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Review: Does the Desire 620 help HTC continue its good run of form?

HTC makes one of the best high-end Android phones on the market, but can it bring the same quality to those on a budget?

Image: TheJournal.ie

IF THERE’S ONE thing that HTC does well, it’s design. It makes one of the best Android devices out there, the One (M8), thanks to a great combination of design and software, and it’s hopes to bring that same quality to its mid-range devices.

It’s kicked off 2015 with the release of the Desire 620, a mid-range device that has a particular focus on selfies.

The inclusion of 4G capabilities will certainly appeal to those who are considering upgrading but are on a budget, but what’s it like?

Look and feel

The Desire 620 is exactly what you would expect from a mid-range device. While it follows the same design principles as its high-end equivalent, it’s very much a plastic device which makes it look a little plain, especially the back. The casing isn’t the worst thing to hold, and it’s unlikely you will mind too much as you’re using it.

While it’s a 5-inch screen, the device certainly feels a bit longer than other devices without much of the width and that isn’t exactly a bad thing as it’s the right size for a one-handed device.

The device we had – Santorini White with a blue rim – reminded us somewhat of the old plastic MP3 players you could buy back in the mid- to late-00s. Overall, there’s nothing bad about it, but the look isn’t going to win anyone over.

HTC Gif1 Source: TheJournal.ie

Software and hardware

HTC’s version of Android is very similar to stock Android but with two differences. The first is the style of font and graphics used for apps and widgets and the second is Blinkfeed, HTC’s version of Flipboard which curates news and topics of interest for you. Its use is limited if you already use a news or curator app.

In comparison to other versions of Android, HTC attempt is probably the most straightforward, simply because it doesn’t deviate too far from the stock version of Android. It’s not overly concerned about bombarding you with features, it’s clean and it’s incredibly easy to find whatever you’re looking for.

It also helps that it zips along nicely, although there can be a moment or two where things begin to jitter a little, like when switching between apps.

The hardware is standard for its range and nothing really to write home about. 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage seems to be the standard specs for a mid-range device meaning it completes most tasks competently so long as you don’t push it with intensive 3D games.

Battery life is also, a 2,100 mAh battery is probably right for a device like this and to its credit, it will last the day through normal use.

The screen quality has the right mixture of sharpness and softness so it’s easy on the eye. Although that can result in some colours looking a little washed out, something that’s particularly noticeable when you’re watching videos or using the camera.

The camera and selfies

When Huawei released the Ascend P7 almost a year ago, we did poke some fun at the inclusion of a dedicated selfie function but now, it feels like no self-respecting mid-range smartphone can be released without it.

The Desire 620 doesn’t do anything particularly different, but it does manage to keep things simple so you can focus more on taking your photos.

And that’s probably a good thing as there are some problems. The rear camera has some issues adjusting its brightness and if you try focusing on a darker surface, the change in brightness will make anything that’s remotely light difficult to see.

Focusing takes more effort to get right, and is something you will want to do unless you wish to end up with photos that are slightly darker than usual.

Review: Does the Desire 620 help HTC continue its good run of form?
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The front-facing camera, however, fares a little better and is better thought out. There’s the regular collection of editing tools such as skin softening, lighten skin tone and thinning your face should you require them, and they work just as well as you would expect, although the same lighting problems may occur.

There’s also a rather strange face fusion option, where you can merge two different faces together. The results will either be hilarious or will provide you with enough nightmare fuel to keep you awake at night (In our tests, it was mostly the latter).

HTC Gif 4 Source: TheJournal.ie

Summary

Probably the most standout aspect about the Desire 620 is that there’s no real standout element. Everything performs as well as expected, the software is as good as ever and the price range for prepay (€229) is certainly accessible.

Provided you’re willing to compromise a little, the Desire 620 is a solid device, but you may want to check out the competition first before you part with your cash.

Pros
- Solid performance
- HTC has one of the cleanest versions of Android around.
- Affordable price

Cons
- Plain design
- Rear camera isn’t the best
- Hardware nothing to write home about.

The HTC Desire 620 costs €229 (PAYG) and is available at Meteor/eMobile, Carphone Warehouse. It will also be available in Three.

Read: Instagram has just made a small but important change to how it works >

Read: Which country is buying the most iPhones? (Hint: It’s not the US) >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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