Hands On with the HTC Desire 610 for AT&T
HTC has brought its Desire 610 mid-range phone to AT&T. The 610 brings high-end design and a few nifty features to a low price point. It's not perfect, though, and it does differ from the international version a bit. Read on for our first impressions with one.
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The 610 was announced for other parts of the world back in February, but there was no indication that it would come to the U.S. The Desire series hasn't had much traction here in recent years. This year, HTC brought the widely-praised design language of the One series down to the more affordable Desire series. You won't mistake this for a One, but you can tell it came from the same design studio. The lower end of the market could use a fresh jolt of good design. So we were pleasantly surprised to see AT&T's announcement this week that it would offer the Desire 610 later this month.
The design looks great from the front and sides, consisting of nothing but glass and nearly unibody matte plastic. But the design falls apart as you turn the phone over to the back. The back is glossy plastic that feels icky and attracts fingerprints like mad. For most people with normal skin, the slick plastic can actually improve grip, but it doesn't feel nice when your skin sticks to something like that. And the fingerprints are ugly. The size is thin, but a bit wide for the screen size. It feels light yet solid.
The side buttons work well enough. The back - and battery - is sealed. A flap on the side lets you access the SIM and memory card slots. As such parts go, it's a very well-designed flap, but we're not a fan of them in general.
The display has, unfortunately, been downgraded from qHD to 480 x 854. At this 4.7-inch size, we prefer to see 720p resolution, and qHD in the lower-end phones. This is a bit below that, and if you care about resolution, you can tell. It's not as sharp as most other phones on the shelf; that's a shame. HTC reps told us that the change was made in order to reach the $200 price point that AT&T wanted. The display is otherwise okay, but viewing angles aren't impressive. Most noticeably, tilting it away from you washes out the picture pretty badly. So if you often look at your phone while it lies flat on a table, this will be an issue. You can see everything, it just looks like crud.
Still, for just $200, the hardware isn't bad, and the design is far above-average for this class of phone. HTC's BoomSound stereo speakers sweeten the deal.
On the software side, everything is standard HTC Sense. Naturally, you'll find BlinkFeed, HTC's dedicated home screen with a mix of news and social updates to scroll through. There's a limited version of Zoe, and HTC's newest camera interface that brilliantly lets you save whole sets of custom settings to custom shortcuts.
Look for the Desire 610 with AT&T on July 25.
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To big for it's screen size.