HTC Desire Review – Part 5 – Multimedia

HTC Desire Review : Multimedia

We’ve taken a look at the “Telephony” features on my last topic and I am moving here on to the Multimedia Experience of HTC Desire. HTC’s Multimedia Experience is getting better but not just there yet. It is definitely a great upgrade from HTC Legend though. Sound quality has been improved with Dolby for mobile devices. I’ve tested it with Sennheiser CX200 series headphones and the sound quality is above average with a good response on Rich Bass and Mid Range. I’ve divided this part into photos, audio, video, and other categories. Now let’s get down to it. There is also a Youtube video at the end of this post.

Photo Browser and Viewer

  • The gallery has the usual main menu list-with-thumbnail structure.
    HTC Desire Albums - Photo and Video
  • The Albums app automatically locates images and videos, no matter where they are stored quite effectively. Images and videos stored in different folders appear in different sub-galleries that automatically get the name of the folder.
  • The gallery undertakes re-indexing of the content each time. Unfortunately, this can make the photo browsing slower is the cards are full of content.
  • Each sub-album has a thumbnail of the latest image. The contextual menu of the main Album view has only one shortcut to the settings menu. There is also a camera shortcut that is only available once you start browsing any of the sub-folders.
  • There are three virtual buttons – the First one for the actual folder list, the second one for Facebook and finally the third one for Flickr. The Facebook and Flickr Tab display images from either account or those posted by your friends.
  • You can launch the camera or camcorder to capture new images, share them on Facebook, Flickr, Gmail, HTC Mail, Messages, Peep and Picasa, and delete the current image. This feature only can be used inside a subfolder.
  • HTC Desire image folders you can choose between grid and filmstrip view. You are also able to mass delete images, but unfortunately, there is no mass copy and paste options.
    HTC Desire Photo Albums Grid ViewHTC Desire Photo Albums Filmstrip View
  • HTC Desire supports multi-touch and you can take advantage of this while browsing your images. Zooming in and out is done in the same as on the Apple iPhone. You can zoom to 100% with a simple double-tap on the screen.
    HTC Desire Photo Album
  • You can share multiple images from your albums on Facebook, Flickr, Gmail, HTC Mail, Messages, Peep and Picasa.
    HTC Desire MM Albums 3

Video Browser and Player

As I’ve mentioned previously, photos and videos have been combined into the photo browser. Apparently I couldn’t find a good explanation on this. Video files can be accessed only from the Albums’ subfolder as there is no separate icon for the video player on the main menu. The video files can also be viewed as a grid or filmstrip and can be shared via Gmail, HTC Mail, Messages or YouTube. There is a lot of places to do improvement in HTC Video application.

HTC Desire MM video 2
  • The video player on the HTC Desire has seen some minor visual upgrades compared to the HTC Legend but is still quite basic. You may switch between full-screen mode, where the original clip is stretched/cropped to fit the screen.
    HTC Desire Video Player
  • Video playing has a smooth experience in HTC Desire. Besides that, the player is capable of only playing 3GP and MP4 videos, which means that you will have to convert most of your videos for watching on the go HTC Desire. In my personal opinion, the DivX decoder should be there since Samsung already comes preloaded with it. You can get a DivX player at the Android Marketplace but that Application is not free.
  • I’ve heard that HTC is preparing for a firmware update that would support DivX with 720p smooth playback. I’m still looking forward to this update.
  • HTC Desire does have a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) inside the shell and you can find some comparison at the “Under the Hood” part of this topic.


The music player is almost the same as the HTC Legend. The sound quality has been improved. I can’t find a sound equalizer though.

  • The standard music library view is the Artists section. You can easily switch to one of the other 6 tabs beneath, which are – Albums, All Songs, Playlists, Genres, Composers and Purchased.
    HTC Desire MM Music Albums
  • The HTC Desire comes with a “Cover Flow” based now playing interface. Which is sleek and easy to use.
    HTC Desire Music Now Playing
    HTC Desire Music Now Playing
  • I was a bit disappointed to find no contextual search in the music player for songs and related stuff on either Google or YouTube.
  • Another weakness for the music player is, there are no equalizer presets or visualization options. I hope HTC will do something about this pretty soon.

FM Radio

The HTC Desire also comes with an FM radio, which is pretty simple. It automatically scans the area for the available stations. It also allows you to mark some of them as a favorite for easier scrolling between them. It also supports RDS and allows playback through the loudspeaker (But headset needed to be connected before start using the radio).

HTC Desire Radio
  • RDS is supported so you will be able to see the station name
  • Allow favorite stations to be marked
    HTC Desire Radio 1
  • I also liked to see the option to record radio as well, as is present on the Samsung series (such as seen on the Samsung Jet).

Voice Recorder

HTC Desire comes with a Voice Recorder too. It allows you to take voice notes in “.AMR file” format. The interface is similar to the Radio interface. Additionally allows sharing the recording via Email and Bluetooth.

HTC Desire Voice Recorder

Audio Quality

HTC has managed to pump up the volume output. As I mentioned at the beginning of this topic they do have Dolby for mobile devices. At any rate, the Desire readings are excellent all over, the HTC handset pulling one of the best all-round performances that I have ever seen. Here is a quick fact sheet on the audio comparison.

..Freq. responseNoise levelDynamic rangeIMD + Noise
HTC Desire+0.07 -0.39-87.687.70.080
Google Nexus One+0.19, -0.55-
Apple iPhone 3GS+0.01, -0.05-

Overall HTC Desire is a great Multimedia device but there is a lot of room to do improvement on both Audio and Video Player.

Here is a quick Multimedia experience of HTC Desire:

Let’s not make this part too long. I will continue with the “Camera and Video Recording” feature details on the next part of this HTC Desire Series. Stay tuned for more interesting stuff coming up. Till then Adios Amigos.

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