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HTC Desire C review
HTC's new budget phone looks to set the bar at the bottom end

Pleasingly, the HTC Desire C comes running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version of Google's operating system.

However, it seems like it's bad news if you're thinking of getting this handset for future-proofing, perhaps it's time to think again, as Android 4.1 Jelly Bean does not look like it's coming to the phone.

HTC Desire C review

HTC said: "We know HTC fans are excited to get their hands on Google's latest version of Android. At this point in time, we can confirm that we have plans to upgrade our HTC One X, HTC One XL and HTC One S to Jelly Bean."

The brand hasn't ruled out the fact other phones may get the update, but we're not holding our breath given Android 4.0 never made it to HTC's previous budget flagship, the Wildfire S.

You'll also find the most recent iteration of HTC's Android overlay, Sense 4.0, present on the Desire C – providing a colourful and easy to use interface.

Although the Desire C packs new software, it is unfortunately stuck with the same power which graced the Wildfire S – a puny 600MHz processor and 512MB of RAM.

The lack of power really shows as well, with the general browsing experience feeling noticeably slow and sluggish.

Flicking through the five homescreens isn't slow, but it lacks the fluidity of the likes of the Huawei Ascend G300, which enjoys a 1GHz processor – although it is only running Gingerbread.

HTC Desire C review

You get HTC's new unlock screen, which features the pull ring to unlock feature, as well as four app shortcuts that mirror the apps in the dock on the homescreen.

Pull an app on the lock page into the ring and you'll jump straight into it; however there is a slight delay as the lowly processor tries to process your request.

Homescreens can be edited by holding down on a free space, which opens up the widget menu.

This menu has been nicely designed by HTC, with thumbnails of all five homescreens running along the top – with the various widget options beneath.

HTC Desire C review

There are also tables for apps and shortcuts, should you wish to add other bits and pieces, however make sure you don't get too carried away, as five screens is your lot – and they can fill up pretty quickly.

Thanks to the limitations in the power departments there's none of the 3D animations you see on the more powerful HTC handsets, with all screen transitions and effects staying flat, although we're not sure that will peturb many users.

Prod the multitasking key below the screen and you get the stock Ice Cream Sandwich menu system, instead of the custom HTC Sense view we saw on the One range of handsets.

Hit the app menu button in the middle of dock and the Desire C pops up the app tray. As with the homescreens, scrolling through the pages of apps lacks the fluidity we're accustomed to with other phones, but it's still perfectly acceptable.

HTC Desire C review

Where the lack of power really starts to get noticeable is when you start opening apps. Receive a text and open the messaging app and there's a second delay while the Desire C remembers you've actually got a new message and displays it.

This got frustrating after a while, as it slowed down the whole user experience and with similar delays in other applications, using the Desire C day to day can feel a bit like wading though treacle.

We also found at times that the screen could be a little unresponsive, with us having to jab a finger in its direction a couple of times before it registered – however some of this was down to the slow processing of commands, rather then our touch not being received.

So the HTC Desire C doesn't have the slickest interface in the world, but let us not forget it is a budget handset and the experience is similar to the one we got on the Galaxy Y and Optimus L3 - even for the price it's not really acceptable, as cheaper phones manage to zip along with more aplomb.