Gadgets: HTC Desire HD Android phone

New mobile phones pop up all the time, threatening to steal the iPhone's crown. But this challenger is a bit different. The HTC Desire HD uses Google's latest operating system – Android 2.2. With figures from Nielson showing Android taking 27 per cent of the smartphone market in the USA compared to Apple's declining 23 per cent, there's reason for the iPhone 4 to be nervous.

The HTC Desire HD is definitely no shrinking violet. With a massive 4.3in touchscreen with a 480 x 800 WVGA resolution, the phone is a bit of a pocket gorilla.

Although it's a bit weighty, the Desire HD's screen is nerve-tinglingly responsive – gently vibrating with each and every touch.

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It's a visual treat, and with lightning fast web browsing and native support for Adobe Flash – YouTube, BBC iPlayer and everything else worked seamlessly. With 720p HD video recording, an 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash and face detection, the Desire also keeps pace with my battered Sony digital snapper. Facebook, Twitter and e-mails (with a nifty single inbox for all my numerous accounts) were only a swish of a finger away.

It's also a fully fledged MP3 player and portable media player – although the screen resolution wasn't quite up to the iPhone's retina display or the Samsung Galaxy's OLED effort, Robin Hood still looked suitably gritty and atmospheric.

There are oodles more features, including Bluetooth, GPS, an eBook reader and the ability to download thousands of Apps from Android Marketplace.

The HTC Desire HD is smoother than Louis Armstrong and faster than Usain Bolt – if you can get past its pocket-busting dimensions, it should be top of your Christmas list.

• Available for free with contracts from 35 per month from Vodafone. See for more information