HTC Desire S vs. HTC Desire HD – Review

by Jerry D on March 3, 2011

The new HTC Desire S looks like a worthy upgrade to the original Desire. But how does it fare against the HTC Desire HD? We put both phones into a Sumo ring, kit them out with a tight-fitting mawashi belt, chuck some salt down (for purification) and let them wrestle it out… Grr…

XXXX versus graphic HTC Desire S vs. HTC Desire HD   Review XXXX


Good wireless connectivity is vital and both phones acquit themselves nicely. The Desire S features 3G/HSDPA (14.4Mbps), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP. HTC has packed its ‘HD’ variant with 3G/HSDPA (7.2Mbps), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR/A2DP. A tie. (1-1)

Size & Weight:

According to the spec sheets, the Desire S measures 115.0 x 59.8 x 11.6mm, while the Desire HD is 123.0 x 68.0 x 11.8mm. The Desire HD is the lengthier of the two phones by a margin of 8.0mm. And as for weightiness, the Desire HD is far heavier than the Desire S, tipping the scales at 164g, compared to the Desire S’s 130g. (2-1)



The Desire S’s 5.0 MP lens features an array of goodies such as: autofocus, an LED flash, geotagging and 720p HD video recording. Photos taken with the camera will have a resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels. For video calls and self portraits, there’s also a front-facing camera.

The Desire HD beats its opponent with an improved 8.0 Megapixel lens with a maximum resolution of 3264 x 2448. Of course, you also get autofocus, a dual LED flash, face detection capability, geotagging and 720p HD video recording. No front-facing camera though. (2-1)


The design of HTC’s Desire S features a 3.7-inch touch-sensitive S-LCD screen, with a resolution of 480 by 800 pixels. The pixels per inch (PPI) measurement here is a creditable 252.162.

The 4.3-inch touch-sensitive S-LCD screen on the Desire HD is bigger. Much bigger. It’s one of the reasons that this handset is heavier. However, the screen resolution matches that of the Desire S. Do the math again and the pixels per inch (PPI) rating of this screen is 216.977. (2-2)


So how much oomph do these phones have? First up, inside the Desire S there’s a Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon chip, rated at 1GHz. The Desire HD boasts an older 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8255 processor, which features an older graphics processor. (2-2)


In the battle of the OSes, the Desire S has Android 2.3 with HTC Sense installed as standard. The Desire HD launched with Android 2.2 (Froyo), again laced with HTC’s Sense UI. It should be upgradeable to 2.3, however, to match the Desire S. (2-2)


Both handsets pack 1GB of RAM into their phones as standard. The Desire S also has a microSD interface, which can extend the overall capacity to 32GB. A microSD slot on the Desire HD further boosts the overall memory on HTC’s phone to 32GB. (2-2)

Battery life:

What about talktime and battery life? The Desire S weighs in with 7.0 hours of talktime; the Desire HD in comparison boasts a much improved 9.0 hours of talktime. In terms of standby times, HTC’s phone can last 455 hours, while HTC’s model boasts 420 hours. So it’s a last-place finish for the Desire S here. (2-3)


Note: The Standby time specification is an industry standard that is only intended to allow comparison of different mobile phones under the same circumstances. Power consumption in a standby state is strongly dependent on factors including: network, settings, location, movement, signal strength and cell traffic.


The Desire S also includes GPS/A-GPS, a G-sensor, DLNA content sharing and a digital compass. In comparison, the Desire HD features GPS/A-GPS, a g-sensor, built-in digital compass, FM radio, Dolby Mobile, DLNA wireless content sharing and integration (2-4)

The HTC Desire HD wins!

See if these two phones make our Top 20 Best Smartphones list…

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