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

As with most smartphones these days the HTC Desire C offers up a variety of different messaging options, so no longer are you confined to just calls and SMS.

First up are the Gmail and Mail apps, providing you with emailing solutions. The Gmail app, unsurprisingly, deals only with Google's electronic mail offering, while Mail is far more open.

HTC Desire C review

You can set up a number of different accounts in the Mail app, including Gmail, and view all your messages in one universal inbox, or separately by account, depending on how you like to work.

HTC Desire C review

Then there's the Messages app for all your SMS and MMS needs. It's the standard Android application with that special Sense 4.0 design on top - straight forward to use, with the ability to attach a photo or video to your message.

If you're down with the kids, or in fact are a kid, then you'll be using the HTC Desire C to check your social networks.

HTC has pre-loaded the official Facebook app onto the Desire C and you're able to sync this with your contacts list, calendar and the Friend Stream app.

Google+ also sits on the handset as standard, but doesn't enjoy any of the connectivity link ups of the Facebook app, while Twitter seems to have been completely disowned by HTC, with the Taiwanese firm not offering any integration or even an app out of the box.

A quick trip to Google Play will sort this out, but don't bother trying to link your Twitter mates to contact profiles – or head to Friend Stream to for a quick tweet, as there's no support for Twitter here either.

The separate Google+ Messenger app also comes pre-loaded on the Desire C, if you're someone who has enough friends on it to cobble together for a chat.

HTC Desire C review

Friend Stream is HTC's universal inbox for social network accounts, although for some inexplicable reason you can only add Facebook and Flickr accounts to it on the Desire C.

HTC Desire C review

It does defeat the point of a universal inbox if you're unable to add a host of accounts, and once again the higher-powered HTCs allow for a variety of accounts to be added – is this the Desire C's sub-standard innards letting it down here?

These messaging options do come a little unstuck when you go to type your message.

HTC is one of the better manufacturers when it comes to Android keyboards, producing a better experience than Samsung on the likes of the Galaxy Y.

However on the 3.5-inch display of the Desire C the keyboard feels slightly cramped, and the sluggish processor means the keys lack the zip of more powerful handsets.

HTC Desire C review

Turn the Desire C sideways and the landscape keyboard offers more travel and a better typing experience, but you completely lose the message you were replying to – although that being said you can't see much of the message in portrait view either.

If you yearn for a better board, then pop over to Google Play where you'll be treated to a range of free and paid-for options – our favourite is Swiftkey X.