HTC Desire HD First Impressions
As tablets start to take off, people are going to want larger screens on their smartphones, too, like those found on the HTC Touch HD and HD2; the screens were the main selling point of these devices and, as the name 'HD' suggests, they are just beautiful.
The sheer size of the HTC HD2 and the addition of HTC's Sense software running on top of Windows Mobile 6.5 paved the way for other smartphones to grow in size. After a while, what people really wanted was Android on a 4.3 inch screen, and the HTC Evo 4G (released only on the Sprint network in the United States) was the answer.
Following the success of this device in America, HTC recently unveiled the Desire HD, a European, non-4G version of the Evo. It runs Android 2.2 Froyo, features the latest version of HTC Sense, an 8 megapixel camera with 720p HD video capture, a 1Ghz processor, the list goes on.
As you'd expect from a big HTC, the design is orientated around the huge 4.3 inch screen. Four capacitive buttons under the screen provide access to the familiar Android home, back, menu, and search functions. The Desire HD is wide, but because it's thin it doesn't feel bulky in the hand at all; my only concern with something of this size is that those with smaller hands may find single-handed operation of this device very difficult.
Unlike other HTC devices, the Desire HD's screen does not use AMOLED technology, yet still retains all of the beautiful contrast and brightness of an AMOLED screen. I'll happily go as far as saying that this screen is better than the iPhone 4's retina display.
HTC's new Car Panel application is also useful for the driver, providing links to different applications with large, easy-to-operate on-screen buttons. One of these features is the new HTC Maps app, which actually stores map data on the device rather than in the cloud, meaning that the application is fully functional without the need for a data connection, much like a standard GPS navigation unit.
In conclusion, the Desire HD is a huge and impressive Android device that really shows off the power of Google's mobile OS. How does it stack up against the iPhone 4? Well the screen size, processor, and camera win my head and heart. It's an instant classic: powerful and beautiful.