I've had my HTC Desire for 3 months now and here are initial thoughts:
- Widgets – I did like FriendStream, seeing all the updates in one place instead of having to move between Facebook and Twitter as on the iPhone.
- "Open" system – Don't like the keyboard, buy another from the market, don't like the messaging app, replace it. You can truly make the phone yours.
- Replaceable battery – Li-ion batteries don't last forever, so it's nice to be able to replace the battery in the phone, especially now that I'm on a 24 month contract!
- Google Navigation – Free SatNav. – Google maps is great when you're walking, but when you're driving you do need turn by turn directions. Nokia maps on my E71 was good, Google Navigation on the Desire is much better, and from what the advert says, if you receive a phone call, the navigation app isn't replaced; it still sits there showing you where to go so you don't miss that important turn.
- Social integration – Not only does FriendStream show all updates, but these updates are integrated into the contact manager HTC People. When you go to a contact you can see all their facebook,twitter, txt messages they've sent. You could also see all their emails if you were using HTC's email client but not when, like I do, use the Android gMail client. Social integration is also used when a person phones you; if the number is in your contact list, their photo, last status message and birthday (if it's today) is shown on the screen, all before you answer the call – that's very cool!
- Memory – Only 148Mb for installing apps on the phone. Yes it has an SD card, but not all apps can install on that, and by default the phone will try and download and install on the phone 1st, I was always seeing the "Low on memory" icon on my phone – it felt like it was HTC's symbol at one point! I shouldn't need to worry about memory, I have 16Gb SD card, deal with it!
- Poor battery life – My phone is always connected to my work PC to charge and usually takes all day. It's then off charge from 5:30pm till 9am the next day when it gets plugged back in – it's not like I use it excessively either!
- Limited apps – Everyone targets iPhone, but not everyone then writes a similar app for Android. Tesco Clubcard app? Not for iPhone. Subway? Nope. Vodafone app to show how much data you have left? Nope. They have an iPhone app, but not Android.
- Poor/no OS upgrade path – Apple got this right, they dictate when their new iOS is available for their iPhone, Google should have followed suit. Android's Open approach means that the handset manufacturer and then the carrier can modify/approve the update before the end user gets it. This means it's going to me months before 2.3 is released for my Desire on Vodafone.
- "One of many" – Related to 4. Apple make 3 iPhones, iPhone 3gs, and 16/32Gb 4. New updates are released for all 3 and even the iPod Touch and iPhone 3g; granted the older handsets may not support all the new features, but they do get what they can for the release. HTC have 5 7 series phones, 11 Android phones (counting only those on 2.2), 1 BREW phone, 3 Windows mobile phones (only counting 2009, not older models). etc. It's not surprising that HTC are concentrating on their newest phones while ignoring those already bought – feels like "brand new customers only" to me; although saying that, when I got my Desire it only had Android 2.1 on even though Android 2.2 had been out a while; fortunately there was an update. I'm just waiting for 2.3 now, maybe within the next 19 months otherwise I won't care.
- FriendStream/Peep – As I said earlier, I did like having friend stream as a widget to show me all the updates, but there's a catch. Peep on my Desire has a bug: All direct messages are shown with just the txt, I have no way of knowing who sent the message and no way to reply. I have to use another app for that; Plume or Twitter. Now using another twitter app means FriendStream doesn't have the updates from Twitter; unless I run both Twitter and Peep; but then that's twice the data and I only have a 500Mb plan!
- Malware – Being open has its positive side, but also a dark side. Google have recently had to pull many apps from the official app store as they were copies of legitimate apps but had a trojan installed. Over 50,000 copies have been downloaded!
So will I be getting another Android phone in the future? Nope. I'll be buying an iPhone.