HTC Desire 816

It's plastic, it's made by HTC, and we experienced it firsthand at tonight's AT&T 'Hands-On.' Meet the Desire 610.

Just hours after its formal announcement, the HTC Desire 610 made its first stateside appearance this evening at tonight's AT&T "Hands-On" holiday preview here in New York City. The budget-conscious device, which packs a 4.7-inch qHD display, Snapdragon 400 processor, 8MP camera and LTE connectivity, will arrive on the carrier's shelves on July 25 for the cool price of $200 with no annual commitment. We spent a bit of time with the 610 and while it doesn't match the higher-end HTC One M8 in style or functionality, it still packs a hefty punch.

Donned in all plastic, the Desire 610 feels light and manageable in the hand, much more so than the M8, but its portability isn't without consequence: the plastic finish is a total fingerprint magnet, and while it appears similar to the iPhone 5C, it feels a bit more fragile.

You'll make sacrifices with the 610: the display, with a qHD resolution, is pixelated and dim, yet still manages to do its job. And camera buffs might be disappointed to lose HTC's dual camera, though with 8 megapixels (up from the 4 "Ultrapixels" on the M8), you should still be able to capture nice shots. The last-gen Snapdragon processor and 1GB of RAM certainly won't be a problem, though, as during my time with the 610 it felt incredibly fast, smooth, and responsive.

The real draw of the 610 is its affordability: for $200, you'll snag a solid, well-built smartphone without having to sign a contract. In fact, you can even sign up for AT&T's prepaid GO service with the 610. All in all, it's a hell of a deal, especially for HTC fans who have been eying the M8 but are hesitant to splurge.

We'll dive deeper into the 610 in the coming weeks, and you can get your hands on your very own on July 25 in stores and online at For now, check out the gallery below and the hands on above.