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CNET First Look
HTC Desire (U.S. Cellular)Sleek and fast, the HTC Desire is not only U.S. Cellular's best Android device but the carrier's best smartphone to date.
Hey everyone. I'm Bonnie Cha, senior editor at CNET.com and today, I've got your first look of the HTC Desire. You've been waiting for this phone ever since it was announced back at Mobile World Congress in February and U.S. Cellular finally snatched it up. It's looking like their best smartphone yet. The Desire is a lot like the Nexus One. They have a similar form factor which isn't a bad thing since the Nexus One has a very solid design. The Desire also has a high-quality feel to it and not plasticky like some phones. It's a good size, too, not too big and not too small and there's enough room to fit in a 3.7-inch WVGA touchscreen which is very sharp and responsive. There are also some slight differences between the phones. For example, you get physical buttons instead of touch sensitive keys for the Home, Menu, Back, and Search functions. You also get an optical joystick instead of a trackball. The biggest difference, though, is that the Desire runs HTC Sense instead of the stock Android skin. Sense brings a number of enhancements to the user experience like additional home screen widgets, a nicer media interface, and delete screen which gives you thumbnail views of all your home screens so you can easily switch between them. I like the stock Android UI but I also really like HTC Sense. I think it's the best custom UI out there and it makes the phone a little more user friendly so, overall, it's a good thing. As far as features, the Desire doesn't have some of the latest and greatest functions like a front-facing camera, HD video recording, or an HDMI port. It's also shipping with Android 2.1 but it will get an Android 2.2 update later this year. Still, this is very much a feature-packed smartphone. You can sync multiple e-mail accounts to the phone as well as your social networks. The full range of wireless options are available and the WebKit browser is very capable. It's also got a decent music player but if there's one thing that was a little disappointing, it was the picture quality of the 5 megapixel camera. Shots taken indoors came out looking pretty dull and cloudy. In the end, though, there are more positives than negatives when it comes to the HTC Desire. The 1 GHz processor makes the phone run smoothly and it offers good call quality. It's easily U.S. Cellular's best Android phone and I'd even say their best smartphone to date. The HTC Desire will be available starting August 27th for $199.99 with a 2-year contract and after a $70 mail-in rebate. I'm Bonnie Cha and this has been your first look at the HTC Desire for U.S. Cellular.