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HTC Desire C review

Seth Barton
12 Mar 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

A classy design and Android 4, but the screen and processor disappoint



Android 4.0, 3.5in 320x480 display

HTC currently makes some of the most desirable-looking handsets around, notably all three smartphones in its One range - the HTC One X, HTC One S and HTC One V are all stunners. It wasn't a surprise then when the less expensive HTC Desire C followed the trend, though we were impressed to find Android 4.0 running on it.

HTC Desire C

It looks pretty smart for a budget smartphone

At £150 on pay-as-you-go, the Desire C is a budget handset, though still a step up in price from the real cheap end of the market, and it looks it. The back plate, has a silky smooth finish. This blends almost seamlessly with the silver screen surround, and HTC is obviously trying to mimic to polycarbonate unibody designs seen in its more expensive models - and with some success.

HTC Desire C

It's smooth finish and rounded edges makes the Desire C a pleasure to hold

The Desire brand was once used as HTC's flagship, but those days are certainly gone now. The Desire C uses only a single-core processor and that only runs at a timid 600MHz. It has 512MB of RAM and only 4GB of internal storage. This makes browsing pretty sluggish and many games run at a crawl, as does Google Maps.

There's little in the way of extras either, with no HDMI output and no flash for the five-megapixel camera. None of these are a disaster on a budget handset, but a big disappointment is the measly 320x480 screen resolution. This makes everything on the 3.5in screen look soft at best, and blurry at worst. Small text, which would be readable on many handsets, is rendered an undecipherable mush. The screen isn't particularly bright either and colours don't look as vibrant as we'd like.

HTC Desire C

With the SIM and microSD slots tucked inside, there's little to see except the USB port

The three touch-sensitive buttons below the screen hint at the Desire C's saving grace. This is the first budget smartphone we've seen to come with Google's current operating system: Android 4.0. This is a huge plus over other models, with everything running smoother than it has any right to with such a slow processor. Android 4.0 provides numerous extras, such as easier application switching, and the option to jump straight from the lock screen to common apps, such as the camera.

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