The HTC Desire is essentially the same phone as the Google Nexus One, only with HTC's Sense UI overlay and a reworked chassis. Read: it's like a Nexus One only better.
The Desire is a little on the large side thanks to its 3.7-inch OLED screen, but HTC has had a look at the few foibles the Nexus One had and sorted them out. Later models have a Super LCD screen which isn't quite as vibrant as the OLED, but is still top notch for media viewing.
Messaging on the HTC Desire is a dream – despite not having a physical keyboard, the eerily responsive typing correction on this device is so sharp we could practically shut our eyes and mash our hands into the keyboard and still type a perfect message.
And it's testament to the perfect design that it's held the Desire HD off the top spot; the 3.7-inch screen and smooth frame offer a far nicer feel in the hand, and it even offers slightly better battery life too.
If the HTC Desire was to get the upgraded Sense UI, complete with extra HTC widgets and downloadable content, it would be virtually unstoppable, especially as the price will hopefully begin to drop in the near future.
Our quick verdict: People will inevitably ask if we really think the Desire is better than the iPhone 4, and the truth is it both is and it isn't. It doesn't have the headline grabbing specs perhaps, but it doesn't have the notable flaws either, and that's a sign of a well made phone that won't frustrate users who 'take a punt' on their first HTC.
It's still the best of all worlds in our opinion, ahead of the newer Desire HD, and as and when the price comes down and the UI (hopefully) gets upgraded this will continue to be a staggering piece of kit.