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Review: Smartphone on the cheap: HTC Desire 610

The average smartphone runs about 600 bones these days, so it’s a breath of fresh air when companies decide to release lower-end models, like HTC’s Desire 610.

For just $200 you can have a smartphone that does everything you need it to do: make and receive calls, texts and emails, and can browse the Web and support a wide range of apps.

But, it’s $200, so HTC is going to cut corners where it can. That’s just how life is.

HTC cut those corners by creating a phone that’s a bore to look at, has a somewhat-weak camera, has a very lackluster display, and runs off a modest processor.

Of course that’s all when compared to flagship devices like the HTC One M8, LG G3 and Samsung Galaxy S5. It should come as no shock that the $200 Desire 610 won’t look or operate as smoothly as something that costs three times as much.

The specs

Running on a Snapdragon 400 quad-core 1.2GHz process, the Desire 610 has a 4.7-inch 960x540-pixel screen, an 8-megapixel camera, a very welcomed microSD slot that handles up to 128GB expansion, and runs on Android 4.4.2.

Though it runs on a processor that operates at about half of other current processors, the Desire 610 never really gave me any lag or undesirable performance.

There’s nothing luxurious or absolutely aesthetically pleasing about the device. It’s a tad bulky, has oversized bezels and definitely feels like a budget device thanks to its all-plastic construction (and not the nice plastic found on some Samsung devices).

The display is truly disappointing, even in the Desire 610’s price range. It’s not bright enough and I sometimes felt the need to adjust my eyes when looking at it, perhaps because I’m used to the crispness of my Samsung Galaxy S4. When compared to a similarly-priced device, the Moto G, the Desire 610 lacks considerably.

The camera took OK photos. Colors and vibrancy tends to come out on the weak side with a bit of image noise, but, generally, the images turned out decent.

The camera is also capable of capturing 1080p video, and does it well enough.

The Desire 610’s 2,040mAh battery lasted about 12 hours on moderate and mixed-use of phone calls, texting, browsing and so on. Not bad.

While there’s nothing the Desire 610 does exceptionally well, it does do everything well enough. It lacks in some departments where it shouldn’t, even for its price (the display, obtuse design), but for $200 at AT&T (or 99 cents on contract) it’s not a bad buy.

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Richard Hall

Richard Hall is an award-winning newsroom developer, editor and blogger for NewsOK. He was born in Austin, Texas, spent his childhood in southern California and has lived in Norman since 1999. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2008. Read more ›