Android Central

With three new Android devices released in the past few months, HTC have been pretty busy on the 'high end' side of things. Luckily they haven't forgotten about the low end market, as the Desire C launches as the company's new budget offering. 

It may not have the best specs, but it doesn't need them with its target market. What it does offer though is the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, as well as Sense 4.0 which many Android lovers have grown to be fond of.

For the price, which is around the £180 mark on pay-as-you-go, you get reasonable value for money. There's a smooth Android experience with decent build quality, which we have come to expect from HTC.

Taking a further look at what's powering the HTC Desire C, we only get a 600MHz Snapdragon processor, which doesn't sound like much. However, coupled with its 512MB or RAM the device performs surprisingly fluidly. Its 3.5-inch screen may not have the highest resolution, and in comparison to its big brothers, the One X and One S, seem a little washed out. But you are never going to get the same technology in a budget smartphone compared to a £500 one. On-board storage is limited to 4GB.  That's not a huge amount, but it can be expanded with a MicroSD card (up to 32GB cards are supported).

All the main applications that we have seen on the One series appear to be present in the Desire C, so if you are an HTC fan but cannot commit to a huge, powerful, expensive smartphone then this new creation may well suit your needs. We'll have a full review in the near future but my early impressions are very positive. Another good job, HTC. Give yourselves a 'budget' pat on the back from me.

We've got video after the break.


Reader comments

HTC Desire C: First look at the budget smartphone


guess you didn't actually read that article and instead read the headline. I find it interesting that this has expandable storage while it's bigger brothers don't.

I think they were mostly referring to the uber-cheap phones, like the sort of phones that often aren't even sold in North America or Europe, but sell well in Asia. Looking at the world market, rather than just the western market, this is a middle-of-the-range type phone.

They said that they will not trade off the phone quality just to get to the so cheap price. And I see that Desire C, will have the built quality and smoothness comparing to others at the same price-tag. Even when Desire C may is more expensive

After the One X with Sense 4, dual core processor and 1 GB of RAM wonderful multitasking prowess, I can't wait to see how this one with 512 MB RAM, 600 mHz CPU and Sense 4 will do...

They can put sense 4 in this crap but won't upgrade the ReZound to sense 4. Way to support your products HTC

Do people not under stand that HTC WANTED TO GIVE CUSTOMERS AN OS THAT THEY'RE FAMILIAR WITH. Sense 3.6 is very much like Sense 3.5/3.0, 4.0 would be too different for most customers. How hard is it for people to understand that, and the fact that some hardware features aren't on older phones.

no! Qualcomm uses S1 for different CPUs

S1 these days is 45nm MSM7225A, MSM7227A (bothe Cortex A5 with Adreno 200 GPU) and your MSM8x50 that was powering the Nexus1, Evo4G, Desire1, HD2, HD7 etc. The classic S1 is a 60nm Scorpion (something between Coretex A8 and A9) and an Adreno200.

S2 is the MSM8x55/7x30 Serieas with a single Scorpion Core and the Adreno 205 GPU. You find those in Products like the HTC One V, Desire S, Sensation XL and Lumia 900 and i dare say its the best Singlecore ever made

S3 are the Dualcores based on Scorpion cores and Adreno220 like the 8260 in the Sensation. You also find them in most LTE Phones paired with an extra Modem Chip. See Galaxy SII LTE, HTC Rezound, Sony Experia Ion

S4 is the new Krait core in 28nm plus a Adreno 225. Notable examples: One S, One XL (=AT&T X) Galaxy S3 LTE

Coming up: S4pro (AFAIR) with Krait cores, Quadcore option and faster Adreno 3xx GPUs

My only conclusion is that Android Central is on HTC's payroll. No one can honestly recommend this absurdly, grotesquely overpriced crap. It's specially bad that they have ignored alternatives and competitors in the UK, which they conveniently continue to do in this very post.

The T-Mobile Vivacity has been out since late 2011, and will probably get a price cut soon. It offers the same screen size and resolution, with the same megapixels in the camera, and Gingerbread. It's a little over half the price (90 pounds versus 160).

The Orange San Francisco II has been out since late 2011, and offers a 3.5 inch screen, but WVGA resolution. That alone would make it superior, but let's say they're equal. It's 85 pounds and bound to get cuts in the coming months.

The Galaxy Mini II has just come out and offers, again, comparable specs (smaller screen but HVGA) for 130 pounds. Slightly better than the Desire C, but a bad deal anyway.

I was going to talk about the Orange Montecarlo but I don't see it in their website. In Spain it's 150€, or 120 pounds. It offers a 50% bigger screen (4.3 inches) with WVGA resolution, and has been at that price since last year. Again, having been at that price for so long, it's bound to cuts.

Prices of the Xperia U are more difficult to compare because AFAIK it's not available in the UK, but here it's perhaps the best phones under 200 euros/150 pounds. WVGA, dual-core 1GHZ, and good camera as usual from Sony.

And of course, I can't forget about the Huawei G300. 99 pounds, promised upgrade to ICS this summer, 1 GHZ, decent camera, 2.5 GB of internal storage, premium looks, and a gorgeous 4 inch, WVGA screen.

As for "user experience", most of the phones above run stock Android rather than Sense. That's about the only difference. You're not going to get a warmer feeling just because the brand says HTC...or perhaps you will, if you're so sensitive to branding.

Why doesn't this blogger talk about the competition? Why does he steer clueless visitors towards a disappointing, under-specced, over-priced product with no selling point other than a brand? The Desire C, with those specs and price, probably made sense two years ago.

And it's not a fluke or a coincidence due to UK taxes or whatever. In India, this junk is selling for 14.500 rupees - again, more than twice as phones with similar specs. You're really paying a massive premium for ICS and the HTC logo...especially considering that with an HVGA screen, many of the ICS apps will barely work.

I will try to not  take the 'HTC Payroll' as an insult. 

All i was doing was giving my opinion and to be honest I don't see HTC selling loads on PAYG. However, for consumers that walk into a phone store looking to upgrade to their first smartphone the Desire C stands every chance of doing well due to its look/feel and monthly contract price. HTC's brand awareness here in the UK is well established and that sells phones  

Good day to you sir. 

this would have been quite a good post, if you would not disqualify yourself with pontless insults

Of course there are old phones on the market which are better in certain specs while beeing sold cheaper. What does this proof? how is this making the Desire C a bad product? In your world, customers are driven to a product at the end of its livecycle, whith no support going forward, an outdated software, a questionable user interface. Those still may be fine phones for some people, but why the generalisation?

On the other hand, there is HTC who have proofed over and over again to be the Android vendor with the quickest software updates (Sensation had ICS before Google own Nexus S had it officiallly), the longest support (even a 2010 model like the Desire HD will get ICS). The prices quoted here are not the streetprice. Everybody whos mission is not to bash this phone, will realisze that it will have a streetprice of below 150 pounds pretty quickly. It has great looks, it has the beautifull Sense4 software, still is able to run all new ICS only apps like Chrome. It is actually a strength not a weakness that HTC manages to get a decent performance out of a 600MHz CPU insted of relying on brute battery sucking force. And speaking of the CPU i can see how little people know about CPUs these days. An MSM7225A is actually a 45NM ARM v7. Even at 600 MHz it will easily outpeferom those 60nm 832MHz ARM v6 Cpus that those older models use while consuming less power

The Desire C is not for me, its not for you, but i would really recommend it to Android beginners on a budget over any of those older pieces. Its not about horsepower per euro, its about a well designed package

A removable battery and expandable memory on this budget phone but not on the One X!! Are you kidding HTC?? Really??

Different markets. The high end market apparently doesn't care about removable batteries or expandable storage (e.g. iPhone 4S). The benefit is that you have a unibody design that is likely more durable than a design with more removable parts.

I'm getting a S3 because I care about these things, but that doesn't mean that it's a bizarre or unwelcome design for a large portion of non-techies that are using smartphones.

so you are a phone hardware developer who knows how to make a slim and non-flimsy (not like Galaxy S3) 4.x inch phone thats both beautifull and sturdy with exchangable battery? Well, the good folks at HTC willl alwazys have a job for you. Ore are you just trolling?

After directly experiencing some chinese market phones from Dapeng and Dolphin that either at the same price have better and much larger screens and cpu's (and even ram and storage) or at half the price easily match the specs I am positively underwhelmed.

Can't believe a phone like this will have icecream sandwich and my Droid x 2 won't .....can't wait until I can get a GS3:)....