HTC Desire S

HTC Desire S, the official successor to the Desire, joins a growing camp of Android 2.3-enabled smartphones that’s slathered over with the HTC’s 2.1 sense interface. How does it stand out amidst its siblings? First things first, while the other devices in the Desire lineup set out with niche features (Desire HD with its huge, built-for-entertainment 4.3-inch screen, Desire Z with its slide-out physical QWERTY keyboard), the Desire S was built to sit somewhere in between, offering balance between portability and performance.

Just like its predecessor, the Desire S is compact thanks to a 37-inch screen, has a 5-megapixel camera and a reasonably powerful processor. Nevertheless, given that there are faster Android 2.3 handsets with dual-core processors on the horizon, how does the Desire S compete, especially since it isn’t all that groundbreaking to start.

What the Desire S does have is a sturdy exterior, which we’ve already seen implemented on the Legend, Desire HD and incredible S. You also get HTC’s familiar sense interface, which should appeal to existing HTC customers looking to upgrade from older Android-powered devices, seeing as it does come with the full suite of HTCSense.com services that include both HTC Hub and HTC Likes apps.

The 3.7-inch S-LCD screen makes mobile entertainment a decent experience, further augmented by built-in SRS enhancements. The Desire S is powered by a 1GHz processor and comes with 768MB of RAM, both of which work in tandem to provide users with reasonably speedy browsing and multitasking with minimal sluggishness. In terms of actual performance, the only notable drawback would be its lackluster digital camera, which needs lots of light to produce digital snapshots that are anywhere near usable. Last but not least, battery performance wasn’t the best out of all the Android-powered devices we’ve tested so far, though it still manages to outperform its closest competitors.

With these factors in mind, there’s still not much reason to upgrade to the Desire S if you have the original, or if you have an Android device launched last year, given that most devices launched then should be receiving the Android 2.3 update. On the other hand, if you’re hopping on the Android bandwagon for the first time, the Desire S is a good device as any to consider, given its decent feature set, having Android 2.3 installed, as well as the rather affordable price tag of $688 minus contract.

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