It is said rumour mongering and leaks mean there are no more surprises left in the tech sector. That was proved again today, but we still came away very excited indeed...
As Benny speculated earlier HTC CEO Peter Chou (pictured) has indeed used the company's major London press event today to launch its next generation handsets, the Desire HD and keyboarded Desire Z. Potentially more significant, however, is the company has also used these new models to demonstrate the radically overhauled version of HTC Sense.
Click here for our full review of the HTC Desire HD
Let's get the hardware out of the way first and the clear headliner here is the Desire HD. Externally it brings the beautiful aluminium finish of the HTC Legend to the Desire (a much anticipated transition) and the good news is it feels every bit as luxurious as its predecessor though doesn't perhaps have quite the same visual 'bling'. More practically it should bring greater durability and be less prone to scratches than the Desire, though only time will tell. As for size and weight at 123 x 68 x 11.8mm it still feels comfortable in hand, though the aluminium body does place it on the very edge of being too heavy at 164g - substantially more than the 135g Desire.
Another major change - and something that is being reflected with HTC handsets in general - is the move from AMOLED to SLCD. Personally I'm all in favour as while not quite as bright as AMOLED, I found the SLCD on the Desire HD to be less garish with a more realistic reproduction of colour and crisper reproduction of text - good considering the 480 x 800 native resolution is the same as the Desire. HTC proclaims SLCD as also having battery saving benefits over AMOLED, but wasn't putting exact figures on it.
Internally the main surprise is a reduction of internal memory from 4GB to 1.5GB, though running Android 2.2 means many apps can now be installed onto a microSD card. More predictable is the 1GHz Snapdragon processor, though a jump from 512MB to 768MB of RAM should prove a boon when multitasking and is 50 per cent greater than Apple's iPhone 4. The HSDPA, wireless n, GPS, a digital compass and motion G-sensor (read: accelerometer) are all taken as read these days.
The final bonus in terms of hardware comes in the form of audio and video capture with the addition of an 8MP camera with autofocus and dual LED flash alongside 720p video recording. The presentation room was dimly lit making shooting conditions difficult, but based on my time with the Desire HD the jump in megapixels (as is often the case) didn't seem to provide a major increase in photo quality compared to the Desire. 720p video recording was smooth though, like most handsets offering this feature, can be made to jump if you pan quickly.