HTC Desire HD vs. iPhone 4: Smartphone showdown

Is the HTC Desire HD going to be a better smartphone than the iPhone 4?

If you're looking for an alternative to the iPhone, then you're most likely going to be eyeing off one of the latest Android smartphones. The HTC Desire HD is the newest kid on the block.

Check out our HTC Desire HD review.

More information on HTC Desire HD Vodafone pricing.

Read our definitive iPhone 4 review.

Read our original HTC Desire review.

HTC has come from relative obscurity to be one of the major smartphone players on the market. Though the Taiwanese company still isn't a household name, an impressive array of smartphones, particularly those running Google's Android platform like the Desire HD, has increased its fortunes.

So, how does the HTC Desire HD stack up against the Apple's iPhone 4?

Feature Apple iPhone 4 HTC Desire HD Verdict?
Operating system (OS) Apple iOS4 Google Android 2.2 "Froyo" Draw
Display technology Capacitive retina IPS Capacitive SLCD (WVGA) Unknown
Display size 3.5in 4.3in HTC Desire HD
Display resolution 640x960 pixels 480x800 pixels iPhone 4
Multitouch Yes Yes Draw
Camera 5 megapixels, single LED flash, autofocus, geotagging 8 megapixels, dual LED flash, autofocus, geotagging, face detection HTC Desire HD
FM radio No Yes HTC Desire HD
GPS Yes Yes Draw
Internal memory 16GB or 32GB 1.5GB iPhone 4
Expandable memory None microSD card slot HTC Desire HD
Dimensions 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm 123 x 68 x 11.8mm iPhone 4
Weight 137g 164g iPhone 4
Application store Apple App Store Google Android Market iPhone 4
Processor Apple A4 Qualcomm 8255 Snapdragon (1GHz) Unknown
3G networks HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100 HSDPA 900/2100 iPhone 4
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n 802.11b/g/n Draw
Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP 2.1 with A2DP Draw
Quoted talk time Up to 7hrs Up to 5hrs 20min iPhone 4
Quoted standby time Up to 300 hours Up to 490 hours HTC Desire HD
Adobe Flash support No Yes HTC Desire HD

The HTC Desire HD is equipped with HTC's updated Sense user interface and offers greater customisation options than the iPhone — whether it's changing themes, backgrounds or the interface's entire look and feel, Google Android is definitely far more flexible and open than the iPhone platform.

 HTC Desire HD vs. iPhone 4

The Desire HD includes the latest version of HTC Sense.

The iPhone 4's display uses IPS technology (also used by the iPad), and thanks to its 640x960 pixel resolution it has been described as a "retina" display, with the human eye unable to distinguish individual pixels on the screen. The HTC Desire HD boasts an impressive (and much larger) SLCD display with a resolution of 480x800; its colours are reportedly not as bright or vivid as the AMOLED display used by the original HTC Desire and the Super AMOLED screen of the Samsung Galaxy S, but the sheer size of this display should make it ideal for Web browsing and eBook reading.

The HTC Desire HD is larger than the iPhone 4, mainly due to the 4.3in display. The Desire HD is crafted from a single block of aluminium in a similar manner to the HTC Legend — a smartphone that we consider to be one of the best looking ever produced. The iPhone 4's stainless steel band (which also doubles as the phone's antenna) is a classy design touch, and, at just 9.3mm thick, it is one of the world's thinnest smartphones. Both these smartphones are currently only available in one colour — the HTC Desire HD a dark brown and the iPhone 4 a gloss black. Apple will begin shipping a white version of the iPhone 4 later this year.

Both the HTC Desire HD and the iPhone 4 can record 720p HD video. The Desire HD gets a boost from its camera — 8 megapixels and a dual LED flash compared to the iPhone 4's 5 megapixels and single LED flash — though we are keen to test both cameras alongside each other when we get our hands on a review unit. We consider the iPhone 4 to be one of the best camera phones on the market, so the Desire HD definitely has a big job on its hands when it comes to imaging.

 HTC Desire HD vs. iPhone 4

The HTC Desire HD is carved from a single block of aluminium.

iPod integration is one of the iPhone 4's outstanding features, but the flexibility of the Android operating system means there are a number of third-party media player applications that will work on the Desire HD. The flexibility of drag-and-drop file transfers is also a real plus for the HTC Desire HD when compared to Apple's reliance on iTunes. The Desire HD has just 1.5GB of internal memory, compared to the iPhone 4's 16GB and 32GB options, but the addition of a microSD card slot for extra storage gives it much more flexibility.

In addition to these hardware features, the HTC Desire HD benefits from the latest 2.2 "Froyo" version of Android which adds full Flash support, and built-in wireless tethering.

The Desire HD is one of the first HTC smartphones to benefit from the company's new Sense software. Enhancements include a shorter boot up time (10 seconds), faster rendering of maps (along with a digital compass built into the map), and DLNA support for connection to compatible televisions. HTC has also launched HTCSense.com, a set of desktop-based services largely centred on backup and security. You can locate your phone on a map if it is stolen, remote lock or wipe the handset, and archive contacts, text messages and call history. Unlike Apple's MobileMe service, which requires a yearly subscription, HTCSense.com is completely free.

 HTC Desire HD vs. iPhone 4

HTC's new Sense software includes cached map data for faster rendering of maps

The HTC Desire HD is expected to launch before the end of the year and will be sold in Australia exclusively through Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) — owner of the Vodafone and 3 networks. Pricing is yet to be announced. The iPhone 4 is currently available through all four Australian carriers — Telstra, Optus, VHA (Vodafone and 3) and Virgin Mobile.

What do you think about the HTC Desire HD and the Apple iPhone 4? Tell us in the comments below!

Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook

Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide

Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters

Tags Applemobile phonesGoogle Androidiphone 4smartphonesGoogle Android smartphoneHTC Desire HD

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

Good Gear Guide

54 Comments

Patrick Johnson

1

HTC Desire HD is useless, lags from program to program, pathetic battery life, terrible linking of social media apps, frequent shut downs that are unexplained, and generally a poor web rowing experience.

The flash on the photos makes them extremely bad resolution and fuzzy.

I am waiting for the iphone 5 - please come soon!!!

Rebecca

2

I think Patrick must work for Apple, it his opinion and definatley not a fact that the Desire HD is useless.

Not one of the critisism's is true and in my experience the complete opposite. I would recommend The HTC Desire HD to anyone looking to buy a smart phone.

Natalia

3

Actually it has great linking of social Media Patrick. For example, if you want to upload a video to youtube all it takes is a tap and a click and it's uploaded to youtube/facebook/twitter. Get your facts straight before you bag a perfectly good phone. And it only lags when you ar running a substantial amount of apps.

Battery Life is questionable however.

John

4

these are both very contradicting comments. im looking to buy a smart phone and its either HTC Desire or iPhone. what to get ?

Andrew Broomfield

5

I have had my HTC desire HD for a few months now and its stunningly fast and in my opinion the best there is. Mine was free with my contract and blows me away every time I use it. I can only compare it to iPhone 3gs because my wife has one and the HTC is in a different league. I could have paid £300 and more per month for an iPhone 4 but so glad I didn't after reading the reviews for it. You won't go wrong with a desire HD

Simon

6

I was thinking about buying smartphone
and i think htc is much better
iphone is so much limited and thats what i hate

Chris

7

Rebecca marry me? lol .. anyways HTC Desire HD
1. Bigger screen
2. Better camera
3. Open OS
4. Expandable memory
5. Adobe flash player
Nuff said

Harley

8

Yeah Patrick you obviously have no idea or work for Apple the HTC Desire HD has a better camera with more mega pixels resulting in better photos, however the iphones resolution makes you think they are higher quality images when in reality, if you enlarge those photos they will look like crap. The HTC rarely lags and has a quicker boot speed then the Iphone due to more ram (768mb), Iphone 4 is at (512mb)

Ashwin

9

Hey guys, my mum wants to get a phone. shes not techy at all and she just wants a phone with a good camera and touch screen. i wouldnt recommend an iphone because its got too many applications and features that she wouldnt use and therefore would be a waist. whiile looking at the ads, i notices this HTC DESIRE HD. Do you reckon its good to buy for someone non techy?
and also, from my freinds who have HTC's ive notices that each page laggs really bad when moved..is that the same with this phone?
thanks and srry for rambling :D

joe spinere

10

lol harley you obviously dont know how the iphone works...first of all the iphones screen doesnt make the photos look better just cuz it has retina display (960x480).
HTC does not have IPS technology whereas iphone 4 is the only phone which has it. incase you dont know wat IPS is, its when you look at ur phone at an anlgle, the display doesnt lose any colour/contrast. but...yeh HTC sounds pretty good :) but i still rkn iphone 4 is better. + any megapixels above 5, the human eye cannon makeout much difference..(unless its like 5 megapixels compared to a 12 megapixel)
peace.

yachticus

11

Folks,
just got an Iphone4 -(the IT Wiz forced 15 of them into the office on the grounds of compatibility)
in comparison to my older NOKIA ph this thing is a dud.
its built like a pretty toy - and is not robust - lots of gadets but too restricted. As we would say - " a lot of wank factor" but lacking on cred.
I think I'll upgrade to the Android -

mubasher

12

well..guys u r all confusing me lolx..m searching for good hone from last 1 month..i used iPhone 4 and htc both...but till now m confused some features r good in iPhone and some are in htc..but til now i didn't decide which phone is better for me...there is lot of barriers in iPhone and i don't have any idea about htc...some one can help me to get out of this problem....?

FLO

13

I'm pretty happy with my HTC HD , love all the features, and a lot of application in the android market. HTC HD better screen and bigger. I Love the live wall in HTC ( only in HTC ). ALso, only in HTC you can locate your mobile phone thru HTC sense just in case you loose it.

Gee

14

To be honest, as i type this on my htc desire hd, i must admit that this has been some debate. Ive been with the i phone 3Gs for a while and i changed to the htc after i saw the iphone 4. The reason being, i phone looks fine, and has good featutes it atill remains the same overally. It will still be the same somehow. Period. The htc on the other hand offers something quite different. You can always customize your homepage with different widgets allowing you to have a whole new experience while still using just the same settings as any phone or liking

jksd

15

yo Gee..if you jailbreak your iphone you can do all those stuff and way more. and iphone will never just remain the same..go to www.apple.com and go to ios 5 and look at the jizz stuff they introduce. waaaay better than anyother phone. i admit HTC is good but is still not good eneough for iphone

Hatim

16

Yo jksd did ya know that half or maybe even all that is on iOS 5 was ported or copied or modified from other OSes that already have that running. So this "Not good enough for the iPhone" is only an empty boast. The iphone is basically a wrapped up individual fortified ecosystem that is all about the usage to about services. It is that features which are also not even half as powerful as many android phones that Apple introduces which customer find so great. Android means THE dynamic Smart-phone. The iPhone is only a gaming, browsing, texting and calling hub. Heck even the camera is not ass good as the low end Nokia ones are.

A link i found on iOS 5 is here

http://www.zanura.com/blog/news/apples-ios-5-%e2%80%93-real-innovation-or-a-borrowed-one/

also

http://www.zanura.com/blog/reviews/top-10-iphone-killer-android-smartphones/

Hatim

17

Woops

as*

typo .... lol

jksd

18

hatim, just looked at ur fist link and....i dunno u could be right. but the only thing that really sounded like a copy is the imessage which blackberry has. but its not really a full copy because (as your link said) they polished it up making it much better. theres many people who i know who work for apple and they said that the they bought the idea from cydia ( the jailbreak community). wifi sync has been a jailbroken app for a LONG time so i dont know if the Zune HD came out with it first or what.
but yeh >.< kinda convinced me that your right

jksd

19

Yo Hatim...sup xD
first of all, the ios 5 bought many of the new features that are gonna be available from the cydia owner and ailbroken app makers. for example they bought wifi synce, the new notifications feature.
theres also a reason why the iphone is the most popular phone..

Dru

20

hey guys...i know the conversation is about iphone 4 and HTC HD, i would like to comment on HTC Desire Z, a friend of mine and me sat comparing the phones the other day, he ownes a ipone 4 and after a while of trying to outperform my HTC Desire Z he threw in the towel tale between his legs he had to admit that HTC is on the rise and its giving Apple a serious run for its money, not to mention all the basic apps he had to pay for which is free on android. So if you want to test, meet up and u iphone dudes will soon realize that you have no idea what your talking about...the difference is that most iphone drones has never experienced an HTC before, they go on hear say...

leon pendragon

21

i just hate itunes its not easy to figure out when you have limited time and every time i do an update my phone chucks loads of other stuff .pluss when i want to put one of my vids on it i cant i cant have the ringtone i want whithout paying apple .im going over to htc love the iphone hate itunes

jksd

22

yo leon pedragon..doubt thats ur name lool.
anyway ust w8 for ios5 for which u dont need itunes to synce because theres itunes sync

AbduL

23

Hii guys, it depends on what u want?? In my point of view HTC shud b d best dats bcoz
Its much Flexible in transfer files songs documents etc i phone all d time u hv to b close wit
D laptop .its stylish, good looking n has alot of features but as wat said b4 it depends wat u really want... Everythn that u do in iphone you can d same in htc + more advantages such transfering files, memory card, camera its flexible.

Note: 3 things that no1 wud ever b able to stop dem:

1) time.
2) getting older.
3) death.

Brothers sisters n freindz preparation is essential. D rest today its iphone5 tomorrow iphone 7

Dharmesh Patel

24

HTC is the best choice boys/Girls/Gentlemen and Ladies...

Now Forget Apple Products, let it be either Phone of Tablet PC's Apple is a history now....

asdfapeofna

25

Lets not forget that a new release of a htc phone brings very small amounts of people to gather. a release of an iphone makes thousands of people to camp outside the shop..

wtflol

26

lol Dharmesh Patel, the Tablet makers even admitted that theyre table is much inferior to the apples ipad

ritikaa

27

what can happen if i turned the phone on be for i charged it the first time coz i had to find out the language before buying the phone http://mobileinindia.in

ritikaa

28

www.http://mobileinindia.in

bahha

29

guys I had the pleasure to have both devices first iphone and then now Htc Desire HD .

for me HTC is better it doesn't get me mad.

I can modify anything upgrade downgrade . without loosing the carrier. I can't download free apps from Android market without paying for the account.

to sum up it depends on who you are.
if you like to learn about developing and messing around with devices and not worry about any restrictions get An HTC If you like to be worried all the time about upgrading installing syncing Itune ....
get an Iphone .

jksd

30

oi bahah...u noob first of all, y wuld u be "worried" about upgrading? upgrading is good, get more features unlike the technological static HTC which i imagine will stay with the same old stuff forever (or untill the new HTC comes out). i wont say HTC is bad but ill definately say iphone is better. yes, syncing it with itunes is gay but that all changes when the wireless sync comes out in the huge ios5 where its done wirelessly.
and whats this talk about the iphone being restricted???!!!! IF you jailbreak theres LOOAADDS of stuff you can do ranging from just changing the way it looks up to basically using it as uTorrent to download things. but yes, if not jailbroken it can be quite restricted...

Anonymous

31

jksd, I am afraid that you have come to a point where you are really not selling the iPhone anymore. You're trying to sell the jailbreak. Why would anybody want to go buy a more expensive phone and then have to figure out how to jailbreak it rather than just go to the store and buy the cheaper phone for less effort. It's kind of a no brainer. Not to be a goody two shoes or anything but nearly all of the stuff that you mentioned is illegal and that kind of stuff can be tracked so why risk it as well? You seem to have lost your point in trying to convince the rest of this forum that the iPhone is better.

Gav

32

The iphone's entry into the market made all the other companies sit up and take note. After many years of resisting the urge I became an apple convert and refuse to ever use a PC again and my iphone is so easy to use and has nothing more than I want. I read all the comments above and laugh, because I used to be one of those people that bagged Apple Products. I am sorry Mr Jobs for my past criticisms and am happy to say I am a convert.

Razzy

33

I have both iPhone4 and htc desire hd :) I thunk both these phones are exceptionally well made , I wouldn't complain , sure there are vast differences between the android software and the apple software , iPhone are phone designed to give the customers to have more fun , it is a great device , even kids can access the phone ad use it in ease , and lots of options from the market , while htc do have se features , ppl seem to prefer iPhone for games and social networking , in my opinion I love both of these smartphones :))

jksd

34

you anonymous,
u said that u have to "figure out how to jailbreak"....it takes less that 1 minute to jailbreak and it has only recently gone back to illegal. the reason i talk about jailbreaking is because above 80% of iphone users have jailbroken. its not hard but grants you a HELL more things to do to the idealy sort of restricted iphone. hence the name "JailBreak" (breaking out of a small confined jail)

jksd

36

iphone =D :D :^D

Josh

37

a mate of mine had a iphone 3Gs and then went and got the htc desire HD it only lasted 4 days before he relised the mistake he made and paid the money for the iphone 4, the htc handled apps slower, had terrible battery life, limited 3d gaming and no bluetooth gaming, terrible reception, more free apps but it seem to lack apps, barly any in phone memory(you need to buy an sd card for it) and he claims he felt like having a brick in his pocket u needed to charge every 2 hours. personal im won over by the iphone 4 for the 3d gaming and bluetooth link its like having a PSP, laptop, Ipod and phone all in one and its not oversized

asdfghjkl

38

Look guys, the technology is changing everytime. Both phones are different and similar in many various ways! It's up to the person to choose whether HTC Desire HD or iPhone 4. I have recently bought the HTC Desire HD because my dad have the iPhone 4, that's why i choose the HTC Desire HD. Both phones are great and also used both of them.

But like what I said, its up to the person and you never know sooner or later there would be another phone that beats iPhone 4 and HTC Desire HD!!

jksd

39

yo asdfghjkl
i think iphone and htc has alredy been beaten
by the samsung galaxy s 2..daam its hell awesome

asdfghjkl

40

ey jksds,
that's what i said, theres always something that is better, and people can do that these days because of the new technologies we have. I mean now you can create 3D movies or take 3D pictures using a phone, how great is that!!! And Samsung Galaxy S 2 is pretty awesome too, i actually like it!

jksd

41

yo asdfghjkl
totally agreed :D

Saifee

42

Whoever says that the iPhone 4 camera is good....i think they need to go back and check the pics on a PC. I have a 3GS and my bro has a iPhone 4 and the image quality improvement is only marginal...which to say is still pathetic. My wife's Nokia snaps much much better pics then any iPhone.
Also I hate the restrictions on the iPhone (I have been using one for more than 3 yrs). For every action required you need to connect it to iTunes or jailbreak it...its f**king ridiculous. Its my phone and I am still a puppet of Steve Jobs.
So my recommendation to all - Android is the way to go and HTC's Desire is far better than iPhone 4.

Safo

43

iphone 4 is nothing compared to the Htc it is FTW ! everyone is got the Htc and less people are now buying the iphone which is good it is time for something better and new to come out =]

jksd

44

yo Safo...u said "it is time for something better and new to come out". wont iphone 5 better than the iphone 4? obviosly.., so just w8 for 2 moths and watch the thousands of people camp out the apple store to get it

James

45

Okay so i decided the only way to decide this was to compare the phones side by side. So i did and the results were well dissapointingly for older adults the IPhone 4 won but... for a teen the HTC won drasticly. HTC sense is one of the biggest winners for the desire HD because of free romote tracking and the call my owner button and optional message. The iphone is more poular because of it's heavy advertisement and the amazing capabilities of their macs. The fact that htc has expandable memory and you can buy micro sd cards on amazon for a quater of the price of upgrading to a larger memoried version of the iphone 4. In my opinion from comparing the two HTC Desire HD is the winner for all age groups but unfortunately not the opinion of the older age groups. TBH i know this isnt really related but if you are looking for a phone for work i would highly reccomend a windows phone.

JDMARLO

46

This is a message to everyone debating on this website! Each phone has its own individual strengths and weaknesses and of course anyone who gets one phone and not the other will naturally defend the one he or she got, i myself am getting the HTC while my brother is getting the IPhone4 so it looks like sparks will fly there, but life is all about accepting other people and their choices and simply put: no two things are the same and how would it be if everyone had to have the same phone, it would be as boring as hell and there would be no debates so thank God that we at least have a choice:D

gary

47

htc desire Hd is much better than iphone 4..iphone 4 is boring and same function have iphone 3..

Tyler

48

i got my htc desire hd over the iphone 4 thinking it would be better but f@$k did i make the wrong choice.
problems:
headset always f*^ks up on me and electrocutes me through the headset
it electrocutes me through the headset jack
lags
force closes all the time
over heats
battery life is horrible
there just some of the problems
p.s ive had to get a new hd a couple of times and there all sh!t DO NOT GET THIS PEICE OF F*#KING SH$T YOU WILL REGRET IT!!!

bex

49

Check the comparison

http://www.goodgearguide.com.au/article/361152/htc_desire_hd_vs_iphone_4_smartphone_showdown/

pretty equal but HTC FTW with me.

George

50

I have the HTC desire hd, its a really good phone here are some reasons.
1. You can use Bluetooth To send things.
2. You Can download things off the internet just like that, you don't need a download manager or something, and lastly iphones break easily, go on YouTube and write iPhone 4 drop test and you will see how easily it breaks.
I have made my point Bi*$@.

Irfan Hossain

51

I would recommend the HTC Desire HD but the battery life is the only problem, not to mention poor WiFi connectivity range.

Nick

52

HTC desire hd all the way. More user friendly, open OS. Better touch keyboard. I think it poops all over the iPhone no matter what version. Iphone is extremely limited usage wise. For.loading, viewing documents, emails, videos, is much easier with desire hd. Only thing iPhone has over desire hd is apps.

Pablo Escobar

53

The only downside to HTC is battery life while the iPhone is the device itself. iPhone is very restrictive in all sense including fix battery, tied up with Apple and iTunes, proprietary OS and few other things.

Atinder pal singh

54

HTC desire hd has HTC sense & better than iPhone 4s ,bcoz 4s has same function as iPhone 3.....

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?