Last week I imported the HTC Desire from the UK into Australia to replace my aging Nokia 6120 classic. Up until now I had thought the 6120c met all my mobile phone needs, but I was so wrong.
The HTC Desire was released in Australia on the 27th April 2010 by Telstra, who unfortunately have a six month exclusivity deal with HTC.
Not wanting to leave my current provider (3) or plan, I decided it was best to import the Desire from the UK. I chose Clove Technology, paid considerably less than what Telstra offer the phone for outright (which is $779), and it arrived in three business days.
Import caveat – the phone released in the UK is the “European” version, and has one small technical specification difference – the European version works on the 900MHz or 2100MHz HSPA/WCDMA network, not the 850Mhz UTMS network that Telstra’s NextG uses.
In short, if you are using a European Desire on 3, you will not be able to use the “3G Roaming Zone” outside of the “Broadband Zone” (you will roam onto Telstra’s GSM network – the “Talk & Messaging Zone”). See 3’s roaming information for more details. The phone is also compatible with Optus and Vodaphone networks.
And if you are still worried about the European version on the Australian 3 network – I have had no problems on both the 3 network or roaming outside of the 3 network. When roaming I could still read email, surf the internet, and make calls. I was also able to easily connect to Planet 3 using 3’s APN settings.
Setup was easy – when you power on the Desire for the first time, you pop in your Google account credentials, and it syncs your contacts and email to the phone. Twitter, flickr, Facebook and other service accounts can also be added.
The first feature of the Desire that made me realise what I was missing out on was WiFi connectivity. Whilst this has become standard with a lot of phones now, it’s ‘newness’ (in my mind) really stood out! Checking the news each morning on my phone no longer counts on my mobile phone bill, rather my home ADSL bill, which is much cheaper.
Navigating around the Desire’s menus and functions with your finger is very easy, and everything is very crisp and bright on the 3.7 inch AMOLED touch screen. Menus and programs load fast, and there doesn’t appear to be any noticeable lag.
The battery life so far has been fine. I have been able to get away with charging it for a few hours (2 to 3) each night, however I have not yet tested how long it will last without a charge. My feeling (based on battery drain) is about 2 days worth of charge, depending on how much you use the phone.
Tethering to my laptop was an absolute breeze too. I plugged the Desire into the laptop over USB, selected “Internet sharing” on the menu that popped up on the Desire, and the laptop (Ubuntu 10.04) automatically connected to the internet. It was that simple.
Downloading and installing apps from the Android Market is very easy, the only hard part is choosing which apps are worthy of downloading! The star rating and the number of downloads helps in this regard though. So far I have downloaded ConnectBot (an SSH client) and Bubble (a spirit level), as well as a few free games to try out.
In a nut shell – the HTC Desire has changed my phone world. It feeds me my email and twitter (rather than me asking the old Nokia for it), and makes browsing the web something I want to do, not need to do. The on-screen keyboard is easy to use (especially with auto-correction of typos), and the little things like WiFi, SMS message threading and the weather made me realise what I was missing out on.
If you are looking for a new phone, I would highly recommend the HTC Desire.
Screen: 3.7-inch 480×800 AMOLED touchscreen
Camera: 5 Megapixel autofocus with LED flash
Operating system: Android 2.1
Input: Dual-touch with HTC Sense interface
CPU: Qualcomm QSD 8250 (Snapdragon), 1 Ghz
Memory: 512 MB flash, 576 MB RAM
Memory card: 32 GB microSD (Maximum, mine arrived with a 4GB card)
Connectivity: Europe/Asia Pacific: HSPA/WCDMA: 900/2100 MHz; UMTS 850 Mhz (Telstra Australia); GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz; Wi-Fi (802.11b/g); Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR;
Battery: Li-ion 1400mAh
Physical size: 119 (4.7) x 60 (2.36) x 11.9 (0.47) mm (inch)
Weight: 135 g (4.8 oz)
Form factor:Candybar smartphone
Other: Proximity sensor, FM Radio, Facebook, Twitter, MS Exchange, compass, GPS, A-GPS, Google turn-by-turn navigation, Flash 10.1 enabled