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The HTC desire is a great, all round smart phone. It's an android phone and has access to the android market which has tons of free and paid apps, and is pretty similar to the iPhone app market although there are certain apps and games that aren't featured on the Android market that are feature on Apple's and vice versa.
So the HTC desire is a typical smart phone, it has tons of available apps, a good Internet browser, great camera and camcorder (though I rarely use it so am not a good judge off it, never really bother with a phones camera so it's never a concern when buying a new phone) and works well as just a general phone.
Now it is a great phone, most of the time, there are however two major faults off it, one being the battery which is to be expected on most smart phones but on the HTC desire for some reason is extremely bad, mine for instance won't last for than half a day but I do constantly use it, and always have a spare fully charged battery with me just in case. If you didn't use the phone as much and it was on standby it would probably be able to last a day at the most.
The second fault is in certain instances it tends to have a mind off its own for example last time I was on the phone to someone I checked something on my phone so it went off the call screen then when the call was finished and I tried to go back to the call screen to end the call it kept going on stand by which is its normal setting for when your on the phone and wouldn't stay off standby long enough for me to change the screen and end the call, so I had to just switch off the phone. However these instances are far and few between and are what you'd expect with any smart phone as they are complicated phones and do occasionally get themselves confused so you just have to turn them off and on or do a hard reset (take out the battery) and then they go back to normal.
I would recommend this phone and have done before, and am very happy with it and won't be getting a new one until my contract runs out which is in two years by which time this one will be ancient and they'll have a whole new generation of processors for phones.