Following the Legend, HTC continues its Android 2.1 lineup with the Desire — a gorgeous cousin of the renowned Nexus One. We can trace our drool all the way back to the Desire’s leak in December, but there have been some changes since then that made it slightly less desirable — DivX support and 720p video capture never made it to the final build, but it’s not like the company laid down any official promise on them, right? Anyhow, there’s still plenty to be loved here, namely the speedy 1GHz Snapdragon, the large AMOLED screen, and HTC’s latest revision of Sense UI that we’ve already seen on the Legend. Now, there are probably two questions floating in the minds of our readers: is the Desire worth the extra moola over the Legend? And is it any better than the Nexus One? Let’s all find out together.
A closer look will also reveal the general structural differences between the Desire and the Nexus One — in theory, the latter’s unibody frame should be stronger than the Desire’s old-fashioned assembly, but we haven’t dared to apply more force on either solid devices to prove this (unless our good friend Peter Chou gives us his blessing). That said, if you’re into hardcore tight jeans, then the stone-cold Legend should probably outlast the other two phones with its greater unibody coverage on the back.
To get to the battery, SIM card slot and the spring-loaded microSD slot, you need to rip open the back cover using the top slit, just like on the Hero. It’s not a pleasant experience, as you’ll see in the video below — in the early days it felt like either our fingernail or the cover could break, and we’d kill for a slide-and-pop mechanism like on the Nexus One’s smaller cover. Leaving this annoyance aside, both covers have similar “soft touch” suede-like textures — certainly a warm welcome in the cold mornings, and it gives a comfortable grip as well.
Given that all three phones have a 5-megapixel autofocus camera, we expected the same picture output from them all, but HTC’s full of surprises. For starters, the Desire captures 5:3 wide still images, while the Legend does a narrower 3:2 and the Nexus One takes the good-old 4:3. Similarly, for video capture the Desire, Nexus One and Legend offer 800 x 480, 720 x 480 and 640 x 480 resolutions respectively. There’s a mixture of color accuracy as well, with the Nexus One performing the best out of the three, whereas the Desire’s photos tend to have a colder
tint. That said, one thing that they all have in common is the weak filming performance in dark environments — as with the Legend, you’ll see reduced frame rate in videos recorded by the Desire under low light level. This could be HTC’s attempt to compensate darkness by extending the exposure time, but we’re pretty certain that many would prefer a smoother video.
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