HTC Desire 300

Just enough internal hardware to get by, with much nicer external hardware than you expect for the price

HTC announced the Desire 300 alongside the Desire 601 for specific markets back in September 2013. While it isn't a device that many of us will ever see or strive to own — we're more drawn to new colors of the HTC One and One Mini — it's an important phone for HTC to have on offer in places where disposable income for a phone isn't at the $650 level.

The internal specs aren't going to blow you away. We're looking at a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, just 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage (with an SDcard slot). The display, while only 480 x 800, is 4.3-inches and looks great, just as we've come to expect from HTC devices. The internals are enough to push around Android 4.1 with Sense 5 (including BlinkFeed) and a scaled-back set of visual features. It still feels like a full-blown set of HTC software, but you can tell where cuts were made to save performance.

Although it may not have widescale availability it can be picked up with little hassle, thanks to Amazon, for $249 (just don't count on getting 3G here) in the U.S. The Desire 300 is targeting even lower price points where it's being sold directly, however — we saw it go on sale in Australia for just $179 AUD (about $159 USD) at the end of last year. At those prices, people stop being so critical on the internal specs and simply pay attention to how it feels and whether or not it offers a minimum level of performance.

HTC Desire 300 HTC Desire 300

HTC Desire 300 HTC Desire 300

The Desire 300 offers that minimum level of performance at the sub-$200 price point, and does so without looking generic or feeling cheap. Those are the hardware attributes HTC is known for, and they are executed amazingly on this phone. Even though the soft touch back cover is removable, the device feels solid and looks great — like it costs twice as much as it does — just like other HTC handsets. You get nice design touches of metal, chamfered edges and the same port and button layout as other high-end handsets.

Again understanding that not many of us will ever strive to pop our main SIM card into a Desire 300, it's certainly worth seeing that this is the level of hardware currently on offer for less than $200 unlocked. Along with examples like the Moto G, these devices aren't just painful stepping stones on the way to higher-end devices — they're real, bona fide smartphone offerings that people can use productively on a daily basis.

HTC Desire 300 HTC Desire 300

HTC Desire 300 HTC Desire 300

HTC Desire 300 HTC Desire 300

HTC Desire 300 HTC Desire 300

HTC Desire 300 HTC Desire 300

HTC Desire 300 HTC Desire 300


Reader comments

Desire 300: This is how HTC attacks the low-end market


512MB and 4GB of internal storage hahahahahahaha. -.-
So it will never get updated, eh?

Sent from Android Central App

Yes, but $20 is not a lot of money to save considering the hardware tradeoffs. With the Moto G you get twice the internal storage, twice the RAM, a better processor (quad core SD 400 instead of dual core SD 400), a larger, higher resolution screen, and Android 4.4. Pretty much the only reasons to get this phone over the Moto G is if you absolutely have to have an SD card slot or you love HTC's software.

Sorry but I got to agree now I KNOW it has a micro SD card slot and I KNOW you can't get the moto g everywhere in the world but you get less memory, blah display, not even as much RAM, worse internals all around and its cheaper or the same the choice is clear this is not how to tackle the low end market at least in the US and besides for ANY android skin I doubt 512 mb is enough this is not the way to do it HTC try again

Sent from my Nexus 7 2013 or iPhone 5

Android 4.1?? huh what?? Moto G beat this device in every single aspect. price,spec,OS version, screen etc

At this price point, I don't think looks should trump function. Other than the inclusion of a Micro SD card slot, there's no reason to buy this over the Moto G.

Problem is the Moto G is not available all markets where price is an important factor..

Posted via Android Central App

i would take functionality over look... looks can go bad in just few months...

also moto G is not a bad looking phone

I don't know. I like the look of the Moto G, personally. That along with the specs in comparison to this phone and the price point can all but makes this phone from HTC irrelevant.

I really think Moto G has set the standard for what it means to be a good, non high end phone. Sadly, it just seems like this phone is below that standard (and for a higher price).

Posted through my Nexus 7!

I know there are price points to meet I get that. That said for 20-40 bucks more you can have a Moto G. Never mind that the internals area darn sight better on the G. HTC this is not the way to do it.

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But but but... This has an SD card slot and removable battery. I thought that's what the people want. Oh nvm I get it now. HTC can never do anything right. /S

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It's not that they can't do anything right. It's that for everything they do right they shoot themselves in the foot for more things wrong.

Yes good removable battery, yes good Micro SD.

Bad poor screen, bad pitiful cpu, bad low ram, bad bloated skin, ect.

That is why everyone is hammering HTC on this one. It is all very well deserved to.

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Yeah... I actually like HTC and think the One is one of the three best Android phones you can buy right now, and I can't think of a GOOD reason to get this over the Moto G. Yeah, yeah removable storage and battery. A lot of good that will do you when you can't install any apps because your 4 GB of storage is full or your phone is lagging because they are trying to run skinned 4.1 on 512 MB of RAM.

Shouldn't this be marked as a sponsored post? Most of your statements make no sense in light of the Moto G! This is just a complete mockery of a device, worse than even Samsung mini devices!

This phone has nothing to do with the Moto G. Completely different markets. We just thought it'd be cool to take a look at it, especially since nobody else bothers. :p

Posted via Android Central App

HTC should be flogged for releasing ANY phone that has just 512mb RAM. Seriously?? And the author of this story finds some merit in this phone? Amazing. You can't have a phone like the Moto G out there and still hope to offer anything worth the buying when you only put in 512mb. It does have the card slot and removable batter, which is nice and which many ppl do want, but for GOD's sake HIC, just cough up the few extra pennies and slap in at least a GB of RAM! It's no flippin wonder this company is going down the toilet. and this story was a waste of digital ink for an unworthy phone, budget niche or not.

SD slot is useless with only 4GB of storage. That won't left space for important apps to update, not even the preinstalled ones and many apps like Facebook and WhatsApp won't allow to change to SD. It's crazy. There's only 1GB of space left or less. And you are right, we shouldn't support HTC with this stuff. Not to mention, the phone is technically "outdated" even before being sold.. 4.1 but people out there would still buy it because it actually looks nice.

Sent from Android Central App

That's why I sold both my HTC ones and got a moto x for me and a moto g for my wife, with $$ to spare!

Posted via Android Central App

512 mb of RAM is not enough. There are other low end phones out there that have 1 gb. Android doesn't run well on 512 mb, but I haven't seen how it works on lower RAM Kit Kat yet.

uhhm, surely its android 4.4 that is optimised for use with low end/ram devices... why ship with 4.1 this is ridiculous

The Moto G has shown manufacturers the way to conquer the low to mid end of the market. The only thing the G is truly lacking is 4G and an SD card slot.

The lack of an SD card slot is a Google thing to push their cloud services. Which, I wish they would give options but probably won't.

As for 4G LTE, they will probably include that in some future iteration, when the price of LTE radios comes down some more. Expect a small price bump even when they do.

Any manufacturer that strays too far from the Moto G model in specs, performance et al,... will fail.

The days of 4GB, 512MB phones being sufficient for the low to mid tiers,... are long gone.

This device isn't meant for me. For someone who is looking to save every buck possible while providing the minimum functionality, sure, I get that. There are many price conscious shoppers all over the world. Sometimes you just need the least expensive hardware you can get at the time you need it. Sacrifices will be made.

But for the life of me I don't get why HTC would release the device with 4.1. Maybe production was delayed or release ran long (things we who are not in charge of million dollar corporations do not always know or have respect for) but with bare minimum specs it shows very little respect for the customers they wish to serve by not including the most efficient version of the OS.

That possible lack of respect is what bugs me, not the specs it ships with.

Posted via Android Central App

Yeah, a phone like this is a PRIME candidate for KitKat, with it's overall lower memory footprint, and optimizations for phones with 512mb of RAM. I don't see why they would (or should even be able to, really) go back to such an older version when a newer version that was pretty much made with such a device in mind, is available.

It's basically like HP or Gateway or whomever putting XP on one of their $299 laptop specials at Walmart- sure, it was made for lower specs, because it was made when machines only had those lower specs. Now, Win 8 has been optimized to run better, even with less (but still achievable by the minimum specced machines of today) specs while providing users with the same modern experience.

None of the PC manufacturers are even allowed by MS to build new machines with outdated Win versions, and at this point phone MFGs shouldn't be allowed by Google to put out new hardware with old versions of Android anymore. That'd help close the fragmentation gap pretty quick, and help drive the platform forward by helping ensure that as everyone upgrades devices (even those on a budget buying low end phones) they are getting the latest software.

Like Phil said China. Chinas availability maybe more then the moto g and also as stated it may be even cheaper then the moto g which more people in that country would benefit from while having a device that functions well and performs just fine. Other countries have different needs.

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I've always thought that 200$ is the right price point for a device that can so easily be lost, stolen or broken. I think these devices are going to start putting a real hurt on the hero phone lines.

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Just when you think HTC gets it ... The rude awaking that they're clueless. Google should buy them and put them out of their misery

Nexus 4 - CM10.1.3

Its more like android central don't have much to put on the site so let's show this to fill up the space. Like others stated this phone don't have a chance in the US market.

Yeah, because the US is the only important market in the world!

Side note: There are 1,2 billion people in China.

Posted via Android Central App

4.1, 512 MB, 4 GB? Was this meant for release in 2011? Won't recommend this to anyone over the Moto G.

4.1 will probably be the last update smh.

This message was brought to you by the numbers 0 and 1

Android 4.1 was released in may 2012.
Other than that, these are more like 2010-era specs, with a newer operating system and a new ui

Posted via Android Central App

The WVGA screen doesn't bother me, the processor doesn't bother me, the OS version doesn't bother me (since you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between 4.1 and 4.4 under Sense anyway), however the 512MB of RAM is a total turn off.

I recently used an HTC One V while my G2 was being repair and all I can say to 512MB of RAM is NOOO.

4GB of space is also stupid, its very quickly filled indeed. One decent game and a few photo apps and your done.

Remember when HTC said that it was going to simplify everything and focus on the experience of ONE product? You know, they called it the HTC ONE.

This company has no idea what they're doing. Abort! Abort!

Lord no.. Not even Boomsound on this device.. 512mb?? They really couldn't make it 1GB??
It's the shame that the ONLY device they put out last year worth looking at was the HTC ONE and even that had a weak camera. I'll give the One Mini props for having better specs than the S4 Mini, but that's it. They messed it up with that stupid plastic ring around the edge.

I think the look of the phone is nice for a device in this price range, but the specs leave a lot to be desired. Perhaps that's not a deal-breaker for the target audience, though.

Posted via AC App on HTC One

"The internals are enough to push around Android 4.1"

So, you're saying this phone would rock with 4.4 and project svelte. Why do bloggers always miss this point?