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Fulfilling my Desire

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As Beth will tell you I've been muttering about getting yet another camera for a while now. But re-starting this blog reminded me of the reality: that most of the photos I take to share are done using my phone. And therein lies the problem as my Motorola Defy, fine little phone though it is, has a fairly crappy camera.

HTC Desire HD So I Google searched for Android phones with good cameras and one that came up repeatedly was the HTC Desire HD. It has an 8 Mpixel autofocus camera with dual LED flash and 720p HD video recording. OK, so a xenon flash would be better, but they're vanishing rare sadly.

The other thing that attracted me about the Defy was the OS. It comes with Android 2.3.5 on it, which isn't bad in itself, but people have successfully ported 4.0, 4.1 and 4.2 onto it which brings both better functionality and improved battery life1.

I'd been thinking about a Google Nexus 4 as my next phone but it looked like a Defy HD offered me both 4.2 and a good phone and, and this is a big one for me: a user accessible battery. I've replaced the battery on every smart phone I've owned: two years of charging a phone battery every day and it gets tired. How do you handle that on a Nexus 4?

The other big plus point was price. The Nexus 4 is £279 and you only get 16GB of storage for that (with no micro SDHC card slot). Now I've already got a 32GB micro SDHC card and you can pick up a Desire HD on eBay for around £110 now so it was no contest really.

But still I sat on my hands watching them fly past. Which one to choose? How could I be sure it was any good? And then one came up i n "excellent" condition for £75 + £5 P&P "Buy It Now". So I grabbed it and it came today.

It was indeed in excellent condition: not a mark on it. So I prepared to flash it up to 4.2.

And then I discovered the problem. In order to get into the boot loader you have to press the volume down button while booting the phone. I did that and it didn't work. Repeatedly. Eventually it dawned on me what the problem was: the volume down button was broken (up worked). Damn.

A quite search on the Web suggested this wasn't uncommon and could be fixed yourself (the part is available, on eBay unsurprisingly). I wasn't keen. Better to reject it (which I should be able to do as it was a "Buy It Now"). Shame though: it was a very good buy a part from this.

And then I thought to phone HTC customer support. I was completely up front about not having bought the phone new. That wasn't an is sue apparently. He checked the IMEI number and said "oh yes, that's still in warranty2, we'll repair that ... at no cost to you".

I was quietly flabbergasted.

And then it got better. "I'll arrange for it to be collected" he said, "I'm afraid the earliest we can manage is ...".

And at this point I thought to myself, "oh well, here we go, it's going to be weeks".

"... tomorrow afternoon", he said!

Blimey!!! So a nice man from UPS is picking it up between noon and 5pm tomorrow, UPS will take it to the nearest repair centre which is just up the road at Huntingdon, and turnaround for the repair should be about five working days, and I should have it back by the end of next week.

If this all goes to plan then I'm very impressed with HTC.

  1. One of its few weaknesses is poor battery life.
  2. They come with 24 months warranty apparently, and it's transferrable. In theory you have to have proof of original purchase, but he didn't ask for that.

Tags: photos, toys Written 14/02/13


Previous comments about this article:

On 15/02/13 at 6:34pm Paul wrote:

Rather worryingly I discovered today after I had given it to UPS that they were expecting me to enclose proof of purchase. Given that they offer 24 months warranty I wonder how many people have that, even if they've had the phone from new. And this one is 14 months old so I suspect it was a Christmas present and the previous owner didn't buy it so I doubt she's ever had proof of purchase.

Anyway, we'll see: this must happen a lot and if it was a real issue he surely would have made it clear, especially as he knew I wasn't the original owner.

On 20/02/13 at 7:16pm Paul wrote:

It all worked out all right in the end. They got it back to me in six days. Impressed.

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