Product Type: HTC Smartphone
Newest Review: ... Its very responsive and the call quality is clear and texting is very easily laid out and I feel for me the screen and keyboard is ... more
Push The Boat Out And Pay More For A Better Phone - You Get What You Pay For
HTC Desire C
Member Name: Seredipity
HTC Desire C
Advantages: Cheap(ish). Neat size. Latest Android OS. Over-the-air updates.
Disadvantages: Slow processor that impacts on most uses of the phone. No storage mem supplied. No Twitter support.
Firstly, I'll note that in this review I'll cover some points regarding the phone supplier/network provider as well as reviewing the phone itself.
I previously had a Samsung Galaxy S and a contract for £30 per month with 1GB limited data. I would say I'm a moderate user and not into downloading lots of things or using many apps, but even so that 1GB was very restricting and I always had to ration data usage carefully in order not to start being charged extortionately for going over the limit. (This also in spite of using Opera, a low-bandwidth web browser designed particularly for mobile users.)
I renewed with a £13 per month contract offering unlimited data and a free phone. The phone of course being the HTC Desire C I'm reviewing here. An annoying issue was that even though I was negotiating the new contract on the phone with the network provider's call centre I was offered the choice of a black or white phone. I asked for a black phone. The call centre person said in conformation, "White". I said no, I want a BLACK phone. The person ummed and ahhed. Guess what they sent me? Yep, a white phone. Now why bother offering if you aren't going to provide me with the choice I want? Tut.
Something else about the supply of the phone that is noteworthy, is that I had a dreadful time getting the phone delivered. The courier was DNS, and they were completely and utterly dreadful to deal with. I live in an out of the way spot that isn't shown on GPS, so I usually have to give delivery companies some verbal details of where to send stuff. That was completely IMPOSSIBLE with DNS. Any phone numbers to deal with this company connect you to automatic prompts, which give you no option in any way to speak to a human being. So the day the phone was due to arrive, it didn't. I'm not going into every detail about the ridiculous hassles I had over the next three days trying to get the dratted thing, including trying go through the network provider who themselves are very difficult to reach (Three network in this case), but I was absolutely tearing my hair out, having had to stay at home for THREE DAYS!!! to eventually get the thing at last. It was unbelievable! Truly, truly bad.
So onto the phone itself. It's OK, but not great. It was free with the contract so I shouldn't complain.
However, if you want a decent smartphone that will do the things you want a smartphone for, buy one that has a better processor than this. The spec is 0.5 Ghz, and it's simply not enough for the phone to work without constant app or web browser crashes. I have three browsers installed, Opera Mobile, Dolphin HD and the one that came with it, Internet Explorer. None of these operate satisfactorily on this phone. Indeed, since Opera recently got an update, it's falling on its head constantly. IE and Dolphin I have for the times when I want to view video or full desktop pages that Opera isn't equipped for, but they are pretty hopeless for general use on a phone (didn't work that great on the Galaxy S). But seriously, if even a slimmed-down browser like Opera can't work, it's not worth bothering about.
Other issues are that it's noticeably slow to render pages clearly. A page will come up, but it'll be blurry for long enough until it's completely loaded. Such an attribute was never apparent on my old Galaxy S.
When rotating the phone, the change of screen orientation is also slow and jerky, unlike the smooth seamless flow of the Galaxy S. I should note in its favour, that although it's a much neater phone than the Galaxy, the visible screen actually isn't that much smaller, just a few millimetres on either axis.
Next issue - hate the headphones supplied with it. The phone is supposed to be supplied with Beats Audio, which is supposed to provide good quality sound, but when I have a pair of earphones that don't fit at all comfortably, and won't stay in my ears even when stationary, never mind on the move, (I've tried rotating these things in my ears 360 degrees, frankly I can't see how they're supposed to fit...) leak sound to the environment, and basically, JUST DON'T GIVE GOOD AUDIO, well, I'd love it if someone can rec me a good compatible pair of in-ear phones I can buy. Because it's worthless as a music player with these.
If there's one good think I like about the HTC implementation, it does do over the air, -painless- operating system updates. This was my biggest gripe about the Galaxy S, which required you to install the world's worse PC software, Samsung Kies on a PC, connect a cable between the phone and the software (half the time the software wouldn't recognise the phone) and then would often behave in a scary manner such that one lived in fear of the phone OS being rendered unusable by this hideously clunky method. No. The HTC has been effortless in that respect. There was a simple initial setup to do, and that was it. I think that it's sometimes doing an OS update, but it actually doesn't appear to interfere with the phone operation in any way, or demand restarts. With the Galaxy S, you had no clue what was going on half the time or if it had actually finished. There were times I had to take the battery off as it would just sit there either blank or endlessly cycling the startup screen...
The HTC came with the most current version of Android available at the time. With regard as to what else was supplied, you have the irritation of being forced to have Google+ and Facebook apps that continually want to update all the time (who do you know uses Google+?). I do not want either of these, but I can't uninstall them. Whereas the phone has no support for Twitter, so I can't readily share photos there. Absolute pain. The only reliable way I can do it is to send a photo to a PC from the phone and upload it from there. Pah! It didn't come with a memo app either, but I've downloaded the free app ColorNote for that, and it's very good, very intuitive and simple to use.
I don't play games on my phone, so can't give you any info about those. The last thing I'll mention is tethering, and this is to sling some mud at the network provider again. I spend the odd day away from home, and take my notebook PC to do work etc. While in the house, I've got landline broadband I can connect the notebook on. Now web browsing on the HTC as mentioned above is a poor user experience. So given that the phone has a supplied hotspot app, I gave that a go one day when I was getting sick of the lousy web browsing capability. Lo and behold, it worked wonderfully! Instead of screwing up my eyes peering at a tiny screen, I could use get good use of my notebook web browser. The connection would be fitful at times, but overall it was quite serviceable and better than using the phone. However. The bad people at Three cottoned on to it after a couple of weeks and blocked it. They sent a page to the browser saying effectively, if you want to do this we'll charge you more. If you want to use a laptop, buy a mobile broadband dongle. They said it's cheaper to use a dongle.
Now, dear reader, I'm locked into a two year contract supposedly offering unlimited broadband. I'm not an excessive user compared to most people. And it is NOT cheaper to use a dongle. Dongles come with fixed usage limits. For that lower limit, Three charge more than my monthly contract cost. So why do they think I should have a landline broadband connection, a mobile connection via dongle, and a connection via a phone? Now you can hardly buy a mobile phone contract nowadays that doesn't come with a data allocation. Basically it's yet another way for the mobile phone companies to restrict usage while enhancing their profits. Don't we love 'em.
One last point worth chucking in, this phone comes with NO onboard storage. You have to go out and buy a mini SD card. I opted for an 8GB card for £4 from Tesco, though if you need more, you can get a 32GB card from Amazon for around £14-15.
I guess I should say that ultimately it's a question of what you get for a phone that retails at £50, the Desire, versus one that can cost around £400 for a current model, the Galaxy. Of course, in a couple of years hence once the market is saturated, they'll all be cheap as chips...
So to summarise the HTC Desire, a middling phone at best.
Summary: Shouldn't complain cos it's cheap, but annoying in so many ways I'll probably go buy a better phone.
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