HTC Desire X Review – Tim’s Everyday Shopper Opinion

The HTC Desire X Review – Tim’s view


The Desire range of products has been HTC’s mid tier selection for years now. The HTC Desire X represents it and, to tell you the truth, it has surprised me. From nowhere, with minimal advertising, the Desire X has become one of the most researched devices in Australia.

My primary device ( the one I use every day ) is usually the latest iPhone 5 so I end up comparing everything to that. The iPhone is sleek, beautiful and made of glass and aluminum. The Desire X has a very different look and feel to it – but I must say, I like it.

Considering the iPhone is so much more expensive, the Desire X feels incredibly high end to hold. It’s almost the opposite of the construction of the iPhone. It’s got a mat white, polycarbonate body and beveled aluminum edges. But to give HTC their dues, these things make it  looks fantastic  !

HTC Desire X Review – The Camera

People compare the quality of a camera with the same feature on other handsets simply. They look at the number of megapixels each has. As a benchmark, that’s fine but it’s not always exactly that simple. The Desire X has a 5MP camera, almost every other recently released device sports an 8MP camera.

The pictures it takes are fine. I’d argue they’re as good as the ones we’ve taken with other products, even in low light – which is what everyone seems to be competing on these days. Possibly more importantly though is the quality of the HTC camera interface. There are just heaps of options on the Desire X’s camera interface. You can apply a bunch of Instagram like overlays to the pictures you capture for example. You can take multiple shots, one after the other ( up to 2.5 per second ) if you want to sound like a paparazzi photographer snapping someone on a red carpet.

HTC have also allowed the use of the feature which allows users to snap a static image while they’re videoing something which I find actually, very useful !

There are even features that I’d expect on my SLR ( I used to take photography way too seriously ! ) – ISO settings and white balance. To get these on a low / mid tier product is impressive.

I’m giving the camera a B. It’s great but I’m left with an uneasy feeling about the 5MP leaving me behind. It’s a shame because such a simple negative differentiator could have so easily been made more current.

HTC Desire X Review – Memory

I’m not used to worrying about memory. I’ve never had an iPhone with less than 16GB of on board storage for obvious reasons. ( They don’t sell any ! ) The Desire X has 4GB of on board memory out of the box which seems nowhere near enough to me.

Breaking with tradition however ( it’s usually Samsung who give you extendable memory ) HTC have offered an expandable SD memory slot underneath the back cover. You can use this to take the memory on board up to 32 GB.

Thank goodness. If they hadn’t done that, this single feature would have been enough for me to write the device off. People have come to rely on their phones for music, TV, taking hundreds of pictures and videos. 4GB is not nearly enough.

And, to their credit, HTC also offer a 25 GB Dropbox account which means you can store what you need in the cloud and get to it either from your home computer or on your device.

All in all, I love the flexibility and options of the way HTC have approached storage on the HTC Desire X.

HTC Desire X Review – Screen & Software

With a 4.0 inches screen, the Desire matches my iPhone 5’s capabilities. The screen on the Desire X offers good color rendition and the software is fine although it doesn’t blow me away. A slightly smaller form factor means I can operate the Desire X with one hand.

I find Sense to be one of the better User Interfaces available on top of Android but I am extremely, extremely sensitive to the glitches that Android throws up. Using the Desire X, from time to time, the screen stutters or the software stops to think when I’m trying to do several things at once. You just don’t get that with iPhones and all the widgets and personalization in the world doesn’t make up for software that stalls.

All that said, however the smaller screen makes browsing some web pages a bit cluttered. These days, the market has moved to larger screens and 4 inches makes some of my regular site visits a more cramped experience.

HTC Desire X Review – Summing up

For a mid to low end device, the Desire X is great. I can see why so many people are interested in it. At the pricing we’re seeing, the HTC Desire X might just be the best low end device in market.

It’s a current as opposed to cutting edge product. It holds its own rather than pushing boundaries.

But viewed from the other side of the same argument, it’s pretty much half the price of other handsets on contract in Australia. If you combine the look and feel of the thing when you hold it in your hand, it’s one of the most pleasing devices we’ve seen.

Even with a B grade for the camera, the Desire X is well placed for strong sales in Australia. Maybe that’s why it’s stormed in to the Top 7 recently !

Nov ’12

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.