Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

Day 3 without my HTC Desire S and with my Nokia N95

August 10, 2011

It's old, it's chunky but it's damn good

Well, it’s been 3 days since I sent off my HTC Desire S for repair and going back to my N95 hasn’t caused as many problems as I feared it might.

Firstly – wow: what a fantastic little phone. I remember it was good but had forgotten just how good it was.

The thing I’ve missed since getting a Desire is definitely the physical buttons for texting. I send a lot of texts and can  type very quickly with physical buttons andb T9 turned on. I can still type fast on a touch screen but nowhere near as quick as on a keypad. The other benefit of having a keypad is you can type whilst not looking at the phone. I’m not trying to show off honest! This is something I could and still can do with the phone. Because you can tell which button is where you can easily type whilst walking along and not looking at the screen. Granted you may have a few predictive errors but you learn to know which words need correcting after a while.

Secondly, the two speakers on this handset are awesome. I hate saying awesome but there is not other word to describe them. Compared to the Desire’s and Desire S’ single small speaker they win hands down.

The next thing to talk about is apps. Have I missed any apps? Yes, of course I have. Nokia phones and their current Ovi Store just don’t compare to the Android Market at all. That being said however I was surprised to find nearly all I needed was freely available. From Tweets60 for Twitter to Spotify and the BBC iPlayer I found everything I’d need to keep me by for the next few days.

I think, in all honesty, the thing that would stop me from using this phone permanently are as follows:

No wireless syncing – Data such as contacts and bookmarks can’t be synced over the air. I managed to find a great app called GoogaSync which I have on a 14 day trial (long enough for the time I’ll be using it) which syncs with my Google calendar. It brings back memories of the days with Nokia PC Suite and the likes. This was never ideal. Having my Desire sync constantly over the air so all my data is backed up and current really is something I would hate living without.

Speed – the speed of the phone does show its age in comparison to newer handsets. Boot-up time is extremely quick and takes around 15 seconds compare to around 60 for the Desire. It does obviously have a lot less to load. The web browser is incredibly slow and basically unusable on any site that isn’t tailored for a mobile handset.

Apps – although we can all live without apps it’s not as fun is it? The Ovi Store will close soon and then the older Nokia phones will have to rely on websites to get their new (or old?) games and apps. This is a shame because you can already tell developers have pretty much stopped developing for it. Spotify although works very well is not as up to date as the Android version (scrobbling is not supported). The cost of some of the applications are extortionate as well.

At the end of the day there is obviously no way I’d give up my Desire S. Everything is just less clunky and more “up to date”. I’ll probably still keep my N95 just for old times sake (and to put my Orange SIM in for Orange Wednesdays) but I am looking forward to my repaired Desire S being back with me soon.

HTC Desire vs HTC Desire S – Benchmarks, browser speed test and more [HD]

June 9, 2011

Hi folks, I’m back with another video today comparing my lovely HTC Desire with my shiny new Desire S. This is to complement the little write-up I did a month or so ago. Let me know what you think!

Next video coming up later in the week is the Plants vs Zombies Android review and walk-through!

Getting my HTC Desire S tomorrow!

May 31, 2011
HTC Desire S

Should get mine on Wednesday hopefully!

OK so I missed out on the Dialaphone offer for a brand new HTC Desire S for £240 which made me quite 😦 so to make myself 🙂 again I brought one off eBay instead 😀

I know I myself said not to bother getting the Desire S if you already own a Desire but I have three good reasons:

  1. I’m off to the States soon and need to be able to navigate over there without a data connection (thank you pre-cached Google Maps)
  2. I need more space to be able to install apps for reviewing. A lot of the newer games from Gameloft and the likes require quite large 25MB apk files to sit on your phone memory. The Desire and it’s measly 80MB or so internal memory on a clean wipe just isn’t enough for me anymore. When playing with a Desire S the other week I noticed the 1GB free internal memory and almost wept with jealousy.
  3. I have a disposable income 🙂

So you can see it was an easy choice to make. I will be sure to compare the two phones for speed and spec before mine gets put on eBay and I’m already stocking up on spare batteries for the S so I shouldn’t get caught short in America when I’m travelling.

Also, it’s something to tide me by while I wait for my contract with T-Mobile to expire and be offered the HTC Sensation.

HTC Desire Mugen Extended Battery 3200mAh

April 11, 2011

Still not quite ready to do the test yet as I am being patient and waiting the recommended 5 cycles before the battery is in it’s best state.

It’s quite frustrating really. I’m charging over night for at least 8 hours and then running the battery down to around 15%.

This is not as easy as it sounds. I’m having to leave the display on all day on full brightness with every feature the Desire has turned on. 30 minute timeout on the display and even whilst playing music too. This is as much as I can do to drain the battery. At one point I even left Reckless Racing on and running for a couple of hours to boost the drainage!

So far this looks well for the Mugen battery as it’s taking so long for me to discharge it to as low a percentage so that I can recharge it fully (hope that makes sense). If it copes half as well as this when it’s ready to use then I’m thinking that there’s a huge improvement with this battery over the stock HTC one – which is to be expected as it’s more than twice the capacity.

Two more cycles to go and I can be ready to do the full test and see how long the phone lasts with the new extended battery.

I suppose to make it a fair test I should downgrade my firmware back to Froyo 2.2 and then I can compare it fairly to the previous test I did.

HTC Desire S available in the UK end of March

March 9, 2011

The website Clove are reporting that they will receive stock of the HTC Desire S in the last week of March. This is earlier than previously expected and other shops where you can pre-order the phone still give an April 18th release date.

The HTC Desire S handset on the Clove website is on sale at £406.80 including VAT which is a bit more expensive than Amazon who have it up for £399.99. Mind you, if you are wanting to buy the phone then an extra £6.81 to get it nearly 3 weeks earlier is probably worth it.

Is it time to upgrade yet? If you’re not sure then read my blog post comparing the HTC Desire to the HTC Desire S

Android smartphones outselling iPhones

March 9, 2011

Android salesTesco have reported that Android smartphones are now outselling iPhones.

Graham Harris, CEO of Tesco Telecoms and Tesco Mobile said:

“As one of the UK’s leading operators, these sales are a useful barometer for smartphone trends. There is a lot of choice in the market and as a result consumers are driving healthy competition between rival operating systems.”

With more and more cheaper handsets appearing on the shelves the Android user-base is increasing more and more.

The Inquirer stated that Android sales grew by nearly 900 per cent from 2009 and that 67.2 million Android-based units were sold in 2010.

HTC Desire Vs HTC Desire S – Specs, Size and Software

March 2, 2011

Here it is, the official DesireFanatics showdown between the mighty HTC Desire and the new boy in town: the HTC Desire S.

Having owned the HTC Desire since it’s launch on the T-Mobile network last February, I must say I’m still happy with my phone. There have been a couple of additions to the Desire range but they didn’t quite have the same impact as the original Desire (possibly the Desire HD being the most talked about out of the two – the other being the Desire Z of course).

So let’s see what HTC have tweaked and improved with a year’s worth of feedback and reflection. The reason I say ‘tweak’ and ‘improve’ is because the Desire in its own right was pretty much perfect in both design and features.

[update 09/06/11) I have just made a video to compliment this story which you can see below. I still recommend reading the rest of the article once you’ve watched the video though ;)]

So let’s get down to business.

Size

For those of you who say size doesn’t matter – it does – at least when phones are involved. Bigger is certainly not better but too small and it’s unusable, the size of the handset is very important.

HTC Desire S Size Comparison

As you can see, the HTC Desire S is slightly smaller than it’s older brother. The only thing you would notice really however is the fact it is thinner than the Desire.

CPU and Memory

HTC Desire:1GHz with 512MB internal memory
HTC Desire S: 1GHz with 1.1GB internal memorye th

The Desire S still ‘only’ has a 1GHz like the Desire. This is disappointing. As we start to see new Android handsets shipping with dual-core CPUs I was hoping for something more from HTC.

The internal  memory has been more than doubled in the revised Desire. This is good news for speed and app space improvements however it isn’t a huge amount. It would have been nice to see maybe 4GB of internal storage – just for future proofing but this would have put up the production costs I suppose. As more and more apps support moving to SD storage it should become less of a problem but I still can’t help feeling a little underwhelmed.

Platform

HTC Desire: Android 2.2 Froyo
HTC Desire S: Android 2.3 Gignerbread

The Desire started its life with Eclair 2.1 but was then updated to Froyo 2.2. This brought with it speed and functionality improvements. We can expect the same improvements from Gingerbread.

Battery

HTC Desire: 1400mAh
HTC Desire S: 1450mAh

What?! Did HTC not see the problems users had with battery life in their Desires? Increasing the battery size by 50mAh is not really going to help. Let’s hope that Gingerbread brings even more improvements to the battery life so the Desire S with it’s increased bells and whistles can last at least a day.

Camera

HTC Desire: 5MP camera with single LED flash
HTC Desire S: 5MP cameria with single LED flash + front facing VGA camera

This is the big physical change on the desire – the inclusion of a front-facing camera. In no way is this new or amazing technology to have on a phone but it is nice to have as an option. I must admit, none of the phones I have had with a front-facing camera have had any use out of it but that might just be me. In a increasingly “FaceTime” (I hate that word) world, people start to expect these kinds of things. Skype will soon support video calls (if it doesn’t already) so it’ll be useful for many users. Still only a 5MP camera on the Desire S I would have thought HTC may have opted for 8MP at least.

Design

The second physical change in the handset is the new unibody design of the Desire S. This makes it a lot stronger and lighter (by 5 grams) than the Desire. HTC have also removed the physical buttons from the Desire S. This is something I was unsure about until today when I had the pleasure of using an HTC Wildfire. The touch-screen buttons worked well and the feedback received when pressing a button was sufficient enough for my liking. There is an interesting omission of the optical trackball. I often use this to move the text cursor around when correcting spelling errors so let’s hope Gingerbread introduces an easy and precise method of navigating through text.

Final thoughts

If I didn’t have a Desire I would get the Desire S in a heartbeat. Sadly I do have a Desire and I also have 12 months left on my contract. I admire HTC for improving the near-perfect Desire but it’s not enough to make me want to spend £400 on a new toy. I’m quite happy to spend another 12 months with my Desire however, I haven’t gotten bored of it yet like I have done with other phones. I think in the ever evolving world of apps and software updates it keeps consumers occupied for longer and thus the product’s lifespan also increases.

If you don’t have a Desire then go for the Desire S. If you do, I’d hold out until the Desire HD 2 comes out and we’ll see what that’s like 😉

HTC Desire S Officially Announced at MWC 2011

February 15, 2011

HTC Desire SWe all knew the follow-up to the HTC Desire would be announced at the Mobile World Congress 2011 but now it’s official!

The HTC Desire S will be running Android Gingerbread operating system and will have the 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 processor (as found in the HTC Desire HD). There will be 1.1GB of internal storage and 768MB of RAM – both an increase since the Desire (512MB internal and 512MB of RAM) so maybe we won’t see too many “Low space” messages anymore 😉

The phone is only a few mm smaller than its predecessor but will be made from a single unibody piece of aluminium. Wireless 802.11n networking will work out-the-box and, possibly the most interesting thing to me, maps will be stored locally on the device. This means no waiting and no data usage/cost.

Front facing camera will allow video calling via Skype etc and 720p video recording will be a standard.

Check out the HTC Desire S website to find out more details.

HTC Desire 2 shots leaked – front camera, Gingerbread 2.3.1 and 3 mics!

February 6, 2011

Wow, not a year since the HTC Desire was launched in the UK and shots of it’s successor are already floating around the net.

PocketNow.com reported earlier this morning that the phone actually has 3 mics as well – probably for noise cancellation which the original Desire didn’t get (although the Nexus One did). This was one of the things that kept the price down.

The Desire 2 has a front facing camera and a super AMOLED capacitive touch screen. It also seems the hardware buttons we’ve been used to on the bottom of the phone have been removed in favour of touch-screen ones. Is this a good thing or bad? Reports from Nexus One users originally were that they weren’t very responsive. Hopefully HTC have tweaked things a bit but I think I prefer something I can actually press. Expect it to run the latest Android Gingerbread operating system 2.3.1.

No other details yet but expect an announcement at the 2011 Mobile World Congress the week after next. In the mean time, feast your eyes on these:

 

HTC Desire 2 Saga

HTC Desire 2 Saga 2

The HTC Desire – a year on. Android Vs Symbian

January 30, 2011

OK so it’s been nearly 365 days (a year) since I drove well over 60 miles to pick up my HTC Desire.

Being a Symbian man through-and-through, little did I know it was to change the way I lived and worked.


%d bloggers like this: