If you own an HTC Desire or Wildfire, that is much loved but getting towards the top of its useful life, HTC has lined up a reasonable mid-range replacement for the one that you love ‘droid with a chunk more oomph.
The Desire X has a dual-core 1GHz chip, a 4-inch screen and it runs the Ice Cream Sandwich-flavoured version of Google’s Android OS, skinned with the most recent iteration of HTC’s Sense user interface.
Pricing hasn’t yet been announced, but HTC describes the will X as sitting lower down its pecking order than its One series range of devices but above the budget Desire C — so expect it to price somewhere inside the region of £180 SIM-free.
I went hands-on at a press preview of the device. Read on for my first impressions.
Design, screen and build quality
If you’ve clapped eyes at the HTC One X, the need X will look distinctly familiar. Looks-wise it’s basically a miniaturised version of HTC’s quad-core flagship — with a number of other key differences. Firstly, unlike the single X, the need X’s back is removable so that you can get on the battery. You furthermore may get a microSD card slot to expand cupboard space.
Secondly, both exposed sides of the screen has been toughened so although the screen appears to stretch your entire technique to the threshold, it’s buttressed with a rigid little bit of plastic. This can be a decent change individually because it means you mustn’t should worry about causing phantom selections or screen flex, regardless of how hard you grip the telephone — problems I encountered at the One X.
The overall look of the will X is attractive. It has some stylish aluminium trim around its face, switching to curved plastic around the back. There is a selection of either black or white models — the latter has blue plastic and silver metal detailing round the camera lens, while the black version is all black (and slightly rubberised).
On front of the need X there is a 4-inch Super LCD display with a 480×800-pixel resolution. During my hands-on, this looked bright, clear and vibrant. I also found the touchscreen — and the 3 touch keys — nice and aware of taps and swipes.
On the pinnacle edge you get a three.5mm headphone jack and an influence key — the latter sited smack bang within the middle.
The 4-inch screen means this phone isn’t a tiddler but nor does it feel too big within the hand. It is also relatively slender and felt fairly lightweight.
Build quality seems like it can be a slight concern, though, because the backplate doesn’t always fit snugly to the perimeters and round the camera lens — with distinct cracks showing. Fitting it back on properly also requires somewhat care because it needs one edge to be addicted to first before any other.
The design of the amount rocker — incorporated into the sting of the backplate — also looks like a weakness because it could easily be ripped off within the strategy of removing the back. We’ll you’ll want to test how durable these components are once we get the telephone in for a whole review.
Powering the need X is a dual-core 1GHz S4 chip, which — providing the cost is ideal — is a decent amount of power for a mid-range ‘droid.
RAM is 768MB, and there is 4GB of memory — 1GB of that is user accessible. This cupboard space can, in fact, be expanded via the microSD card slot lodged under the backplate.
During my hands-on with the device, i did not notice any lag when swiping across the menus, while web browsing seemed responsive and fast — even if panning around full desktop versions of internet sites. So early signs look promising.
The phone certainly feels like it may easily handle the mobile basics of web browsing and light-weight apps. More processor-intensive apps corresponding to high-octane 3D games will probably tax it though, so expect just a little stutter in case you plan on really leaning at the Desire X’s engine.
The battery is 1,600mAh — that is slightly more capacious than the cell Samsung has slapped within the mid-range Galaxy Ace 2.
The phone also includes the Beats Audio music enhancing technology — but won’t include Beats Audio headphones within the box, HTC says.
Like all devices in HTC’s current portfolio, the need X runs Android 4.0 — aka Ice Cream Sandwich. HTC said that’s reviewing whether the device gets an update to Jelly Bean (Android 4.1), but i would not hold your breath.
The Desire X also comes fully loaded with the most recent Sense UI skin — the demo device i used to be testing was running Sense 4.1. HTC’s Sense interface adds an incredibly friendly feel to Google’s OS, supplying you with the everyday Android experience of multiple home screens to swipe around and fill with apps and widgets.
This version of Sense has had a number of tweaks to tailor it this device — so that you do not get all of the bells and whistles of Sense running on a flagship device just like the One X. As an instance, the new Apps Menu brings up the normal Android stack of thumbnails. There also doesn’t appear to be a house screen overview mode — although HTC said this isn’t the overall software build in order that may change when the telephone launches.
The phone comes pre-loaded with HTC’s usual range of apps and widgets including its weather app and the Teeter game. You furthermore mght get 25GB of Dropbox cloud storage included within the price.
And scores more apps — from Spotify to Angry Birds — can without a doubt be loaded onto the telephone via Google’s Play store, which also comes pre-loaded.
HTC has stuck a 5-megapixel camera at the Desire X’s rump, that is pretty well the same old amount of megapixels at this budget. However, the corporate says it has imported most of the camera smarts it added to its higher-end One series range into the need X. For example, you get a back-side illuminated sensor so it might capture more light, and an f2.0 aperture.
The camera interface is usually kind of like the software found on One series devices and includes features akin to burst mode, so that you can shoot as much as 30 photos in a series by holding your finger down at the shutter. It also has the flexibility to snap stills when shooting a video.
HTC’s Graham Wheeler said its aim is for the will X to supply a “best in school camera”.
I had an opportunity to take a couple of snaps and my early impressions are good. Stay tuned for a whole review when i will be putting the lens through its paces.
With the suitable price slapped on it, the need X has the aptitude to be a very tasty mid-range ‘droid. It won’t compete with top-of-the-range Android powerhouses however it will need to have enough oomph for many people’s mobile needs. The sole concern i’ve is that build quality could be its Achilles heel.
HTC said the need X will start shipping in early September, so it’s expecting it to land in shops and be offered by operators by mid-September. Save this page on your bookmarks and return for the entire review.