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Day 1 – Quick Impressions of the #telstradesire

Ok…. this is one of those quick and dirty blog posts that show quick impressions only…. and not a great deal more.. but is a way of me putting these thoughts down before they get lost after using the device for a while.


  • It feels nice in your hand.
  • It feels fast, but then given less than 10 years ago this was the fastest processor for home PC’s it should :-).
  • It works…  one of those you can pull it straight out of the box and hit go kind of devices, which it should be.
  • It doesn’t work… the app store whilst easy to use still just doesn’t have that slick ordering system.. if you know what you are looking for it is fine.. but hunting can be tedious and there doesn’t seem to be a sense to the order of things in the store.
  • I have fat thumbs… the onscreen keyboard is just tedious still… I’m sure it is just me coming from a non touch screen device but I am having trouble typing on it.
  • Flash 7 video means that I can watch all the ABC News stories… which for me is a huge win. (and with Flash 10 coming soon an even bigger win)
  • Charging from USB is kind of a last resort really… unless you are going to tether the device for the day.. plus it into power.
  • Having to do a firmware update to get the GPS working well that kind of sucked… one hopes that the general public shouldn’t have to go through this.
  • 2Gig SD Card… well that is a joke… it is a step down for me from my 8gig storage on my N95-8gb.  Sure it is upgradable.. but why should I have to.  Your average Joe public is going to see a phone with 2gig of storage and a phone with 8gig of storage and say that the other phone has more “RAM”.
  • The SD Card is tedious because you have to remove the battery to access it.
  • The Battery is Removable.. another battery is on my list to buy next week… if you are going to power use this device all day you’ll kill it… so more $$$
  • I already worry that I am going to break the back just accessing the SD Card, HTC NEED to make this a slot.
  • I miss my dedicated buttons on my Nokia for the Camera on the side.
  • I miss my TV out option that my N95-8gb had… sure it was only analogue quality but it was better than nothing.
  • I’d like a front facing camera please…
  • The headphones with mic work very nice.
  • Once I get my head around tweaking all the Scenes better I’m going to love them…
  • The GPS is really good.  Very fast to get a lock on the first time, very impressed with that.

Now comes the real test… 4 days holiday and lets see what the phone does and more importantly whether I can get used to it…

First impression is that is a very nice device…

You can see which Apps I have installed here


and I’ve created a new Flickr Set here for photos from the Device

where I am coming from for the #telstradesire

There have already been comments that all(most) of the people doing the Telstra HTC Desire review are  basically just taking a bait.  Given the people that are on the list I’d have to say  that is very disingenuous to those folks.

That aside, I thought I would take the time to write down where I am coming from.

I’m not primarily a Telstra customer… I have a backup Telstra Phone that I only use on my extra long road trips, say twice a year (if I am lucky).  This phone just sits in a draw the rest of the time without credit as there is no way to keep long term credit on prepaid without it expiring.  Funny thing is that stamps don’t expire, but phone credit does.

But then I spend most of my time in a large city with access to basically blanket coverage anyway, so coverage as never been a major issue for me. I am a free wifi hunter, data rates in this country are to put it kindly criminal.  Sure sending a few tweets here and there is nothing, but when the SMH home page weights about 1 meg and refreshes… that starts to add up very quickly.  More when you consider that if I was to use data it would be for storm chasing and uploading high-res photos from my D90 the cost is way out of my budget.

And I am not an iPhone user, and to be honest the iPhone has never attracted me.  Sure it is a very nice looking device, but my trusty 3 year old Nokia N95-8gb still out performs the iPhone for the task I use it for.  Those tasks are making calls, using the camera and GPS tracking primarily.  Nor have I been a big application installer. I kind of tend to find a series of apps that do what I am after and stick to them.  The background recording of GPS traces has meant that I could never use an iPhone as that is what I consider a base requirement for a device is the ability to mulitask.  Neither is the camera and use I use the front camera for video calling occasionally as well.

I did play with a Nexus One for about 5 min over a beer and must say that is was the first phone that made me stop and think about jumping ship as it were.  The N97 whilst an improvement over my N95, just wasn’t the huge leap I was looking for.  The N900 still isn’t on plans in Australia and with the changes to Symbian has a real risk of being technology that is going to be OS Redundant by the time it hits our shores.

So I have been plugging away with my phone which I can use very easily with one hand with it’s 8gig of on-board storage, tv out, replaceable battery, multitasking, damn fine camera e.t.c quite happily. The other main thing I do with my phone is interact on twitter in the evening, with the phone connected to my home wifi using dabr.co.uk as my primary web app.

It is going to be interesting to see if I can not only move to a wholly new platform but a new way of interacting with a device and yet still keep the things that I count as my minimum requirements.

To really it put the phone through its paces I’ll use just the HTC Desire whilst I am in Hobart for four days and see what I can do about video, photography, GPS, calls and social networking, then I will see how it goes through day to day real world use as well.

It should be interesting, I’m willing to look at something new it just has to fit my “old” requirements as well.


I’ve set up a Twitter list for all the other people on the Social Review here as well which you can follow.


I'm part of the Telstra HTC Desire #telstradesire

For someone who’s best ever win in anything was $200 on a horse race, I’ve actually won something a bit more valuable to me..  2 days ago I got the call say I was one of the 25 Telstra HTC Desire Reviewers.

Kind of feels like I have been chosen to go to the Island.. but with less organ transplants and less Scarlett Johansson.

What this means is that I get to play with the new Android 2.1 HTC Desire and see if it is any good or not.

Should be an interesting few weeks… with the added bonus that I am going to Hobart for a 4 day holiday next week, which gives me lots of time to put the phone through its paces…

So I’ve files this post under a new Category in HTC-Desire and will file related posts under this for the next few weeks.

To see who else  is on the list it is now live on the exchange blog on telstra

* insert yada yada yada bit here… *

I have been given a HTC Desire handset by Telstra free of charge to review. The comments expressed by me reflect my user experience and personal opinion.

Behind the EXIF – Ripples

This Behind the EXIF is my shot from the weekend that covers why you need to enjoy and experience first (then take photos) and what the photographer sees is not what others do.

As a birthday present last year I was given a Trial 30 Minute flight, which is one of those things that first exhilarated me and secondly scared the crap out of me. I’m not afraid of flying by any measure and have been in small aircraft a lot of times, but to actually be flying it that is another matter.

So first things first I set out to enjoy the flight and make the most of the time in the air getting to fly the plane. All the shots I took were at the end as the pilot brought the plane into land.

Being late in the afternoon the sun was at that special angle where the light of the still water was nearly a mirror.

Technically the shot was on Auto No Flash and nothing more. I wanted to get some shots not spend time on the camera. I spotted the boat quite some distance away and knew that this was the shot I wanted.. not just and suburbs from the air.

It wasn’t until I got home I realised that I had made a beginners mistake. On friday night getting shots on the new AAMI Park stadium I had dialled up a autoshot in the rain, but pushed the ISO to 640 and the Nikon D90 doesn’t take the ISO back to auto when you go to Automode.

What this meant was that the all the shots that I took were basically to bright. The series of shot I took of the boat and water were all suffering from the same issue that the water was to bright and the shot was blown out.

As a result this is one of the more processed shots in Lightroom as well, with a crop on the left hand side to remove part of the water that was completely blown out, and then two horizontal gradients in Lightroom. The left hand gradient to darken the shot and the right hand one to lighten the shot. Then a lot of juggling to balance the overall shot with the aim of keeping it as natural as possible.

This shot has been interesting to see on flickr for what people thought it was…. which I still have trouble seeing. The first reaction of people is that it is lines in sand, not a boat on water. Which also goes to show you that the viewer of your art will never see what you did.

I am very pleased with the overall result and hope you are as well.


The EXIF Data

Camera: Nikon D90
Exposure: 1/3200 sec
Aperture: f/14.0
Focal Length: Sigma 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-6.3
Lens 116 mm
ISO Speed: 640
Flash: Auto, Did not fire
GPSVersion ID:
GPS Latitude: 38 deg 2′ 47.32″ S
GPS Longitude: 145 deg 6′ 26.35″ E
GPSAltitude Ref: Above Sea Level
GPSAltitude: 297.605922551253 m
GPSDate Time: 2010:05:09 05:31:54Z

And you can buy this image on Red Bubble here