We got hands-on with the Desire X, HTC’s new Android Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone aimed squarely between the HTC One superphones and the lower-rent Desire C smartphone.
This four-inch Android Ice Cream Sandwich phone is sleekly designed, its plastic chassis ergonomically compact in the hand, with a soft, almost downy feel to the matt coating. At 118.5x62.3x 9.3mm and 114g, it's very pocket-friendly and actually feels smaller than the Desire, a 3.7-inch smartphone.
The WVGA display stretches nearly to the edge of the body with a minimal bezel. There are just three touch-sensitive icons at the base for the standard three Ice Cream Sandwich buttons.
Optical lamination on the screen is meant to cut glare and increase visibility in direct sunlight by minimising the distance between the LCD panel and the glass of the screen itself.
The slightest of chins pays homage to HTC's original Android flagship, the Hero. It runs on a standard rather than Micro SIM as per the One series.
Android Ice Cream Sandwich is slick and streamlined with high-res text and icons, while home screen widgets are scrollable on the touch display. From the lock screen, you can customise four shortcuts to unlock and head directly into an app.
The keyboard is as good as we’ve come to expect from HTC, with soft haptic feedback vibrating gently and a great auto-correct facility.
Another design note we loved was the metal strip around the camera lens – black on black and silver/blue on white.
The five-megapixel camera borrows a lot of tech from the more expensive One series, including the low light sensor and wider aperture lens (f/2.0). Like the One series, there’s zero shutter lag so action shots are easily captured, while 'burst mode' lets you take up to two frames a second for a blow-by-blow capture of a scene.
We took a few photos indoors and were impressed with the sharp clarity and good colour reproduction.
Beats Audio powers the music here, while Music Hub syncs with both PCs and Macs so you can easily transfer your media library. Higher voltage devoted to the audio out means better sound through headphones, though HTC hasn’t bundled the high-end Beats-optimised earbuds to keep costs down.
Cost-wise, this smartphone comes in between the HTC One V and Desire C, with HTC targetting users of the mid-range Desire or Wildfire coming to the end of their two-year contract.
The HTC Desire X is a super sleek smartphone that’s as well-built as it is feature-packed. We look forward to a full review soon!