen.

The top of your 3.7 AMOLED screen is where lies some of the essential things of the HTC Desire. Besides having the battery weak/charging LED indicators, ambience and proximity sensors; it also allows to drag down the top bar and open up a Notification screen.

This is where you find out about your incoming mail or messages, your active apps running on the background and also notification of status or your apps.


Each of the 7 Home Screens can be customized as and how you like it to be. Adding and rearranging widgets and app on the home screen is really simple. Just hit on the add button, search for whatever shortcut of widget that you want and voila, you’re done. Great isn’t it? Not really.

For some reason, having 7 Home Screen is not enough. When I’m working, I need a different set of home screens. When I’m away on holiday, I need different set of home screens and when I’m having a night out with my boys partying at some club, I will definitely need another set of home screen. Suddenly, 7 home screens are just not enough. Well fear not, probably there are already such people in HTC that is just like me who already thought of this matter. Hence, the HTC Desire comes conveniently with customizable Home Screens called Scenes.

With Scenes, I can have different sets of Home Screens for different needs and occasions. I can have up to 140 Home Screens because I can have up to 20 customizable Scenes! One Scene, 7 Home Screens; 20 Scenes, 7 x 20 = 140 Home Screens! Awesome isn’t it?

Android Market

No, you can’t pick up any R2D2 here. There’s no Arnold Schwarzenegger and definitely no annoying talkative brass robot from Star Wars here. The Android Market is basically an apps heaven. Very similar to the Apple AppStore, the Android Market brags of more than 50,000 apps available online now with more to come soon.

Although the Android Market is not as flourish as the Apple AppStore, more and more developers are flooding the Android Market with more useful and fun apps. Hope to see more apps very soon.

The HTC Desire does have quite a number of tricks up its sleeves and its potential is only partially explored.

Other Features HTC Desire : Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate, Proximity sensor for auto turn-off, Optical Trackball, FM Radio with RDS, Games, GPS with A-GPS support, Java application via the third party, Digital Compass, Dedicated search key, MP3 / AAC + / WAV/WMA9 player, MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV9/DivX player, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter apps, Voice memo.

More HTC Desire Reviews:

If you like my review or would like to share more, please do so on my comment box. All comments and feedback are welcome.

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About Galvin Tan

A creative professional and social media junkie, Galvin Tan has been blogging since 2005 and he writes about everything from food to gadget. An avid fan of football and loves playing foosball and basketball. For latest updates, follow him @galvintan on Twitter.

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