Technology journalists and industry analysts have spent a lot of time lately discussing how vital the newly launched One (M8) is for the struggling HTC's survival. However, the company is where it is largely because it hasn't had a strong
strategy in the low-end and mid-market segments. HTC has neglected a huge audience, and it also needs to get pricing right.
At least it seems as though HTC has now understood this, and has announced a few devices in the low-end segment.
We have the HTC Desire 310 for review, which is HTC's first budget Android
device in a long time. Along with the HTC Desire 210, which will be priced
even lower when it hits stores, we hope this device can kick off a revival of sorts for HTC. Read
further to find what the Desire 310 means for HTC's entry-level aspirations.
Look and feel
a world in which manufacturers are clamouring to showcase how thin
their devices are, HTC has created a smartphone that is
rather overweight. The Desire 310 has a thickness of
11.25mm and weighs 140g. If you like a solid grip, you'll find the contours actually make for good ergonomics.
The 4.5-inch screen of the Desire 310 is great for
single-handed operation. We got the dark blue variant for review, and it
looks good. The phone is also available in white. The rear cover is removable, and beneath it you'll find the 2000mAh battery, slots for both SIM cards, and a slot for the micro-SD card.
edge of the HTC Desire 310 is completely bare, and the right edge
features the volume rocker and power button, which are too soft in
our opinion and might get damaged if it is not handled with care. Above
the screen are the front-facing VGA camera and front-firing speaker, which is always a bonus. HTC foregoes physical buttons for
on-screen ones for navigation. In regular usage, we
found that for a device of this size it was a hindrance, especially,
when using the on-screen keyboard.
Features and specifications
HTC Desire 310 has a Mediatek MT6582 quad-core processor clocked at
1.3GHz, with Mali 400MP2 graphics.
The phone has 512MB of RAM, which we feel is too little. Surprisingly, the European edition of this phone has 1GB of RAM. HTC provides 4GB of internal storage of which
only one gigabyte is available to use. You'll have to expand it
using a microSD, and this phone supports up to 32GB.
The HTC Desire 310 has
a 5-megapixel rear camera with no flash or autofocus, which is a disappointment. The front-facing camera can shoot VGA images. Surprisingly,
the rear camera can capture video at 1080p. The two Micro-SIM
cards work in active standby mode.
The 4.5-inch screen has a
resolution of 854x480, and in our opinion is dull and lifeless. The
viewing angles are bad and legibility under sunlight takes a
hit. As we mentioned earlier, the phone has on-screen buttons which take up a portion of the screen, and especially because an older version of Android has been used, apps lose screen space to the black button bar.
Desire 310 runs Android 4.2.1 (Jelly Bean) but not the usual customised Sense UI interface. The BlinkFeed visual news reader is still present and the app drawer is borrowed from Sense, but all the icons are stock Android.
The phone has three homescreens, but you can add up to three more. To the left of the default screen is BlinkFeed, HTC's attempt to aggregate content from various sources including social networks, much like the very popular Flipboard. It is a fairly convenient tool and we ended up using it quite often.
HTC bundles a few
third-party apps with the
phone, such as WeChat, Twitter and Polaris Office Suite, all of which could be useful. A video highlights app collates pictures to create an instant slideshow to which a user can add music or a theme. It is nothing fancy, but is definitely an interesting inclusion.
want to get one thing out of the way: the HTC Desire 310's 5-megapixel
rear camera is quite bad. This is mainly because it doesn't have auto-focus. Images have a lot of noise, even those captured in
daylight. In low light, it is
almost unusable. The rear
camera captures video at 1080p which is totally pointless since that
kind of resolution goes waste when the footage itself is devoid of any
(click for full size)
There is no hope with the front camera either, since the maximum resolution is a lowly 640x480.
The camera app is stock and there are a few modes like
panorama and HDR available but there is no point in discussing them since we expect users won't even bother with this camera.
since Google introduced Ice Cream Sandwich or Android 4.0 to the world,
it was clear that optimisation could work wonders. But performance is
still highly dependent on what a smartphone packs under its hood. The
HTC Desire 310 features a quad-core Mediatek MT 6582 processor clocked
at 1.3GHz. Let's check how it
The AnTuTu benchmark returned a score of 17,136 which
is fairly decent for phone in this price range. Quadrant gave us a result of 5,962 which is once again, an acceptable score. However,
we faced a roadblock when we tried to run the GFXbench test. It just
didn't work. 3DMark's Ice Storm runthrough returned a score of 3,090 which
indicates casual gaming will just about be okay. All scores aside, we want to reiterate that
512MB of RAM is insufficient and could be one of the things that caused the device to stutter and lag in day-to-day operation.
battery lasted us 6 hours, 23 minutes during our continuous video
loop test before it died. This should translate to a day's usage in
real-world conditions. The one department where HTC shines is the quality
of sound from both, the speaker and the bundled earphones. Could it be
a Beats branding hangover?
The phone cannot handle 1080p videos
without artefacting or skipping frames, but it managed to play 720p
videos just fine, which is what we expected. It had no problems making calls even in low network areas and the clarity of sound during phone calls is really good.
HTC Desire 310 has very few positives going for it. You could use it as a phone with basic media playback features, but not much more than
that. Moreover, HTC is not doing itself any favours by pricing the phone
at Rs. 11,358 which is very close to the Moto G - by far a superior
performer. HTC needs to do a lot better than this to do well in today's mid-budget market.
HTC Desire 310 in pictures