Runners up - Apple iPhone 4 and Samsung Galaxy S
The battle for hearts and minds was firmly between HTC and Apple this year, with the HTC Desire giving the iPhone’s latest iteration its toughest fight yet.
The judges admired both phones, but the tipping point came when one panellist reminded the group that while the iPhone was arguably an incremental leap, the Desire was the first in a new breed of smartphones who’s greatest achievement was in creating demand for a blossoming operating system: Google‘s Android platform.
‘There is no denying that the Desire created a massive amount of buzz about Android,’ one judge remarked. ‘You have to consider where the iPhone sits – it’s the fourth version and it’s riding the wave, but the Desire is the first of the vanguard of the Android OS and that’s something to shout about.’
It was a pitch battle between the judges. ‘The head says iPhone, but the heart says Desire,’ struggled one panellist, but the Desire won the day to be crowned the Mobile Industry Awards’ Phone of the Year.
The HTC Desire’s innovative design and brilliant performance made it a genuine iPhone killer and its popularity with the consumer has cemented both HTC’s success and its reputation as the champion of Google‘s Android operating system.
One judge said: ‘The HTC Desire converted a lot of people to the Android OS. It almost single-handedly created the Android category of phones and it was the most exciting manufacturer on the shortlist.’
Android is the fastest growing operating system on the market today, with a 2011 Q1 market share of 35% and a positive outlook for the rest of the financial year.
The HTC Desire itself more than lived up to expectation. The massive 3.7-inch AMOLED touch-screen held its own against the iPhone’s Retina display, while the 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor which lurked under its classically designed hood made for fast and powerful performance. And of course, Flash support doesn’t hurt.
That all-important Android operating system, shipped as Eclair 2.1 but upgradeable to Froyo 2.2, was made all the sweeter by the HTC Sense user interface, a feature universally praised by the judges. The ability to back up your work and contacts to Google was also cited as a major selling point, and unlike its nearest rival, the HTC Desire was a phone that consumers could walk out the store with completely set up, charged and ready to go.
Overall, the panel felt that the Desire embodied the best traits of Android: customisability, a user-friendly interface and a massive step forward for the fastest-growing smartphone operating system.
- Apple iPhone 4
- BlackBerry Torch
- HTC Desire
- HTC Wildfire
- LG Optimus 7
- Nokia N8
- Orange San Francisco
- Samsung Galaxy S
- Samsung Omnia 7
- Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro