HTC Desire vs. Apple iPhone 3GS – Review

by Jerry D on May 29, 2010

Can HTC’s flagship handset lure consumers away from the iPhone with Android and an awesome technology package? Or does the iPhone 3GS still captivate shoppers with multi-touch and an unparalleled App Store? Let the big phone fight commence…

desire vs 3GS HTC Desire vs. Apple iPhone 3GS   Review


The HTC Desire is obviously well-specced and includes 3G/HSDPA (7.2Mbps), 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR and A2DP connectivity. The iPhone 3GS, also has 3G/HSDPA (7.2Mbps), Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP (headset support only) and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi in its own connectivity package.

Size & Weight:

Get the spec sheets out and HTC’s phone measures 119.0 x 60.0 x 11.9mm, while the iPhone 3GS is 115.5 x 62.1 x 12.3mm in comparison. The Desire is the taller of the two phones by 3.5mm. In terms of weight, the iPhone 3GS and the Desire both weigh in at a reasonable 135g.



HTC has built a 5.0 Megapixel lens into the Desire together with snap-happy features such as auto-focus, LED flash, face detection, smile detection and geo-tagging. It also supports video recording. In this round, the iPhone 3GS comes off second best. Despite the addition of video recording, its lowly 3.15 Megapixel lens (with auto-focus and geotagging) falls short.


The Desire thumps its rival here with a touch-sensitive AMOLED display that measures 3.7 inches and delivers a superb resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. The iPhone 3GS’s touch-sensitive LCD screen is smaller at 3.5 inches. Unfortunately, it also boasts a lower resolution (only 320 x 480 pixels) than the more advanced HTC handset.


While the Desire only boasts 4GB as standard, the Apple iPhone 3GS comes with a better 32GB capacity. But the Desire also has a microSD interface, which can extend the overall capacity to 32GB. The 32GB-worth of room on the 3GS can’t be extended as the handset lacks any sort of built-in memory card slot.

Battery life:

With a full charge, the Desire boasts 6.7 hours of talktime according to HTC, while the iPhone 3GS is rated at 6.5 hours. Standby time is rated at 360 hours for both phones. A gold star for the Desire (but only just).



Performance-wise, HTC’s handset boasts a zippy 1GHz Snapdragon (QSD8250) processor. The iPhone 3GS has an 600MHz ARM A8 processor with PowerVR SGX535 graphics. The Desire runs Android 2.1 (Eclair) with the HTC Sense UI bolted on top, while the Apple iPhone 3GS uses Apple’s own iPhone OS.


The Desire also includes downloadable widgets, a screen accelerometer, digital compass, GPS/A-GPS and an FM radio. The iPhone 3GS also features a digital compass, TV-out, App Store integration, iPod media playback and GPS/A-GPS.

The HTC Desire wins!

htc desire1 HTC Desire vs. Apple iPhone 3GS   ReviewIt was a bruising encounter, but in tech terms the Desire easily emerges as the winner of this particular fight. It has the highest-spec camera and the best all-round camera features. It also has a far better display and the bigger of the two screens. The Android OS has also come on leaps and bounds since it first launched and it’s now a real threat to the iPhone OS.

Do you agree with the outcome of this fight? Leave us a comment in the box below.

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