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HTC Desire HD review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £437
inc VAT

A responsive, big screen and all the features you could ever want, but HTC's Sense software is becoming bloated, battery life is below average and it's expensive.


Android 2.2, 4.3in 480×800 display

Instead of duplicating Android’s apps, HTC might consider adding new functions, such as a full office document editor rather than the view-only trial version of QuickOffice that’s installed. It’s also added an ebook reader – not a patch on Amazon’s free Kindle app – a copy of SoundHound’s music recognition app and various utilities, including one that turns your phone into a WiFi access point so you can share your 3G data connection.

As with most phone cameras, the Desire HD’s 8-megapixel sensor isn’t matched to a decent sensor so pictures are smudged by compression artefacts. Colours were accurate, though, and videos are surprisingly good. It’s also worth noting that the phone has both Dolby Mobile and SRS Wow audio enhancement technology, so whether you’re watching films or listening to music you have a range of effects to choose from.

HTC Desire HD back

As with most large-screen phones, battery life suffers in everyday use. The Desire HD managed just under 23 hours in our light-usage battery life test, which is average, but with a fair amount of WiFi, 3G and GPS use you’ll need to charge the phone every night.

While having a large screen makes many things easier, the Desire HD is bulky and heavy, and although we’re still great fans of HTC’s Sense software and the ability to plug in new services is a bonus, the new additions run the risk of duplicating existing functions. It’s also expensive, and doesn’t really offer much more than smaller phones such as the excellent Motorola Defy, which has the same screen resolution but feels far more compact.

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Price £437
Rating ***


Main display size 4.3in
Native resolution 480×800
Second Display No
CCD effective megapixels 8-megapixel
Flash Dual LED
Video recording format 3GP
Connectivity Bluetooth, WiFi, USB
GPS yes
Internal memory 1536MB
Memory card support microSDHC
Memory card included 8192MB
Operating frequencies GSM 900/1800/1900, 3G 900/2100
Wireless data EDGE, WCDMA, HSPA
Size 123x68x12mm
Weight 164g


Operating system Android 2.2
Microsoft Office compatibility Word/Excel/PowerPoint/PDF viewers
Email client POP3/IMAP/Exchange
Audio format support MP3, AAC, AMR, WMA, MIDI, WAV, OGG, M4A
Video playback formats 3GP, 3G2, MP4, WMV, AVI, Xvid
FM Radio yes
Web Browser Webkit
Accessories headset, data cable, charger
Talk time 5.3 hours
Standby time 17.5 days
Tested battery life (MP3 playback) 22h 37m

Buying Information

SIM-free price £437
Price on contract £30-per-month, 18-month contract
SIM-free supplier
Contract/prepay supplier

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