A souped-up version of the HTC Desire that wowed us last year, the Google Android 2.2 'Froyo'-based HTC Desire HD is one of the most popular smartphones on the market. Our review sample was supplied by Vodafone, where the HTC is available on a £35-per-month tariff. You can find it elsewhere from £25-per-month.

Primed with a 4.3in SLCD screen, the HTC Desire HD is also one of the largest handsets you can buy. It tips the scales at 164g and packs 480x800 pixels into its screen. HTC terms the screen ‘cinematic’; we can see why. 

It’s a unibody handset with a non-removable battery that’s charged via microUSB. It provides 1,230mAh of current and up to 550 minutes of talk time, according to HTC. 

Also powerful are the HTC Desire HD's speakers. Surround sound and Dolby Mobile support let you sit back and enjoy music and video, even without extra amplification or headphones. 

HD (720p) video capture and an 8Mp stills camera with flash and autofocus nail the entertainment and media duties. You can stream content over a home Wi-Fi network or digital living network alliance (DLNA), then play it on an HDTV, for example. 

Given its size, the HTC Desire HD isn’t as natural to hold as some smaller handsets, but call clarity is excellent. HTC has dispensed with hardware buttons, instead offering responsive touchscreen navigation.

A 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor means clicking around is impressively fast. Additions to the usual Google Android 2.2 setup include navigation with points of interest and the HTC Sense interface. This adds some jaw-dropping effects not offered by other brands. 

HTC also manages to make the web browsing experience better than most. Flash 10.1 support is a boon, and for once we found playing embedded video a joy. With 3G support and a generous internal memory, the HTC Desire HD earns its place in the ranks of the Android superphones. 

Next page: Our original review of the HTC Desire HD, from September 2010 >>

See also: Group test: what's the best smartphone?

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The HTC Desire HD is a Google Android mobile phone equipped with a 4.3in SLCD touchscreen, an attractive aluminium case, and the latest Android OS version 2.2 (Froyo). This is our original review of the HTC Desire HD, by Ross Catanzariti, of PC World Australia

This successor to the popular HTC Desire Android smartphone, the 4.3in SLCD screen with a 480x800 screen resolution is larger than its predecessor's 3.7in display. This means it will be a larger handset than the HTC Desire. HTC says the HTC Desire HD is crafted from a single block of aluminium, similar to the HTC Legend.

The HTC Desire HD is powered by a 1GHz ARM-based processor (8255 Snapdragon). It comes equipped with an 8Mp camera with dual-LED flash, 720p HD video recording and Dolby Mobile sound. It has 1.5 GB of internal memory, along with a micro-SD memory card slot that supports cards of up to 32GB in size.

In addition to these hardware features, the HTC Desire HD benefits from the latest 2.2 "Froyo" version of Google Android OS which adds full Flash support, built-in wireless tethering, and the ability to store third-party apps on your SD card, in addition to a range of other improvements.

The HTC Desire HD is one of the first HTC smartphones to benefit from HTC's new Sense software. Enhancements include a shorter boot up time (10 seconds), cached map data for faster rendering of maps (along with a digital compass built into the map), and DLNA support for connection to compatible televisions. HTC has also launched HTCSense.com, a set of desktop-based services largely centred on backup and security. You can locate your phone on a map if it is stolen, remote lock or wipe the handset, and archive contacts, text messages and call history.

Using the HTCSense.com service HTC users can manage their mobile phone experience from their HTC phone or personal computer.

There is a security function in this, in that people can easily lock or locate a missing phone, forward calls and texts to another phone, send a message to the phone to arrange its return or even remotely wipe all personal data from it. And with HTCSense.com all the HTC Sense enhancements can be ported to a new phone handset - so long as it is an HTC model.

Click here for the latest news of carriers and best deals on the HTC Desire HD.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

See also: Group test: what's the best smartphone?

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HTC Desire HD: Specs

  • Google Android smartphone with HTC Sense and 1GHz processing power
  • 4.3-inch touchscreen
  • 8.0 megapixel colour camera with auto focus and 2x LED flashlight and 720p HD video capture
  • Free voice guided SatNav with Google Maps
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS
  • 164g
  • 68x123x12mm
  • Google Android smartphone with HTC Sense and 1GHz processing power
  • 4.3-inch touchscreen
  • 8.0 megapixel colour camera with auto focus and 2x LED flashlight and 720p HD video capture
  • Free voice guided SatNav with Google Maps
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS
  • 164g
  • 68x123x12mm

OUR VERDICT

The HTC Desire HD has a fantastic screen, good multimedia and web-browsing credentials and very good battery life. Its Sense interface is a welcome addition not seen on other makers’ handsets.

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