HTC Desire - Bad Points

Recently I acquired an HTC Desire, when seems to be the de-facto Android phone of the moment__. Generally, I love this phone - I wrote part of this blog post on it, and the quality of the hardware is frankly astonishing. Irritatingly, one can’t help but feel a little smug comparing it to the iPhone. However, I don’t want to become yet another mindless gushing fan. So instead of raving about it, I thought I’d provide some provide some constructive criticism on the aspects of the phone I don’t like so much:


I've had my HTC desire for a week now and my battery last on average 17 hours a day. After reading all the bad reviews about the battery, I actually bought an extra battery when I got the phone. But til now, I've never had to use it. I also calibrated the battery on first charge. Everything is running 3g, wifi, twitter..etc I must say, the phone is mindblowing.
@Joe: Open means open-source, like Linux. Android makes it's source code available to the public, so users can tweak or add on to it. In many cases this makes for less buggy software because users can fix coding issues and add improvements, and because the company releasing the software has little to gain from planned obsolescence. You can check out Wikipedia's definition here:
Yes my above post does say a TV Guide lol. God i.kno its sad but it kinda illustrates that it seems to be the only thing so far thats xited me. That & the awesomeness that is getting a reminder to tell me Spooks is starting ;)
Had my desire for a week now and have to say its not been a pleasant ride so far...Sorry but i just dont get it (the hype) everyone seems to b going on bout the speed of the device, well i guess i can appreciate this as fact...But, why is this soo important? All my other phones move from app to app, screen to screen with not much noticable difference to the desire & always got the job done! The battery is awful but am not gonna moan about that...its standard practice for smartphones, but bloody annoying. I do have a major gripe with the xcuse for a keyboard on this thing' i am totally struggling with it & dnt think i'll ever get used to it & TBH is a big part of why i tend to go back to using my old iphone randomly. I guess im missing somethng here. The fact that this OS is "Open" means nothing to me surely every OS is open to some degree (doesnt it just mean hackable?) Even Apple! So maybe its a phone for a younger market, im in my late 30s and have found myself scouring throu the marketplace for anything resembling "USEFULL" but so far my phone seems to be filled with Useless, Immature tat & while there are some productive apps out there it is a testament to how bored i am with this device that i have simply given up searching them out. Oopps! i shld mention that i did get a great "Tv Guide" on there that sends me a reminder...Something my iphone never did. so i guess id call that productive Sorry for the slightly negative tone. Spose im just slightly underwhelmed. just saying.
Aidan, not sure. Maybe you have enabled an alarm?
Got HTC Desire last week. Love the phone, but agree with most of the annoyances. I have another to add that may be just me. The phone keeps vibrating - sometimes a 1 second buzz, sometimes 3x1 secs, and sometimes it continually vibrates for about a minute - I check the phone, and I have no notifications, no missed calls etc. It's annoying the hell out me! Anyone got any suggestions - have searched Google for answer, but with no luck.
I'm also annoyed by the battery power... though I don't have the feeling it's due to GPS (and I don't use WLAN). Mobile wireless seems to be the main user, but turning that off means all I've got is a very large Nokia. Other annoyances include: * the radio quality is rubbish * the camera is rubbish. I don't mean the number of pixels, but the ability to take pictures that look decent. I tried to take pictures at a concert and they were impossible. The rest of the crowd pulled out their iphones and were fine. * often when the mobile data connection is interrupted, the only way for it to come back to live is to switch the phone off and back on. Switching the data connection off and on, or airport mode on and off don't work. * the headphones broke after two months. I can still hear but others only hear pork scratchings when I speak. May not be their fault... Otherwise I love it. Not the technology, but the added comfort...
@Anton, it's pretty easy. When you add a Widget, look at the list. Each widget will have 'HTC' or 'Android' next to it. Sadly, like you, I seem to be using mostly HTC widgets.
@Anton - I think there's a guide on XDA forums where you can "restore" HTC Sense on a rooted Android - the guide was for putting HTC Sense on a Nexus One, but since both Desire and Nexus One are more or less identical apart from the skin, I'm sure it would easily apply to the HTC Desire?
I was hoping that as my Desire is unbranded HTC might be faster about releasing Froyo for it, but alas nothing yet... I really must find out how much of my apps are HTC sense and work out of rooting and a stock Froyo rom is worth it - I quite like most of the widgets I use, and suspect most of them are HTC's rather than Android's
<blockquote>The battery and power management needs some work.</blockquote> Agreed - but then, with increasing powerful phones and the battery technology being very slow in keeping up, there's not much that can be done here. Even the iPhone doesn't last that long (my wife have a iPhone 3GS, while I have a Nexus most cases, it outlast the iPhone 3GS but at end of the day, I'm charging it up). Carry a spare USB cable in your bag, charger in car and all that. However I might disagree about turning on/off GPS in Maps - sometime I want it off and just use mobile-tower location or not so I prefer to be asked here. If I then use Navigation (sat nav) it then ask me if I want to turn on GPS. Yes it's better it do it automatically for Navigation as GPS is more essential there. There is a Power Control widget on my phone (I think it comes with Android) which is worthwhile - just press a button on it to enable/disable GPS, wireless, bluetooth etc. <blockquote>The volume switch is really annoying.</blockquote> In my case - I don't want any sound to be enabled and set to vibrate only - I installed an app called BuzzLock - as the name suggest, it locks the phone into a vibration only mode. Perfect for me (since I'm deaf, I need it to vibrate all the time) - so might be worth searching the Market to see if there's an app that does the opposite - ie ignore input from volume control while phone is locked? <blockquote>The openness of the platform is in question. I can install whatever applications I want. However, I still have firmware on the phone that’s been mangled by both HTC and (in my case) Orange.</blockquote> Be brave and root it! :-) I was worried myself (I have a Nexus One though, so probably a tad easier!). The HTC modifications - HTC Sense, personally I don't like it myself, so I wonder if you can replace HTC Sense with your own "home replacement" app instead? One of the better ones is the LauncherPro (which also can do the Expose-like feature of HTC Sense) which is fast and straightforward. I rooted mine though because Vodafone was dragging on with the Nexus One 2.2 update so I rooted so I could get the 2.2 update quicker. I could really notice the speed difference, apps load faster, switching is faster etc. And Chrome2Phone is just awesome. <blockquote>Many of the pre-installed widgets are far too large (witness the SMS widget, which consumes an entire screen), with a lot of unnecessary chrome.</blockquote> Well, that's why HTC Sense give you up to 7 screens ;-) I don't use widgets that much mind you. With LauncherPro as my "home" - I just leave a SMS shortcut in the Dock and it'll show a number of unread messages for me (likewise for emails) <blockquote>The Music app is a bit flaky and crashes once or twice a day.</blockquote> Get another Music App. This is one major advantage of the Android platform compared to iPhone - if you do not like the stock app (ie browser, music, gallery, even the home screens) - you can install a different one. In my case, I've installed a music App called 3 (search for it in Market with this term: cubed) - it's a very nice music app with nice effects that show off the phone. (ps excuse my waffling on, you can blame Ben Fletcher for that, he tweeted everyone to comment here!)
@Dom, might try it. Issue is that the built-in app is actually quite nice (apart from the crashing), and it does integrate with app. I'll give it a go though...
@Doug, unsurprisingly, it turns out you need to have rooted your phone to uninstall those apps.
re: music application ^ install this?
@Aidan, it's mostly just non-deleteable apps. They are an irritation, as they pollute the app screen, but to be fair, apart from that, you can ignore them. @Alexis, fair enough. My issue with Locale was not the accuracy of locations, but it's ability to turn on/off 3G and mobile data connections - this just seemed not to work often enough to be irritating (and therefore defeat the purpose). @Anton, I wouldn't get too excited about 2.2. I think it will take some time to get through the HTC/operator mangle before you can install it. @Doug, thanks for heads-up on adb. Will check that out.
Im about to get one of these on orange. What kind of mangling have orange actually done to it? Is it just a few non-deletable apps or have they changed the interface etc?
I've had an HTC Hero on Orange for over 6 months now, and I thought I'd comment on some of your points... Power Management - I leave WiFi and GPS on most of the time, and I don't find this significantly effects battery life. GPS is only actually activated when an app needs it (when the GPS symbol is shown in the task bar) so it's effectively not using power. If you've got the GPS symbol on all the time, then sounds like something is wrong! Volume Switch - Never really have this problem. Can't think of a phone I've had in the last 5 years that doesn't have a hardware volume key of some sort, so it's pretty much the norm. Rooting - Go for it, it's really not that risky. I did it soon after buying the phone and have never looked back. Check out for decent instructions and for a custom ROM - The Modaco ROMS tend to be the best in my experience for the 'stock' feel and the stability. I'm currently running the Modaco Android 2.1 ROM and it's great. Widgets - I don't use many of these. I find they slow down the phone and take up screen real-estate. Music app - I don't use my Hero for listening to music. Android's great, but it does take some getting used to, and finding the right balance of apps, widgets and rooting/ROM for you!
It does sound like the HTC/Orange firmware has broken more than it fixed. Personally, this was the main reason I bought a Nexus One instead of the Desire, as you get the pure Android experience, rather than something that has been 'enhanced'. Someone else I know has just got a Samsung Galaxy S and seems to be suffering similar problems, things that are simple on my Nexus One have been obfuscated by the 'improvements' Samsung have made to it. The network operators really need to be beaten with a stick for their customisations as well -- I presume that Apple make it clear that they don't allow this with the iPhone, HTC should be doing similar as it typically both dilutes their brand and introduces instability. I have to say that I find Locale pretty much spot on these days -- during the beta period there were times when it would struggle to switch locations accurately, but recently it's been spot on. The only issues are when it has a position based purely on wireless networks, and one of those has the wrong database information -- for a while I could magically transport myself to Portsmouth every time I visited the Auditorium in Hursley. I would agree with your points regarding the music application though -- it's flaky, uninspiring and in need of total renovation. I was hoping this would happen in Android 2.2, but alas not. Until this gets the attention it deserves from Google, the iPhone is always going to have an advantage in its handling of media. The good thing about the Android and iPhone battle is that we're starting to see manufacturers on both sides start to pull out the stops -- for the first time, Apple have brought out a phone which leads the way in hardware, rather than being 2-3 years out of date at launch like the previous three generations. With HTC bringing out feature-packed phones like the Evo 4G (alas only in the US so far), the future is bright for the smartphone.
As a nexus one owner I know the pain of the power use. I'm using a custom rom (nexus is easier by far I know) which does s lot better management than default. For the orange stuff, can you not use adb (android sdk tool) to delete the apks with out rooting? f for the music player, the default s fine for me, but there's a double twist app which a lot of people recommend. Sorry for the spotty typing, I'm on a train using swype!
Nice thoughts. So far I only really turn on GPS when logging my route when going for a run, or using gps navigation. It would be nice for that to be automatic, but it's not too bad. My battery life is about 2 days on it, but then I don't use it as an ipod or sat-nav often. My main annoyance is the widgets that use screen space badly (friend stream is an example here, as is the messages applet) and I also find the background updates sometimes stop happening for a while (mostly with friend stream) Other than that, I really love the phone (though I am running out of space to install apps and eagerly awaiting android 2.2 so I can install to SD card)