Monday, August 29, 2011


HTC Desire S. The HTC Desire S is a high end Google Android phone released by HTC in Q2 of this year. With mid-sized form factor sporting a 3.7-inch 480 x 800 resolution screen, 1GHz processor, 768MB of RAM, 1.1GB of internal memory, a 5MP auto focus read primary camera with a LED flash, a VGA front camera and full support for Adobe Flash, it HTC's closest direct competitor to the Apple iPhone 4. 

The phone uses HTC Sense UI, which I think is the best manufacturer designed user interface for Android, supported by several proprietary HTC apps. The Sense UI is so popular, it had "copied" by other developers and offered in the Android Market.

The only downer in the package has been the price.

Desire S v. Optimus Black - Optimus Black wins on a contract free purchase. The HTC Desire was regarded by many as the best smartphone of 2010. When the HTC Desire S arrived in the market on the second quarter of this year, it was priced lower than the original price of the original Desire.  But this was not low enough as it was priced 15% higher than other models like the LG Optimus Black P970. The Optimus Black has a larger 4-inch screen, as against the 3.7-inch screen of the Desire S. The screen of the Optimus Black, a 700-nit IPS display is brighter than the S-LCD screen of the Desire S.  The slimmer 9.2 mm thickness of the Optimus Black makes the 11.6mm Desire S feel chunky. The Optimus Black, with 2GB of internal storage has almost twice the storage of the Desire S. The only specification where the Desire S is clearly ahead is in RAM, where it has 768MB versus the 512MB of the Optimus Black.

The lowest price we have found for the Desire S is Php20,400 which is still substantially higher than the LG Optimus Black with an official warranty is Php17,000.

The Desire S is a great deal on a Smart Unlimited Data Plan. The LG Optimus Black is not offered by any local carrier at the present time. SMART Communications offers the HTC Desire S free on a two year contract under SMART's Data Plan 2000. Under this plan, the Desire S is the best deal in the market at this price point. 

A modern smartphone is really not all that useful without a data plan, so if you plan to invest in one of these phones, you might as well factor in the fact that you will be spending on wireless data. If you want a device to drag around from WiFi hotspot to WiFi hotspot, we would recommend a tablet instead.

Data Plan 2000. With SMART's Data Plan 2000 you get 150 minutes of calls and 200 SMS to all networks, and you get unlimited data usage (subject to some restrictions - I recommend you discussed in detail with your SMART Communications agent when applying for the plan). If you look at the comparable phones in the market, the Google Nexus S from Globe Telecom, but that is at Plan 2499 bundled with 21 hours of data.

I use this plan use it to get my email and sync my calendar and contacts using the pre-installed Google apps. I do messaging mainly through the pre-installed GTalk and eBuddy (for Yahoo! Messenger and Facebook Chat) downloaded from the market  ( For social networking I use HTC's proprietary Friend Stream and Peep applications to keep me connected to Twitter and Facebook (it also has support for LinkedIn, Flicker and Plurk). I get weather updates through a HTC app and news through the pre-installed Android app. I get traffic updates using the the locally built Metro Traffic Navigator. Occasionally I surf the web on the browser, and yes make calls and send SMS too. All-in-all not bad for my Php2,000 per month.

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