The Desire lineup of HTC smartphones have proved to be quite popular in various emerging markets in Asia and Europe, but haven’t gained a lot of traction in the US market, in part due to the lack of availability of these devices at rates subsidized by network carriers. This is has slowly begun to change, with an HTC Desire smartphone finally making its way to a US network carrier, at a more than reasonable price point, with or without a contract. Here’s our comprehensive review of the HTC Desire 610!
When it comes to the design, you’ll notice quite a few similarities between the Desire 610 and its big brother, the Desire 816, if only at a smaller scale. It’s made entirely of plastic, with a glossy finish on the back, and a matte finish along the sides. The glossy plastic back is prone to fingerprints and light scratches, and makes the device quite slippery, but the matte finish along the sides does help a little bit with grip. You’re certainly not getting the premium feel that you do with the flagship HTC One (M8), but the Desire 610 is still a solidly built phone.
All the buttons and ports are found at their typical positions for an HTC phone, with the power button and headphone jack up top, the microUSB port at the bottom, the volume rocker on the right, and the SIM tray and microSD card slot on the left side. Even though it is a low-end smartphone, you do get HTC’s signature front-facing BoomSound speakers with the Desire 610 as well, which may not boast the quality of its more expensive siblings, but is still appreciated nonetheless. You do get huge bezels around the display though, which is definitely a turn off, and makes the phone bigger than it should be.
The HTC Desire 610 features a 4.7-inch LCD display with a 960 x 540 resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 234 ppi. With such a low resolution, pixels are definitely are noticeable when reading text or looking at graphics, and you’re not going to be able to watch content in HD. The color calibration is also questionable, and the viewing angles aren’t the best either. It does get pretty bright though, so outdoor visibility isn’t an issue, but other than that, this display doesn’t have a lot to offer. With a display of this size, I would have certainly preferred a 720p resolution to really make it stand out.
Under the hood is a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, clocked at 1.2 GHz, and backed by 1 GB of RAM. Even with its low-end specifications, the phone performs quite well, and I didn’t run into any significant issues with lag. Swiping and scrolling is still pretty smooth, apps opened relatively quickly, multitasking wasn’t a problem, and playing games was fine, without any major hiccups. It probably does help that the low resolution of the display isn’t as taxing on the processing package, but the streamlined HTC Sense 6 is also a contributing factor to this smooth performance.
When it comes to the battery life, the Desire 610 comes with a 2,040 mAh battery, which seems quite small, but performed admirably. I was able to get through a full day of usage without much difficulty, while using the phone for texting, browsing the web, checking social networks, and playing a few games here and there.
The Desire 601 features an 8 MP rear camera with LED flash, and a basic 1.3 MP front-facing camera. As far as the camera software is concerned, you get a simplistic and clean interface, but includes standard settings like ISO, exposure value, white balance, HDR, and more. Of course, you won’t find features like uFocus, and you’ll have to get the HTC Zoe application from the Google Play Store to create Zoes.
The picture quality, however, is pretty unimpressive. Photos lack a lot of sharpness, basically appearing noisy, and very soft around the edges. Colours looked washed out, and low light photography is practically out of the question. The camera will do if you’re looking to post pictures to social networks, but that’s about all you can expect from it.
On the software side of things, the Desire 610 runs Android 4.4.2 Kitkat, with HTC Sense 6 on top. If you’ve used any recent HTC smartphone, you’ll feel right at home with the software experience on the Desire 610. Features such as the vertical scrolling app drawer, BlinkFeed, and HTC’s various customization options all make a return here. Since the Desire 610 is available from AT&T, there are also a bunch of carrier applications pre-installed, but bloatware aside, you still get a clean and smooth software experience, which has been a big selling point of the streamlined HTC Sense 6 UI.
4.7-inch LCD, 960 x 540 resolution, 234 ppi
1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
8 GB, expandable up to 128 GB
8 MP rear camera with LED flash, 1.3 MP front camera
Android 4.4.2 Kitkat with HTC Sense 6
43.1 x 70.5 x 9.6 mm, 143.5 grams
Pricing and Final Thoughts
The HTC Desire 610 is available now from AT&T for just 99 cents with a two-year contract, but can also be picked up at its full price of $200, which is a price point that gives the Moto G a run for its money. While the display may not be as good, the Desire 610 does offer LTE connectivity, which makes it stand out in the crowd of similar low-end smartphones.
So there you have it – our review of the HTC Desire 610! If you’re in the market for the latest and greatest, this certainly isn’t what you’re looking for. But if you’re looking for a device at a reasonable price point that just works, while offering solid build quality, decent battery life, and LTE connectivity, you should definitely give the Desire 610 a chance.