HTC announces the Nexus One's slightly cooler twin, the Desire

What’s in a name? Would a Nexus One by any other name still be as sweet? Yep. In fact, it might just be a bit sweeter.

Though it lacks almost any indication as such, Google’s Nexus One is actually made by HTC. HTC reserved the rights to the hardware design, and today they’re making good use of that decision with the announcement of the HTC Desire. It’s essentially the Nexus One reflavored to HTC’s liking.

After the Nexus One launched, a good number of gadget geeks went clamoring to HTC in hopes that they (or Google) would release a compatible port of the custom user interface overhaul that can be found on nearly any recent HTC-made Android handset. Alas, it’s not going to happen – the Nexus One is Google’s phone, and thus will always be 100% vanilla Android, just as Google intended.

The HTC Desire, however, is a different story. Sure, it may look almost identical to the Nexus One – and sure, it might be an almost spec-for-spec match. But the Desire is HTC’s phone, and thus, it runs Sense. Its got everything you might expect from a Sense-enabled handset, from multi-touch all around the OS to Flash in the browser.

Like the Nexus One, the Desire runs Android 2.1 on top of a palm-meltingly fast 1 Ghz CPU. Its got the same (stunning) 3.7″ AMOLED touchscreen, and the same 5 megapixel camera. The only real physical change is the jump from a standard trackball to an optical trackpad, just as we saw with the also-just-announced HTC Legend.

While HTC’s not sharing any details on when us folks in the US can get our mitts on it, Europe and Asia should see it hit by sometime in April.

Update: We just got the promo video for the HTC Desire – Check it out here.