In this post — that will be stuck to the first page — will be my thoughts on the HTC Desire I won through the Telstra ‘Social Review’ competition. These thoughts are mine, and mine only. I’m not being paid to do this and I don’t represent Telstra in any way shape or form.

I will be doing a big wrap up review at the end of the two weeks. Until then it’s dot point feelings & observations 🙂

So hit “Read More” to read my thoughts on this wonderful looking device!

Day 1

  • Nice packaging, simple & small
  • All accessories very straight forward
  • Very sleek looking device
  • Display colours are vivid, yet a bit blurry in comparison to the Xperia X10
  • It won’t connect to 3G, at all. I have all the APNs in. I keep getting “connect failed”.
  • Live Wallpapers do indeed make the phone lag a tad, which is disappointing. With them turned off the phone is very responsive!.
  • Won’t send TXT messages either
  • Already found a bug in the pinch-2-zoom on the homescreen
  • Sense UI — Well done HTC, I love it 🙂
  • In the browser and you pull your finger off when scrolling, it will magically scroll the opposite way *annoying*!
  • Browser is very slick though, nice 🙂
  • In darkness, it is much, much brighter than the X10
  • There are 19 Telstra “Applications” which are really just links to websites. They also don’t work over WiFi. FAIL.
  • Said applications also make it near impossible to find the ones you’re looking for. I wish you could remove them!
  • Lock screen! Use it, although people can guess your unlock gesture by checking the finger prints on the screen 😉

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Day 2

  • Watching YouTube last night was very clear
  • Battery stopped charging at midnight, lets see how long it lasts
  • Battery goes quick very quickly
  • Battery is useless
  • Did I mention the battery sucks?
  • FM Radio is the greatest thing ever put into a smartphone — Triple J here I come
  • HTC Widgets are the greatest things ever invented
  • Unlike some of the other reviewers, I am yet to run into the issue of not enough memory
  • The HTC Browser is the best in the business
  • HTC Desire Screenshots

Day 3

  • Other people loved it today, main thing they liked: Live Wallpapers
  • Battery stayed up all day, maybe because I wasn’t connected to 3G
  • Android Market – Oh how I love you. over 35,000 56,000 apps and still growing!
  • Conference calling :D. Works a charm!
  • Completing the FOTA (Firmware Over The Air) Update was very easy, I managed to grab some screenshots of the process 🙂

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Day 4

  • So my first day with 3G. NextG, you’re very, very fast. Desire, you’re very, very unstable when keeping a connection
  • Review is being finished off, will post the link in a minute or two 🙂
  • Review is up — LINK
  • The Video Recording is pretty average at night (see review)

Day 5

  • Mobile Foxtel is the shiz
  • Battery once again was pretty poor today.
  • I’ve found that 3G is quite slow..
  • The weather animations when unlocking the phone are excellent
  • Some widgets (news & friendfeed) won’t update properly.
  • The Optical Trackpad is sometimes uneasy to use
  • Have I told you I hate these Telstra “Apps”. They are really irritating & useless
  • Google Maps Latitude is coming in handy at the moment, I can track where my brother is at
  • I haven’t yet felt the need to use the “Search” key

Day 6

  • A lot to look forward to in Android 2.2
  • When going into the browser from another app, then pressing back, will send you back a page in the browser, not back to the app you were previously in
  • Battery Widget is great to watch. 100-75% in 15 minutes.
  • Performing a network speedtest over Optus & Telstra with the N1, X10 & Desire
  • The browser doesn’t cache when you go back! Thanks for pointing this out Zardoz!
  • Turns out Mobile Foxtel is useless, they play the same 1 show, on each channel over & over. It’s sending me insane. Not worth the $12/mo.

Day 7

  • Removing the wallpaper speeds up the whole system dramatically!
  • I can’t even add a newer version of the HTC Keyboard. Not much customisation on that front
  • Battery is once again, hopeless
  • Removed most of the widgets from the 7 homescreens, sped things up a bit
  • Found some cool interactive games on the Android Market!

Day 8

  • Wrote up a few more Q&As (Link)
  • Use the lockscreen!
  • OSK is starting to annoy me
  • I want these Bigpond apps GONE!

Day 9

  • I do like the Music Player, but as I said in the review it needs an Album Art grabber.
  • Pinch to Zoom is coming in handy. Never thought I’d use it, I’m too used to the X10.
  • Mobile Foxtel, no matter how repetitive, does fill in spare time.
  • I’m really going to have to buy an extended battery
  • If only the Optical Track Sensor Thingy would flash with an LED

Day 10

  • The review period is heading to a close. I’ve done what I expected: Q&A, Comparison & Review
  • Battery lasts slightly longer now. It’s still pretty crud though
  • Liking AMOLED much more than I thought, but I miss the clarity of the X10
  • Can’t wait to see Froyo on this thing, as well as 720p recording

Day 11

  • The browser is really quite second rate, when going into the browser from another app, the back button should take you back to the app you were in.
  • I really need to find an extended battery for this thing!

Day 13″

  • The last day 🙂 Big thanks to Mike, Kristen & Ben for the Telstra Desire Social Review.
  • Tonight I’m going to put it through a pressure test: GPS, WiFi, Streaming Music, Downloading Stuff & Browsing the net. Let’s see how long it takes.
  • Pressure Test: Just over an hour. Fail.
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Telstra is trying to tempt me before N1 and Galaxy comes out….

Just a quick email to let you know that the new HTC Desire is now available on the new $79 Cap Plan for 24 months (min cost $1,896), giving you $750 of included standard calls/SMS to any Australian network and 500MB of data to use in Australia every month.

Lincoln Mah

Just curious, couldnt you remove the bigpond apps?


Ah yes the keyboard. I thought long and hard about whether I need a physical keyboard and came up with a definite ‘maybe’ as an answer. For me it should be possible to set up a lot of internet links on my desktop PC (through Google bookmarks and through RSS) and then get them onto the phone without any typing. Google maps and other navigation will be where the fun starts – typing can’t be avoided there. There’s a fine but real line between a smartphone and an ultramobile PC. One alternative to devices like the Desire is get a… Read more »


That suggests an interesting experiment: what’s the longest document you can type on the device before you run out of patience? I’m keen to try a mobile blog post with some text, some links and maybe a couple of photos, using the online Blogger or WordPress editing interface.


You mentioned an Album Art Grabber, have you played with ‘3’ (aka Cubed) from the market? It’s a music player, I downloaded it from the market last night, and set it to grab all my album art while I was asleep, it worked.
Its not as smooth or reliable as the default player, but it has a cool feature in that the player has a cube, and the album art your playing is displayed on a cube, and spinning the cube vertically or horizontally will scroll through the list of Albums/Artists.


Yeah, I agree.


What is OSK?

Onno Benschop

There’s a comprehensive list of bugs / feature requests on the Android Forums. I’ve added a few bugs that I found with my HTC Desire.


I take it that people are following the Desire threads over at the Whirlpool forum. There’s a suggestion that the battery seems to improve after several charge/discharge cycles. Also it’s clear you need to generally Turn Stuff Off (the eye-candy stuff…) to get acceptable mileage.


Hi Buzz. I got quite excited about the phone and had applied, unsuccessfully, to be part of the social review. I’m rather disappointed to read about your experiences of the battery life; how does HTC put out a phone like this with such a poor cell? It kind off negates the point of it being a mobile… I had a play on one today and was also surprised by the poor resolution; not a lot better than my wife’s old F480. What chance that 2.2 will improve battery life?


Speaking of pressing “back” in the browser, I noticed when I was playing with the phone in the Telstra shop that the browser didn’t seem to be caching any downloaded pages. Going back took as long as going “forward” to new pages.

I’m not up to speed with Android browsers yet; not sure what app I was using there but.


It should be possible to install better browsers than the “default” one. I should have my phone in the next week so finding the best browser will be a priority. I may even have to *gasp* pay for one…

James Choe

Hahaha i love your sarcasm ! “Battery Widget is great to watch. 100-75% in 15 minutes”


You haven’t felt a need to use the Search key yet because you haven’t used it :P. I didn’t either for weeks. Now I use it many times most days – for finding contacts, web history items, google web searches, finding a restaurant or business, etc.


Hey Buzz. Which do you prefer, the X10 or the Desire? I would be interested to know which one becomes your daily phone when you have finished reviewing.


I was playing around with one of these phones last night. I have a magic and a friend has the desire. gotta say, the screen on the desire is very nice


Lol Im so jealous 😛 haha, I want android phone but I dont want to use on Telstra lol…


Yes, interesting point. I’m about to buy a Desire from the UK and put it on one of the non-Telstra networks. But is the faster Telstra network really worth the extra bucks? You might like to comment on how important network speed is to your experience.


Actually over 50,000 apps now.


Had mine for nearly a week now. Takes a bit of getting used to, but pretty hapy overall. Would like to se a “Notes” app installed by default


The HTC one is easily downloaded in ‘Get More Widgets’. It suffices to type and scribble on.

I am overall very happy with my Desire also, I’ve had mine for a few weeks now – Jumped the WindowsMobile ship to Android, the Desire being my first Droid device. I had a HD2 previously and I have never thought about pulling it out since I got the Desire. Android punishes WM6.5.x for absolutely everything. It’s a much better user experience by so far it’s not even funny!


Save some of that battery – Turn off live wallpapers and the “Enable always-on mobile data” and I can’t see the rest of the option haha…

It’s in Settings > Wireless and Networks > Mobile Network

Without those you won’t struggle to get through a full day even with a decent amount of use.

Marné Prinsloo

Send it to me and I will see if 3G works here… B-)


Buzz said :”It won’t connect to 3G, at all. I have all the APNs in. I keep getting “connect failed”

luckily it’s not a Telstra Service review! hehehe, or maybe they want you to review the phone and to help you, they reduced the number of variables! 3G is out, Text is out, next is the ability to make calls hehehe


Sounds like AT&T over in the US lol


about time those money hungry loons give something for free. I would love $60 credit from them. then again you cant do much with $60 on Telstra unless u like the useless foxtel

Yianni Soc

Curse you! This phone should have been mine! 😛


I got my Desire from Telstra a few days before official release. No worries on 3G here. Live wallpaper is a little bit of a slowdown but so cool 🙂 Battery life is a bit meh, but by disabling data/sync you can double the battery life easily. JuiceDefender can help with that.

Pretty happy with the device so far. Looking forward to FroYo 2.2 release for allowing installation of Apps on SD card without rooting, and of course the JIT improvements.

HTC User

Had to laugh when I read that 3g doesn’t yet work.

I bought this phone from Telstra 3 days ago, and they still haven’t activated my sim card yet. Even after 1.5 hours on the phone today.

Good work Telstra…

HTC User

On the phone to Telstra’s Indian help desk that is.

John Boxall

Congratulations on being selected for the Telstra social review. I look forward to reading about your real-world experience with this handset. Interesting to see Telstra sent you a prepaid SIM kit, the tools at my local T-Life store said it couldn’t go on prepaid. Nevertheless, they’re wrong! Keep up the good work. Cheers, John

Irwin Proud

Wierd that they gave you a phone that isn’t set up properly…