Having taken delivery of the HTC Desire yesterday, it would be a mistake to describe myself terribly shocked by the features it abilities of the device. I did enough research before delivery to know most of the key details. Nonetheless, I wasn’t quite prepared for the areas in which the Desire significantly betters the iPhone 3GS.

The screen is spectacular. The sharpness of AMOLED, coupled with the brilliantly defined blacks, simply aren’t replicated in either the shop dummies or the iPhone. I appreciate that the Retina Display in the iPhone 4 has amazing resolution, but I’m really delighted with the screen on this phone.

A lot has been made of the disparity between the iTunes App Store and the Android Market. It’s true that the long tail isn’t quite as long with Android, and notable functionalities such as Skype aren’t officially here yet. But free apps like Nimbuzz provide Skype calling functions, and there really are very few serious deficiencies.  If anything, the Market arguably does a better job of pointing users in the direction of things they want.

The keyboard will take a little getting used to, though I find it slightly faster to use than iPhone, since alternative characters are mostly accessible with holds rather than keyboard swaps. If you’ve never gone touch screen before, you’ll probably just learn one system and find all others weird.

I think the easiest way to describe what HTC has done here is to say that it takes the best ideas in the iPhone 3GS, makes them run better and retains the best functions of traditional mobiles. The flashing status LED is brilliant, simple and needlessly absent from iPhone.

It’s not as pretty as iPhone, but it is significantly more functional, at least as far as I have seen thus far.  In the coming days I will compose a few more thoughts on battery life, media performance and how it operates as a phone, but right now, I don’t know if I’m in the market for an iPhone 4. And that is a surprise.