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  • EEVblog #156 – HTC Desire Mobile Phone FAIL

    Posted on March 21st, 2011 EEVblog 32 comments

    It’s EPIC FAIL time. There is one thing Dave hates worse than bad product design, and that’s ironically bad product design. What’s have HTC done to make him want to do a facepalm?

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    • http://www.derekkozel.com Derek

      Startup sounds have always been one of the most annoying parts of so many devices. The HTC Desire HD has exactly the same startup screen. I think its time to root the sucker and replace that music file!

    • Anthony

      Funny. I think DVD menus are even more annoying than that. Can it be disabled in the settings?

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        No, I believe you have to hack the O/S or something.

    • ac

      Well atleast it’s not that long as the Nokia startup sound that blasts out when powering up. Thankfully after the first time I now know to put my finger over the speaker holes in the back and that pretty much mutes it.

      • http://e-motion.lt elektrinis

        Same here (finger on speaker holes). Annoys crap out of me. Especially that shutter sound, that you can change, but can’t disable.

        • Neil

          On my Nokia the startup jingle can be disabled – it is hidden deep in the menu. Also I believe that pressing a button will abort the jingle.

          Re the HTC

          Have you considered that this might be a cunning marketing ploy to get time on the EEVblog?

          Neil

          • BOFH

            Yeah, I can see exactly how it came about:
            “Fear not mylord, for I have a cunning plan!”

    • Dirk

      Funny that Dave and I have the same taste in mobile phones…

      The easist way of muting it is to turn silent mode on before rebooting…

      And I think that HTC means quite brilliant. I am german and didn’t know the difference between quitly brilliant and quite brilliant. Until now…

      • Jelle Haandrikman

        I was at FOSDEM last February. The Free and Open Source European Meeting.

        Half of the people attending were using an HTC Desire. For the Average hacker it’s quite a good phone.

        But the quietly Brilliant startup with the loud noise also struck me as odd.

      • MidnighToker

        Quite means nearly, where as Quiet means silent.
        So if they’re quietly (ly being the plural) brilliant then it means that they’re brilliant but don’t rave on about it. If they were only “quite brilliant” then they’d be saying that “actually, we could do better” :)

    • http://www.dc-design.se Erik Wallebom

      There is an app for disabling the sound. Search for Silent Boot in Market. It works!

      I too noticed the irony when I first started up the phone when I bought it. The sound is like getting a knife shoved into your ear.

    • http://tronixstuff.wordpress.com John Boxall

      Be glad you didn’t get the Telstra-branded Desire, the start up is louder.

    • firewalker

      EPIC!!!

    • firewalker

      I just notice the “hole” on your bench upper shelf. Where is the Hameg you took apart? :P

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        Still sitting on the bench in bits, I was going to photograph it.

    • Rob

      Just have to chime in here. I believe there is nothing wrong with that sound. For one, quietly brilliant was a mantra probably created by the marketing dept. without asking anyone. Second, it probably describes how they don’t have to advertise all the features because they mesh well and operate seamlessly (hence you realize the genius without them having to tell you to do so). This is hardly a design fail and I know on my phone there is a setting to disable startup sounds under the sounds menu of Android. Just my thought.

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        Of course the slogan doesn’t literally mean quiet sound, but I thought it was massively ironic that it makes a loud sound at the exact moment the word “quietly” appears. That’s massively funny IMO.

    • robert

      In one way or another ALL mobile phones just SUCK.

      Options:

      a) no decent ring tones, just bloody annoying ‘jingles’
      b) provider branding
      c) missing standard charging port
      d) missing standard data port (mini/micro usb)
      e) missing adherence to the presence of a standard memory slot (mini/micro SD)
      f) loading apps using the provider’s online portal only
      g) OS updating issues with certain providers

      etc. etc.

      That’s what annoys me the most. I won’t go into the lengthy OS debate here again.

      • Jelle Haandrikman

        Just buy your phone separately from a local reseller. That will save half of your annoyances list. Using a separate SIM-only plan for calling will also be cheaper.

      • Uh

        Uhhhh….

        Options:

        a) no decent ring tones, just bloody annoying ‘jingles’
        You can use any sound file you want on a modern phone.

        b) provider branding
        But a non-branded phone…

        c) missing standard charging port
        Mine has a micro-usb, the HTC android phones I have seen all come with mini or micro usb plugs

        d) missing standard data port (mini/micro usb)
        Same as above, the charge port is also used for data.

        e) missing adherence to the presence of a standard memory slot (mini/micro SD)
        Mine has a micro SD card… Many other phones to as well.

        f) loading apps using the provider’s online portal only
        With Android you can load an app from anywhere.

        g) OS updating issues with certain providers
        Don’t use the provider phone.

    • http://starlino.com/ starlino

      Dave, a hardware hack might be possible , like a mini-switch to turn of the speakers ? Or maybe a delayed switch to turn off the speakers for the first few seconds during the power-up, maybe a capacitor charging ? Just brainstorming :) I love when something ticks you off, the look on your face is priceless.

    • Tom

      Good to see that you finally switched to Penguin Linux (At least for your mobile phone :) )

    • Mav

      Hmmm mine is O2 branded doesn’t have any sound on start-up, crappy O2 animation tho.

      Must agree with Rob , even if mine had a start-up sound I wouldn’t call it an epic fail, besides its obviously a HTC branding thing , if you had my silent bootup desire would it still be a fail ??

      If its that annoying use silent boot ,, or root it.

      If you wanna rant on it , rant on the lousy battery ,, maybe you can fleece mugen for a 3200mah :)

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        if you had my silent bootup desire would it still be a fail

        Ah, of course not. The funny thing is it makes a sound at the exact moment the word “quietly” appears.
        I’m amazed at how many people haven’t found that as ironically funny as I did, even when you know it has nothing to do with the actual meaning of the company slogan.

    • Mav

      Indeed the epic fail is the battery.
      Too much emphasis on ‘thin’. I prefer a phone with a bit of meat ,, certainly a battery that can last a full day or two is more important to me.

      Desire is an ACE phone ,, but you will soon get peeved at the constant charging :)

    • Aki

      Do you take a cell phone when camping?

      Shameless product promotion:

      “Samsung E2370 Xcover Crash Test”

    • Tobias

      Hi,
      i’ve got the same phone…use the app “silent boot” and it will be “quietly brilliant”…

    • K5HJ

      Dave,

      You should hear my Samsung Captivate. It will wake the neighbors when I turn it on.

      I even try to cover up the speakers and it is embarrassingly loud.

    • huh

      Dave, trust me. We’re SO lucky if now that terrible startup sound is the only hateful aspect about that phone.
      Last year HTC delivered tons of defective phones worldwide; mostly Desires, but other models were affected too. Those phone were next to unusable due to random rebooting and no warranty service was possible because the spare boards at HTC were defective as well. Some people were lucky to get their phone repaired after a few weeks, others had to wait months.
      There are also multiple reports of people being sent a spare defective phone, as if HTC techs didn’t test them before returning.

      Just google for “desire+reboot” to get the picture. As far as I know, NO major cellphone magazines or sites wrote a single line about that.

      • Quille

        You might try another interesting desing failure of that device.
        Try running some application that will put cpu to high load and cause device to overheat.
        After a while device will crash and reboot, sice rebooting uses CPU extensively device will probably reboot in a loop because cpu can’t cool down and you need to remove battery.
        Anyway you might be lucky to have device with that bug fixed, It would be interresting to hear from you what migh be the reason for that behaviour.

    • Jaakko

      You’r right about it being loud yes which is annoying also :D.
      Correct me if I’m wrong but when your measuring loudness of a device isn’t it suppose to be measured 1 meter away from the measured device? Surely it makes a significant difference in the reading.

      PS. Dave keep up those videos! love em :D

    • Larry

      Hehe, Dave’s pet peeve regarding the HTC Desire’s ironic slogan is the same as mine!
      I installed the Oxygen ROM and haven’t had the problem since (plus it’s faster, easier on the battery and has the latest 2.3.7 Gingerbread kernel)