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Comparison of the HTC Desire and the Samsung Vibrant

written by: Robert Faustus•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/24/2011

The HTC Desire and Samsung Vibrant came out to great success but now that time has passed, which smartphone has stood up? Between the Desire and Vibrant, which Android powered handset is better? Find out as we compare the two in this battle.

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    The Android Handset Battle

    The HTC Desire and Samsung Vibrant were among the first Android powered handsets to make their mark in the handset market. Both are very similar Android devices and both have captured quite of bit of market share for their respective brands and carriers. They've both even gone on to get worthy successors in the HTC Desire S and the Samsung Galaxy S 4G, and it seems they will continue to get successors such as the Samsung Galaxy S 2. Months have now come and gone for the two smartphones and their prices have dropped significantly since their debut. In this Samsung Galaxy Vibrant vs HTC Desire battle, which smartphone has stood up to the test of time and the onslaught of new smartphones?

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    Design and Display

    HTC Desire vs. Samsung Vibrant The HTC Desire and Samsung Vibrant share fairly similar design characteristics. Both are candy bar shaped, touchscreen dominated, and very simply designed. The HTC Desire does have a slightly small touchscreen, coming in at 3.7 inches, while the Vibrant comes in at 4 inches. The HTC Desire also features more physical buttons at the bottom as opposed to the touch sensitive buttons along the bottom that the Vibrant has. The HTC Desire does have an optical trackpad, which makes it slightly more unique compared to the Vibrant and makes it stand out slightly when it comes to design.

    The displays on both the HTC Desire and the Samsung Vibrant are AMOLED and both have 480 x 800 pixel resolution. This means both the HTC Desire and the Samsung Vibrant are extremely bright and colorful, and both are very easy to see, even in direct sunlight. In addition both the screens are scratch resistant. In the design and display arena of the HTC Desire vs. Samsung Vibrant battle, it's a definite tough call. Both are extremely similar in design and the displays are made of the same material, but the Vibrant does have the slightly larger display which allows it to edge out with the win in the design and display section of the battle.

    Winner - Samsung Vibrant

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    Hardware and Software

    Very similar to the design and display section, the hardware and software section of the Desire vs. Vibrant battle is also a very close call. Both phones feature some impressive hardware, starting with the 1 GHz processors and the microSD slots, capable of expanding the storage of the devices up to 32 GB. However, while the Samsung Vibrant offers 8 GB of internal storage, the HTC Desire does not have anything near that. It's unfortunate that the Desire does not offer more internal storage space and it gives the Vibrant the edge.

    When it comes to software, both are Android powered devices with proprietary overlays on top. The Desire comes with Sense UI while the Vibrant comes with TouchWiz. Both overlays are nice and it's really up to whether you like an Android enhancing overlay or an overlay that makes the phone feel like an iPhone. The Samsung Vibrant does offer quite of bit of other support outside of the operating system, it has Bluetooth 3.0 as opposed to 2.1 on the Desire, and has DLNA support, which the Desire does not have. Overall, the Samsung Vibrant does have the edge on hardware and software.

    Winner - Samsung Vibrant

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    User Interface

    User interface is yet another area in which the battle between the HTC Desire and HTC Desire vs. Samsung Vibrant Samsung Vibrant is a close call. Both run on Android 2.1 (Eclair), but have their proprietary overlays running on top. HTC has used their overlay to enhance the Android experience, putting little additions on to really make the Android experience stand out. Samsung, on the other hand, has taken a different route, giving the Samsung Vibrant an iOS-like feel and look. The HTC Desire does feature more widgets than the Samsung Vibrant that are very attractive and, once again, enhance the Android experience.

    Another tiny little addition that the HTC Desire features that gives it an edge over the Samsung Vibrant is the addition of an LED notification light. As a former Blackberry user, the notification light is definitely a welcome addition. The physical buttons on the Desire also do give it a slight edge, as there are times where the Vibrant's buttons are hard to see. In the user interface section in the HTC Desire vs. Samsung Vibrant battle, the HTC Desire edges out the win with the small enhancements they've added.

    Winner - HTC Desire

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    The HTC Desire and the Samsung Vibrant both offer very similar features, both running Android and both able to access the Android Market. In addition, both feature 5 megapixel cameras but the capabilities are different. The Desire has the great little addition of LED flash while the Vibrant lacks any sort of flash, which does give the Desire a slight edge. While the Vibrant does offer a 'night mode' that allows it to take photos in dark lit areas, it's still not good enough compared to a camera with flash. However, the Vibrant does offer better video recording with 720p recording while the Desire is only capable of WVGA video recording at 15 fps. The Vibrant easily records video better than the Desire.

    In addition to the camera, as mentioned in the hardware and software section, the Samsung Vibrant also features Bluetooth 3.0, DLNA and tethering, giving it more of a feature set than the HTC Desire. While the lack of LED flash does cause the Vibrant to falter slightly, in the overall set of features comparison, the Vibrant wins.

    Winner - Samsung Vibrant

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    The Winner

    In the HTC Desire vs. Samsung Vibrant battle, with a score of 3 to 1, the Vibrant reigns ahead. The slight additions that Samsung added into the Vibrant give it the edge over the HTC Desire. The slightly larger screen, the internal storage, the 720p video recording and the addition of different features such as Bluetooth 3.0, DLNA and tethering really make the Samsung Vibrant a more attractive Android powered smartphone. While the HTC Desire is still an attractive smartphone, the Samsung Vibrant gets the win in this battle.

    Overall Winner - Samsung Vibrant

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    • Source: Author's experience
    • Image Credit: GSMArena,
    • Image Credit: Phandroid,