HTC Desire X

24th Oct 2012 | 11:24

HTC Desire X

Yet another mid-range HTC smartphone

TechRadar rating:

3.5 stars

An interesting take on the Desire range that could thrive at a lower price point.

Like:

Low price; Vivid screen; Compact design;

Dislike:

Average specs; Lower RAM; Cut down HTC Sense; Flimsy back cover;

Introduction

You may have been mistaken for thinking that there wasn't really a gap between the HTC One V and the HTC Desire C, but you'd be wrong, as the HTC Desire X forces its way between the two handsets.

On paper there's very little to separate the Desire X from the One V, as this new smartphone appears to be an almost carbon copy of its One series brother.

You can pick up the Desire X for around £215 SIM-free, while it's also available for free on contracts starting from £20.50 per month.

HTC Desire X review

This isn't too similar to the One V, which is actually available of cheaper monthly contracts (starting at £15.50), while SIM-free it's a little dearer at £230.

As well as the in-fighting with the One V, the HTC Desire X also has the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S Advance, Galaxy Ace 2, Sony Xperia P and Orange San Diego to contend with in the now crowded middle market of the smartphone world.

The main difference from the One V it seems is the design, with the HTC Desire X sporting a look and feel which owners of the flagship HTC One X will be familiar with, however the polycarbonate unibody is out, in favour of a rubberised plastic back which you can peel off.

HTC Desire X review

On the front of the Desire X you find the 4-inch, Super LCD display with three touch buttons below it, back, home and multi-tasking, which tells you this handset is packing Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich – but you won't find a front-facing camera here.

The case slightly juts out below the capacitive buttons, and while not as obvious as the "chin" on the One V and the old school HTC Hero, the lip is noticeable when you run your finger down the phone.

HTC Desire X review

The diminutive size of the Desire X - it measures 118.5 x 62.3 x 9.3 mm - means it fits comfortably in the hand, with the rubber coated rear providing a high level of grip, allowing you to keep hold of the phone.

Build quality appears solid, but the Desire X weighs just 114g, meaning it's deceptively light, which certainly isn't a bad thing and means you can slip it into a pocket without issue.

There's not many physical buttons on the Desire X, with a volume rocker switch located towards the top of the right side and a power/lock setting in a central position on top of the phone.

HTC Desire X review

The centralised position of the lock button means reaching it with your thumb is out of the question - your index finger is the digit required to manipulate this key.

While easy to hit, those who may be switching from a Samsung device, which have the power/lock key located on the right side for easy thumbing (when held in the right hand), may find this new movement a little alien at first – but you'll quickly get used to it.

Also up top is a 3.5mm audio jack, while on the left hand side is a microUSB port for charging and connecting the Desire X to other devices.

HTC Desire X review

On the back the 5MP camera and single LED flash are housed in their own oval zone, which evokes the Evo 3D language from a year ago, but fits more slickly into the architecture of the HTC Desire X.

Underneath the back cover there's a relatively average 1,650mAh battery, standard size SIM card slot and a microSD slot which supports cards up to 32GB in size, allowing you to build on the 4GB of internal storage.

Getting the rear cover off however is a little challenging, as there's no obvious indentation which encourages you to slip a finger nail in and peel it off.

HTC Desire X review

Instead you're left trying to prise your nail between the front and back of the Desire X, and we found the best place is you work your way in at the top.

Once you're in you can pull the wafer thin cover off, be careful as it hugs the chin at the bottom of the Desire X, and you'll notice that it feels slightly flimsy.

HTC Desire X review

The power/lock button and volume rocker are attached to the rear case and the construction doesn't fill you with confidence once you've taken the cover off, as the thin plastic feels like it could break very easily.

We'd advise against taking the back cover off the HTC Desire X too much, but apart from that it's a smart, if uninspired handset which should be able to stand up for itself in the middle of the mobile market.

Thanks to Unlocked-Mobiles for getting the HTC Desire X to us in super quick time!

Interface

The HTC Desire X comes with version 4.0.4 of Ice Cream Sandwich, with an update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean yet to be confirmed.

HTC Desire X review

Running the show on the Desire X is a 1GHz dual-core processor and 768MB of RAM, which provides more than enough power for the Android operating system.

In true HTC fashion, the Desire X comes sporting the Taiwanese firm's Sense 4.1 overlay, providing a brighter user experience which is slightly easier for first time users to master.

Sense 4 has been dialled down from its previous incarnation, which HTC itself admitted had become too cluttered, and the new streamlined effort is a good one in our opinion.

Fire up the HTC Desie X and the 4-inch, Super LCD screen springs into life, offering up a relatively bright and clear display at 480 x 800 pixels.

HTC Desire X review

The screen is pretty much on par with the Desire X's competition, although the Sony Xperia P and Orange San Diego both offer a higher resolution – with the San Diego the stand out candidate, even though it's cheaper than the others.

The lock screen is standard HTC, with the now iconic ring-pull to unlock action and four shortcut keys, which mirror the apps you've put in the dock on the homescreen – there's no face-unlock though, as the lack of a front facing camera makes this impossible.

Past the lock screen you're given five homescreens to play around with, however you cannot add or delete screens, which may frustrate those who like to have a lot or a few.

Cycling through the screens, browsing the app list and moving icons and widgets around is all very smooth, and the touchscreen was responsive to all our pokes and prods.

HTC Desire X review

Hold down on a free space on any of the five homescreens on the Desire X and you're taken into edit mode, which allows you to add or remove apps and widgets from any screen, with a thumbnail overview of all of them at the top of the display, allowing you to keep track of what you've placed where.

In terms of widget selection you get the stock Android regulars such as clock and calendar as well as some HTC inspired offerings including its famous clock-weather widget which appears front and centre when you first boot up the Desire X.

Pull down the notification bar from the top of the handset and you'll notice that the quick settings option which graced earlier handsets such as the Desire S and Rhyme has been removed, with just a shortcut to the main settings menu on offer.

HTC Desire X review

Although this isn't a big loss, it's something we find useful and applaud the likes of Samsung who implements it in its TouchWiz interface.

You can stick the power control widget onto the homescreen of the Desire X which does go someway to solving this, offering you quick toggles for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, brightness and screen rotate.

Overall the HTC Desire X offers up a smooth and intuitive user experience which will please loyal HTC owners and those who may not be so familiar with the Android platform.

It's not quite as fast and fluid as the Samsung Galaxy S Advance, but it hardly lags and we found apps opened up quickly, even when we had several already running in the background.

Contacts and calling

Contacts

The HTC Desire X offers up the standard Android contact management application, which has been given the customary Sense 4 gloss, making it super easy to match up your contacts with their social network profiles.

HTC Desire X review

HTC doesn't like to conform to the whole contacts label though, instead naming its app 'People', and while the name may be different, if you've used Android before you'll feel more than at home.

All your best buds are displayed in a lovely vertical list, with mug shot next to their name.

You can import any contacts you may have stored on your Google account, as well as importing friends from other networks including Facebook, Flickr and your email accounts, however Twitter is not supported here.

The Desire X, thanks to the Sense wizardry, will then magically match up your contacts with their various social profiles and pull through profile pictures, status updates and even whole Facebook galleries to the contact card.

HTC Desire X review

If you meet someone new while out on the town, adding your new found friend to the Desire X is also a piece of cake, with a lovely Add button at the top of the contact page – taking you into a simple form which lets you fill in as much, or as little information as you wish.

You can choose whether to store the contact to the phone, or on your Google account, allowing you to access it from the cloud if you get a new handset.

Also within the People app you can access your call history and the groups tab – which allows you to categorise your contacts depending on how you know them.

The favourites group is also available as a homescreen widget, allowing you to get quick access to the people you hold dearest, or call most often.

Calling

Calling, as you may have guessed, takes place via the Phone app, which is a relatively basic affair offering up a keypad and a list of recent calls above it.

HTC Desire X review

Smart dialling is in play here, so if you start tapping out a number, the HTC Desire X will offer up contact suggestions, allowing you to get to the person you wish to call quicker – that is of course if you already have the number stored.

You can also set up speed dials and blocked callers from the phone app by tapping the menu button, which has three vertical dots on it, but don't go looking for video calling options, as there's no front facing camera on the Desire X.

If you're already in the people app you can call a contact from there as well, just select the person you want and then hit the phone number on their contact card to initiate the call.

We found call quality to be perfectly acceptable, as we were able to hear the person on the other end of the line, even when in nosier situations, and while the audio wasn't always crystal clear, we can't knock it.

Messaging

The HTC Desire X is a more than capable messaging machine, thanks in no small part to the Ice Cream Sandwich operating system housed within, which offers up a multitude of ways for you to keep in touch.

HTC Desire X review

First up you have the Gmail and Email apps, allowing you to manage your emails effectively on the 4-inch display.

HTC Desire X review

The Gmail offering only lets you control your Google account, while the Email client supports multiple addresses, giving you a universal inbox which you can filter by account if necessary.

Both apps are simple to use and adding email accounts is made easy with the Desire X doing all the leg work after you enter your address and password.

Of course there's the text messaging client built into the HTC Desire X, which offers up the familiar Android experience, with the addition of profile pictures on the message overview and HTC's custom Android keyboard.

The keyboard itself is one of the better ones which we find on Android handsets, with better travel and accuracy than the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 and Sony Xperia P, and with the 4-inch screen it's less cramped than the one found on its smaller brother, the HTC Desire C.

HTC Desire X review

One annoying thing we did find with the Desire X keyboard was the location of the language button next to the comma key.

We found ourselves changing the language to French more often than not when attempting to hit the comma, and the only way to return to English is to cycle through the five default lingos until you get back to the start.

Turning the Desire X sideways does improve the spacing of the keyboard, and the diminutive size of the handset makes it easy to reach the middle of the screen with your thumbs, but you do sacrifice being able to see the message you are replying to.

We'd still recommend heading over to Google Play and picking up a third party alternative if you are planning on tapping out a lot of messages on the Desire X, with Swiftkey X our personal favourite.

HTC Desire X review

Social networking also gets a look in on the HTC Desire X, with the Facebook app coming pre-loaded on the device alongside HTC's social aggregator, Friend Stream.

HTC Desire X review

Unfortunately Twitter doesn't get the same treatment as Facebook, with no app pre-installed and the inability to sync it with your contacts or the Friend Stream application.

You can easily download the official Twitter client, or a third party alternative, from Google Play, but it's a little frustrating that we can't jump on straight out of the box and tell the world in no more than 140 characters all about our new Desire X.

HTC's Friend Stream app now seems a little pointless, as you're only able to add Facebook and Flickr accounts to it, and you're unlikely to have more than one of each, raising questions why you wouldn't just use the official applications.

While you can post new status updates from the Friend Steam, if you want to comment or like someone else's status then you're turfed into the Facebook application, which you could have been using from the off – saving you time flicking between the two.

If you're tired of the whole Facebook-Twitter scene the Google+ app is also pre-installed on the Desire X, along with a host of other Google centric applications, allowing you to delve into the search giant's own social network.

Internet

The HTC Desire X comes 3G enabled as well as packing Wi-Fi b/g/n compatibility, allowing you to get online at home, in the office or while on the move.

HTC Desire X review

You are treated to two internet browsers out of the box on the Desire X, with the stock Android offering making its regular appearance alongside the emerging Chrome browser which is starting to make its way onto more and more handsets by default.

There isn't a lot between the two, with both loading the mobile version of TechRadar in around five seconds over 3G, while the full-fat version of TechRadar took around 15 seconds.

HTC Desire X review

Over Wi-Fi the load times were slightly quicker - you can probably knock a couple of seconds off the 3G times - but still the Desire X isn't the slickest web operator that we've witnessed, with the Orange San Diego giving an impressive showing during our full review.

HTC Desire X review

Text reflows automatically in both browsers, which is darn useful as it makes reading articles easy as you zoom in to a readable level.

Zooming itself isn't the smoothest affair, with pages stuttering and images taking a couple of seconds to reload at the new level – the lag wasn't enough to become an issue, but we have seen better performance on other handsets – Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 take a bow.

The 4-inch display provides enough space to comfortably view websites, while the 480 x 800 resolution means text and images are sharp enough for your eyes, without having to strain them or question why everything looks so blocky.

Both web clients also offer up tabbed browsing, allowing you to have multiple windows open at any one time and you can sync both with your Google account, which brings in all your bookmarks from the cloud – pretty handy.

HTC Desire X review

Flash comes pre-installed on the Desire X, allowing you to access all those lovely Flash-built sites, however Adobe has stopped supporting this technology so expect it to fade away over the coming years.

When it comes down to which browser you should use it really all depends on which icon you'd rather look at on your homescreen and whether you prefer the dark skin of the Internet app over the lighter offering in Chrome.

Camera

The HTC Desire X comes with a 5MP camera round the back and frankly it's a little disappointing.

There's a single LED flash just above the lens, which are both housed in their own shiny oval which sports a similar concentric ring design as seen on the back of the Transformer Prime and Asus Padfone 2.

HTC Desire X review

For those of you who like video calling, or having the odd vanity check, the Desire X won't be able to help you, as HTC has decided against installing a front facing camera.

While the HTC One V also shuns a front facing snapper, most of the Desire X's competition has one, including the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2, Orange San Diego and Sony Xperia P.

HTC Desire X review

The 5MP camera is relatively par for the price bracket that the HTC Desire X falls into, but if you're looking for an affordable handset with a decent camera you may want to cast your eye over the San Diego or Xperia P, both of which boast 8MP snappers.

Accessing the camera is simple, there's a shortcut from the lockscreen, or if you're already using the phone, just tap the camera icon on the homescreen or in the app list.

HTC Desire X review

The app itself takes a couple of seconds to load up and when it does you're greeted with the familiar HTC camera setup, with large shutter and video buttons to the right of the screen, an effects menu above and a link to the gallery below.

On the opposite side there are flash and scene mode shoutcuts, as well as button for the settings menu, and bridging the gap between the two sides is a (digital) zoom bar.

HTC Desire X review

There's not a huge amount of options to fiddle with, your basic ISO, exposure, contrast and white balance settings present, along with face and smile detection.

You have the choice of eight scene modes which including HDR, panorama and close up, but we tended to keep the setting on Auto unless we wanted a sweeping panorama shot.

HTC Desire X review

In terms of effects HTC does treat you to a wider range than most handset manufacturers, with stalwarts such as negative, sepia and aqua lining up alongside the likes of distortion, vignette, dots and three vintage settings - spiffing.

The Desire X takes less than a second to snap a picture once you hit the shutter button, which is great if you want to take lots of photos at the same time, and the auto-focus manages to keep up most of the time.

HTC Desire X review

If you want to take a continuous burst of photos, keep the shutter button depressed and the HTC Desire X will fire away at a rate of knots, taking up to 10 photos at a time and then offering you an overview of all of them so you can select the best.

The quality of images taken with the Desire X is variable, with some looking better than others. We noticed that results could appear grainy and slightly blurred at times, while others looked a little more professional.

We wouldn't single out the Desire X out for photography prowess, but as a casual snapper it fits the bill if you're easily pleased.

HTC Desire X review

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HTC Desire X review

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HTC Desire X review

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HTC Desire X review

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HTC Desire X review

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HTC Desire X review

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HTC Desire X review

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HTC Desire X review

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HTC Desire X review

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HTC Desire X review

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HTC Desire X review

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Video

Video recording on the HTC Desire X is another area where we're a little disappointed, with the handset only capable of shooting 800 x 480 film.

This resolution isn't the end of the world, and while it'll look fine on the Desire X's 4-inch display, nearly all the competition offer up a better video recording experience.

HTC Desire X review

The Samsung Galaxy S Advance and HTC One V both record at 720p, while the Orange San Diego and Sony Xperia P offer up full HD, 1080p video.

The camcorder app is bundled in with the camera, and you don't even need to toggle between the two modes, with a record button located directly below the camera shutter, making it easier and quicker to start filming.

HTC Desire X review

Options for the video recorder are few and far between, with effects out of the question and just ISO and white balance available to play with.

A couple of positive points on the video recorder – you can toggle the light on and off and use the zoom while recording, two things a lot of handsets don't allow you to do, so it's good to see HTC offering these on the Desire X.

HTC Desire X review

Video quality, as you may expect, isn't brilliant, especially when played on a large screen such as a computer of TV.

The Desire X is acceptable for filming a mate performing Gangnam Style in a club, but we wouldn't recommend it for anyone wanting to capture quality footage.

Media

The HTC Desire X may be found towards the lower end of the smartphone market, but that doesn't mean it can't offer up a decent media experience.

The 4GB of internal storage isn't as impressive as the 16GB found in the Samsung Galaxy S Advance, Orange San Diego and Sony Xperia P – but a microSD slot capable of supporting cards up to 32GB in size addresses this issue.

HTC Desire X review

Gaining access to the microSD slot isn't the easiest, with the plastic case proving a little tricky to take off, especially is you don't have finger nails, but once you get in you'll be pleased to find you don't have to dislodge the battery to slide in the card.

Adding to the media offering on the Deisre X is the 4-inch display, and while the 480 x 800 resolution may not be winning any awards, it's more than capable of offering up watchable video playback.

If you'd rather not have the hassle of swapping microSD cards in and out all the time, you can plug your HTC Desire X into a computer with the bundled USB cable, and use the familiar drag and drop process to shift files between phone and PC.

Music

HTC Desire X review

As with all HTC smartphones these days the Desire X comes with Dr Dre's Beats Audio technology baked inside, which adds an extra oomph to the tunes pumped out of the 3.5mm jack, whether that be via a pair of headphones or a third-party speaker system, the added bass is notable.

HTC has popped its own Music app onto the Desire X which not only lets you control the music stored on the phone/microSD card, but also provides shortcuts to other music related apps such as Sound Hound, TuneIn Radio and 7 Digital – all three of which come pre-installed on the Desire X.

The music player itself is an intuitive affair, providing a list of artists/albums/songs/playlists for you to browse, with the ability to create your own playlists on the fly.

HTC Desire X review

You get the basic play/pause, skip, scrub, repeat and random keys, plus a nice big artwork image, but there's no graphic equaliser for you to tinker with, with the Beats sound enhancer the only toggle you can use.

As far as bundled headphones are concerned, the ones that come with the HTC Desire X are not too bad, providing a pretty decent audio output while feeling comfortable in the ears, but serious music aficionados will want to use their own buds.

Music can also be played via the internal speaker, however quality isn't so great, with tracks sounding tinny and distorted, especially at higher volumes.

You can also easily stream your tunes to a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth enabled player from within the music app, allowing you to hook up to in-car or home-audio systems without the needs for wires.

HTC Desire X review

HTC has also included its FM radio application on the Desire X, which lets you enjoy a more traditional form of entertainment, with the option to auto-scan and preset stations for easy listening.

HTC Desire X review

While the radio won't eat into your data allowance, you will need to plug the headphones into the Desire X, as these act as the antenna.

If FM radio doesn't float your boat, then the TuneIn Radio application offers up a whole wealth of stations, streamed over the internet – so beware of data usage – all free of charge and ready to go.

HTC Desire X review

In a bid to compete with Apple's iTunes store available on iPhones, the HTC Desire X comes with the 7 Digital app on board, giving you access to thousands of sounds to buy and download.

HTC Desire X review

Single tracks are mostly priced at 99p, while albums tend to range from £1.79 to £10.99, depending on length and artist – which keeps the 7 Digital store pretty much inline with its Apple rival.

Video

The HTC Desire X doesn't come with a standalone video player app, instead stuffing video into the gallery app which leaves you sifting through picture thumbnails to find your films if you don't have folders properly employed.

HTC Desire X review

The video player itself is a basic affair, with simple play, skip and scrub controls, plus handy volume and screen brightness toggles at the top of the screen.

If you like capturing stills from your favourite movies or TV shows the Desire X allows you to capture screenshots from the video player app, just hit the menu button and select screen capture – this will then place a shutter button onscreen allowing you to snap the best scenes.

HTC Desire X review

Dr Dre comes into play with video playback as well, with his Beats Audio technology on hand to enhance your audio enjoyment, which is nice if you decide to watch a blockbuster movie.

The 4-inch display on the HTC Desire X is not HD, so you don't quite get the same quality of playback as you do on the likes of the Orange San Diego or Sony Xperia P.

HTC Desire X review

That said, the Desire X still does a commendable job when playing video, with crisp lines and relatively little motion blur, however the picture does feel a little washed out.

The lightweight design and rubberised back of the HTC Desire X means that it's a comfortable device to hold, and we could quite easily watch a full length movie on the handset without it being an issue.

HTC Desire X review

Play Movies also comes pre-installed on the Desire X, which not only gives you easier access to all the video files stored on your device, it also allows you to rent movies from Google's own store, however the selection isn't a big as on iTunes.

Most rentals will set you back £3.49, but you can pick up some films from as little as £1.49 – there's also a handful of HD titles, but these are few and far between, although seeing as the Desire X doesn't have an HD display, this isn't a problem.

The YouTube app also appears on the Desire X, which offers up an excellent way to navigate the social video site, making sure you don't miss out on posh school boys prancing around on invisible horses.

Photos

You're greeted with the standard Android software when you get to the gallery, with the Google-made app providing an easy way to browse you snaps, although videos are sometimes mixed up in the thumbnails.

HTC Desire X review

There's no photo editor included on the HTC Desire X, but you can crop and rotate images from within the gallery, as well as adding a handful of basic effects including overexposed, glimmer and vintage.

If you fancy doing some in-depth photo editing then pop over to Google Play, where you'll find a range of free and paid apps.

Battery life and connectivity

Battery life

The HTC Desire X comes packing a 1,650mAh battery under its flimsy plastic cover, which can be removed and replaced with a larger offering if you so wish.

HTC Desire X review

Coming in at a shade bigger than its rivals, you'll be able to get a full days use out of the Desire X without too much bother.

HTC claims that the battery in the Desire X will be good for 1,200 minutes of talktime and 750 hours of standby, however these figures never reflect real world usage.

HTC Desire X review


We were able to make several calls, send a large number of texts, browse the web and our social networks, play a couple of games and watch a YouTube clip without having to fear for our Desire X's battery.

If you're more conservative with your usage, you'd probably be able to eek out a couple days on the Desire X before having to plug it in, but if you constantly hammer if all day, you'll be rushing to a plug sooner rather than later.

Connectivity

HTC Desire X review

There are plenty of connectivity options with the HTC Desire X, with the standard Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS and 3G network support all present and correct.

You get a microUSB port on the left hand side of the handset for charging and connecting to a computer, however we'd much prefer it if it was located at the bottom of the handset, as the cable gets in the way when you use the Desire X.

There's also a Wi-Fi hotspot function, allowing you to share your data connection with tablets and laptops, while DLNA support means you can stream content between the HTC Desire X and other compatible devices.

There's no NFC present in the HTC Desire X, with the more budget focussed handset missing out on the up and coming technology which is yet to take the mobile world by storm.

Maps and apps

Maps

The HTC Desire X comes equipped with the excellent Google Maps application, offering up a fully comprehensive mapping solution.

Google Maps allows you to explore the world, route plan, check traffic and locate your nearest restaurant with ease.

HTC Desire X review

On the Desire X we were able to pinpoint our position using Google Maps within three seconds, however it too at least five to fully load the maps.

Once loaded, browsing around the apps and zoom between levels is a pleasingly smooth experience, with the HTC Desire X keeping up with our movements and happily rendering new areas in a couple of seconds.

HTC Desire X review

As well as the Maps app the Desire X, like all Android handsets, comes with Google's free navigation application, which provides turn-by-turn directions.

We found that the Desire X was a more than capable sat nav replacement, providing timely alerts and managing to keep our GPS lock on at all times.

Apps

As the HTC Desire X is an Android device you're blessed with Google Play, giving you access to hundreds of thousands of free and paid for applications.

Some manufacturers can go overboard with pre-installed bloatware, but thanfully HTC has been pretty restrained with the Desire X, which just a handful of apps appearing on the phone.

First up there's the Dropbox app, which doesn't come as a surprise as HTC has a partnership deal with the file sharing firm.

HTC Desire X review

The good thing for the consumer is that every HTC customer gets a free 25GB Dropbox allowance, allowing you to easily store your media safely in the cloud and access it for any computer, tablet or smartphone.

It's a great little app which is easy to use and allows you to manage your documents, photos, videos and anything else you may want to store in the cloud in handy folders.

HTC Desire X review

A neat little app is Flashlight, which as you may have already guessed, allows you to use the rear facing LED on the Desire X as a torch.

Fire up the app, press the power button and the LED will come to life, press again and it will get brighter, once more and it'll get brighter still. One last press will turn it off.

It may be a bit of a novelty, but we found it very useful when trying to navigate up our driveway at 3am, and we can see its advantages in a power cut.

Just make sure you do remember to turn it off, as it'll eat through the Desire X battery in next to no time if you provide your pocket with constant illumination.

Polaris Office allows you to view and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on your phone in a simple, if not slightly feature-less manner.

HTC Desire X review

It's perfect if you need to make a quick amendment on the way to a meeting, but we'd find it difficult to create a whole document from scratch on such a small display.

Rescue is a service which allows someone to remotely login to the Desire X if you require assistance with the phone.

This app will only be required if you phone up a help line after experience a problem with your handset, and the person on the other end will talk you through the process.

HTC Desire X review

A lot of people have heard of the music matching app Shazam, but HTC favours one of its rivals, with SoundHound making it onto most of the Taiwanese firm's handsets, including the Desire X.

HTC Desire X review

Accessed via the icon in the app list, or by the shortcut in the music app, SoundHound can listen to a short clip of music and then tell you want song it is, providing links to lyrics, album and artist information and ways to buy and download the track.

Hands on gallery

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Official gallery

HTC Desire X review

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HTC Desire X review

Verdict

The HTC Desire X finds itself in a very difficult place in the market, with a large number of handsets floating around its price bracket and blurring the lines between different ranges.

It's clear to see that the Desire X falls into the lower end of the mid-market, and while it's an attractive and well built handset it doesn't really stand out from the crowd.

We liked

Overall the HTC Desire X is enjoyable to use, the intuitive Sense 4.1 overlay makes it easy to navigate round Ice Cream Sandwich, which runs smoothly on the 1GHz dual-core processor.

As a media device the Desire X performs well, with the Beats Audio technology enhancing music tracks as well as audio in films, and while the 4-inch display may not be HD, it stills provides a good enough picture to watch a movie on.

The stylish design does help set the Desire X slightly apart from its competition, and HTC has really nailed the design of late on all its handsets from the Desire C to the One X.

We disliked

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The 5MP camera on the back of the HTC Desire X leaves a lot to be desired, especially when you consider the cheaper Orange San Diego offers up an 8MP snapper with 1080p recording.

Front facing cameras don't make up a person's mind when it comes to purchasing a phone, but with HTC shunning it, along with NFC technology, its more things to go against the handset when compared in store.

As much as we like the design of the Desire X, the back cover has been poorly developed, with the thin, flimsy plastic feeling very delicate and we were constantly concerned about breaking part of it off.

Verdict

The HTC Desire X is a decent mid-range phone which offers up a smartphone experience you've come to expect from handsets which cost around £200.

It's doesn't offer anything particularly thrilling, nor does it having any major flaws and while the design is welcoming and the UI intuitive, we can't help but feel HTC hasn't pushed the Desire X to its full potential.

Of course if HTC were to add a front facing camera, NFC technology and improved rear camera the Desire X would suddenly blow the One V out of the water, so it needs to be refined in some areas so it fits the price tag.

If you're looking for a stylish and affordable Android handset the Desire X is certainly an attractive option, but if you want a bit more bang for your buck it's worth taking a look at the San Diego, Samsung Galaxy S Advance and Sony Xperia P.

Thanks to Unlocked-Mobiles for getting the HTC Desire X to us in super quick time!

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