The HTC Desire S is a contemporary upgrade to the hugely popular Desire handset.
Replete with modifications, including improved wi-fi connections and the Android Gingerbread operating system, the ‘S’ has also ditched its predecessor’s AMOLED screen in favour of a crisp Super LCD with WVGA resolution. Customise your home screen and take advantage of the 3D data connections to speedily zoom through web pages. A virtually flawless handset, the S should stand for sublime.
The original Desire was the handset that really solidified HTC as one of the world´s leading smartphone manufacturers and was also one of the bestselling phones of 2010. Due to its phenomenal popularity HTC has now reissued the device with some more contemporary features. Although some areas of the new Desire S have been upgraded, including the HSPA and Wi-Fi connections and Android operating system, the newer version remains very faithful to the original.
If you have just bought the original Desire it might not be worthwhile rushing out to get the S version just yet, but if your beloved Desire has seen better days then this latest version with its tweaks and updates may be just what you need.
Screen and Physical Design
The original Desire was released with an AMOLED screen but, due to shortages from manufacturer Samsung, HTC later made a switch to Super LCD. The new Desire S is to ship with a Super LCD screen right from its launch providing a much sharper screen rendering than the very first Desire handsets. Measuring at 3.7" and with the same WVGA resolution the screen is one area of the Desire S that has not really changed from the original phone.
Running on capacitive technology the Desire S provides users with full multitouch input and a very responsive touchscreen. This screen is made from Gorilla Glass which is much stronger than the glass or plastic that is traditionally used for mobile phone screens. It provides extra protection against the scratches that would otherwise be acquired as your phone jostles with your keys for a comfortable position in your pocket.
Below the screen of the original Desire there was an optical trackpad which could be used to navigate around the HTC Sense interface. This was an interface that was quite often implemented on BlackBerry devices and it seems that HTC now considers it to be rather burmo in today´s touch savvy mobile phone world as it has been completely removed for the new Desire S.
Additionally the Desire S no longer features the same physical buttons as the original on its exterior. The home, menu, back and search buttons are now more discretely blended into the phone´s screen bezel. A simple change yet it does dramatically improve the look and feel of the device. One other result of this alteration is that the Desire S is now slightly smaller than the original in terms of height. It also slimmer and not quite as wide and although the physical changes may only seem slight they do produce a more comfortable to hold phone.
The original Desire shipped with Android Éclair and was later updated to Android Froyo, although the Desire S features the even newer Android Gingerbread. This includes an improved onscreen keyboard, better copy/paste functionality and a whole host of new tweaks and features. Although Google had introduced support for Near Field Communications (NFC) with Android Gingerbread this is not a feature that is supported on the Desire S as it lacks the relevant NXP NFC chip to operate it.
Even so users of the Desire S will get to enjoy the many enhancements of the new Android OS and combined with HTC´s Sense interface it offers up some excellent entertainment and messaging features. HTC Sense in particular is a great interface for social networking with social networks like Twitter and Facebook integrated into many areas of the phone.
Messaging and Photography
The Desire S also has other messaging features including threaded SMS, email and instant messaging. One of the hardware improvements from the original is that the new Desire S comes with 3D data connections at twice the speed allowing you to enjoy faster online communications.
This is good news for general web browsing as well and certainly for making use of bandwidth hogging activities like YouTube. The Desire S also features improved Wi-Fi as it now comes with support for Wi-Fi 802.11 n and DLNA. The added DLNA support now allows you to stream YouTube videos and other contents through a larger television.
You can also record your own videos with the Desire S´s 5 megapixel camera. The original Desire came with support for WVGA video and this was upgraded to 720p with the Android Froyo update. The Desire S features 720p recording out of the box however, so no software update is required before having some HD video fun. The Desire S now features a front facing camera as well, with the VGA device being something that was not found on the original. With this you can enjoy the latest craze of video calling.
The Desire S comes with a great many entertainment features on board. This includes support for a wide range of music and video formats that can be enjoyed on the phone´s media player. With access to Android Market you can also download many alternative media players as well as thousands of apps and games to enjoy.
As already mentioned the Desire S comes with support for YouTube so that you can enjoy online video content and you can also enjoy this from other websites too with support for Adobe Flash. The Desire S also comes with an FM radio that you can use to enjoy the latest music on release. The Desire S comes with support for 32GB microSD cards so that you are afforded a great deal of room for music and video.
The Desire S is ideal for enjoying all of the great games available from Android Market as its Super LCD screen and Adreno graphics acceleration provide some impressive visual quality. The Desire S also has a speedy 1GHz Snapdragon processor and 768MB RAM under its wing to provide some effective processing power.
While the CPU of the original Desire has not had an upgrade to dual core as many had hoped would be the case with this new iteration, the phone has had a boost in terms of its physical memory and graphical acceleration so there will be noticeable improvements for people who had used the original handset.
The original Desire was highly popular with critics and the general public alike and has been one of the biggest success stories for HTC so far. The new Desire S does not offer all the bells and whistles of HTC´s next flagship the Sensation but it does make an otherwise great phone even better. The updated Android OS and 3G connections will give this Desire a new lease of life and by sticking to the same winning design HTC is hoping that they will not upset too many people who have become loyal admirers of the HTC Desire smartphone.
However, although this is still a fantastic smartphone it is not quite as cutting edge as the original Desire was when it was released back in 2010 and will most likely not make as big of a splash. It is for this reason and this reason alone that the Desire S has been awarded 4 stars instead of 5, as in and of itself it is as much of a flawless handset as the original.