Hands On: HTC’s 3 New Desire Phones

15 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

HTC Desire 520, 526, 626 hands-on.

BELLEVUE, Wash., July 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — HTC America Inc., a leader in mobile innovation, announces the release of four new HTC Desire LTE smartphones – the HTC Desire 626, HTC Desire 626s, HTC Desire 526 and HTC Desire 520 – designed to make premium smartphones affordable and accessible to all.

The struggling smartphone company unveiled a trio of new budget smartphones designed to be affordable, but offer much of the software experience from its premium One devices. We’ve reviewed Desire phones on Sprint, Virgin, Boost, AT&T, and Verizon in the past year, and they’ve really varied in quality; Verizon’s Desire 612 was a great value with a lot of personality, while Sprint’s Desire 510 disappointed us in almost every way. HTC brings many of the same features found in its flagship HTC One® M9 to a premium and modern design that will withstand the test of time. “At HTC, we don’t think you should have to sacrifice or settle if you are looking for an affordable smartphone. The phones share very similar specs with the main differences — besides their designs — being screen size, amount of RAM, LTE antenna (carrier specific ones) and NFC.

The 626 is made from plastic, but it’s got so much charm mostly because it comes in a number of colors on the many post-paid and pre-paid carriers that will carry it. That includes a bunch of software features introduced with the HTC One (M9), such as the new themes, app suggester, camera and gallery apps, and enhanced Blinkfeed news feed.

Of the three phones, the 626/626s is the one that stands out and could attract some attention—if it performs, which the earlier HTC Desire 510 didn’t. The 626 (postpaid)/626S (prepaid) is downright desirable, because its body has personality; it’ll come in a range of two-tone designs, depending on carrier, with blue, red, silver, black, and white all playing roles.

Powering its 5-inch 720p display is a 1.1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD) and a 2,000 milliamp-hour (mAh) battery. The Desire 526 is a Verizon exclusive, and it sounded like some of its specs may have been helpful Verizon requests—for instance, giving it 1.5GB of RAM to make Android version upgrades easier. Of course, I only had a very limited time with it in a controlled conference room, so I couldn’t really test things like image noise and color accuracy. HTC One Gallery syncs with Facebook, Flickr, Google Drive and Dropbox accounts and brings photos together in a single location to make finding, searching and viewing easier than ever.

Zoe®, a signature HTC app that comes preloaded, makes it especially easy to share visual stories of experiences with friends and family in a more dynamic way. I didn’t get to power on the 520 during my hands-on because the software wasn’t the final build, but it’s definitely the cheapest-feeling of the bunch.

That’s a statement Nigel Newby-House, HTC’s executive director of North America strategy & planning wouldn’t complain about. “We absolutely treat [the Desire phones] like a hero,” Newby-House says. “We wanted to continue the identity and look and feel of an HTC product. So we do want users, if they cover up the logos on the front on one of our products, and saw it from five or six feet from a retail store — we want people to be able to say it’s HTC.” HTC says there’s pent up demand for more affordable phones. The pursuit of brilliance is at the heart of everything we do, inspiring best-in-class design and game-changing mobile experiences for consumers around the world. The new Desire phones will slow the blood from gushing out of HTC’s tanking value and marketshare until its next flagship launches next year, but will it be too little too late? HTC is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE: 2498). www.htc.com To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/htc-makes-premium-smartphones-affordable-with-new-htc-desire-lineup-300113484.html

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