Today Telus announced that they’ll be carrying the HTC Desire, which amounts roughly to a Nexus One with the Sense UI slapped on top. Not that we didn’t see it coming, or anything. It’s no Droid X, but it’ll be the best Android phone we have up north. Those on AT&T who have been interested in it, but unwilling to go to US Cellular or import a European version which would only give them 2G will now be able to consider importing one from Canada.
Just to blast through the specs really quick, the HTC Desire runs Android 2.1, has a 3.7″ 800 x 480 display, 5 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi b/g/n, 3G, GPS, and a 1 GHz processor. There’s also Sense, which is HTC’s custom tweaks made to Android, which includes more home screens, a fresh set of widgets, hot-swappable layouts depending if you’re at work or play, and a variety of usability improvements. By and large, Sense is considered a much more favourable alternative to the vanilla Android layout.
I got some time to play with the HTC Desire at a Telus shindig today in Toronto, and though it will easily be the most impressive Android phone available in Canada subsidized on a plan, I found the Flash performance offered by Android 2.1 somewhat lacking. It’s there, sure, but its stability is spotty. Sense is still freakin’ sweet, and the single thing really missing from the Nexus One. I found the build quality exceptional; parts were tight, the metallic feel felt sharp and classy, while it had curves in all the right place.
There’s no official mention of a launch date, but everything Telus was showing off today is part of their back-to-school batch of handsets, so expect it before the end of August. Be sure to take a look at our hands-on video and impressions for a general overview of the device.