HTC Desire = Nexus One + Sense UI -- The Competition


While yesterday's Mobile World Congress news was all about Windows Phone 7 Series (henceforth WinPho7s), the Android invasion has returned with news of the HTC Desire, which looks to be Nexus One-style hardware running a new version of Sense UI.

Android Central has your details and your HTC Desire hands-on.

In terms of competition to the iPhone, it's probably not too different than the Nexus One either. The specs remain over the top but the polish in terms of capacitance sensitivity isn't likely improved. The big question will be whether or not Sense UI on the HTC Desire is more consistent and if multitouch is in the keyboard's future.

There's also a new, uber-version of the Hero called the Legend, so check out details and an HTC Legend hands-on over at Android Central as well.

Overall, the main contrast to Apple's steady, once a year pace with extreme fit and finish is Google/HTC/Android's release fast, fix later, polish never strategy. The sheer amount of "superphone" class devices they're putting out, however, should keep the pressure on Apple as we round the corner towards a 4th generation iPhone.

Also, unlike Apple's one, global iPhone, HTC is -- as is all too often the case -- releasing the Desire and the Legend without any support for US 3G bands. (Yeahbuwhy?)

Check them out and then come back and let us know what you think Apple has to do, if anything, to compete in the newer, hotter 2010!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

Revenue Sharing, Subscriber Data Disagreements Holding Back iNewspapers, iMagazines?

Next up →

In Stock: iSkin solo FX SE for iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G

Reader comments

HTC Desire = Nexus One + Sense UI -- The Competition


Polish never strategy??? are you serious??
HTC sense is the most polished UI on a cell phone to date. It's more user friendly than the Iphone because it's customizable yet not complicated.
The stock android is for technically inclined like myself .. who like to customize as much as possible.. but HTC sense is for teh mass market... the UI is beautiful yet simple.
You can make these accusations for the stock android UI .. but HTC sense is not that. That's the beauty of Android ..options..

Jerry does have a point. The HTC sense UI is a rather nice looking and put together piece of software. Fair enough for the android OS and for some HTC handsets but I think the UI is done well.

Sense UI sacrifices usability and consistency for eye candy. It's getting better with every iteration, and this new version might be really good, but I'm not using "polish" in terms of shiny here -- I'm using it in terms of user experience.

i've got a Nexus one, and just wanted to put in my 2 cents...
Honestly i'm ready to dump android.. all together.. i'm getting sick of the LACK of apps, and horrible apps, and also getting sick of NOT BEING ABLE TO use ANY decent facebook functionality what so ever...
I'm ready for the new iPhone, or the WinMo 7 series... bring it on.
sick of android already

@Rene Ritchie
HTC Sense is not just pretty.. it's very funtional... and very consistent.. all the related products fit that UI perfectly...
The # 1 reason why Sense is more user friendly than the IPHONE - easy access to WHAT YOU WANT right from teh homescreen .. mail sms etc.. even stocks pictures ANYTHING YOU WANT ..
The reason it's better for beginners than stock Android is because it's easier to set up.. no need to download from Android Market .. it comes on the phones..

thats the beauty of android
none of apples "arrrg, we hate jailbreakers. only WE can choose how the homescreen is supposed to look like"

Jimmy I am not familiar with the new unit but have to ask how is the iphone not allowing access from the home screen.
I can put whatever i like on the home screen or doc or better yet use the first screen (spotlight) type a letter or 2 and it shows me every app every email or txt or whatever in a list. super fast way to access anything on the the phone.

Can you see your messages from the homescreen? NO
Can you turn on your phone and glance at the weather? NO
Can you quickly check your stocks without opening an app? No
Can you look at all tasks and calendar events right on the screen? NO
Calendar and task is really key .. cause it's not something I want to open an app for.. it's something that reminds me of importatn events.. so unless it's on my homescreen .. I will probably forget unless I have a reminder set up...
Spotlight is cool .. but Android has the same thing except you can also access third party apps and search within em...
What is easier to use?

@Apple Fanboys and Android Fanboys
You seem to be missing the point. It's all down to PREFERENCE. I personally would hate to have everything on one homescreen. It would be too cluttered. Albeit, having it on the lock screen would nice, and Android provides more flexibily for that kind of stuff.
Pick the phone you like and don't trash talk the others, not that big a deal.
Sent from my iPhone

@iSkythe You don't have to have it on your home screen (or anywhere). But you can dedicate pages to it. With senseUI you get 7 pages. Pages open for shortcuts (like the iphone launcher setup) and widgets. I personally don't need 7, I only use 4 pages. For the less used apps I just open the launcher and pick the app.
@Rene what gets crippled by Sense? I have it on my Hero and it functions fine. Everything works, and I have multiple applications driving home the information (on a sub-superphone device). High-end user experience functions work fine on Lower end android devices as long as you know what you're doing, something the carriers do not do a good job explaining in the stores is how to properly close apps. Everyone just hits the home button, after opening 7 apps and hitting the home button(on top of running at least 4-5 widgets), the user wonders why the phone is running slow. I have an Unrooted hero, and it runs snappy. I can run my multiple apps if I need to (who needs more than 3 open, as e-mail, incoming calls and text messaging automatically open the apps?)

@ISky ..
I'm not trash talking the Iphone .. I think the debate has been pretty civil.
Everybody knows it's about preference... but I don't want to go to websites .. (and not jsut this one) saying Iphone is more user friendly and that HTC sense is not polished without me wanting to put in my 2 cents.. especially when I feel it's completely the opposite...
as far as your home being cluttered.. i hope you're not referring to Sense or Android. .because if your home screen is cluttered .. IT"S YOUR FAULT ..
In HTC sense especially you have 7 homescreens to spread out what you want .. if you dont' want your Android screen to be cluttered's simple ..dont put too much stuff on it..

Rene, I'm sorry but I officially don't want an iPhone. I want this! Sorry Apple, you just lost a customer.

Great post Jerry and Ruffkez. I have no idea what Rene means by sacrifices usability and consistency. Sense UI is so deeply and well integrated you have no idea where it ends and Android begins. I can jump back and forth between vanilla roms and Sense UI without missing a beat. The Facebook integration into contacts is outstanding. Contact info management as a whole is outstanding with all info associated with a contact easily viewable by scrolling left and right. The music player is much better than the stock music player. There are many benefits to Sense UI. The only downside is the wait for updates. Sense UI makes a great OS simply incredible. I can't wait to experience it on HTC's newer high-end devices.

Right i'm selling my iphone for this! Android is blazing trails whereas the iphone has just been stagnating. I wish apple would release some serious hardware and not hold back for the 2g's and 3g's sake. It's just boring now. Open app, close app, open app, close app etc...
I want something that goes a bit deeper. My mate has a Hero, really good phone, I noticed that recently he's been showing me new app after new app, which apple would never allow on the iphone! I'm getting jealous :( I also noticed that most of the android apps are free (?) or come with a tiny ad so the dev gets at least some cash. Seems like a good deal. Android here I come!

I have just changed my iPhone 3GS for HTC Desire and I have to say I won't be going back any time soon. The phone is fast and IMHO just as polished as the iPhone.
But, it is all down to choice. The iPhone requires iTunes and the only customisation (except jail breaking) is buying Apps from the App Store. Android is all about choice, you can customise the whole experience, as HTC does when they remove a lot of the stock apps and replace them with the Sense apps, however, some people don't like to customise the whole phone experience they just want something that works and I believe that Android with HTC Sense gives you that option.
Both phones, and both operating systems, are matured versions of older phones and are therefore as good as they can be. With the whole iPhone accessories ecosystem I don't think that the iPhone is going to change much with exception to the internals (look at the iPad for the future) and with that you upgrade and have what looks like the same phone, just a bit more shiny.

I've got my HTC Desire recently, I used to using the Nokia X5800. Moving from Symbian to the Android platform is day and night difference. That shows how far behind Nokia is in this game!
I'm very happy getting the Desire machine but the battery power is something a pain, since I'm using the machine all the time for E-Mail and surfing the Net. Single Battery can't last more then 6 hrs. I believe this is something that HTC need to improve on the battery consumption!
I just can't wait to get upgraded to the new 2.2 FroYo hopefully in the next few weeks!
btw, I share some tricks on hope it helps.

Purchased a brand-new Desire about a month ago as a company cellphone but am very disappointed , firstly i would have about 900 contacts on my previous XDA and was able to view by business or personal, not so on Desire only by individual which is of no use especially with no search option either. Android 2.2 is intended to have search facility however not different view option launch date seems to differ each time . Battery pretty good approx 18 hrs medium usage. Wireless bluetooth poor, paired with parrott car kit ok for day or so but won't connect even by unpairing and pairing new, same problem with wireless bluetooth headset........any ideas

Brian: just create a group for personal & a group for business then select the Groups icon at the bottom of the screen in the People app. To search in People just press the hard search key (magnifying glass) at the bottom right of the Desire.