Hands-on: HTC Desire S – Android Gingerbread, Sense 2.1, Larger Image Sensor

Hands-on HTC Desire S with Android Gingerbread and larger image sensor

The HTC Desire S is one of HTC’s just-announced higher-end Android phones, slotted directly underneath the Incredible S, and we had a chance to go hands-on with the Europe-only smartphone at the HTC Mobile World Congress 2011press conference. The successor to the HTC Desire sports a similar look and feel to the original, but manages to keep things fresh with new hardware specs that should help the handset compete against the onslaught of next-generation Android phones. If you’re looking for a dual-core phone, look elsewhere, but if you’re looking for a competent Android phone with the latest Android OS and HTC Sense UI customizations, the Desire S should be high on your list.

The Desire S is powered by a 1GHz second-generation Snapdragon single-core processor, sports a 3.7-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen, an 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, a front-facing 1.3MP camera for video calls, WiFi (B/G/N), 3G data connectivity, GPS (with compass), Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and A2DP, microSD card slot (hot-swappable), 720p HD video recording, 3.5mm headphone jack, and runs Android Gingerbread with HTC Sense 2.1 UI and integration with HTCSense.com.

The handset’s larger image sensor means the camera takes better low-light photos, and makes normal-lighting conditions a breeze to shoot in. There’s also a front-facing camera to help you stay in touch with friends via video chat – a feature that’s now baked into the HTC Sense UI, which rides on top of Android Gingerbread.

Overall, the Desire S is a solid smartphone, on many different levels. We’d have liked to have seen a dual-core processor within, but the larger image sensor, Gingerbread OS, and front-facing camera are nothing to scoff at.

HTC Says the Desire S will be broadly available to customers across major European and Asian markets during Q2 2011. Pricing is unknown. We’re betting we’ll never see the Desire S coming to the US, given its lack of AT&T or T-Mobile USA 3G bands.

Enjoy the hands-on gallery and HD video!

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