Hands-on with the HTC Desire (with video)

Considering just how similar the new HTC Desire is to the not-quite-as-new Google Nexus One (read: very, very similar), I wasn’t expecting to walk away from my hands on session with my mind too blown. I mean, it’s essentially just a Nexus One with HTC’s Sense UI and an optical trackpad, right?

Right – and that’s exactly why it’s amazing.

Now, a big part of the reason I was so impressed by the HTC Desire is because I haven’t spent time with a Nexus One in a few weeks – I’d forgotten just how great it feels in your hand and how speedy the entire operating system is on the 1Ghz Snapdragon chip. Both of those still ring completely true with the Desire; the build quality is rock solid, and HTC’s Sense just downright flies.

Notes and Impressions:

  • As I mentioned in the Legend hands on, I walked away from my time with these handsets with far more confidence in the optical trackpad than I went in with. The transition was effortless.
  • It looks just like the Nexus One – and that’s a good thing. The Nexus One is easily one of the best look Android handsets around – hell, it’s one of the best looking handsets around regardless of platform.
  • We’ve heard a few reports of Sense being a bit buggy during demonstrations (it is, after all, a new build), but we didn’t see anything of the sort. Check it out in the video down below – a 1Ghz CPU, Sense, and a big ol’ high resolution screen is really just a perfect combination
  • In addition to the jump from trackball to optical trackpad, the HTC Desire has physical, pressable buttons where as the Nexus One’s are all touch. I’m a sucker for physical buttons. I’d take the button layout over that of the Nexus One any day.

Should you hold out on buying a Nexus One in hopes that this is coming to the states? Probably not – HTC seemed pretty adamant that this model won’t be coming stateside. Should recent Nexus One owners feel chuffed? Nah – the Desire is better than the Nexus One on a few counts and seemingly worse on none, but the majority of its perks are at least somewhat trivial. The real, solid selling points here are almost entirely software-based. Once this thing’s released, I’d imagine it won’t be too long at all before Sense and all that comes with it gets hacked straight onto the Nexus One.