Relatively unknown a few years ago, HTC is now established as a premier smartphone brand, striking gold with the launch of last year’s HTC Desire.
But that’s ancient history now; HTC has launched a revamped and supercharged line-up for 2011, the most recent of which has been the Evo 3D – the first phone from HTC with a 3D camera. This year has also seen the launch of the Desire S – a sequel of sorts to the original Desire – and the Wildfire S, a follow up to last year’s mid-range HTC Wildfire.
So there’s a lot of HTC Android phones doing the rounds right now. With this in mind, we’ve put together this quick comparison article giving you a run-down on who’s who in HTC’s Summer 2011 line up.
The HTC Sensation is hands down HTC’s most powerful smartphone to date. It comes with a powerful 8-megapixel camera that can record 1080p HD video. Thanks to the twin stereo microphones and speakers, you can record and play back audio in stereo as well.
The MHL connections in the micro USB port mean you’ll also be able to play back your video clips on an HDTV with the M490 cable (due out at the end of this month), despite there not being a dedicated HDMI port.
The Sensation is also one of the first HTC devices to come with the HTC Watch on-demand video service built in, allowing you to buy and rent movies for watching on your phone. The 4.3-inch touchscreen has a display resolution and videos don’t suffer from the black ‘letterboxing’ effect. As well as this you also get a VGA front-facing camera, which’ll allow you to make videocalls to other Skype users, via the recently-updated Skype for Android app.
HTC Evo 3D
The Evo 3D is HTC’s first foray into 3D-land and comes with a 5-megapixel camera that can capture 3D as well as 2D videos and stills. Aimed specifically at early adopters of glasses-less 3D TVs, the HTC Evo 3D features MHL technology that – like the Sensation – allows you to watch clips you’ve recorded on a bigger screen.
Spec-wise the Evo 3D and Sensation are in fact pretty similar; you get a 4.3-inch touchscreen with the same qHD resolution (540 x 960) and the same HTC Watch functionality.
We’re also told that you’ll be able to buy 3D movies from Watch for viewing on the Evo 3D, but we understand that there won’t be any titles available from launch.
The front-facing camera of the Evo 3D is also slightly more powerful – 1.3-megapixels compared to the Sensation’s VGA.
The Evo 3D has slightly more RAM at its disposal than the Sensation – 1GB compared to the Sensation’s 768MB – so it ought to be a bit faster at powering through web pages and generally more adept at multitasking. We wonder though if this extra RAM was squeezed in for the benefit of the 3D camera; we won’t know for sure until we do a proper side-by-side with the two phones in the flesh.
HTC Desire S
The follow up to last-year’s successful Desire, the HTC Desire S now seems more of a mid-range choice compared to the lofty powerhouse specs of the Sensation and the Evo 3D.
But that’s silly talk; the HTC Desire S has a respectable camera (5-megapixels), looks great and offers a solid smartphone experience.
Sure, its 1GHz processor isn’t dual-core (the smartphone spec du jour) and the camera only (only!) records 720p HD video. But chances are, you either aren’t bothered about this or won’t be able to tell the difference. In a nutshell it’s a fast, powerful smartphone with a great camera.
While you don’t get the ability to hook your Desire S up to a HD TV out of the box, you can if you like, fork out for the official HTC adapter (currently £84).
Other specs include the 3.7-inch screen and a front-facing VGA camera so you can join in on the videocalling fun and take amusing face-distorting portraits. The HTC Desire S runs on the latest version of Android (2.3 Gingerbread) and is a available in a range of metallic colours, unlike the uniform blacks of the Sensation and Evo 3D.
HTC Wildfire S
The HTC Wildfire S is a mid-range option, aimed at those who want a touchscreen smartphone but don’t want to raid the life savings to pay for it.
Despite its smaller screen size (3.2-inches) and slower processor (600MHz) the Wildfire S will offers a good user experience; browsing the web isn’t terribly slow and Google Maps works about as well as it does on pricier smartphones.
You also get a decent 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash included; a lot of mid-range phones omit a flash for the sake of keeping costs down but the Wildfire S means that you’ll be able to take snaps in the dark/at night without having to pay over the odds for what we think should be a standard phone feature in this day and age.
The lower-resolution screen means that pictures taken on the camera don’t always look as good as they should and web pages can appear a bit fuzzy. The smaller internal storage means that if you want to save a lot of pictures and listen to music, you’ll need to invest in a microSD memory card.