HTC Desire & Nexus One Speaker

XMI X-mini HTC Desire SpeakerI recently purchased an XMI X-mini HTC Desire speaker.

It’s a small  very compact unit with rounded design that comes with a small pouch.

My first impressions were that this would be potentially be a let down; another small and sleekly designed speaker that outputs a tinny baseline.

Actually the output and sound quality is quite surprising, when the speaker is unscrewed the design of it actually produces a reasonable quality baseline even at high volume.

I took it on a lad’s weekend with my HTC Desire and the overwhelming feedback was one of surprise at the good quality sound output and funky design.

The 3.5mm jack means that you can also use it with a wide range of other devices such as your PC and MP3 players.

The speaker fits perfectly in a coat pocket and is a must have for anyone with a Nexus One or HTC.

There are also a range of HTC Desire Z accessories available.

Android Froyo v2.2 on UK O2 Network

O2 have issued the Android 2.2 update for the HTC Desire again – hopefully it won’t freeze and crash phones like it did the first time round.

HTC Desire owners on O2 should check their phones to see if the over the air update is available for them. Instructions on how to check and what to do are linked to below this article.
Android 2.2 brings many benefits including improved phone battery life, faster browsing and support for HD video recording, Flash 10.1 and file sharing between other devices.
However, it’s caused problems for manufacturers and networks with many updates not running smoothly. Orange had to delay its rollout, many customers have told MobileShop they’ve still not received it; and T-Mobile had to pull the update after issuing the German version of Android 2.2.
Are you a Desire owner on O2? Let us know if you have the update using the comments box below.

Flash Player 10.1 now on Nexus One

Like us if you own the Google Nexus One you have probably been eagerly awaiting the launch of Flash Player 10.1.

This is now available via the Android Market and can be downloaded onto your phone

The file for Flash Player 10.1.92.8,  is 4.25MB in size and once installed on the phone  should improve your Nexus One’s already rich web experience.

Android HTC Desire

Android

The HTC Desire is a beautiful piece of technology. It looks great (in copper and black colours) and feels superb in your hand. The feeling of quality is confirmed when you switch it on and the super bright screen quickly appears (no long boot times with this phone). I had a play with an iPhone 4 last week and it felt very similar to this phone, although the iPhone interface (OS4) looks a little tired compared to this phone. The Desire comes with Android 2.1 and HTC has added the “Sense” skin to it. The combination (Android plus Sense) looks great – and much nicer than Apple’s clunky looking interface.

These products are not really phones. They’re more small computers. If you only want to phone and text you should get a real smartphone such as a Blackberry. But if you want a 21st Century communication device, this phone is almost perfect. It’s only weakness is the battery life. It’s not a show-stopper since you really will get a full days use out of it unless you have way too much time on your hands, but it will need to be charged every day. I switch off my phone every evening (honestly, you can too, you’re not that important) and leave it to charge overnight.

My favourite features just have to be the Sat Nav on android Google Maps and the fact that you can just plug this phone into a PC and hey ho you have 3g dongle broadband speeds.

Another great phone from HTC.

Google Nexus One vs HTC Desire

Android Smartphones

If you’re looking for the best Android smartphone that money can buy, then chances are you were all dead set on the Google Nexus One but then there is the HTC Desire.

Similarities
Let’s get the easy bit out of the way first. Both the Nexus One and the HTC Desire have the same chassis and general insides. They’ve got crystal clear 3.7-inch WVGA AMOLED displays, 1GHz Snapdragon CPUs and 5-megapixel cameras with an LED flash to back them up. There are tiny discrepancies in the dimensions and the weight of the two devices – we’re talking down to 0.2mm – but to all intents and purposes each one weighs 135g or so with the 1400mHA battery included and both measure 119 x 60 x 11.9mm.

Again, the RAM in the HTC Desire is quoted at 576MB rather than the 512MB in the Nexus One but there’s a good chance that the last 64MB is just enough to have the Sense UI sitting on top without any noticeable performance difference and, even if it does go beyond that, then good luck noticing a difference between the two. Now to the differences.

User-interface
HTC has trumped Google in one important department – software. Just as with the Hero, the company has added the very popular Sense custom UI to the Android OS background. The interface offers more seamless integration of your contacts from all of your various lists and address books – be they Skype, Twitter, your phone book, Facebook – and knits them together for an apparently more intelligent experience. Some purists may prefer the cleaner experience of straight Android 2.1 Eclair – the main OS on which both of these devices operate – but speak to anyone with a Hero and they’ll sing you arias on Sense.

Noise cancelling
Curious this, but for one reason or another HTC has ditched the double microphone noise cancelling feature found on the Nexus One. So, if you do a lot of calling on the street or in a noisy environment, then you might rather plump for the Nexus One.

Voice text entry
It’s a great feature of of the Nexus One that Google has enabled users to be able to type into any field anywhere on the device by talking to it. It’s obviously particularly important in the States where Google Maps for Navigation is also enabled. Sadly, voice entry is absent on the Desire, so it’s finger work only.

FM Radio
So, it seems that both handsets have a built-in Broadcom BCM4329 Wi-Fi/FM chipset. Although neither seems fully activated, the HTC Desire does at least have FM radio functionality which is missing on the Nexus One – at least until Google decides to fix it with a software update which may or may not happen. The chip also gives capacity for both handsets to transmit FM and support 802.11n Wi Fi for better range of connection. As it stands though, neither has those features enabled

Branding & engraving
One of the cute little services that launched along with the Nexus One was the fact that you can get whatever you like engraved on the metal name plate on the back of the handset. Yes, it’s all about personalisation.

You may not have been able to think of anything particularly witty to put on there, but it’s rather nice to have the option and that’s something that’s withdrawn if you go for a Desire. No nameplate, no engraving. On the other hand, you’d also have to be happy with the Google Android branding on the back of the Nexus One, so be sure you’re okay with that too.

Mouse control
HTC has ditched the trackball cursor control found both in the Neux One and just about all the previous Android handsets made by the Taiwanese smartphone specialists. Whether the switch for an optical pad on the Desire is a good thing or a bad one is probably up to you to decide. The same change has been made by BlackBerry with the most recent version of the ever popular Bold.

Trackballs can sometimes collect bits of foreign matter which get rolled up inside the handset and start to cause annoyance and malfunction. At the same time, there are some really bad optical pads out there and, with such a small area to get your thumb on, you might rather you’d gone for the more tangible mechanical version on the Nexus One. Horses for courses on this one.

Buttons
As well as the optical pad, the four Android soft keys on the bezel of the the Nexus One have moved onto the chassis below on the HTC Desire and become hard, clickable keys instead. Doubtless one could debate the pros on cons of each but, at the end of the day, it’s a style choice rather than anything else.

Special Features
With the dual announcement of the upgrade to HTC Sense, there’s a few extra features on the Desire. First, the ringer volume on the phone automatically lowers once you’ve picked the handset up. Second, the ringer mutes altogether if you flip the phone over and face down and, third, there’s an automatic back up system which stores your bookmarks, MMS/SMS and passwords on your microSD card. What’s more, Sense brings extra widget windows and a rather fun looking “helicopter mode” which allows them to appear and disappear again at the pinch of the screen.

US Version
The Nexus One is going to be a little bit better to you if you live in the US. First, as mentioned earlier, you get access to Google Maps for Navigation. Second, you don’t have to pay any import duty. The real clincher if you live in America though, is that you simply won’t be able to get the HTC Desire over there – not as it stands, anyway. It has no support for US 3G bands.

Conclusions
It’s a close call because, at the end of the day, they’re both very good phones. If you already have a Nexus One, then there’s no need to lose any sleep over the Desire. Likewise, if you’re absolutely busting to buy yourself a top Android smartphone now, then go for a Nexus One.

Additionally, you can probably root the Google handset and add on Sense and the FM radio as well, which together probably make up much of the ground. On the other hand, if you can wait and just hold on a few months more, then the HTC Desire is definitely a contender for the top Smartphone slot.