Although it's not much of a set up from the Wildfire S and Explorer, the HTC Desire C is a well rounded budget handset with offers more than enough at its price point, even if it is a little under powered compared to some of its rivals.

We liked

HTC produces some lovely handsets with a real focus on design: take a look at the original Desire, or the One X, and the Desire C hasn't been overlooked, with the curved rubber chassis giving a solid, comfortable feel in hand.

It's good to see a budget handset rocking Android Ice Cream Sandwich, which puts the likes of the Huawei Ascend G300 to shame, and especially the LG Optimus L3 which won't even get an update to ICS.

The HTC Sense 4.0 overlay makes the Desire C an easy to use handset, especially for those who are new to the smartphone game, and the Beats Audio technology will keep kids, which the handset is marketed at, happy.

We disliked

Unfortunately HTC hasn't deemed it necessary to give the Desire C a power boost, sticking with the same, sluggish processor found in its predecessors.

This makes the Desire C's user experience a frustrating one, as you find that the handset always seems to be one step behind what you want it to do, even with simple tasks such as reading a new text message.

We also found the touchscreen could be unresponsive from time to time, pressing the same thing three or four times before the Desire C picked up our actions.

The complete shunning of Twitter by HTC seems a little unnecessary and we were surprised to find we couldn't add more accounts to the FriendStream application.

Verdict

The HTC Desire C is better than the handsets it's come in to replace, but not by much.

The intuitive interface, attractive design and competitive price tag means the Desire C certainly has the opportunity to do well at the low end of the market – especially against the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Y and LG Optimus L3.

But for those who need a little more bang for their buck, you might want to see what the Ascend G300 or BlackBerry Curve 9320 have to offer.