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HTC Desire HD update to Android 2.3 Gingerbread coming in early April

An update to one of the very best Android phones of last year will mean the Desire HD is still up there against the latest phones using Google's Gingerbread software.

The HTC Desire HD is one of the best Android smart phones we've reviewed in the last year, thanks to its massive screen and slinky HTC sense interface. The only problem: it's still stuck on the Android 2.2 Froyo OS. Not for long, though -- a Gingerbread update is on the way in April.

Well, it is in France at least. French mobile operator SFR has told customers that Android 2.3 is coming to the Desire HD sometime in the first half of April, Unwired View explains.

Good for them, you might think, but what does this mean for us Brits? We asked HTC, and were told there's no official comment for now beyond the company's previous statement that the Desire HD, Desire Z, Desire and Incredible S will all be getting Gingerbread during the second quarter of this year.

The Desire HD is still hugely desirable -- it's one of the best Android smart phones available, with a huge 4.3-inch screen at 480x800-pixel resolution that's fast and responsive. This is backed with a solid-feeling aluminium case and an 8-megapixel camera, as well as 14.4Mbps HSDPA and 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity.

The addition of Android 2.3 will be welcome, even if it does come just ahead of Google pushing out Android 2.4 -- albeit with only minor improvements, to the extent that it's also known as Gingerbread. In February, we warned Desire HD users they could face a long wait for the 2.3 upgrade, as late as August or September. This is one case when we'll be glad if we're proved wrong.

Separately, SFR has also announced that the Motorola Defy will get updated to Android 2.2 Froyo (or Fro Yo, as it quirkily describes it) in the second half of April. When we reviewed the Defy last year, we were impressed by its toughness and sharp display, but the lack of Froyo made it feel a little dated.

Better late than never, eh? You might wonder why the phone isn't jumping straight to Gingerbread, but as an entry-level Android device with a slower processor, Froyo may well be as far as it goes down the Android upgrade path.