HTC has launched a withering assault in the past two months on Apple's dominance at the top of the smartphone tree. First the Desire appeared, and then HTC followed up with the Legend appeared, with its beautiful aluminium chassis and slick operation. The competition is getting fierce.DesignThe Desire is the Legend's bigger brother in every respect: it has a larger 3.7in screen with a bright OLED panel, and higher resolution at 480 x 800. It's also chunkier overall, measuring 60 x 11.9 x 119mm (WDH) and weighing 135g. The finish isn't quite as lovely as the Legend's solid aluminium, but the soft-touch plastics that wrap closely around the phone's core lend it a solid and hard-wearing feel.The result is a truly luxurious phone - and one that, despite its larger screen size and resolution, is no more difficult to pocket than an iPhone 3GS. Browsing speedMore importantly, it feels just as slick in use. Thanks to its 1GHz Snapdragon processor, the Desire does everything instantly, without pause or delay. Web pages load quickly, pinch zoom gestures work without lag, and the automatic screen rotation enabled by the device's accelerometer occurs as soon as you turn the Desire on its end, instead of a second or two later. Our tests back up that feeling of speed. Load the BBC homepage over a quick Wi-Fi connection and it will take, on average, a mere ten seconds. That's slower than the iPhone 3GS, but not by much.In the Acid3 standards test it scored a creditable 91, so it will load most websites accurately, as well as quickly. But that isn't the headline: the inclusion of Flash Lite 4 is. Although still not full fat Flash (Adobe has promised this to Android phone owners later in the year), we found it worked very well with the majority of interactive web content. Embedded YouTube video played successfully, as did video on the PC Authority website.
Also see:HTC Smartphone Buyer's Guide: including the just-launched HTC Desire
HTC Desire vs iPhone: how the Desire bucks Apple's approach
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Issue: 347 | March 2016