Smartphone Smackdown III: Elites of the Android Army

Smartphone Smackdown III: Elites of the Android Army

When it comes to Android smartphones, it’s generally agreed upon by most online forum-goers, editorial reviews and office geeks that Taiwan-based manufacturer HTC is the brand to beat. HTC has set the standard for mobile devices powered by Google’s Android operating system, consistently rolling out high-quality and innovative cell phones.

Awareness of the HTC brand is continuing to rise, challenging the likes of the iPhone and BlackBerry for the loyalty of a new generation of mobile consumers.

We are going to compare two of the most popular HTC Androids to determine which gives the best bang for your buck: both have a recommended retail price of AU$779.

HTC Hero
•    Sharp bright screen with 320×480 resolution.
•    Powered by a 528 Mhz internal processor and 288 MB of RAM.
•    Not a lot of internal memory space though.
•    For a touchscreen phone, it’s amazingly hassle-free to use. Intuitive scrolling, tracking, scanning and re-sizing capabilities make the Hero a simple and fun device to operate.
•    Easy Internet connectivity including USB, 3G and Wi-Fi, and web browsing capabilities are great for both business and social networking.
•    Impressive array of apps and widgets, both pre-installed and available for download. While nothing can beat the iPhone’s bottomless App Store, but 10,000 aps is nothing to sneeze at.
•    Battery life is not fantastic, but better than HTC’s predecessors. At least you’ll get through a whole day without needing to recharge.
•    The 5 megapixel camera comes with auto-focus but there’s no flash, so indoor photos won’t turn out well.
•    Built-in Microsoft Exchange makes it handy for business.

Verdict: As a typical “jack of all trades, master of none” touchscreen smartphone goes, this one does pretty well in checking more “master” boxes than “jacks”.

HTC Desire

•    The next generation on from the Hero, this smartphone contains all the features of the Hero with a few minor variations.
•    Lightening quick 1Ghz internal processor and 576MB of RAM.
•    The touchscreen is even crisper with 480×800 resolution, however users have reported it as being a little too sensitive.
•    To support a range of extra apps and inbuilt software programs, the battery life actually runs for about an hour less on average than the Hero.
•    As well as Exchange for emails, Quickoffice also comes ready for editing MS documents.
•    The camera has a flash, though this tends to result in a weird blue-ish overtone in most photos.
•    For those who still listen to the radio, the Desire comes with one built-in.

Verdict: Another powerful all-rounder, with a design focused neither completely on business nor completely on fun.

There is no clear winner here – with the prices equal on both smartphones, it really depends on what you value more. Battery life and easy usability for the Hero, and extra power and prettiness for the Desire.

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