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HTC Desire X review

  • HTC Desire X
  • HTC Desire X
  • HTC Desire X
  • HTC Desire X test photo
  • HTC Desire X homescreen
  • HTC Desire X app tray
  • HTC Desire X add widget


A good value and stylish Android handset

Review Date: 11 Apr 2014

Price when reviewed: £220

Buy it now for: £412
(see more store prices)


Reviewed By: Chris Finnamore

Our Rating 5 stars out of 5

User Rating 4 stars out of 5

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UPDATED 11th April 2014

The Desire X was a great mid-range phone in its day, but sadly it's no longer available to buy on a contract. You still pick one up for £180 from Handtec if you're desperate to get your hands on this mid-range handset, but we think you'd be better off buying a newer, more modern smartphone to get the best value for your money.

The Motorola Moto G is still our budget handset of choice, as it's both cheaper and much more pleasant to use.

At the time of writing, the Moto G is currently available for £170 SIM free from Expansys, £100 on pre-pay from O2, or free on a £12-per-month contract from Affordable Mobiles.

The Moto G's nippy 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor is also almost twice as fast as the Desire X and it's much more capable of playing 3D games from the Google Play Store as well. Its 4.5in display is superb for a handset of this price, too, and its bright colourful covers give it a lot more personality than the Desire X's plain white rear panel. If you're looking for the best budget smartphone money can buy, the Moto G is the phone for you.


While HTC's Desire brand was originally attached to premium smartphones, these days Desire-branded handsets have a distinctly mid-range feel. The Desire X inhabits the crowded sub-£200 SIM-free market, so we were interested to see how it would stand out.

HTC Desire X

First impressions are, thankfully, good. The Desire X is a smart phone. It's slim and light with a pleasing curved shape, and our review model was the classy white and silver version. We didn't like bending and prying the rear cover off to fit the SIM card and microSD, but it's not like you have to open your phone very often.

HTC Desire X

We were impressed with the Desire X's screen. It's a 4in model with an 800x480 resolution, and the screen's high contrast makes the phone pleasant to use. HTC has modified Android heavily with its Sense interface, and the customisations tend to polarise opinion. Comparing the Desire X side-by-side with a phone running a stock version of Android 4.0, we felt Sense added to the experience. The replacement icons are big, colourful and detailed, and the main apps screen has buttons to show all your apps or filter them by most frequently used or just those you have installed yourself. The phone has around 950MB free to install apps, and if you add a microSD card you can use a dedicated app to move programs to the memory card and free up internal storage.

HTC Desire X add widget
Adding a widget to the Desire X

It's also easy to add Widgets, Apps or Shortcuts to various functions to one of your homescreens; a long press on a spare bit of a homescreen brings up a menu with a list of items you can add, along with thumbnails of your homescreens at the top so you can see where there's room. A 1GHz dual-core processor is standard for a mid-range smartphone, and this is plenty to run Android 4.0 smoothly. The phone completed the Sunspider JavaScript benchmark in 2077ms, which is what we expect from this kind of processor, and while this isn’t a huge score we found the phone fine for normal web browsing.

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