HTC has been leading the way for a couple of years now when it comes to Android smartphones, and it’s just upped the ante once more by unveiling the long-rumoured Desire HD, along with a 4.3-inch touchsreen and HD video recording. Meanwhile, Samsung has been gunning for a slice of the Android phone market with its usual tenacity, but can the Samsung Galaxy S compete with HTC’s new weapon of choice?
Galaxy s 122 x 64 x 9.9mm; 118gHTC Desire HD : 123 x 68 x 11.8 mm, 164gThe Galaxy S is not only shorter and slimmer than the Desire HD, it’s also a great deal lighter. Although its lightweight design won’t put too much pressure on your pockets, is does mean that it doesn’t really have the feel of a premium phone. However, thanks to it’s sheer portability it beats the HTC in this round.
HTC Desire HD : 4.3-inch, 800x480px LCDSamsung Galaxy S : 4-inch, 800x480px Super AMOLEDThere’s not a lot between the to phones when it comes to the display, but when you’re looking at smartphones of this size, the dimensions of the screen are very important, and it’s the Desire HD that wins on this count with its 4.3-inch display, compared to the slightly smaller 4-inch screen of the Galaxy S. Samsung claims that its Super AMOLED is 20% brighter, has 20% less power consumption and is 80% less sunlight reflective than before. However, the HTC’s LCD screen is much better suited for use in bright daylight, which is why we’re awarding it the win.
HTC Desire HD : 1GHz Qualcomm 8255 Snapdragon, 768MB RAMSamsung Galaxy S : 1GHz CPU, 512MB RAMWith both handsets sporting their own 1GHz processors, the two are fairly evenly matched in this category. However, the Desire HD comes with a lot more memory that the Galaxy S giving it a significant advantage. On the flipside, Samsung’s Hummingbird S5PC110 chipset gives far better results at graphics processing than Snapdragon can muster. As a result, we’re calling this round a tie.
Samsung Galaxy S : 8/16GB (microSD expandable)HTC Desire HD : 1.5GB (microSD expandable)The Galaxy S wins hands down when it comes to storage. While the Desire HD was rumoured to be getting 4GB of built-in memory, the official specs reveal that it has only been able to muster 1.5BG. Not only does the Galaxy S let you total 48GB of storage with the microSD slot but also handset flash memory is doubly important on Android phones. While Android 2.2 enables you to switch apps from the phone’s memory to the microSD card, the fact is that most of the apps themselves don’t let you do it yet. This means that you could end up running out of space a lot faster than you expect.
HTC Desire HD : 8MP, flash, 720p video captureSamsung Galaxy S : 5MP, front facing, 720p video captureWhereas the old Desire matched up squarely to the the Galaxy S with a 5MP camera, the new HD version has been thoughtfully furnished with a superior 8MP camera. It’s also been equipped with an LED flash, while the Galaxy S doesn’t offer any help for low light photography. Unsurprising given the name, the Desire HD has been given the ability to capture 720 high-def video, a feature that is also offered on the Galaxy S. On balance, we have to give this one to HTC.
HTC Desire HD : HTC Sense + Android 2.2Samsung Galaxy S : Samsung TouchWiz 3.0 + 2.2With both handsets now available with Android 2.2 (following an update for the Galaxy S), the only thing that really separates them is the custom UIs the companies have chosen to brand their mobiles with.
HTC Sense was already excellent, but for the launch of the Desire HD, it’s been given an upgrade. Along with filtering your mail, the new version enables pre-caching of maps so you don’t have to loiter around waiting for them to download. The update also marks the introduction of HTCSense.com which will let you store and browse messages on your PC. It can also help you to find your phone when it’s fallen down the back of the sofa and enables you to remotely forward your calls or delete your phone data should your mobile fall into the wrong hands.
Samsung’s TouchWiz 3.0 is excellent and integrates well with the social side as well as bringing in some neat graphical features. For now though, Sense shades it for the simple reason that it’s just a bit smoother, and we expect the updated version to be even better. One more point to HTC.
Samsung Galaxy S : Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n), Bluetooth 3.0, DLNAHTC Desire HD : Wi-Fi (802.11b/g), Bluetooth 2.1, DNLAThere’s not a lot between the two handsets on the connectivity front – they both have Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and high speed 3G. The real icing on the cake, for both models, is the inclusion of DLNA which will let you stream content between compatible devices. That means that you could lounge around in bed watching videos streamed from your home server to your phone or shoot some high-def footage on your phone and then watch it back on your DLNA TV. The Galaxy S goes one step further in the spec-off by including Bluetooth 3.0. There may not be many devices that are compatible yet, but at least it’s prepped and ready and that’s why it gets the medal in this round.
HTC Desire HD : £415Samsung Galaxy S : £449.95It’s a bit tricky to judge on price as although the Desire HD is coming out in Europe in October, with Vodafone confirmed as launch partner, there is no confirmed price yet. If internet rumours are to be believed then it will cost somewhere around the £415 (SIM free). Going by the rumoured price, the Desire HD will be cheaper than the Galaxy S making it the winner for now, although we are prepared to stand corrected when pricing is confirmed.
This was a very difficult one to call as these are both impressive high-end smartphones. Despite the Samsung putting up a good fight, the HTC wins this particular battle thanks to its impressive software, the larger screen, its photo capabilities and the lower (expected) price. That said, the Samsung Galaxy S is not a handset to turn your nose up at either.
We’ve made our judgement based on the basic spec-off, but we’ll let you know how we get on as soon as we get the HTC Desire HD in for a thorough once-over. In the meantime, you can can check out our full review of the Samsung Galaxy S.