Trusted Reviews: HTC Desire HD

Edward Chester, Trusted Reviews:

There’s no point beating about the bush, if you don’t mind your phones being big, the HTC Desire HD is the best smartphone on the market right now. A good screen, great design, and bucket loads of features combine to make this the best overall phone we’ve seen.

I do mind my phones being big. I have regular-sized hands and find the 3.5-inch display on the iPhones to be just right when typing in landscape mode. Anything much bigger would make it uncomfortable.

As such we feel the extra size is of little to no benefit, especially as the 800 x 480 resolution is no higher than rival devices with much smaller screens.

Bigger display means bigger fonts and icons and for some that might be a lifesaver, but when you’re looking for the best display 800×480 isn’t it.

Display quality is also not quite as good as we might hope. It uses an LCD rather than OLED panel so isn’t as bright or vibrant but we actually don’t mind this as LCD screens are sharper – comparing this phone to the Samsung Galaxy S really confirmed our issues with that phones display looking rather grainy.

Vibrancy is a measure of display quality? Not quite, rather it is a measure of how overexcited the colors are. Overexcited = not accurate. And OLED displays made by Samsung Mobile Display using the PenTile Matrix sub-pixel pioneered by Clairvoyante have all been tuned to be overexcited.

Mr. Chester also makes a generalization that LCDs are sharper than OLEDs. Well, that’s not true. If sharper means higher pixel density then whichever display has a higher PPI wins; it doesn’t have anything to do with display technology.

But the bottom line is that the HTC Desire HD sports a non-IPS LCD, which is limited in terms of viewing angles and brightness. The 4.3-inch though large packs just 800×480 pixels. Compared to the iPhone 4’s 3.5-inch IPS LCD (960×640) and Motorola’s IPS LCDs (854×480) the HTC Desire HD’s non-IPS LCD falls short. A smartphone with a less-than-perfect display is no perfect smartphone in my book.