HTC Desire HD - the Year's Best Smartphone?

I’ve been road testing the new HTC Desire HD – currently available on Three Mobile – for about a week and it’s passed the ultimate litmus test for any five star review. I don’t want to give it back. 

Pitched somewhere between smartphone and tablet, the HTC Desire HD comes on like an iPhone that’s had seconds at every mealtime. It’s 12.3 cm high – 4.84 inches in old money. That gives you a screen size of 4.3 inches with a resolution of 480×800 WVGA and that’s large enough to comfortably do just about anything – even watch video on the move. There are few physical buttons and the few there are (power, volume) are built into the sides of the case. At the front are touch sensitive home, menu, back and search icons. The rest is all screen.

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The Desire HD needs some power to run this big display and it doesn’t skimp. A 1Ghz CPU is helped out by almost a gigabyte of RAM and 1.5 GB of storage. Some HTCs run Windows Mobile, but the most sought after are Android phones. The Desire HD slots into the latter category, with HTC’s own customised version driving things for you. That means Android’s comprehensive marketplace full of apps and games is at your fingertips. 
Out of the box, there’s an impressive bundle of software, including Google Maps Navigation to capitalise on the built in GPS, Facebook and Twitter integration. This could be the ultimate social media phone – with screen estate large enough to tweet and browse through status updates without it ever feeling gimmicky or bolted on. HTC Sense – a cloud based hub that enables you to access your phone and its data online – makes it easy for you to share multimedia to YouTube too. 
Best use? I spent an inordinate amount of time playing games on it, I have to admit. If you had hardware that fast and with such an impressive screen, wouldn’t you? 
There are few cons… One, for me, is that it’s so big that its functionality as a phone begins to wane. Although the phone software, including address book connectivity with your existing Google account, is intuitive and usable, I’ve never felt comfortable using a PDA as a phone. And, really, that’s what the HTC Desire HD is. A hands free set would be an essential additional purchase in my book. I’ll leave you with a bit of eye candy to goggle at:
 

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