HTC Desire 610 review

Great build quality and software for the price - but that's not enough

HTC Desire 610
Great build and some brilliant features, but not quite great value

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HTC Desire 610 review

The Desire 610 runs Android 4.4.2 with HTC's Sense 6 on top of it. Sense is one of the more successful Android skins with its simple layout and colourful approach.

Talking of colours, HTC's apps are colour coded to their purpose, which is a nice touch, but not something that particularly adds to the experience.

While Sense is relatively unobtrusive, it's still differentiated from stock Android in a number of ways. The dialler and contacts are similar in style to that used by HTC for some years although they have been refined in design.

They do enhance the stock Android experience with a nice simple layout and the ability to choose which contacts to view.

I have to applaud HTC for not messing about with the notification drawer. It works exactly as stock Android does, just with a slight re-design. It still has the quick toggles on the back as well and they can even be customised.

HTC Desire 610 review

The calendar is reasonably good as well, with lots of information shown in the various views. It does not really improve on Google's own calendar app in any meaningful way, but looks more pleasing.

HTC has done a good job with the home screen, making it easy to customise and fast to use. The lock screen is enhanced with four app shortcuts, which mirror those in the dock on the home screen.

The Sense keyboard can be frustrating to use but it is extremely responsive and has above average predictive and correction capabilities. It retains HTC's slightly different layout for secondary actions on buttons but is fairly easy to get the hang of.

Lots of users will just install a replacement keyboard such as SwiftKey, but I found most of these performed poorly while the Sense keyboard was flawless in this regard.

HTC has avoided the temptation to give users the ability to customise every different aspect of the phone, which is commendable. The Desire 610 performs excellently in general and has a fairly cohesive and pleasant overall user experience.

HTC Desire 610 review

Probably the best enhancement to Android that HTC provide is to be found in the gallery app, which on the Desire 610 includes HTC's, highlights videos. These are auto generated short videos set to music based on pictures taken on a particular day or for a particular event. They are very compelling and add a lot to your images.

In the Geekbench 3 test, it scored 1130 over an average of three runs which is fairly typical for a device with the specifications of the 610.

Given the normal benchmark performance, you would expect the Desire 610 to feel like any other similar device, but HTC has worked some magic here.

The Desire 610 feels quick and smooth in operation. Many third party apps can get bogged down as on any other phone in this price range, but the HTC apps are always responsive. It's a testament to HTC's software prowess.