The newly launched HTC Desire 626 has received great attention from users. Let’s take a look at our deep review about this good looking smartphone.
Pros: attractive and appealling outlook, budget-friendly price, good call quality.
Cons: inconsistency in quality of photos and videos, cumbersome performance, inresponsive automatic brightness.
Bottom line: at its price range, this HTC Desire 626 can be considered the most attractive looking device you can find. However, if you are looking for a faster and stronger performance handset, consider another choice.
The latest launched low-budget device of HTC – the HTC Desire 626 seems like an entry-level smartphone rather than a mid-range one. This 5-inch device is just equipped with a 8 MP rear cam and a decent processor. The attractiveness of this phone among budget-friendly & decent performing Android handsets is the appealling design which comes in 6 different colors (including the color choices of the Desire 626S).
The strategy of HTC to distribute globally the Desire 626 as a value purchase is a good one. It can be obviously seen that HTC is using the entry and middle level handsets to boost their sales and profit, especially the budget users.
Price and availabilty
As this one is globally distributed, users have to check with the network provider or retail stores for the detailed price. Generally, the price is around USD 200 in the US market – no contract bond. There are many carriers provide the HTC Desire 626 in the US such as: Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, Virgin Mobile… with offered payment varies from USD 0 – USD 8 monthly for 24 months or USD 6 monthly for 30 months.
Design and build
The screen display of the Desire 626 is in 5-inch size with HD resolution at 1280 x 720, pixel density at 294 ppi. The phone has dimension at 5.8 inches x 2.8 inches x 0.32 inch and weighs 5 ounces.
Users can firmly believe in HTC when it comes to the device’s design, whatever the price is. Even the Desire 626 may not look the most eye-catching, there’s still intangible value that makes the device a cohesive, seamless and appealing handset. This feeling is similar to the case of Motorola Moto G .
Colors play an important role in the attractive look of the phone as there are 6 color choices available (for example: black & red, blue on blue…). The review model in my hands is in white, black and blue color combo. However, in Australian market, there is just 1 color option offered: blue on blue model.
Another good thing is the unibody design as there are just few gaps in it. As the back is curved around, it may feel like the front is a little bigger than the phone’s back.
The phone arrangement is as follow: volume rocker on the right and it’s above the power/ lock button, slots for microSIM card and micro-SD card are on left, the bottom edge hosts the port for micro-USB, the headphone jack is on the top, on the phone’s front located the speaker grilles above and below the screen and lastly the back is the house for the 8MP cam with LED flash. Impressively, the micro-SD card can be up to 2TB.
Software and apps
The Android 5.1 Lollipop is the operating system being shipped with the Desire 626. As the Android 6.0 Marshmallow is coming very soon, the device can be updated but it shall take some time.
Similar to other HTC siblings, HTC’s Sense comes with the phone and in the Desire 626, it’s the HTC Sense 7.0. There are several specialized applications, especially in camera segment: the familiar Zoe Highlights, the HTC Print Studio (which allows users to creat photo books, e-cards…) and another app that helps users applying different visual themes.
As mentioned before, cameras being featured with the Desire 626 are 13 MP and 5 MP – rear and front cams respectively. The rear cam can capture video up to 720 HD quality.
Camera app in this device is quite easy to use. Users can control flash or swicth between different shooting modes just right on the phone screen. For instance, switching to Selfie mode or Panorama mode just requires a press on the button and to reveal more camera settings (such as macro mode or selfie-beauty mode), users just need to press the ellipses button on the screen.
The Zoe – which is familiar on every HTC phones – helps users creat highlight videos about their captured clips and photos.
As usual, image quality is better when taken outdoor under full sunlight rather than indoor with low lighting condition as photos are brighter with finer details. Thus, users shall satisfy with their landscape or out door shoots.
As expected, the indoor pictures cannot be as crisp as in higher-end cameras. Photos taken with low-light conditions or night shots are flat, invivid, somehow blurry with noises.
In contrast, the 5 MP front-cam works pretty well as pictures come out with true to life colors and in focus (of course, under abundant lighting). However, beauty mode for selfies shall require ducking into settings if you want to beautify your selfies.
When it come to video capturing, issue appears as I did notice noise and stuttering situation. Even under abundant lighting, motions are sometimes blur especially when capturing jumping jack objects.
For many users, they often forgive such cons in cameras of budget-friendly devices. But for me, I can see many low-budget phones with well performing cameras, and thus, this issue is quite hard to defend.
Performance and battery:
The processor being equipped in the Desire 626 is the Qualcomm’s quad-core Snapdragon 201 at 1.1 GHz clock speed. This is quite not an advantage as there many middle or even entry-level devices out there that are using the faster 2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor.
One easily seen noticeable slowdown is the game streaming: when playing Riptide GP2 – my baseline game in comparing phones’ performance, the Desire 626 is more stuterring and less responsive. Another factor can be mentioned here is longer bootup: it takes around 50 seconds while in other similar phones, this action just takes around 30 seconds.
However on the other side, it just takes a little time for shot-to-shot: around 2 seconds between each shot including time for auto-focus.
The Desire 626 is shipped with a 2000mAh battery. As our test of video streaming, this device last for just around 7.5 hours, which is not a good result (even we can say the result falls on the bottom) as the second shortest lasting phone – the Huawei P8 Lite – can last for up to 8 hours 3 mins. This might be the reason for the dim screen as this is the way to reserve juice for battery.
Generally, this device can hardly last for a whole day, even with normal users.
Call quality and data speed
As the Desire 626 is distributed globally, the phone can work well both on CDMA and GSM network with different network version available, LTE is also supported. As I’ve tested in AT&T network in San Francisco, data speeds are within the average range as I usually get.
However, as this device just got mid-range specs, Wifi network is just supported at 2.4GHz speed, not the fastest 5 GHz as in other higher-end devices. Actually, this one doesn’t matter to me, just a note for you to be aware of.
Regarding the call quality, as mentioned earlier, the Desire 626 brings great quality when making calls, both through speakerphone and earpiece. Voices from both sides are loud, clear and impressively rich. It just feels like my calling partner is just nearby next to me eventhough he’s in New York – 3000 miles away. In relatively quite space such as in a office or in car, calls can be easily and comfortably made through speakerphone.
What I love in this HTC Desire 626 are its appealling design, the buget-friendly price, the excellent call quality it brings. However, what bothers me more is the phone’s poor performance in comparision with other devices in the same category. Some issues can be listed here are: the dim screen as if the phone is running out of battery shortly so that users have to stick their face to the display, the lagginess streaming and the short battery life.
Overall, the price tag and attractive look cannot help the Desire 626 stand out of the crowd. If you are willing to pay for just a little extra cost for pricier phone, the extra value you get shall surely be much more than what you can get from the Desire 626. Some outstanding examples are the 16GB Motorola Moto G with stronger processor, better camera with customizable design or the Alcatel One Touch Idol 3 with much better 13 MP cam and far more fancier specifications.
In short, if HTC want to become a strong competitor in this mid-range & lower range segment, they shall have to work more to cut down the price of Desire 626 or to improve this device’ performance.