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.


Reader comments

Hands-on with the HTC Desire 610 for AT&T


Pixelated dim low resolution screen? Yep I'll still be suggesting to moto G to friends over this. Sorry htc, you had me excited until the screen. It needed a 720p screen with sunlight visibility.

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The way I see it, there are plenty of lower cost android phones than this (granted they are going to be pretty terrible). So if a person is looking at this phone purely on cost they will see some 3.2" ZTE phone for $60 and pick that one. Now if they had one of those terrible $60 phones and are looking to *step-up* to a nicer mid-range experience they land here. People looking to step up to a better experience (but don't have the cash to go to a top-tier device) do care about the screen, that is one of the reasons they are looking in this range.

I could've been a worthy Moto G competitor, and it looks to be extremely promising, until you see the qHD display.

Given how the G has a 720p screen, I think the G still wins.

You're getting there, HTC. Just make the screen at least 720p and you'll have a winner.

Umm don't care about the shitty software, does it have a great camera and display?

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Get it, root it, wait for xda developers to post a rom, put xposed installer on it, enjoy and tweak it. android tuner takes care of any performance issues, gl tools takes care of the screen, tinted statusbar makes any app unique, xprivacy , for security, and many more modules that do interesting things. As long as you root, you can also use the modules on the rom that came with the phone. I look for hardware specs on a midrange phone, cause I know I'm gonna tweak it anyway.

wow thats one hell of an ugly phone D: even the sgs3 (which is over 2 years old) looks better and has less bezels. lg g3 beat will be the mid range phone of 2014

You must be the next cordawgfrito, getting pissed at people who don't like bezel because you have an M8.

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I'd still rather have the Moto G LTE! We got one for the girlfriend a week ago and she loves it! However HTC did the right thing by keeping the speakers in the front of the phone so go HTC! Plus this is just one more step to GOOD cheaper phones. It looks like a great device IMO either way.

The display thing needs to be settled. There are many sites reporting that AT&T's version of the Desire 610 has something close to a WVGA (480 x 854) display instead of the qHD (540x960) display on the international version. Maybe this is why it looks so pixelated. A 4.7" WVGA display is just ridiculous.

If this phone had the qHD display and the front-facing camera could record 720p video, I'd consider it but with a WVGA screen and a VGA front-facing camera, even the Kyocera Hydro Icon/Vibe has much better hardware for less money.

Well the phone isn't for the discriminating buyer it's a gophone and a super cheap contract phone. It will put a lot of working class people in the loop. Its probably dependable and somewhat capable. Not that different than the old Galaxy sll skyrocket which was a sweet phone.