A souped-up version of the HTC Desire that wowed us last year, the Google Android 2.2 'Froyo'-based HTC Desire HD is one of the most popular smartphones on the market. Our review sample was supplied by Vodafone, where the HTC is available on a £35-per-month tariff. You can find it elsewhere from £25-per-month.

Primed with a 4.3in SLCD screen, the HTC Desire HD is also one of the largest handsets you can buy. It tips the scales at 164g and packs 480x800 pixels into its screen. HTC terms the screen ‘cinematic’; we can see why. 

It’s a unibody handset with a non-removable battery that’s charged via microUSB. It provides 1,230mAh of current and up to 550 minutes of talk time, according to HTC. 

Also powerful are the HTC Desire HD's speakers. Surround sound and Dolby Mobile support let you sit back and enjoy music and video, even without extra amplification or headphones. 

HD (720p) video capture and an 8Mp stills camera with flash and autofocus nail the entertainment and media duties. You can stream content over a home Wi-Fi network or digital living network alliance (DLNA), then play it on an HDTV, for example. 

Given its size, the HTC Desire HD isn’t as natural to hold as some smaller handsets, but call clarity is excellent. HTC has dispensed with hardware buttons, instead offering responsive touchscreen navigation.

A 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor means clicking around is impressively fast. Additions to the usual Google Android 2.2 setup include navigation with points of interest and the HTC Sense interface. This adds some jaw-dropping effects not offered by other brands. 

HTC also manages to make the web browsing experience better than most. Flash 10.1 support is a boon, and for once we found playing embedded video a joy. With 3G support and a generous internal memory, the HTC Desire HD earns its place in the ranks of the Android superphones. 

Next page: Our original review of the HTC Desire HD, from September 2010 >>

See also: Group test: what's the best smartphone?

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