We weren't expecting the HTC Desire S smart phone to go on sale in the UK until next month, but it seems online retailer Clove has stolen a march on its traditional retail rivals. It's saying the Android handset will be available in the next fortnight.
"We are expecting stock of the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) handset to be here in the last week of March, which is a bit earlier than initially expected," explains the company in a blog post.
Clove is selling the Desire S for £406.80, including VAT, with that late-March delivery date. UK network Three has the phone slated for an April release, as does Orange, with Vodafone and T-Mobile expected to start selling it that month too.
Last month, Amazon UK kicked off its own pre-order process for the Desire S, with a list price of £420 and an expected release date of 18 April. The release date remains the same, but Amazon is now quoting a price of £400, undercutting Clove slightly.
Why might you want to get in early? The Desire S has an aluminium case, a 1GHz processor, 768MB RAM, 1GB of storage and a 5-megapixel camera, along with a 3.7-inch, 480x800-pixel screen.
It'll have the latest Android software, which HTC says could be the 2.4 version of Gingerbread, although Clove reckons it's 2.3 -- we'll see when it arrives. HTC's latest version of its helpful Sense UI will be overlaid on Android.
As we explained in our comparison with the original HTC Desire, the new version is slightly lighter and smaller than its predecessor, and while both have a 1GHz processor, the Desire S has a faster GPU along with more RAM, so games should fly on it. Also new is a front-facing camera for video calls, while HTC reckons you'll get an extra 190 minutes of talktime out of the Desire S' battery.