Hands-on: HTC Desire X review

The HTC Desire X is the company's latest smartphone and one that sits slightly below the recently launched One V but above the HTC Desire C. Pocket-lint was given a chance to have a play with the new device ahead of the official launch.

The phone is aimed at HTC Desire users coming to the end of their two-year contract in the UK and while this isn't pitched anywhere near the flagship status that the Desire had when it first launched, it should still offer those looking for something similar but better a nice upgrade path without having to splash out tonnes of cash - and in recession fuelled times when budgets can be tight, we all know that's important.

HTC presents the Desire X then, something with a little X factor, but nothing too dramatic or exciting - there is the One series for that, don't for get.

Corners have been clearly been cut. Gone is the unibody single-shell skeleton holding everything together for a more traditional non-HTC designed phone built with a removable back cover and, more useful for most, a removable battery.

That's not to say the Desire X is ugly. It carries the same design ethos as the One series of phones. Side by side you can see the designers are thinking the same here. But the materials aren't as "expensive" and that gives the Desire X a slightly cheaper feel and one that might not last as long. If you are hoping for metal and toughness we doubt you'll get it here even though the front bezel is silver and shiny.

Looking at the handset from the front, the proceedings are dominated by the 4-inch screen. The phone itself runs HTC's Sense 4 on top of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but HTC has still opted to include three dedicated touch-sensitive buttons to help users getting around the phone.

Likewise the HTC chin is still present. This is simple, elegant, but very much HTC. There is nothing groundbreaking in the design, nothing that breaks out from the HTC norm, and that for those that want a HTC phone is probably a good thing. This isn't a case of a phone that rudely sits in the new HTC family of devices. 

Around the back the phone's shell is interrupted with a 5-megapixel camera. It doesn't protrude from the chassis, but HTC has made an effort to point it out. It harks back to the HTC Evo, but is merely decoration rather than something with a purpose.

Inside and the specs are perhaps what you would expect for a mid-range phone. There's a 1Ghz S4 Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage expandable via microSD for for files and apps and users will get a 25GB dropbox account too. There is also Beats Audio support as the One Series.

That processor speed puts it below the One V, but didn't seem to have a hugely adverse affect on the performance of the phone when we played with it doing some basic and easy tasks.

It could be faster, but this is mid-range and trying to hit a budget, so expect that.

On the camera side of things corners have been cut here too over the One Series. There is no 720p video recording option, nor do yu get the slow-mo feature of the One series, but again you shouldn't be too worried about this, the people that the Desire X is aimed at probably won't care.

You still get the special effects to add to your images like Sepia or posterise, and it's still pretty quick to snap images.

So there you have it, a quick first impression of the new Desire X, a mid-range phone from HTC that like the Wildfire before it is likely to do well and please those who are looking for a nice easy-to-use phone that has a little bit of smart about it, but as HTC itself admits, nothing "super".

The HTC Desire X will be available in both black and white versions in mid September in the UK. HTC tells us that all the UK operators are very keen to stock it. Those looking for extra protection will also be able to get a range of colourful mesh covers for the phone similar to those announced for the HTC One series. 



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