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HTC Desire 601: A sensible mid-range phone

SINGAPORE — Premium smartphones such as the iPhone 5s and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 have been the talk of the tech town in recent weeks, but those looking for something a little cheaper are not short of options.

HTC Desire 601: A sensible mid-range phone

The HTC Desire 601. Photo: HTC

SINGAPORE — Premium smartphones such as the iPhone 5s and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 have been the talk of the tech town in recent weeks, but those looking for something a little cheaper are not short of options.

The HTC Desire 601 joins the ranks of mid-range smartphones such as Samsung’s Galaxy Ace 3 which tout a price tag that enables consumers to enjoy a premium experience at a low price point.

Design wise, the Desire 601 is is simple and clean, but not spectacular.

With a thickness of 9.9mm and weighing just 130 grams, the 601 is comfortable to carry and fits the palm nicely for one-hand usage. Clad in a rubberised backing, the phone gives a soft touch to the fingers and prevents easy slipping from your grasp.

Sporting a 4.5-inch screen, the Desire 601’s decent-sized screen and brightness compensates for its resolution of 540 x 960 pixels. The sub-par pixel density will not impress techies, but is certainly not an issue for casual users carrying out regular phone functions.

The Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean is blanketed with HTC Sense that has stayed through its entire army of phones. The Sense 5.0 UI takes over some built-in applications, like the design of the messenger icon and the dialling keypad, which is a nice and unique touch. BlinkFeed is also a fun and interesting way to view all social media and news notifications at a glance. However, if you are not into the social-magazine kind of interface, you might have to wait — there is no option to turn BlinkFeed off, but news has it that you will be able to with Sense 5.5.

The Snapdragon 400 1.4GHz processor ensures a stable system for running multimedia, web-browsing and light gaming smoothly. While the 106 specifies an 8GB internal memory, only 4.68GB is available for use, but there is a microSD slot at the bottom of the phone if you ever need more storage space.

The Desire 601 sports a 5-megapixel camera — which seems nice on a smartphone aimed at being economical — but leaves more to be desired.

Pictures taken outdoors in bright sunshine are often overexposed while those taken indoors are too noisy and warm. The camera’s performance in low-light conditions was also abysmal while the lack of autofocus made it impossible to record moving objects.

The HTC Desire 601 delivers a satisfactory experience that matches its economical price tag, thanks to its functional design and high-end software. But the lacklustre camera and screen could be turn-off for the majority of consumers who use their smartphones to watch videos and snap photos of almost anything and everything.

HTC Desire 601 is now available in Polar White and Stealth Black at the retail price of S$498 (without contract).

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