Aug 13, 2014 Kevin Sebastian
While HTC has said that it’s committed to delivering on high end Android devices like the fantastic HTC One M8, the Chinese manufacturers has undercut almost everyone’s market by selling cheap iterations of Android devices. Keeping that story in mind, we have the HTC Desire 610. The Desire 610 is a mid range 4G phone that’s upgraded from the HTC Desire 601 and priced just about half as the HTC One M8. If you want the functionality of HTC’s Sense 6 and have a smaller budget then this device is what you’d be ideally looking at. However is this a phone you’d want to have ? Here’s how it stacks up.
Built entirely from plastic, the HTC Desire 610 comes in a selection of three, two-toned colors, red, white and blue. However, don’t expect the same premium feel you get from other plastic covered devices like the iPhone 5C or Nokia Lumia. The plastic may be a deterrence but that wasn’t the case here as the phone is a solidly build. The matte finish also gives you a bit of grip on the sides allowing you to hold it better.
The first thing that becomes a turn off, is the size of the phone. Chamfered edges all around and the bezel around the screen doesn’t allow the 4.7 inch screen to stand out. Weighing in at 143.5 grams, the phone body is definitely bulkier when it doesn’t need to be.
While the back surface of the Desire will resist most scratches the screen on the front greases with fingerprints easily. HTC’s Boomsound stereo speakers have the same placement as expected. It’s a surprise really considering that HTC overhauled their design with the M8 and that isn’t reflected here. In any case, if you fancy having a big phone, you’re not going to find any issues with the Desire’s look. On an overall scale, despite their uninspiring body, the build is still top notch but could have been so much better if they focused on the screen more.
The 610 has a 4.7 inch screen with a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels which seems fairly low by today’s standard although it’s decent when it comes to color reproduction and isn’t overly saturated. However, since the display doesn’t stretch across, you’re not going to enjoy viewing images or video especially if you want details to stand out. The lack of sharpness and vibrance to make this device stand out and playing high resolution videos will be the noticeable factor that plays here.
Zooming in on webpage content also has a bit of fuzziness on sight. This is one of the lows of this device that people may reconsider for a purchase. The display should have been one of the things to drive this device’s popularity but all things considered the price also plays a role in this since you get devices at a lower cost and perform a notch better in most areas.
The HTC Desire 610’s 8 MP back camera is one of things worth going for. In well lit conditions the phone’s camera performs exceedingly well. Snapping pictures is a breeze as it focuses pretty quickly. It gives color reproduction with near accuracy. I tested this device from a moving vehicle with the Dubai Skyline, zooming in will show you enough detail on World Trade Center. Automatic settings work well enough but the true gem is shooting manually and when you have more control over focus and lighting, the camera will work wonders for you.
The in-app camera software will also give you enough to play around with. The selfie mode also does well in capturing facial details with its 1.2 mp front camera. However, don’t be surprised to see background details look a bit smudged and over saturated, there’s even a nifty timer setup to let you get that perfect selfie if you ever find the need to look flawless on social media.
Video mode lets you shoot in 1080p and there’s even a slow motion 60 fps mode which comes pretty handy in fast scenarios. There are no complexities using the app and you’ll also enjoy clicking vistas with the panorama mode which I had no trouble using.
The HTC Desire 610 is packed with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor running at 1.2GHz per core. It comes with 1GB of RAM which is enough to get you good performance on overall usage, multimedia and the occasional light gaming. Benchmarks put this right below the Samsung Galaxy S3. While that doesn’t look a lot on paper, HTC’s software optimization have been the best around and you’ll see that especially with Sense 6, running on 4.2.2 Android KitKat. The only time I faced issues were when I ran 3D games for a long duration and it merely lagged for a second or so.
Native HTC apps worked without a hitch, you’ll even enjoy gaming on a 4.7 inch screen but would have appreciated it a bit more if the details stood out. The look and feel of blinkfeed will tell you that you’re getting the software that gives the HTC one M8 its distinct look only that you’re losing where hardware is concerned.
The device has an on board storage of 8GB which is reduced with the internal software . You have the option of expanding memory up to 128 GB with a microSD card slot. It comes equipped with a micro usb 2.0 for charging and you’re going to need a nano SIM for network connectivity. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and NFC are also standard.
HTC Boomsound speakers give this device the look you’d expect from any HTC android phone. It’s quite loud for what it is but you won’t be getting the pristine audio quality and music tends to distort on high volumes- another reason to remind that you may not always get what you pay for. Call quality is spot on and there weren’t any connectivity problems I noticed.
The 2400mAh fixed battery should get you a full day with moderate usage between playing videos, calls and social media apps.
The HTC Desire 600 is something that should have been a proper all round phone that takes all in the fast paced competition in the mid range tier. The design has flaws, the sound isn’t great and the screen isn’t exactly the best. It’s the kind of device that tries when it shouldn’t since it’s taking aspects from one of the best android phones I’ve seen this year.
The problem is while all these factors don’t necessarily make it a bad device, there are plenty of other options to look at that give you more bang for you buck such as the Moto G. The camera and performance still drives this device and it’s reliable. It won’t disappoint people who are looking for the HTC android experience but have a budget just to get the essentials. If you find this device on a deal, it’s something worth looking at
Kevin is a technology enthusiast and writer who will be likely be found lurking on Reddit or out on the street with a camera. You can get in touch with him on Twitter.
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