HTC Desire steals a bit of the spotlight from the Nexus One

The HTC Desire is already scooping up the buzz. But is it better than Google's Nexus One?

The HTC Desire is essentially Google's Nexus One with Flash 10.1 and HTC's Sense interface. Still, buzz levels are high.

In January, Google rolled out the Nexus One, a smartphone powered by Android and built by the Taiwan-based HTC. Although sales haven't yet hit iPhone volume, the Nexus One was generally admired by critics for its power and speed. Now, about a month after the Nexus One hit shelves, HTC has taken the wraps off the Desire, essentially a Nexus One with the HTC Sense interface and a track-pad subbed in for the roll-ball.

The HTC Desire was one of three phones unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The HTC Legend, which is essentially an upgrade of the HTC Hero, has received a good deal of attention, as has the high-powered HTC HD Mini. But most of the buzz at the Mobile World Congress centers around the HTC Desire, and especially the phone's Sense capabilities.

Sense, which is currently available on the HTC Hero, is billed by HTC as "an intuitive, seamless experience built upon three fundamental principles – make it mine, stay close, and discover the unexpected." It's this first principle that's most important. Sense allows users to customize their interface in a way that the Nexus One doesn't, and includes a widget called Friend Stream, which essentially aggregates status updates from various social media platforms.

More good news: The HTC Desire will come equipped with Flash 10.1, so you'll be able to sit and watch movies over, and over, and over again. Only caveat: You've got to be in Europe and Asia. HTC has announced a wide release on those continents – April or May are the dates we're hearing – but no news on North America. So for the time being, you've got to make do with that Nexus One.


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