Hands-on: HTC Desire HD – The next stage in Android superphones

If you’ve been following Android, you’ll be more than familiar with the HTC Desire HD as the evolution of the big-screen Android superphone. Today, HTC officially unveiled the HTC Desire HD to the world, showing off the phone’s 4.3-inch display, its 8-megapixel camera and the all-aluminum casing. But, there’s so much more to the new DHD. It’s outfitted with HTC’s new Sense UI, which takes all the greatest parts of Android 2.2 Froyo and integrates them into a seamless user experience. There’s also the uprated internals that make the DHD fly – it’s so fast that it almost seems like the phone pulls up menus and registers button presses before you actually tap your finger on the screen. So, of course we had to go hands-on with the Desire HD.

The first thing you’ll notice when you put hands on the HTC Desire HD is the slim, solid feel. The entire phone is crafted from solid pieces of aluminum, similar to the way the HTC Legend is constructed. That makes a big difference when holding the device. Then, once you’ve gotten over your wonderlust for the sheer sexiness of the device, you’ll probably notice that every action responds immediately. This phone is fast, freakin’ fast. The 1Ghz processor works with the increased 768MB of RAM and the speed-optimized Android 2.2 Froyo OS to make the user experience simply sublime. The next-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 8255 processor sports a larger cache and a second-generation GPU that works together with the speed-optimizations in Froyo to make the DHD noticeably faster than any other Android phone we’ve ever had the pleasure of using.

HTC also blessed the DHD with a new Sense UI that works with HTCSense.com to make it easy to locate your phone when it’s lost, send a text message or phone call to the phone, or simply wipe the data, if it’s lost for good. You can also browse your text messge history through a browser, pull up location info, then push that info to your phone from the desktop. That’s cool. What’s more, you can pre-download map data to use with HTC Locations, the new GPS navigation service that doesn’t need a data connection to pull down map data – since it’s already on the phone.

And, with the new 8-megapixel camera, you don’t just get dual-LED flash, you also get a larger image sensor that allows each pixel to capture more light than before. The camera interface is also revamped, giving you quick access to oft-used features. You’ll also notice a little “magic wand” icon that brings up the photo effects feature of the camera.

The Desire HD is packed with a 1Ghz next-gen Snapdragon processor, 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen, 8-megapixel camera (larger image sensor and dual-LED flash and 720p HD video recording), 1.5GB onboard storage, 768MB RAM, 3G data, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, microSD card slot (hot-swappable), all-aluminum unibody construction, and runs Android 2.2 Froyo with the updated Sense UI.

Overall, the Desire HD is one impressive Android phone. With the rock solid in-hand feel, speed optimizations, and the upgraded camera, the DHD (and any subsequent carrier variants) is the Android phone to watch for the rest of 2010. The only thing we can find wrong with the DHD is that it won’t make it stateside in DHD trim (G2 is a different story). We’ll have more coverage soon, stay tuned!

  • matthew

    The only thing we can find wrong with the DHD is that it won’t make it stateside in DHD trim.

    just curious what does that mean is it not going to have the aluminum unibody or you just think its gonna be made out of plastic trim or turn out like the Galaxy S phones different trim designs on each carrier?

  • alin

    all features of htc desire hd will be also avaible for htc desire with the new htc sense ?

  • Bob

    Android however does outsell iphone 4 and does a lot better on consumer reports.

  • Piter

    HTC has really stepped it up. i’m really considering jumping from my blackberry

  • Think your confused about the cpu and 3g bands. 850mhz is refering to the 3g frequency that at&t supports. In the us, tmobile and att are both gsm but have different frequencies for their data. Also this phone is known to have a 800mhz qualcomm MSM7230 and adreno 205 gpu (not snapdragon) which should be much faster than the older 1ghz snapdragons despite lower clockspeed.


      You’re talking about the Desire Z. And no, it does not perform better than last generation’s Snapdragons…

  • Mercutio

    The HTC homepage says that the DHD has only a 1230 mAh Battery. The Evo 4G had 1500.

    How is that possible? Can HTC be that stupid. Apple rises the running time of the iPhone and HTC shortens it?


      This phone consumes 23% less energy than phones using last generation Snapdragon processor due to a new manufacturing process. 1230 mAH compared to 1500 mAh is only 18 percent smaller, so this phone should technically have BETTER battery life than an EVO 4G.

  • Am really curious on the camera’s performance, with your emphasis on the “larger sensor”. So far there is no Android phone with a killer camera.

  • I take it that if it costs money to upgrade to Navigation features in sense that the native Froyo Google Navigation and maps have been disabled?

    The back of the phone says HTC and doesn’t have the Google logo, meaning it’s not a Google Experience device.

    All the other Sense items look great, but paying for Navigation could be a deal breaker for people.

  • Ithurts

    Ahh the great HTC, gives Sprint a revamped HD2 (EVO) , then releases a update to that in two months time….HTC taking these Carriers to school and making bank.

    Yeah I am a bitter owner of the crippled 30FPS, awful camera EVO. Don’t tell me crap. SAME Hardware as the IPHONE 4, with 500% worse picture quality.


    Wow actually a larger image sensor? Finally HTC is listening to us and giving us better image quality!!

  • jadeeeeeeeee

    is this phone coming to at&t? if not then please tell me the next htc comin to at&t.

  • Can somebody tell me whether there is any MS office (esp Excel and Word) compatible application software that can be run on the HTC Desire HD?

    I heard about QuickOffice, anyone can advise me. Awaiting for a reply. Thanks alot.


  • George

    @charles: I have a Droid 2 which also runs on Android 2.2 and it came pre-loaded with Quickoffice, which can open Word, Excel, Powerpoints, and PDF docs. So far it has worked great, though I’ve only used it for Word docs thus far.

    • Thanks George.

      I got two other questions for George and anyone using HTC Desire HD.
      a. Can it copy texts from the Word document and then paste it over to the message in the SMS mode?
      b. Has HTC Desire HD multi tasking capability, where it can open two or more programs simultaneously?


      • Sebastian

        Hi Charles,

        First a small correction, nobody is using the HTC Desire HD yet, since it’s not officially out yet.
        I did alot of research on it though and
        a. Yes it can copy texts form word documents and pas it over to messages in sms mode. You can also do that with the Ibooks by the way (there is an e-reader on the HDH)
        b. It can open multiple programs at the same time with still an amazing speed. This is one of the fastest phones out there with the new Snapdragon and 768MB Ram.

        Hope this helps.

        • Charles

          Hi Sebastian,

          Thank U very much for your feedback. Looks like the HD Desire HD is for me.

          It has also many new features that I like, and most of all, the Sense UI that works with HTCSense.com (web-based functionality that complement and supplement the use of the PDA phone).

          It’s great PDA. Looking forward to get it.


  • Herbie

    to me it looks like the desire is just a upgraded version of the evo it does somethings that the evo doesnt do with the picutures but i see that its 5mixpixcels , htc should of put some of those features of this identical looking phone on th evo lol but its cool i guess they will come out with something better for sprint next year and call it the blast lol

  • Katalym

    Can anyone educate me on ths. I am a proud owner of HTC Desire, I was tempted to buy the HTC Desire HD, but after watching the video demo, I can’t decipher any difference. Is the Desire HD not just a replica of the HTC Desire, the only difference being the size and a bigger camera?


  • http://www.htc.com/www/product/desirehd/overview.html

    Might wanna read that mate. Desirehd has loads of new stuff, HTC Sense.com, Locations. Loads of the new stuff is in the new version of HTC Sense (on the phone, not on the PC).

  • Revabdulsalam

    Can someone please tell me how to type and store personal word documents on the desire hd? Can’t seem to find any word processing app

  • Abc

    this page contains a trojan script

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