|+ Quad-core power||- Weak camera|
|+ 4G||- Little in-built storage|
|+ Big battery||- Low resolution screen|
Verdict: The HTC Desire 510 packs power and 4G into an affordable package, but a weak screen could really hold it back.
With the Desire 510 HTC is adding another handset to the increasingly crowded budget market. A slick interface, quad-core processor, 4G support and sizeable battery certainly tick a lot of boxes for it, but it’s not all good news, so just how well does the HTC Desire 510 hold up?
The screen is likely to be the most disappointing aspect of the HTC Desire 510. At 4.7 inches it’s a good size but it’s only 854 x 480, which is rather low resolution, especially given the size. It’s a large, sub-HD display so pixels will be very visible and it won’t be anywhere near as sharp as many other phones, even other low cost ones.
For example the Moto G has both a smaller and higher resolution display and even the entry level Nokia Lumia 530 and Motorola Moto E have it beat for pixel density. HTC hasn’t announced what price the Desire 510 will go for yet but it’s unlikely to be as cheap as either of those despite having an inferior display.
The HTC Desire 510 largely follows the design language of other HTC handsets, with a slightly curved back which fits comfortably in the hand and a front facing speaker. However while flagships like the HTC One M8 are metal, this is polycarbonate and while there is one speaker on the front there’s not the dual stereo array found on many other HTC devices.
Still as affordable phones go it looks good and despite the curved back it’s not super chunky at 9.99mm thick. It’s got a certain amount of weight to it at 158g but it shouldn’t feel uncomfortably or unnaturally heavy.
No-one will mistake this for a flagship, especially with the large bezels around the screen, but all in all it doesn’t look bad at all.
Affordable phones are getting surprisingly powerful and the HTC Desire 510 is no exception. It has a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor and 1GB of RAM which should be plenty enough to keep it running smoothly, especially coupled with Android 4.4, which is a smoother, more stable experience than older versions of the OS.
HTC’s Sense interface is running on top too and as manufacturer UI’s go this is one of the slickest and smoothest around. On top of that the HTC Desire 510 supports 4G, so not only does it have a powerful processor leading to speedy performance, but it can also benefit from super-fast data.
The HTC Desire 510 only has a 5 megapixel camera, but that’s fairly standard for entry level to lower mid-range smartphones. There’s also a VGA camera on the front, which is very much on the low end, but then the Nokia Lumia 530 for example doesn’t have a front facing camera at all.
Don’t expect the Desire 510 to be great for photos or videos and it’s going to be especially lacking for selfies and video calls, but it should get the job done in a pinch.
Being a fairly low-end phone the HTC Desire 510 isn’t exactly feature packed, but beyond 4G and the standard smartphone features that we’ve covered it does have a couple of extra things going for it.
For one thing there’s BlinkFeed, which will be familiar to anyone coming from other HTC handsets. This essentially aggregates all the news, social media updates and other information and stories that you’re interested in into a single screen filling feed. So it takes up one of your home screens if you enable it, but it’s visually rich and ensures you never miss an update and don’t have to trawl through multiple apps and websites to keep up with everything.
The HTC Desire 510 also supports HTC’s Dot View case, allowing you to interact with the phone and even answer calls while the case is closed and covering the screen, keeping it protected while leaving it useable.
The HTC Desire 510 has a surprisingly large 2100 mAh battery, which HTC claims can last for up to 17.7 hours of talk time or up to 646 hours of standby time. That’s well above average and especially impressive given how affordable this phone is. If it lives up to those stats then it’s not unrealistic to expect to get two days of use out of it between charges.
The HTC Desire 510 doesn’t fare quite so well for memory as there’s only 8GB built in, but it also has a microSD card slot with support for cards of up to 128GB.
For connectivity options you get 3G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. There’s no NFC but even 4G support is impressive at the sort of price we’re expecting this to retail for.
The HTC Desire 510 is very close to being a great phone, in fact based on our first impressions the only thing really holding it back is the low resolution screen. Even for an entry level handset this comes as a disappointment and while we don’t yet know how much the Desire 510 will sell for there’s no way it will be cheap enough to get away with a 4.7 inch display that only has an 854 x 480 resolution.
If HTC couldn’t afford to increase the resolution then we actually would have preferred they shipped it with a smaller screen, because that size and that resolution are not a good match.
It’s a real shame because there’s so much good about it, from a powerful processor to an attractive design, long battery life and 4G support. There are other issues, for example the camera doesn’t look great, but nor is it likely to be terrible and there’s not much built in storage but with a microSD card slot that’s not such an issue, so the screen is the only major failing but it really is major.
If you can live with an utterly underwhelming display then this could still be a great buy if it’s priced right, but it’s not the essential lower mid-range phone that it could have been.
Dimensions : 139.9 x 69.8 x 9.99mm
Weight: 158 grams
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