HTC Desire S Review

The HTC Desire S is a mid-range device by todays standards but on Amazon, it is a fair bit cheaper than the latest dual-core smartphones and it will still do most of the same stuff. This phone also has a high quality aluminium enclosure, so it feels really good in your hand. However, other manufacturers use aluminium to construct their products and aluminium isn’t always needed for a phone to feel good in the hand. Nokia managed to make a  high quality enclosure for the Nokia N9 and the Lumia 800 out of plastic and although I haven’t had a chance to play with the phone, reviews I have read say the phone feels great in the hand. The main reason I chose the HTC Desire S is because of the software on it. The phone is running Android 2.3.3 with HTC Sense 2.1 out of the box. HTC Sense is an overlay that HTC put over most of their Android phones to make the user interface of Android look better. Of course, most manufacturers install custom launchers and keyboards on their Android phones but in my opinion, HTC does the best job at that.

Like every other product, the HTC Desire S also has its share of faults and things I am not too happy with. One of those problems is that while the phone has great software, HTC keep releasing newer phones, usually with software updates. While HTC usually release the software updates for their older devices soon after, the HTC Sensation came out, with HTC Sense 3.0. According to the websites I have checked, The Desire S has already started getting the update and HTC say they are working on bringing the update out to their older devices. However, I haven’t received the update and I can’t find any evidence to prove that my phone actually will get the update so I can’t really give much information on that in this review. Another problem with the phone is the Wi-Fi antenna isn’t very good at getting  Wi-Fi signal over long distances. My bedroom is at the top of my house and the wireless router is at the bottom of the house, next to the only landline socket. I know this setup isn’t very good, but all my other devices are fine with connecting to the Wi-Fi, even over that distance.

While the Desire S has its problems and there are newer, better phones out, probably being sold at the same price, the Desire S is still a good phone to consider if you want to have the power of Android with a great user interface with great animations, in my opinion, better than what you get with iOS and great speed from what is still powerful hardware, even though it is a year old.


UPDATE 1: I sent HTC an email asking about the HTC Sense 3.0 update and I will be getting it, although it can take up to 8 weeks for all phones to get the update. I read that people started getting the update around 26th October so it shouldn’t take any longer than 6 weeks until it gets to my phone.

UPDATE 2: Another problem with this handset and the Desire S is that the buttons on the headset stop working after a few months and you have to buy another headset. They are quite cheap from Amazon, only a few quid, but they shouldn’t stop working anyway. I will email HTC about that and ask if there are any third party headsets that might work better.

Monday 19th December 2011 - Leave a comment

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