HTC Desire X review

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HTC Desire X


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. 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.

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 customization tend to polarize 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. 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. Like many HTC phones, the Desire X has Beats audio branding. When you play a music track, a B icon appears in the notification bar to show Beats is active, and also gives you the option to turn it on or off. Beats seems to add a lot of treble and bass and some reverb, and can suit some music, but we could find the sound tiring to listen to. The included headphones are uncomfortable and have little bass, so would definitely benefit from an upgrade to a better pair, such as the £30 Soundmagic E10 set.

The Desire X has a 5-megapixel camera, and it takes reasonable photos. Images were sharp with accurate colours, but pictures were slightly over-exposed leading to blown-out highlights in the sky. The phone also copes reasonably well with low light, showing less noise than other mid-range and budget phones such as the Huawei G 330. The camera isn't up there with that fitted to high-end phones such as the Samsung Galaxy SIII , but its perfectly acceptable for a budget handset. One of our test shots from the Desire X Thanks to its slim build, stylish looks and snappy performance, the
HTC Desire X is a pleasure to use.

It doesn't have the chunky build quality of the Sony Xperia U , which also has a slightly better screen, but the Desire X's larger 4in display makes web browsing more comfortable. It's also free on  £13.50-per-month contract, so is good value. It's an inexpensive smartphone that doesn't feel particularly
compromised, so wins a Budget Buy award.
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