Thursday, June 3, 2010

My New Phone: The HTC Desire with Android 2.1 and Sense UI

As you may have read in the past, I've been a long time HTC Magic user - the HTC Magic is the second HTC device powered by Android, codenamed "Sapphire".
The HTC Magic is also known by many other names, including T-Mobile MyTouch3G, Google ION, Vodafone Magic, and HTC Sapphire.

It's been about a year since it's original release, and I've been able to test 4 versions of Android on my HTC Magic, which included:
  • Android 1.5 - Cupcake
  • Android 1.6 - Donut
  • Android 2.0 - 2.1 - Eclair
  • Android 2.2 - Froyo (Frozen Yoghurt)
Android 2.2 was the version that impressed me the most, because it was FAST! No, Seriously.

I've come to expect that when you upgrade the OS, you downgrade in speed. It seems that operating system vendors generally expect you to upgrade your hardware whenever you upgrade your software.
I've recently noticed that Google have been pushing to increase the speed in their software - as can be seen in Google Chrome (both the browser & operating system) and now, Android.

The Google Nexus One:
This was a big move by Google, they were releasing their second phone (the first being the Google ION) but there was a rather big difference - They were selling it directly to consumers (the Google ION was a re-branded HTC Magic that was gifted to attendees of Google I/O 2009, and is also sold to Android application developers).
It wasn't really a game changer, but it was the first device that I considered replacing my HTC Magic with. The main reason I didn't upgrade to the Google Nexus One is that it was not directly available to consumers in Australia, and took quite a bit of hassle (and trust) to get it imported.
The Google Nexus one is made by HTC and is codenamed "Passion".

HTC Desire:
This is the device that I had to have! The hardware appeared slightly better than the Google Nexus One, and it was available in Australia (from Telstra), The biggest downside is that 3G would only run on the 850/2100MHz frequencies, and my provider runs on the 900/2100MHz frequencies (thankfully it's 2100MHz locally).

After buying the HTC Desire, I quickly found myself "rooting" the device (enabling super-user access), and removing all of the Telstra branding from the software, I now have a nice and clean user interface as can be seen in the screenshots below.

HTC Desire running Android 2.1 (Eclair) with HTC Sense UI.

I'm very impressed with the HTC Desire, and look very forward to the official release of Android 2.2 with Sense UI by HTC.

My wife has been keeping her eye out on the HTC Legend, which should be released by Vodafone Australia today. Unfortunately the stores we have contacted have indicated that they would not be stocking the HTC Legend yet, or in the near future. Go figure?