HTC Desire 500 review

With a quad-core processor for this price, something's gotta give, right?

HTC Desire 500 review
Can HTC make it at the budget end?

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HTC used to bundle in its own HTC mapping software, but has since lost that. The focus now, as with every Android device, is on the super impressive Google Maps application.

HTC Desire 500 review

We won't go into huge detail on how the program works, as the chances are that you know exactly what we're going to say. It is an app that nigh on everyone will be familiar with, as it incorporates the majority of features found on the full desktop version

Location speed was really impressive, load up the Maps app and it knew immediately where we were. It also loaded up the map of the surrounding area quickly, with larger cities also getting 3D modelling.

Multi touch gestures are also supported. A simple two finger swipe changes the perspective to give a more sat-nav like experience, and moving your fingers in opposite directions means you can rotate the map. Pinch to zoom is also enabled.

Saving maps seems a little convoluted, however this can be achieved by typing ok maps into the search bar, with a little notification popping up after to let you know the area has been cached.

HTC Desire 500 review

The need for a dedicated sat-nav has also severely diminished given that the Google Navigation software is so impressive. It does require a decent data connection and in-car charger though, to be fully useful.

The 4.3-inch screen is also a little small for you to be able to make the most out of it.


Being an Android powered device, a lot of the app attention for the HTC Desire 500 is on the Google Play Store. We've mentioned before how awesome it is, so we won't cover that again.

The HTC Desire 500 comes with a Kid mode, something that we're now seeing a wider range of devices. This allows you to give your phone to a child without running the risk that they will buy stuff from the internet or send a picture of who knows what to your boss, or worse, your girlfriend. The main interface is pre-loaded with games and activities

HTC Desire 500 review

The only annoying thing is you have to enable Kid Mode, where on Windows Phone the service is accessible from the lock screen, which saves you from a child with sticky fingers nabbing your phone.

HTC has put in a Notes app, that integrates itself with Evernote. Through the app, you can record voice and typed notes at the same time and see where they match up afterwards. This is a big help for those transcribing notes, so ideal for students in lectures. This will require you to get pretty hot on the keyboard, though.

Polaris office is on offer and will allow you to view and edit a whole host of document types. It's an irritating app in that when you download a PDF it won't let you read it - but then when you try to open it with Adobe Acrobat (which you have to download) you're presented with an option to open in Polaris, and it does it better than Adobe. Grrrr.

Beyond that, we're into the same territory as previous HTC devices, with the handy flashlight locked deep away in the menu, so make sure you turn it into an app shortcut if you live in darkness or like poking through stuff quietly.

And finally, the HTC Weather widget. How we love you. While Sense 5 has stripped away the temperature graph of old and replaced it with a list of temperatures for each hour, it's still light years ahead of the competition, which push you onto a mobile site to just see how cold or hot it's going to be later that day.

As we mentioned in the media section, the internal storage is pretty low. We found that over 3 of the 4GB internal storage was filled, so you'll need to pop in a microSD card if you plan on installing pretty much anything.

This does provide a massive stumbling block as you're left unable to download apps of any significant size before moving them over to the SD card. Students, or anyone for that matter, with a penchant for avians of a violent disposition will be left extremely wanting.