HTC Desire 626 review

Solidly mid-range specs, disappointingly budget performance

HTC Desire 626 review

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

The HTC Desire 626 is gunning for Motorola's crown, and on paper it's got a good shot, with a big, sharp screen, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera, a stylish design, a customizable look and a similar price.

However, despite solid specs and a reasonable price tag it can't match the Moto G. It might look similar on paper, but while its screen is moderately impressive and performance is usually smooth, its camera capabilities are lacking in practice and its battery is far too small.

We liked

The Desire 626 has a colorful, customiable design both inside and out, with the look of the interface in particular being hugely customisable. If you like making a phone your own, you'll like that about it.

It also offers generally pretty solid performance, and a crisp 720p screen which does a good job of showing off games and media.

A competitive price helps the Desire 626 too. At £169.99 (US$179.99, around AU$257) it's in budget phone territory, and only slightly more expensive than the HTC Desire 620.

We disliked

The camera is a real disappointment. I was hoping for good things from Desire 626, given the 13MP sensor, but actual results were flat and lifeless.

The phone also has an underpowered battery. It will last you through a day of mixed to moderate use, but push it harder and it'll be crying out for a charger before night falls.

There are a frustratingly large number of phones I could say the same about, but as you can also get a much better battery for the same money it's not something the Desire 626 can get away with.

While performance is generally solid the phone benchmarks a little low, and while the colourful design is nice the build quality feels slightly creaky.


The HTC Desire 626 ticks a lot of boxes, matching rivals for specs and packing it all into a colourful, eye-catching shell without pushing the price up.

But it's a phone that doesn't quite live up to its billing. Like the build itself, the handset doesn't quite deliver in the way I'd hoped, particularly when it comes to the camera and battery life.

The screen at least is decent, and it's generally smooth under the finger, but even here there are caveats, with a lack of brightness and occasional slowdown holding the phone back.

I don't want to be too hard on the Desire 626 because on the whole it wasn't frustrating to use, even coming from a higher-end handset – but the competition is just too keen for me to wholeheartedly recommend it.

First reviewed: January 2016

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.