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Review of HTC Desire As Alternative To iPhone

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the not-exactly-a-ringing-endorsement dept.

Cellphones 544

Andrew Smith writes "My search for an alternative to the iPhone has been long and frustrating. On paper, the HTC Desire is the first serious challenger to the iPhone's reign as king of phones. But how does it compare in use? There is much good and much bad. (This review is primarily for UK readers as HTC's new handset, the Incredible, will not be available [in the UK].)"

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The reality is... (0, Troll)

keepper (24317) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981060)

The iphone still rules the "total experience dept". Even after trying two android phones, I came back running.

FP?

Re:The reality is... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31981072)

Ditching an iPhone for an Android is like ditching your gay lover for a woman. Like Freddy Mercury, but in reverse.

However, we can see that you went back to the cock. Ain't the same as a strap-on, is it?

Re:The reality is... (4, Insightful)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981080)

Yeah, the article didn't dispute that either. The reason people want alternatives (inferior as they may be) is Apple's tyrannical control over the platform.

Re:The reality is... (1, Flamebait)

mgblst (80109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981326)

Ha, ha, ha, yeah, I here that all the time. People walking down the street, complaining about Apple's control. What a fucking joke, wake up and join the real world. A small technical elite might make such pronouncements, the majority do not care about this stuff.

Re:The reality is... (5, Insightful)

bragr (1612015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981432)

Well hello there, welcome to Slashdot: The home of the small group that is the technical elite.

Re:The reality is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31981526)

The self appointed elite. Calling yourself "smart" shows off an amazingly large amount of discretion.

Re:The reality is... (4, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981462)

Well, *someone* (read: many people) buys the Android over the iPhone, and as it was said, it's not because of "total experience".

Maybe it's because of Latitude, or Voice or any other of the apps the Apple denied? Being against Apple's control is not a philosophical position, it's has real consequences for its users.

Re:The reality is... (4, Insightful)

404 Clue Not Found (763556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981634)

I'm one such user. I love Google Voice and Maps with Navigation. And I dislike AT&T.

If Apple allowed more apps and were on more carriers... Android wouldn't stand a chance. Heck, it probably wouldn't have even needed to be developed.

Re:The reality is... (1)

Lundse (1036754) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981550)

"...the majority do not care about this stuff"

And the majority is always right, right? I do not give one whit how many people think corporate censorship is OK, it quite simply is not. I can prove this on an etch-a-sketch...
Rupert Murdoch might be the only guy in the world who loves Apple for a "good" reason, which should tell you something.

Re:The reality is... (5, Insightful)

Mascot (120795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981118)

That's a rather subjective observation. My Android phone broke the other day, leaving me with my work phone (iPhone) as only phone for a week.

I wouldn't swap my Android for an iPhone if you paid me big bucks to do it. And that was true as of my first (1.5) Android phone. Slow as it was, I still instantly preferred it over the iPhone.

Luckily, both exist and people can pick the one they prefer.

Re:The reality is... (2, Informative)

AlbertinaJane (978419) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981218)

I'm running HTC Legend with Android 2.1. No mods, nothing. Much better than the IPhone. Ligher, smaller, cozier, everythingier :)

Re:The reality is... (1, Troll)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981300)

I'm not saying you are wrong, but your post does not support your point at all. You claim that the iPhone (in your opinion) is worse than Android, and yet give no reasons why you feel that way. Do you dislike it because you like to be 'counter-culture?' What features don't you like? Is it the color?

In fact, the only reason you presented in your post (that it was slow) supported the idea that the iPhone is faster. If an uninformed person read your post, and had to buy a phone based on your post alone, they would choose the iPhone.

Re:The reality is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31981364)

His post wasn't an objective comparison of the two platforms.

Re:The reality is... (0, Redundant)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981386)

Very obviously not.

Still, if you are trying to make a point, it really helps if the facts presented in your own post support your point.

Re:The reality is... (1, Flamebait)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981436)

His point was that "The iphone still rules the "total experience dept"" is a subjective observation, and his argument for that was good enough to support it.

Re:The reality is... (1, Informative)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981402)

Well yes, that's the point. He was replying to a post making a subjective claim and he's making a counter point that it's subjective by using his own experience.

Re:The reality is... (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981430)

The problem is, no one's actually demonstrated why the iPhone is better either.

Does it have better screen resolution? no. Does it have a better camera? no. Does it have better processor/ram/storagE? no. Is it more open so that you can do more with it? no. Is it smaller, lighter, sturdier? no. Does it have better battery life? no. Is it more practical in allowing you to carry multiple batteries? no.

But of course, you look at the other things- does it look nicer physically, does the software feel nicer, and some people will say yes, others will say no.

So here's the fundamental problem in this discussion- the only areas where the iPhone can be said to be better than most other high end handsets that compete with it are entirely subjective. That doesn't mean you're wrong, but it doesn't mean the GP is wrong either- both of you like the other phone, you don't have to justify it and neither does he. It's simple fact that the iPhone doesn't win on things like those points listed above, and how exactly can he justify the other things? if Android works better for him, then it just does- just as most iPhone fans will tell you that the iPhone just works for them, but that doesn't mean it works for everyone. I for example can't stand any of these new touch screen phones for texting on any platform, be it an Android handset without physical keypad, or the iPhone, when the majority of use I get out of my phone is texting, they're both a massive step backwards. In fact, even full keyboards on phones are a hindrance to me because they're too small to type properly- I can text far faster with Nokia's predictive text on a standard numeric pad than any other phone, because that's just what I've been used to for over a decade.

We all use our phones in different ways, and we all get a different experience as a result. Some of us think differently, not everyone appreciates the UI features that others love. When the iPhone can only stand up to the other handsets based on subjective things there's really little that can be said in terms of proving your point, because you really can't prove something that's so subjective. The GP merely seemed to be making a counter point to this effect in response to the initial post because after all, just because one person says the iPhone is better, it doesn't mean it is for everyone.

Re:The reality is... (4, Informative)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981588)

I switched last week. Had pretty much all types of smartphones over the years, and have been running an iPhone 3G for past 18 months. I switched partially because I was getting uneasy about Apple's lock down, partially as my 3G was glacially slow, and partially because I was bored.
What swung it was Engadget riffing about integration with external services like Twitter/Facebook/etc - goes completely against Apple's principles, whereas Android actively works to do this. In the future, I want more of this, not less, and I don't think I'm going to get it from Apple.

Prior to this I'd change my phone every 6 months, so Apple has done well.
I'm not going back. I may be envious when the new iPhone comes out, but the Desire is great. I couldn't go back to a lower screen resolution, I love the OLED display and it's *fast*. You can customise everything, and the phone just keeps on giving with features - case in point: last night I wanted to copy the new Iron Man 2 soundtrack over to listen to in the car. Didn't have my sync cable to hand, so I when to the Android Market, installed ES File Explorer (took about 10 seconds to search and install - it's crazy fast) and used it to browse to the share on my LAN that had the MP3s on. Copied them to the handset - again, crazy fast - and job done.

Downsides? No dock connector. Handset doesn't have that "hewn from a block of glass" feel to it. Android Market smaller. iPhone more intuitive (although you could also say "more Fisher-Price"!) although Android more powerful. No Apple lockdown means differing app GUI styles sometimes. Headphone volume was low until I replaced the T-Mobile ROM with the vanilla HTC one (thanks XDA-Developers!)

Overall, it's a *great* handset. Very pleased.

Re:The reality is... (1, Interesting)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981468)

I know this is going to come as a shock to you so brace yourself. Not everyone wants/likes the iPhone.

So comments like yours and from the article are really only from YOUR opinions. Now brace yourself for another shock, people have different opinions!

For example, some people like to walk rather then take the bus. Now sure walking is slower and less convenient, but yet people still do it. That doesn't mean however that it is better or worse then taking the bus or a car.

Sometimes you don't need to demand someone justify every minute detail in the hopes of advocating someone to switch to your favourite thing. If the guy prefers the android phones then just let him be and accept that not everyone likes the same things you do.

Re:The reality is... (1, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981602)

Sometimes you don't need to demand someone justify every minute detail in the hopes of advocating someone to switch to your favourite thing.

You do if you're in a cult. Just sayin'.

Re:The reality is... (0, Flamebait)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981650)

And while there are certainly people like that who like Apple, they are no different than Linux zealots; and would you say that either camp was indicative of the userbase of both platforms?

Re:The reality is... (1, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981682)

I've never met an Apple product owner who didn't try to recruit me.

Re:The reality is... (5, Interesting)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981626)

So comments like yours and from the article are really only from YOUR opinions. Now brace yourself for another shock, people have different opinions!

Here's another opinion. As someone who _had_ an iPhone and went back to a $50 Nokia I'll tell you the iPhone is junk. It's shiny, polished junk.

* The battery life was woeful when you're actually using it as intended. I was lucky to get a day out of the thing and I used it as an ereader for about an hour during my daily commute and a phone casually.
* It's not compatible (enough) with earlier iPod connectors/interfaces so my iPod capable car stereo won't work with it. A lot of other iPod capable stuff either failed or whinged at me. The phone quite often whinged too. Here's news Apple - if you use a "standard" connector on the thing then support it; don't change the damn internals and then tell the phone to whinge the thing on the other end is too old.
* It's locked down - you can only buy applications that Apple approve. If you jail break it you lose warranty, and on 3GS models the ability to reboot the fucking thing.
* There is no pr0n (well there is, but Jobs is in denial that Safari can be used to access pr0n).
* It crashed and froze up more often than not.
* I couldn't save anything in it that Apple doesn't want me to. That includes the videos/photos of my son that came attached to a series of MMS. They were forever trapped in the phone and I had to ask the sender to email me instead.
* I can't send files via email/MMS that Apple doesn't want me to. I can't send that hillarious video that I just received to anyone else because it _might_ fuck over some record company somewhere.
* I was stuck using iTunes to sync the address book and calendar. What kind of shit is that? Some people actually don't want to use iTunes. Apple won't expose those things in a standard way so I can't just use SyncML or something similar.
* The app store is full up with absolute garbage, low quality apps. There's an app for everything where "app" is defined as half-arsed P.O.S and "everything" is defined as {lim x->0 (1/x)}. Finding good quality software was difficult. A lot of the apps blatantly lie about their capability and you don't find out until you've paid for them.
* Apple is reportedly known to stiff app developers.
* Glass screen is uber-fragile; I know of several people who have managed to break them even when being mostly careful. It's such a common occurrence that a lot of insurance policies won't cover it anymore.
* Bluetooth is a joke. Can't even transfer files with it. Apple's answer... use email or MMS. What if I'm sitting right next to the person and want to save some data charges? Nope. Use email or MMS.
* Apple seem to pander to the big telcos about ripping out features. For example it wouldn't let me download large (>5M) files over my data plan, even though I paid for a certain amount of data and wanted to use it as _I_ saw fit, not Apple. What if I need a 15M file right now this very instant and I'm nowhere near a WiFi connection? Nope, I'm S.O.L just because Apple says so.
* No VoIP... what's with that? It's my phone, and if I want to use VoIP over my carrier's IP network then so be it. Don't tell me I can't. To top it all off, my carrier was a Skype partner and I could use Skype quite happily on their network (they encouraged it). Nope. Can't do that on an iPhone because Apple said so, even though my particular carrier is ok with it.
* Did I mention the battery life sucks?
* Apple doesn't seem interested in fixing any of the shortcomings that practically no other phone has, because they are all shortcomings that force you to reach out into data and call charges land even when you really don't need to.

The three things I don't like about my $50 Nokia are the lack of a QWERTY keyboard (a standard addition to many smart phones now), small screen size (again, fixed on modern more expensive phones) and the fact it's slow and limited in memory (also fixed by every other smart phone). Other than that, one of the cheapest non-smart models of phone kicks the shit out of an iPhone any day as far as I'm concerned.

Re:The reality is... (1)

Mascot (120795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981548)

As others have pointed out, you misunderstood my post. I made no attempt at supporting my point, precisely because it's subjective.

I simply pointed out that "the iPhone still rules the 'total experience dept'" is a subjective opinion a lot of people would disagree with. Me included.

If you're really dying to know, I can share some of my thoughts, sure. But with the plethora of Android reviews online, I wouldn't say anything that's not already been said. There's enough information out there for people to make their own informed choice.

Re:The reality is... (2, Insightful)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981460)

It's true - my sticking to Android is more out of principle than because the actual experience is better...

In my experience (limited to the Milestone...), Android is:

-Less stable
-Glitchier
-Slower
-UI lags

These things don't really bother me, and not having to own anything made by Apple (as well as having a resolution far higher than the iPhone's measly 480x320) is a pretty good reason to stick to Android... however, I can definitely see why prettty much everyone else prefers the iPhone.

Re:The reality is... (5, Informative)

yacc143 (975862) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981552)

Simple, for power users at least these that travel abroad (and most do at least for a couple of weeks per year), the first thing is how easy it's to change SIMs.

In most (at least European) countries you can get something at least vaguely acceptable (especially for data access) as a prepaid SIM. Data roaming on the other hand is practically never acceptable for usage on smartphone.

For this let's compare the iPhone with the HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1.

First difference, the T-Mobile G1 is available as HTC Dream without lock. OTOH, most people in both cases will probably have gotten the simlocked version.

1.) unlocking experience on the iPhone: 2 days wasted trying to get a jail break going. 3rd day included a visit to a seedy 3rd party phone shop that advertised jailbreaking iPhones. Always in danger of undoing it all via iTunes that persistently tries to offer an upgrade for the phone.

2.) checked that the G1 is really simlocked, bought a 20 unlock code online, used it with my SIM of choice the same afternoon in the office.

Actually, both events happened some months ago, but I cannot remember the details of item 2 (as if the G1 was really locked), while item 1 makes me shudder. (Actually it's as bad that the iPhone got a non-smartphone assigned to cover wheneever the iPhone decides to go dead). OTOH, the G1 unlock did happen when the phone was very recent on the market, while the iPhone 3G jailbreak happened when the 3GS has been longer on the market than the G1 mentioned. And I'm still unclear how jailbreakable the 3GS are.

Next important item on a frequent travelers (that's what I admit is not exactly critical to the majority, but it's an important item about who controls the device that I own) is sharing Internet access. Obviously, a smartphone cannot manage to fill completely an UMTS uplink, so there is no drawback in sharing it's connectivity.

1.) the iPhone started to work as a tether after some months, basically after a couple of upgrades and the jailbreak. It offers USB Windows-only (perhaps Mac too?) tethering and standard PAN Bluetooth networking.

2.) the G1 offers TCP forwarding tethering via USB and after rooting, it offers a standard NAT-ing Linux kernel based router via Bluetooth or WLAN. The USB based tethering I was capable to use easily enough on day 1 to establish a full VPN (albeit TCP based) connection from my laptop. In practice the standard PAN Bluetooth networking is nicest for me personally, but everyone has probably his own favorite.

So I do not think that the iPhone rules the "total experience dept", as it's a total fail on two important items (one of general interest, even if they do not know, but they will when they go on their next holiday), so it's not even in the running for a phone here. (Ah, I learned yesterday why my wife got the iPhone 3G last year, "it was the cheapest colorful toy for our daughter that we could get back then easily and quickly", and "yeah that Motorola Droid looks cool")

Re:The reality is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31981662)

fuck you fanboi! burn in hell!!!!!!!

It's great (4, Informative)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981088)

Beautiful screen, Exchange integration works perfectly (even with the exotic configuration I have at work) and the widgets available are really cool.

Battery life is acceptable. Better than my last smartphone (N91).

There are some fantastic apps: Layar in particular is not only technically cool, it actually has a practical use.

Downsides:

1. Not all alls in App Market are available, including goodies like Google Earth. Though I hear that this'll be solved soon enough.
2. Keyboard is terrible when you need to write in multiple languages (in my case dutch & english). For English alone it's fantastic.
3. SMS, twitter dms, emails aren't integrated into one app. I'd love to see a single 'messaging center' for all apps (even if its just via a notification API or something). No idea if the iPhone / Palm can do this btw.

Re:It's great (5, Informative)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981128)

Just RTFA.

>Many functions require a press of the menu button to bring up a list of
>options, whereas on the iPhone there would be a button on the screen.
>This extra step makes the Desire feel a little cumbersome.

The thing is, on the Desire you have a widget for almost everything, so you don't even need to open the application. It's just there. You just need to navigate to the correct home screen.

As I understand it on the iPhone you must load each application, and can only open one at a time. Which is more cumbersome than hitting the menu key occasionally to exit apps.

I also see no mention of the fantastic friends-list. It combines all your contacts from all sources. You can group them. Then you can put a group of contacts on one of your screens. It grabs avatars from gmail/facebook for your contacts, and that's what you can see on the contacts screen. It's useful and way more practical than any 'address book' feature I've seen in other phones.

>Sound quality during calls is noticeably worse than the iPhone. Both
>the earpiece and the speaker produce a feeble, tinny sound with a
>background hiss.

Sound on mine is fine. It's not as good as a good GSM, but then neither is the iPhone. Don't see any hissing. Speakers are tinny, but all mobile speakers are tinny. You'd not play music with it, just as you'd not play music with any mobile speaker.

> Battery life is appalling. With moderate use I have to charge the Desire
> twice each day. The phone loses around a fifth of its charge just sitting
> on the bedside table overnight.

I get a little over a day out of mine, with everything turned on to max and whilst playing with apps for several hours. Apparently you can improve this considerably if you turn the polling down and don't leave hefy apps open all the time, but to be honest I prefer having the bells and whistles..

Re:It's great (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981466)

Many functions require a press of the menu button to bring up a list of options, whereas on the iPhone there would be a button on the screen.
Wait, so that's a "menu key on the phone" vs "menu button on the screen" and the physical key is more cumbersome?

I'd think they would be pretty much equivalent except for tactile feedback and screen real estate.

Re:It's great (1)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981478)

Well, it does take some getting used to that most apps don't have a close button... and a lot stay open, only closing when you use a third party task killer...

Which is another critisism, and one which doesn't appear in the article. Probably because the author only spend 5mins playing with the Desire before writing his review.

Re:It's great (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981560)

Then the article sounds like another case of "it's worse because it isn't the same".

I remember an Open Office review where it was bashed for doing things differently from MS Office. Like, if you want the page to be in Landscape mode, why would you ever go to Layout > Page, instead of the obvious File > Print Properties?

Re:It's great (5, Informative)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981590)

> and a lot stay open, only closing when you use a third party task killer...

Yeah, a lot of people task ram and resources running third party task killers which server no purpose at all, given the design of Android. All apps on the Android are candidates for closure if memory is required. It's unlikely to happen to an app you're using *now* because it's given a high priority, but if you click `home` or `back` on an app then it might techinically be `running` but not necessarily consuming any resources.

Most people are ignorant of this, hence the confusion. Take a little time to read about how Android works before spouting nonsense.

Re:It's great (4, Interesting)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981518)

Just RTFA.

>Many functions require a press of the menu button to bring up a list of
>options, whereas on the iPhone there would be a button on the screen.
>This extra step makes the Desire feel a little cumbersome.

The thing is, on the Desire you have a widget for almost everything, so you don't even need to open the application. It's just there. You just need to navigate to the correct home screen.

I just wanted to add to that:
The menu button feels different from the iPhone when you're first switching, but I love it now. When i pick up an iPhone, *it* always feels more cumbersome to use. "Menu" is a very intuitive concept, and I like that more than having to keep every possible function onscreen on the iPhone, which is itself cumbersome. Or, many iPhone apps end up implementing a "Menu" icon onscreen, but those will all be in a different place based on the UI design. On Android, "Menu" is always in the same place, and since its always there, UI designers don't feel like they have to put icons everywhere for things, they can just use "Menu" without worrying about making a cumbersome UI. I think its better personally. But as I said, it feels awkward coming from iPhone OS... but that goes away.

Also not cumbersome? A Back button.
-Taylor

Re:It's great (3, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981668)

I think his battery life will go up as he uses it more. It's a feature of these small lithium batteries that they need to bed in. It's very noticeable on the iPhone, where I was charging the phone once a day from red to doing it every couple of days without changing my usage at all. The same was true for my sister's iPhone. I'm sure the Desire is very similar once the charging system has calibrated the battery after a few cycles.

It also seems, regarding sound quality, that the Desire can have carrier-custom firmwares that affect the sound, and restoring the default HTC one improve the quality considerably. Score one for being able to modify the firmware yourself.

Re:It's great (4, Interesting)

OzRoy (602691) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981708)

I replaced my iPhone with a Desire just a few weeks ago. It has taken me a little while to get used to it. I forgot about the existence of the hardware buttons and would expect all functionality to be available on screen via a touch, like the iPhone. I'm quickly getting past that though, and I don't think either system is better or worse than the other, just different.

First the iPhone does feel more polished than the desire. Part of that may be because of familiarity, but other things, like my gmail account not showing up with the HTC mail widget is just annoying.

Other things though are much much better. Widgets are fantastic. All the information I want if available on the phone's 'desktop'. Multi-tasking! It's great! The best experience I had was something really simple. I recieved an email with a link to google maps. Touching the link opened up the maps application. I was able to navigate around the map and then clicked the back button. Because Android allows multi-tasking clicking back left the map and put me back into my email on the mail app exactly as I left it. That may sound trivial, but I think it's a major improvement over the iPhone. It's the way any device should work.

Re:It's great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31981144)

Ad 2: There is a modified version of the HTC Keyboard on xda-developers where you can define a shortcut to switch between languages (swipe up/down or triple-tap comma), along with several other enhancements: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=624416

Ad 3: doesn't the Sense UI do something like that by showing all communication combined for a contact? Would be nice though to integrate SMS to FriendStream.

Re:It's great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31981246)

I turned on all notifications and use the notifications in the top of the screen to get a similar experience.
Yes it needs a number of applications to do the work that all have their idiosyncracies. It's workable.
I have a Hero and yes I like it very much, especially the fact that it is a more or less open platform.

Re:It's great (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981368)

2. Keyboard is terrible when you need to write in multiple languages (in my case dutch & english). For English alone it's fantastic.

Have you tried the 'Dutch for SlideIT Keyboard'? It's a free app on the Market, it supports a primary language and secondary language(s), and it's getting five star reviews from users (I wish I could tell you what those users are saying, but it's all gibberish to me).

Re:It's great (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981600)

Slide-It is bloody great. It's awesome and free - you just slide your finger around on screen qwerty keyboard without lifting off, and it works out the word you were after - sounds great in theory but probably buggy in practice? No! It's *brilliant*.

Re:It's great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31981606)

I really like the HTC keyboard,
it's autocorrection is great and yes I also use it for Dutch & English (mostly dutch)

Battery life is indeed rather bad. With minimal use I can get through the day (3G, WIFI & bluetooth mostly off, screen mostly locked).
This is my greatest downside to this phone.

Android phones are crap (-1, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981094)

I've used a few and have been completely underwhelmed. The interface is clunky and unresponsive. The shell is usually poorly thought out (depends on the OEM, but they're all pretty bad). The ability to load programs yourself is nice, but the apps all lack the unity of concept and execution that iPhone apps have.

Also, Error establishing a database connection

From TFA... (4, Insightful)

tonywestonuk (261622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981106)

"The problem, you see, is that the iPhone is close to perfect. It feels solid, it looks pretty, and its screen responds to the slightest gesture."

Followed by..

"But it is hobbled by Apple’s super-tight approval process that...."

Don't you think, that the reason iPhones are close to perfect, is because of the super-tight approval process.... Not only in the App Store, but also in the build and design of it. Where other manufactures make something just good enough to sell, Apple go one step further.... The touch screen has to work perfectly, it has to feel solid, and the Apps that are available for it, better not let the whole experience down....

Re:From TFA... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31981154)

Now see I don't mind apple having a quality control process for the apps. If they reject things because they are completely pointless/useless and/or they don't work properly or are very buggy, that would be fine by me, but that would get rid of the 301 flashlight apps and other junkware.

Instead, they block apps for all kinds of reasons:
1. Using 3G networking for things where it's "Not approved".
2. "Confusing users" by upgrading core functionality.
3. Using magical APIs that only Apple is allowed to use.
4. Blocking things Apple finds racy or politically questionable
And they charge money (the $100 yearly fee) even to be able to compile an app and load it on your own phone itself. This has reduced the amount of open source software available for the iPhone drastically, I am sure, and made things that should be free into pay apps.
And, they force you to use their programming kit and only their programming kit, which again has reduced options for developers, and thereby users.
Many of the approvals and rejections have also been arbitrary. Some softcore porn apps are allowed, others aren't. Some VOIP apps are allowed, others aren't, etc.
etc.

This has meant:
1. Skype hasn't worked on 3G.
2. Nothing like Skype or Google Longitude (or any navigation apps) could run in the background (thereby rendering such apps practically useless).
3. Nothing like tethering could be made to work.
4. Even trivial apps cost money.
5. Google voice somehow isn't allowed.

If they really feel something is lower quality, or bound to "confuse" users, they could simply just add an "advanced" section to the app-store. They could also just not allow such apps on the app store, but allow direct distribution instead.

Still, I have to admit the article was interesting to say the least... "The iPhone is perfect... the HTC phone sucks... but I like it better than the iPhone".

I'll stick with my Sharp SH941 for now. It doesn't have so much in the way of apps, but it has a great camera which can take HD video, TV, email, Suica (Wireless Smartcard), character recognition, dictionaries, etc. built in without having to buy a dozen apps anyway. The battery life is very solid, and the voice quality is great.

Re:From TFA... (2, Interesting)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981258)

Don't you think, that the reason iPhones are close to perfect, is because of the super-tight approval process.... Not only in the App Store, but also in the build and design of it.

Having experienced the App store approval process and used an iPhone. Absolutely not to the first point, and a resounding yes to the second point (the build and design of the OS and phone).

The OS, UI and tight design (not tight controls on apps) are what sets it apart.

There are no tight controls on app quality, quite the reverse (just look at all the terrible apps on the store), but there are bizarre, inconsistent, constantly changing controls on app functionality/use.

Re:From TFA... (1)

CondeZer0 (158969) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981290)

As anyone that has gone through the 'approval process' knows, it has zero to do with quality, all kinds of crap gets approved and good apps get rejected, the rules are arbitrary and are unevenly enforced. It is all about control and protecting Apple's interests.

Re:From TFA... (4, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981298)

Don't you think, that the reason iPhones are close to perfect, is because of the super-tight approval process...

Nope, not really.

Not only in the App Store,

They don't allow third-party app stores, so it's not just the app store, but the entire device that they're asserting that control over.

You give up nothing by using an open phone -- you can still stick with Google's App Store if you really want, or you can use a third-party app store, or install apps yourself, or...

also in the build and design of it.

That would be where it really shines, and where Steve Jobs' style may work really well. Unfortunately, it also has the effect that if there's any element of that design you don't like, you're SOL.

Some people want physical keyboards -- with Android, you can find phones with them and phones without them. With iPhone, Jobs says no keyboards, you don't get a keyboard.

The touch screen has to work perfectly,

And how hard is that to get right?

and the Apps that are available for it, better not let the whole experience down....

Because clearly, that's what's holding OS X back on the desktop. Riight.

I mean, people always bitch about some random OS X app not having a native-like interface, but you know what? If my choice is between The Gimp and nothing, I'll take The Gimp, ugly X interface and all, every time. It's not like one app is going to ruin my entire experience, and if it did, I'd know exactly where to place the blame.

Of course, you and I both know this is bullshit. Apple didn't censor "sexy" apps to make sure the experience was seamless. They didn't block tethering apps to make everything that much more perfect. They didn't block Google Voice because they just knew it was exactly what the customer wanted. No, they do all that and more for purely business reasons, when it isn't just someone fucking up or making an arbitrary spur-of-the-moment decision.

Re:From TFA... (1)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981672)

I mean, people always bitch about some random OS X app not having a native-like interface, but you know what? If my choice is between The Gimp and nothing, I'll take The Gimp, ugly X interface and all, every time.

Gimp vs nothing? False choice. Some of us wouldn't take Gimp anyway. Not to put down the effort by the Gimp team, it's a nice baseline raster editor.

Photoshop also has a bad half-native UI on OSX, so your entire rationalization is wrong. That's ok: choose for yourself, and let the other people choose for themselves as well.

Re:From TFA... (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981696)

I agree with many of your points, but Apple did not block tethering. That was a carrier decision. My iPhone (not jailbroken) does tethering on O2 with no interference from Apple. Don't blame Apple for AT&T's decision about that. There are enough valid points to criticise without resorting to something they just aren;t responsible for (unless they are to blame because of rhe exclusivity deal with AT&T, but in the respect they are no different to other cellphone providers that frequently make such carrier-exclusive deals, especially early in a phone's life).

Re:From TFA... (1)

fredmosby (545378) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981712)

I mean, people always bitch about some random OS X app not having a native-like interface, but you know what? If my choice is between The Gimp and nothing, I'll take The Gimp, ugly X interface and all, every time. It's not like one app is going to ruin my entire experience, and if it did, I'd know exactly where to place the blame.

Suppose Apple did ban OSX applications that don't have a good interface. Certainly at least one developer would be willing to write graphics program for OSX that has a good UI because that would give them a market with less competition. Then instead of having to choose between a crappy UI or nothing you would have a good UI.

Re:From TFA... (1)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981702)

A tech-friendly person would always choose to choose, since if he can get closer to his preferences by flipping a finite (if large) set of switches in a finite (if large) set of menus and submenus, that's one happy user who got what he wanted.

Non-tech friendly users also try that, but with every option and menu they see and pick and not understand, they get farther from their desired basic goals. Don't expect the tech person to understand their frustration, so don't expect Apple's policy to be understood at this particular forum.

missed article due to database error... (5, Informative)

SirCowMan (1309199) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981120)

...however, take a peek at the N900. The screen is way better than a 3GS, Skype & IM integrate seamlessly, and there is no sleazy attempts to keep you from doing anything with your phone. Meamo 5 may be only, say, 75% done, but it's better than only being able to use 50% of the phone!

Here's the review (5, Informative)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981220)

Here's a copy of the article text from my cache when the site still worked:

Review of HTC Desire as alternative to Apple iPhone

My search for an alternative to Apple’s iPhone has been long and frustrating.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve walked out of a highstreet phone shop, disappointed by devices that promised so much but turned out to be flimsy toys with sluggish software and unresponsive touchscreens.

Anyone who has similarly quested an escape from Apple’s grasp will know my pain!

The problem, you see, is that the iPhone is close to perfect. It feels solid, it looks pretty, and its screen responds to the slightest gesture.

But it is hobbled by Apple’s super-tight approval process that, for example, blocked Pulitzer Prize-winning work by satirist Mark Fiore, and kept customers waiting an astonishing 20 days for the popular Opera web browser to be allowed on to the device.

(Fiore’s work was eventually approved after much public outcry, while Opera rocketed to the top of the iPhone app chart with more than one million downloads in 48 hours.)

The latest, and most enticing alternative to the iPhone comes in the form of the Desire by Taiwanese mobile phone specialist HTC.

With HTC’s announcement on Friday that its next handset, the Incredible, will not be launched in the UK — and presumably not on the Continent either — it is likely that the Desire will remain as the iPhone’s main European rival for some considerable time.

Hyped as the world’s first superphone, the Desire is fast, beautiful, and its touchscreen is every bit as tactile and responsive as that on Apple’s handset.

At the heart of the Desire is Google’s Android operating system so it is near-infinitely customisable.

It is also out-of-stock across much of the UK after delivery flights were grounded by the volcanic ash cloud.

On paper, the Desire is the first serious challenger to the iPhone’s reign as king of phones. But how does it compare in use?

Red faces

The failings of the Desire hit you within minutes of first using it.

Its screen is bright and colourful indoors, but almost unusable in sunlight. This severely hampers all aspects of the phone, from sending texts to web browsing, to taking photos.

The touchscreen intermittently remains active during phone calls and it’s too easy to press the on-screen buttons with your ear. I’ve accidentally hung up on people dozens of times.

Sound quality during calls is noticeably worse than the iPhone. Both the earpiece and the speaker produce a feeble, tinny sound with a background hiss.

Used indoors, the Desire’s vivid screen is great for most apps, but when viewing photos or web sites you realise that the screen is severely over-saturated. People’s faces become beetroot red.

Open Android

Web browsing is a joy. Pages render quickly and accurately.

When you zoom in on a web page using the familiar un-pinch gesture, the Desire neatly re-formats text to your screen width for easy reading.

Built-in Google chat is a surprise boon, offering a free and instantaneous alternative to text messaging between friends.

The phone is advertised as a hub-in-your-pocket for social networking, yet support for Facebook and Twitter is incomplete and unreliable, at times missing entire blocks of messages.

Thanks to the open nature of the Android operating system, there is a myriad of alternative apps to replace the standard ones.

Antiquated list-style text messaging is easily upgraded to a free iPhone-style app with familiar speech bubble conversations.

There are superb free apps for Twitter, note taking, reading news feeds, and almost anything else you may want to do with a phone. Facebook apps are thin on the ground and quite poor, although a full-featured official Facebook client is persistently rumoured to be on the horizon.

Some free apps include advertising but this is unobtrusive.

Cumbersome

There has been much criticism of Apple not allowing Flash on the iPhone.

Flash on Android phones is far from perfect, as it is slow and more things don’t work than do work, but more robust Flash support is promised soon.

General use of the Desire is not as smooth as that of the iPhone. The on-screen keyboard is more fiddly and auto-correction is often silly. The optical trackpad is randomly useless, and stops working entirely if you try to use the handset in even light rain.

Many functions require a press of the menu button to bring up a list of options, whereas on the iPhone there would be a button on the screen. This extra step makes the Desire feel a little cumbersome.

Battery life is appalling. With moderate use I have to charge the Desire twice each day. The phone loses around a fifth of its charge just sitting on the bedside table overnight.

Not for everyone

With the Desire’s catalogue of weaknesses, you may be surprised when I say that I have no interest in going back to the iPhone.

Refined and slick Apple’s handset may be, but unless you take the risk of unlocking it (so-called jailbreaking) you will always have Apple acting as master and commander.

In contrast, it feels like I own the Desire and I can do what I want with it.

Certainly the Desire is not for everyone.

The poor performance of the screen in sunlight will put a lot of people off.

Most people don’t want the hassle of finding alternatives to the lacklustre built-in apps.

Perhaps most telling is that I’ve been using the Desire for a week now and it has begun to reduce my casual phone use.

With the iPhone I would fill downtime and dog walks by web browsing, checking Facebook, reading tweets and texting. The Desire’s poor performance in daylight and fiddly on-screen keyboard have made these pastimes more of a chore than they should be.

Whilst the Desire is flawed, for those of us who want a non-Apple superphone it’s certainly good enough, and crucially its open nature affords it the potential to be much better.

Re:Here's the review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31981250)

thanks for this! -SirCowMan (reading from the night table, too lazy to login)

Re:missed article due to database error... (1)

socceroos (1374367) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981254)

Nokia is about to radically change Maemo. I'm not getting on board at least until this is done. Guaranteed you won't be able to fully experience the cool new QT Maemo without getting the new hardware.

Re:missed article due to database error... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31981380)

Nokia is about to radically change Maemo. I'm not getting on board at least until this is done. Guaranteed you won't be able to fully experience the cool new QT Maemo without getting the new hardware.

Um, what? You mean Meego?

And I doubt the new hardware will come any sooner than 6 months. Considering the old hardware is about 6 months old right now.

I'm pretty much set on buying one now. Let me know how that waiting thing goes.

Check the N900 developer site (4, Informative)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981706)

It seems pretty clear that the N900 as is will run Meego, since you can already evaluate it. Nokia != Apple.

I am finding that the biggest issue with the N900 is that it is being bought by people who think they are technically knowledgeable and are then finding that, basically, anything non-Windows is difficult. I went for it because it can ssl into my servers, and because the multitasking lets me run certain background applications that would never be accepted by Apple (they are our remote management tools.) So for me, as a developer, the N900 is a tool for which the iPhone could never be a substitute.

Re:missed article due to database error... (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981506)

Call back when it's 100% done and bug free. No one wants a half broken phone when they can buy an Android or iPhone and jail break it to get exactly what you're complaining about.

iPhone Killer (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31981122)

Why do people always refer to the iPhone and call every new smartphone "iPhone Challenger", "iPhone Killer", "iPhone Alternative"...

Many new smartphone are superior than the device from Cupertino. Why should I care how it compares to another phone unless I'd rather have that other phone.

Re:iPhone Killer (4, Funny)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981138)

"Why don't you go by Michael?" - "Why should I change? He's the one who sucks!"

Re:iPhone Killer (1, Insightful)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981156)

Because the iPhone set the standard for modern smartphones.

The problem with HTC in reality is (5, Interesting)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981126)

That they have excellent hardware but their long term software support is as miserable as the rest of the industry.
Usually you get the phone, and as soon as you are out of the store, they dont see you as a customer anymore.
If you are lucky you get one quick bugfix update, and then you wait for ages and if you are lucky you get another software update.
The classical example this time is the HTC Hero, the top phone from them until January.
The Android 1.6 update was promised, than they said, they were going for straight 2.0 in january, then february March etc...
Now they have released the HTC Legend which is almost the same as the Hero except for the sensor instead of the trackball
and the aluminium casing, it has Android 2.1, well the result was to protect their Legend sales the Hero update again was postponed
to June. However in May Android 2.2 will be released.

All I can say is avoid this phone like the plaque go for the Nexus 1 which will get the software updates in time for the forseeable future unless you are willing to hack your phone open and use the community as software update center.
Actually the Hero will be my last non google branded phone. HTC has pulled the same stunt back then on the touch, and I should have been warned, now they are pulling the same stunt again with the Hero.

As for me I will run the Hero until the end of the year and then will go straight for what Google has to offer (hopefully a non HTC Nexus2)

Re:The problem with HTC in reality is (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31981142)

The community supports HTC phones far better than HTC themselves ever could:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=512 [xda-developers.com]

Re:The problem with HTC in reality is (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981196)

Yes, I have been running Android 2.1 from those guys and the ones from htcpedia.com, however, all those roms have their weaknesses, for instance, while it runs perfectly (the one I am running now) I found out yesterday that MMS was not working.
So hacked roms, while being nice often, almost ever are buggy. The only ones running fine are the 1.5 ones because the community has kernel access to them.
Until HTC releases the official 2.1 rom for the Hero (and the sources a few weeks after that for the kernel) the situation wont change.
Add to that that HTC has more and more barriers added for rooting their phones with every newer model. The Legend still is unrooted, and you can see where things are heading.

Now compared that to the N1, Google allows to root the phone officially, you get Android the day google releases it, until the rather powerful hardware is not able anymore to cope with it.
Same prices a little bit of less functionality, but top notch software support and open for the community to take over.
Sorry but Google has won me over, for the next phone.

Re:The problem with HTC in reality is (4, Interesting)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981158)

Problem is the rest of the industry is as miserable as HTC in this regard, Samsung, good luck to get any update after a few months, but they also have shoddy hardware usually, while HTCs is rock solid.

Motorola, they have good hardware, and so far the track record of software support is there, but outside of the USA they pulled the DRM stunt, by encrypting the bootloader, so that the phone is basically locked down and the community is prevented to open it to flash it on their own (Note this is basically just for the Milestone, the Droid is relatively open). So what if Motorola decides not to support the phone anymore.

Sony/Ericsson, they are still to new in the Android area, but given their track record, I do not have high hopes.

LG... shoddy hardware, and given LGs track record I would not have high hopes either to get a good customer support out of them

Acer... they just pulled the screw your existing customers by not supporting them stunt on the Liquid One. While having good hardware, the phone is a no buy.

So all I can say is, if you want Android, opt directly for Google, that is the only chance of being not entirely screwed by the manufacturer. Android itself is excellent, but the phone makers try hard to carry over their advertise sell and run businessmodell from WinMobile days.

Re:The problem with HTC in reality is (2, Informative)

mike260 (224212) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981322)

Problem is the rest of the industry is as miserable as HTC in this regard

Not quite *everyone*, no?
I seem to recall a certain company that does simultaneous releases of their mobile OS across all their phones, and is only now after 3 years dropping support for their oldest model.

Re:The problem with HTC in reality is (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981378)

Dropping support, coincidently, right at a point where a lot of first gen users are finding their AT&T contracts ended.

Re:The problem with HTC in reality is (1)

mike260 (224212) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981472)

Yep. Beats the hell out of losing support at the *start* of you contract.

Re:The problem with HTC in reality is (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981452)

Well I was stricktly speaking about Android phones, which is an area where mostly ex WinMobile companies are around and they took their old habits with them.

Other companies have a better track record, RIM for instance, or Apple, which you now can rely on having a 2 years of support (which should be standard, given the contractual times most carriers enforce), also Nokia on some models (Nokia is a hit and miss in this regard, but some of their models are really well supported, while others are cash in and run, like the rest of the industry)
But given that there still is Google and I love Android I wont be switching over to apple and their draconian lockin (which is the reason why I went with Android in the first place, Apple computers yes, apple end user gadgets, no)

Re:The problem with HTC in reality is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31981440)

I would add avoid Motorola even in the USA, as they have said that the unlocked bootloader on the Droid was against their own normal policies. The *only* safe Android phone in my view are developer phones from Google. Those of us in the UK are *still* waiting for the official 2.1 update, weeks after the rest of europe got it, and months after the USA got 2.1

Re:The problem with HTC in reality is (4, Insightful)

404 Clue Not Found (763556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981522)

I wish I read your post before I signed up for a new contract with a Droid (or, more like, I wish the N1 were available on Verizon).

The Droid already feels like a second-class citizen, what with the N1 getting all the updates (new versions of Android, Google apps like Google Earth, etc.) much faster. I feel bad for the early adopters stuck with pre-2.0 versions of Android... and that gap will only widen as time passes, with only Google's own phone getting the best treatment and everyone else begging for leftovers. This isn't idle speculation; it's already happened and is still happening. It's the difference between a Mac experience and a hackintosh experience.

It's really too bad (IMO) that Google went with a decentralized approach to device and OS design and allowed manufacturers so much leeway in creating their own modified versions of Android and allowing them to update on their own schedules. Google, as a service-oriented company, has an incentive to continually provide newer and better software so their users will continue to use their services. Cell phone manufacturers, however, just bleed resources updating their software once the initial purchase is paid for... causing exactly the situation you describe.

No two Android phones are alike -- and I don't mean that as a compliment. Some apps work on device X but not Y, screen sizes are different, the user interfaces are different (specifically home screens/launchers, notification systems, and messaging systems), and manufacturer post-purchase support is shoddy. Does a cell phone really need 50 different setups instead of one well-polished one that works well?

What exactly is the point, anyway, of 50 different hardware designs that are mostly, but not quite exactly, the same? Didn't Verizon already try that with their standardized phone UI? Besides, how many different ways, in hardware, can you usefully differentiate one touchscreen Android phone from another? Processor, screen resolution, button placement... maybe, but the iPhone changed all that without compromising the user experience. Third-party Android manufacturers have not shown themselves capable of such. Keyboard? Maybe that'd be a valid point if the hardware keyboard on recent devices were actually any good. The Droid's isn't. Bluetooth support and roll-up keyboards would probably have worked better.

So now we end up with an ecosystem that promised freedom but actually delivered half-assed apps, half-assed devices, half-assed manufacturer support, and half-assed accessories. Great.

I mistakenly thought Android would mean "Google Phone" the way iPhone meant "Apple phone" -- i.e., a product designed from the ground up and managed exclusively by one company, with perfect feature support and flawless integration. Maybe the Nexus One is that, but the other Android phones certainly aren't. It's a great concept OS held back by third-party manufacturers, less-than-stellar apps seeing no real quality control and compatibility problems, not to mention incompatible hardware accessories. For other manufacturers, an Android phone is a Google phone the same way a Dell computer is a Microsoft computer -- sure, the underlying OS is the same, but the end-user experience is determined mostly by what the manufacturer does or fails to do. Android deserves so much more. It deserves Google-level innovation and competency across the board, not nearly-but-not-quite-there solutions from Old Guard manufacturers desperately trying to hold on to relevancy in a post-iPhone world.

Re:The problem with HTC in reality is (1)

olman (127310) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981660)

Acer... they just pulled the screw your existing customers by not supporting them stunt on the Liquid One. While having good hardware, the phone is a no buy.

Excuse me?

The 2.1 firmware leaks for A1 are apparently falling from the sky then? It's not like Acer is about to publish official eclair firmware? In modaco forum they're up to 3rd leaked 2.1 firmware now [modaco.com] unless I'm mistaken.

Acer has also released 1.6 firmware update that helps on the abysmal release battery life. This phone still needs a 3rd party battery, thought.

Re:The problem with HTC in reality is (1)

wintermute000 (928348) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981556)

Exactly why I went with N1.

You won't want to HAVE to use modded ROMs just to keep up with the mainstream Android release.

The homescreens et al are neat but along the lines of the Android sw update issue, when these services change/update their APIs etc. how long before (if?) HTC responds.

To be honest N1's contact sync w/ google and running gmail/meebo in background is good enough for me, I have the brain power spare to differentiate between IM, email and phone details and don't mind using a different app/interface for each one.
At least you can still have centralised notifications which is good enough IMO.

Now for someone to get a decent SIP client w/ g729 support running...
If anyone can get a fully featured, fully integrated SIP stack into a smartphone platform its Google. I'm waiting for full seamless integration w/ base OS calling/contacts etc. and smart roaming (i.e. ability to seamlessly switch to wifi if available). The current android apps - fring, sipagent and sipdroid (well those are the ones I tried lol) all have their own issues, funnily enough if you borged them then it would be almost perfect.

First challenger? (0, Offtopic)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981176)

HTC Desire is the first serious challenger to the IPhone

I'd like the author to elaborate about the many advantages of the IPhone over the Hero.

Re:First challenger? (2, Interesting)

Zoidbot (1194453) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981406)

I don't think there are too many.

I had a 3GS until it went wrong. I now have a HTC Hero, and it's better in every respect. Most importantly, I control what applications are on there, where I get my music from and what my device can run (the fact I can install APK's locally, means there is NO central app control, which is a good thing).

The undisputed King of Phones (1, Insightful)

qwerty8ytrewq (1726472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981188)

is in my opinion the Nokia 100, 1987, a 1G Candybar, what a phone, low power, good screen, nice feel, reliable, tough, easy... Maybe you are referring to the modern portable mobile computers that help us bring spamto ourselves in new and exciting ways?

GSM sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31981192)

iPhone could still be #1 for a longer time if they switch the far superior CDMA radio band. GSM is sooo poor quality.

Re:GSM sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31981236)

Lame troll is lame.

Note that the review is in the UK, also known as "the rest of the world", where they use GSM. May not be the best technically, but there's sure something to be said for using a phone compatible with the networks that are already there, instead of a $850 iPod touch with a paperweight CDMA radio.

"Primarily for readers in the UK"? (0)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981230)

The submitter has it backwards. The Verizon Incredible is a US-only handset, this is a review of the near-identical device the rest of the world is getting. At any rate they're so similar that the review should be completely applicable, whatever the Verizon rep tries to tell you to excuse the laughable price.

Android makes it (nearly) perfect (1)

Woek (161635) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981238)

The phone has very good specs. It's fast, the screen is fantastic, and its dimensions are perfect for carrying in you pants' pockets. The only thing I'm disappointed in is the camera, in particular making movies (framerate).
The thing is, Android is what makes it incredible. You get so used to just about everything working perfectly, and to the fact that almost anything is possible, that when something isn't possible, it bugs you a lot!
Have to wait and see how HTC handles software updates...

Re:Android makes it (nearly) perfect (1)

Mascot (120795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981618)

It's fast, the screen is fantastic, and its dimensions are perfect for carrying in you pants' pockets. The only thing I'm disappointed in is the camera, in particular making movies (framerate).

It is rather light dependent. But once it does have proper light, I get 25fps. Which I assume is what it maxes out at by design here in Europe. 720p recording is supposed to become available via firmware upgrade in the not too distant future as well.

Cameras have always been HTC's weak point. From that perspective, this model is a big step up. Doesn't matter much to me, since I pretty much always have a dedicated camera in my pocket as well. But those looking for a "camera phone", should probably still look elsewhere.

Re:Android makes it (nearly) perfect (1)

Woek (161635) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981654)

Interesting to hear about that upgrade!

HTC Legend, then, maybe? (2)

AlbertinaJane (978419) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981280)

I have HTC Legend. I was thinking about switching to Desire, but from what the guy is saying, Desire seems to be much worse phone than the Legend. I don't have problem with screen brightness, flash is working flawlesly and my battery runs up to two days (I can squeeze maybe three if I stay of the TowerDefence games). I'll be sticking with the Legend since it seems to me that it is much much better phone than the IPhone.

Battery drain - how to prevent it (3, Interesting)

dybdahl (80720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981336)

I use a Google Nexus, almost equivalent to the Desire, and I can recognize the battery drain. However, after a few weeks, the phone easily holds a day - probably because "moderate; use" is really "let's see what this device can do; use".

Also, some apps are written badly and consume a lot of power when in the background. If you are experimenting a lot with your phone, chances are big that you have installed one of these. There are two solutions:

1) Uninstall the bad apps.

2) Use a tool, like task killer, which can kill the bad apps when the screen turns off.

Additionally, if you are always online, and have enabled wifi, it will consume power. Quick solution: put a wifi on/off widget on your front screen, and keep wifi off under normal use.

Re:Battery drain - how to prevent it (4, Insightful)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981482)

I use a Google Nexus, almost equivalent to the Desire, and I can recognize the battery drain. However, after a few weeks, the phone easily holds a day - probably because "moderate; use" is really "let's see what this device can do; use".

Also, some apps are written badly and consume a lot of power when in the background. If you are experimenting a lot with your phone, chances are big that you have installed one of these. There are two solutions:

1) Uninstall the bad apps.

2) Use a tool, like task killer, which can kill the bad apps when the screen turns off.

Additionally, if you are always online, and have enabled wifi, it will consume power. Quick solution: put a wifi on/off widget on your front screen, and keep wifi off under normal use.

Also a +1 for android, when your battery gets low, there is a little "Why?" button, and you can see battery usage by process, to see if its some poorly written bad app using it, a good app just doing more than you realized, or you're an idiot and left the bluetooth and wifi on all day (which are simple to turn off with the homescreen widget!).

I use my nexus one like crazy and by midnight i still have half my battery left most of the time.
-Taylor

Re:Battery drain - how to prevent it (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981486)

Task killer is a no go, actually Task Killer is the biggest battery drain, do not use it, it constantly polls your process list. Android does fine is its own internal garbage collector and it works fine for Android 2.x. The biggest bad habit people carry over from WinMobile is installing task killers, they do more harm than good. I have been running Android for months now without them, never missed them and the battery consumption actually was significantly reduced by not using them.
Neither was performance, actually once the task killer was removed the overall performance got better.

Battery life (5, Interesting)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981342)

Battery life is appalling. With moderate use I have to charge the Desire twice each day.

That's about what I get with my iphone using bluetooth and frequent mp3 playback. Annoying, I'd agree. But I think it'd be far less so in a device where I can just swap the battery out.

Re:Battery life (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981514)

Actually I am using the Hero (on a hacked 2.1) here, and I am getting 48 hrs with moderate usage. There are several factors:
a) Remove Task Killer if you installed it, that thing is a pointless battery drain
b) Use HTCs switching widgets so you can turn off selectively WIFI, UTMS etc... depending on your usage (they are really switches you can put on your homescreen, so no harm done there)
c) Give the phone at least a week to fine tune its battery
d) Turn of auto sync and use the sync button manually saves again a lot of battery.

For me the biggest battery drain is the UTMS chipset, and polling apps. Polling apps are only a handful, various Skype enabled multiplatform im clients for instance are evil and Task killer, outside of that most apps behave as they should.
The dolphin browser for some strange kind of reason also was a battery killer for me, I have reverted back to the really good default browser.

Also have in mind battery usage is a thing of your personal usage, if you use it as a surfing station constantly having to go to the power connector after several hours is normal, if you use it occasionally it should last you at least 24hrs.

Re:Battery life (1)

jimthehorsegod (1210220) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981520)

You'd think so, but no. When I first got my Nokia N95 I bought a docking station and a couple of spare batteries, mindful of the reportedly bad battery life. Well two things happened: One, it wasn't fun: Changing the battery is, whilst not difficult, fiddly and annoying. Carrying spares (and needing cases for those) and finding a system to easily identify which are charged and which are not, and finding the damn thing had gone flat in my pocket and I'd missed an hour's calls. were problems, as was the design flaw with the N95 which causes the battery cover to break (stupid weedy little catches to hold it on break, quicker still when constantly removing it) Two: Nokia massively improved the firmware and the thin literally went from 6-8 hours moderate use to a couple, maybe three days without a charge.

Re:Battery life (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981614)

I thought this until I'd had it a week. Battery massively improved after a couple of charge cycles. Also go into Mobile Networks and until "enable always-on mobile data", and tell the wireless connection to standby after 15 mins inactiviity. Any app that needs data will still get it on demand, the phone just won't keep up a pointless connection when you're not using it. My Desire gets better battery life than my 18 month old 3G and I hammer it.

TFA gives 403 Forbidden (4, Funny)

tingeber (1129619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981404)

I mean, I know I'm not supposed to, but come on...
/. you're not even trying anymore.

Re:TFA gives 403 Forbidden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31981450)

Slashdotted

Smartphones still too big (2, Informative)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981492)

Smartphones are still too thick and heavy. The next generation of phones should be thinner than 1cm and lighter than 100 grams.

Re:Smartphones still too big (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981622)

...and be made of unobtanium

HTC in China? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981528)

I was considering getting an HTC Diamond (yeah I know, I'm a late adopter). But the real trick in China is to get a phone that supports 3G, GPS, and Wi-fi all in the same package. I'm similarly not an Apple worshipper, so no iPhone for me. Any hardware that fits the bill? All the mainland phones seem to be crippled and only have GPRS and Wifi instead of 3G.

How cute! The babies are talking!!! (0, Flamebait)

gavron (1300111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981540)

The "incredible" is not even released.

There are many phones that are already Android-powered and make the apple toy irrelevant.

- wifi tethering - the Droid does
- freedom to select an app steve jobs didn't approve with his pedophile priest - the Droid does
- open-source - the Droid does

Sorry iCrap, the Droid does...

E

Apologies for 403 Forbidden (3, Informative)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981572)

Got an e-mail from my host (Pair) saying that my blog had been disabled due to a script problem. But it's just a Wordpress blog. I've re-enabled it and hopefully it'll stay up now. Sorry for those getting 403 earlier, or database failure now :-(

hello (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31981612)

That's a rather subjective observation. My Android phone broke the other day, leaving me with my work phone (iPhone) as only phone for a week.

Kisisel Basari [gencgelisim.net]
Kisisel Gelisim [gencgelisim.net]
Genc Beyin [gencgelisim.net]
ilk Ögretim [gencgelisim.net]
Psikoloji [gencgelisim.net]
Kpss,ygs videders [gencgelisim.net]
Beden Dili [gencgelisim.net]

Can't RTFA? (1)

LQ (188043) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981678)

Link give 403 forbidden.

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