We had the chance to preview HTC’s big new launches ahead of IFA, and the two new Desire models – one a feature-packed mid-ranger and the other a simple, cost-effective budget blower – certainly have a lot to offer anyone who fancies the stunning HTC One but can’t cover the cost.
HTC Desire 601
HTC’s Desire 601 is the new mid-range Desire handset, which will ‘bring HTC One tech to more affordable levels’ according to the company itself. The social media/news-oriented BlinkFeed interface, BoomSound dual speakers and Zoe camera mode are all present (although there’s no ultrapixel sensor on the five megapixel camera). You also get 4G support, so you can take on the latest speedy data deals from O2, Vodafone and EE.
The Desire 601 packs a dual-core Snapdragon S4 1.4GHz processor backed up by 1GB of RAM, which should handle the latest apps quite nicely. We browsed the web and checked out some photos on the 4.5-inch qHD screen and it’s certainly sharp and colourful for a mid-range model , as well as spacious enough to make handling comfortable.
You can grab the Desire 601 in standard white and black as well as a funky red hue, and all three models sport a soft-touch surface and a reasonably hefty 130g frame. The back clips off to reveal the battery, SIM and MicroSD memory card slots (the latter expanding the 8GB of storage space). That 2100mAh battery will hopefully provide all-day battery life, and we’ll be sure to test it with some hardcore use in our review.
We’re impressed at this point by the great range of features HTC has crammed inside the Desire 601, especially considering how much we love the BoomSound and Zoe mode of the HTC One and One Mini. Here’s hoping the Desire 601 lives up to its promises.
HTC Desire 300
Taking it down a notch, the HTC Desire 300 is the entry-level smartphone of the new group. Despite its cut-price cost (yet to be revealed by operators), the Desire 300 packs a 4.3-inch widescreen VGA display, offering surprising space for ease of use. The BlinkFeed interface is present again, so you can see what your mates and the world and general is up to in an easily-digestable format.
A dual core Snapdragon S4 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM should offer basic performance for your apps and web browsing, although is likely to be outdated quite quickly. You get a 5MP camera and a front-facer for profile pics, plus a MicroSD slot to expand the 4GB of storage. The 1650mAh battery is likely to run out before the end of the day if you hammer it with more than the occasional text, however.
We weren't allowed to take any shots of the Desire 300 as the model on show was just a prototype, but we'll bring you more as soon as we can!
Other HTC news
The HTC One and One Mini have also been launched in a brand new blue colour, following the gorgeous red model that's exclusive to Phones 4U. Availability will be announced soon, including whether the blue model is yet another exclusive.
HTC also launched a number of new accessories, including its new BoomBass speaker. This cubic portable speaker has a built-in battery, for carrying it around and blasting your tunes on the bus (Mobile Choice does not condone bothering bus loads of people with your dubstep tunes). It will only pair with HTC BoomSound phones and works in partnership with the dual speakers, slotting into a neat slide-out tray. The BoomBass pairs to your phone via NFC and then sends low frequency tones via Bluetooth, for a richer sound and more powerful volume.
Another new accessory is the HTC Plus remote control, which pairs with your phone and acts as a bluetooth headset as well as an infra-red sensor.
The HTC Fetch is the final new accessory, a tiny Bluetooth keychain that connects to your phone wirelessly and has a small button which rings your phone when pushed - an easy way to track your pesky mobile when it hides away.