Desirable HTC Desire C - review

2012-10-19 12:00
The HTC Desire C is an entry level smartphone running the Android 4.0 operating system. (HTC)

The HTC Desire C is an entry level smartphone running the Android 4.0 operating system. (HTC)

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Cape Town – The HTC Desire C gives users the latest Android experience in an entry level device in an elegant design.

The baby from HTC delivers the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system which is not generally available from manufacturers on lower end smartphones.

So what do you get on the Desire C? Pretty average hardware wrapped in a neat case that fits snugly in the palm of your hand.

HTC has offered the Desire as a gateway smartphone and it delivers, albeit with some compromises.

It doesn’t have the monster quad core processor of the One X; instead it chugs along pleasantly at 600MHz with 512MB of RAM, slower than a Samsung Galaxy Y, but there are no obvious sluggishness with regular internet, chat and social network applications.


Slowdowns were only observed with graphics-intensive games like Temple Run, Stick Cricket, Greedy Mouse and 100 Missions. Even then, it wasn’t to the point where the device crashed or the games were unplayable.

The Desire does include Beats Audio (which does make a difference if you have decent MP3s) and a 5 megapixel camera which does a neat job of taking those must-upload-to-Facebook pictures.

Disappointingly, it doesn’t allow you to take a picture while shooting video as its bigger brother. As expected from an entry level device, the 5 megapixel camera does a good job in bright light, but expect some graining in lower light conditions.

The Desire C weighs in at only 100g and supports a standard SIM card, making it easy for users to migrate from older feature phones to a smartphone.

HTC also offers users 25GB of Dropbox online storage with the smartphone.

One of the benefits of the slower processor is that the battery runs longer than one would expect and the device was able to manage three days on one charge, even though that didn’t guarantee much success with 100 Missions.


The hero of the Desire C is undoubtedly the Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, and it matches the elegant design of the hardware. The interface is cleaner and the ability to set defaults for computer connection makes it easy to use.

HTC is cagey about the retail price of the Desire C, but the smartphone is available from Edgars at R2 199.90 on prepaid and on contract at R129 a month on an MTN Anytime contract over 24 months.

That seems pricey compared to the Samsung Galaxy Pocket, which is priced at R999 with a faster processor, but the Desire boosts a better camera and OS.

As a measure of how smartphone adoption is still struggling in SA, some stores are still selling the Nokia 500 with its WAP browser and Symbian Anna OS at the same price of the Desire C.

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