HTC has announced the launch of the new HTC Desire S the follow up to the smash runaway success of 2010 - the HTC Desire and Pocket-lint's was invited to grab some hands-on time with the device before the company's press conference at Mobile World Congress and again at the show.

In the hand the new model moves things along nicely from last year's model without changing the design too much. Now the HTC Desire S, not to be mistaken with the Samsung Galaxy S, the Nexus S, or the iPhone 3GS will come with HTC's unibody design.

That means a single piece of metal with the odd bit of plastic for the aerial and the battery compartment giving you a slick looking phone that's going to be tough enough to withstand some abuse.

Other differences include a front facing camera - which we haven't been able to test, and a the move to Gingerbread. Packing a 1GHz processor and 768MB of RAM, from the quick play we've had, the OS seemed fast although it really is too early to tell, certainly too early to give you our opinion. 

Overall coming away from our first play of the HTC Desire S suggests to us that the specs and build are solid. This is going to be a strong performer in 2011, but whether the phone will be able to perform against the Samsung Galaxy S II, which moves things along a lot is going to be HTC's toughest challenge.

But we can't help thinking that the Desire S has a slightly incremental feeling about it. It is a straight update, so if you've got an existing HTC Sense device, you'll find that the Desire S is pretty much the same - accepting that the performance is going to be better, of course.

Expect a more detailed look of the phone once we've actually had some time to play with it longer than the mere fumble we've had so far.