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HTC Desire 500 review


Had it been released six months ago, the HTC Desire 500 would have been the best affordable Android handset available, offering quad-core performance while costing a rock-bottom £199. However, with the arrival of the even higher-specced and cheaper Motorola Moto G imminent, its business appeal has been significantly tarnished.


Affordable, quad-core processor, solid design


Older Android version, screen could be better, not as good value as the Moto G

Overall Rating:

3 Star Rating: Recommended

Price: £199

Manufacturer: HTC

For the past few years technology companies have been working to bring smartphones to the masses, releasing a steady stream of semi-affordable handsets. But these affordable smartphones have generally featured poor internal components and offered terrible performance.

HTC's latest Desire 500 is a clear move to fix this problem, offering quad-core performance while costing just £199. However, as it was released alongside the similarly affordable and slightly higher-specced Motorola Moto G, it's reasonable to ask if the Desire 500 is too little too late from the Taiwanese firm.HTC Desire 500 three quarter

Design and build
Visually the Desire 500 is quite nice. The white model we reviewed had a smooth, slightly curved single-piece polycarbonate chassis that neatly connected to its red metal sides. The 500 was also very comfortable in hand, with its 132x67x9.9mm dimensions and 123g weight making it suitably ergonomic and easy to hold.

We were also fairly pleased with the Desire 500's build quality. Despite it being a little prone to picking up dirt marks and fingerprints, the 500 feels fairly robustly built and we're fairly certain it could survive the odd accidental drop or bump.

We were slightly less enamoured with the Desire 500's 4.3in, 480x800, 217ppi display. This is because, the display doesn't match the 4.5in 1280x720, 329ppi screen seen on the even cheaper £135 Moto G. This is a shame, as if we'd have reviewed the Desire 500 even a few weeks ago, the 217ppi display would have been above average for its price point.

Being fair to the 500, though, the screen is still more than usable and features decent brightness and colour balance, and offers users fairly reasonable viewing angles. Our only real qualm with the display is that it's slightly reflective and on a few rare occasions could pick up stray light, rendering the screen all but unreadable.

Next: Operating system, software and performance

Processor: Quad-core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200
Display: 4.3in, 480x800, 217ppi
Storage: 4GB, upgradable to 64GB via micro SD 
Camera: 8MP rear with autofocus and LED flash, 1.6MP front
Connectivity: 2G/2.5G GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 900/1800/1900 MHz. 3G/3.5G UMTS/ HSPA: 900/2100 MHz with HSDPA up to 7.2 Mbps
Operating system: Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
Dimensions: 132x67x9.9mm
Weight: 123g

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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