The HTC Desire X forces its way between the low-end Desire C and the mid-level One V. Safe to say that the Desire X is One V repacked with a dual core. The main difference from the One V it seems is the design, with the HTC Desire X sporting a look and feel which owners of the flagship HTC One X will be familiar with, however the polycarbonate unibody is out, in favour of a rubberised plastic back which you can peel off very easily.
On the front of the Desire X you find the 4-inch, Super LCD display with three touch buttons below it, back, home and multi-tasking, which tells you this handset is packing Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich – but you won’t find a front-facing camera here. There’s also a distinctive looking brushed aluminium plate around the camera lens and LED flash, which doesn’t appear to serve any purpose other than making it look a bit difference.
The 4-inch LCD screen is nice and bright, and fairly sharp too with a resolution of 800 x 400 pixels. But the glass covering sits a little uncomfortably within the casing, and it nestles slightly below the surround, which feels a bit awkward. The screen isn’t as sensitive as it could be either, and uncharacteristically for HTC, we found ourselves having to make more repeat presses than we’d like.
It’s running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich — still fairly rare for a fresh midrange handset. It also has the 4.1 version of HTC’s Sense user interface, which is as slick and fulsome as we’ve come to expect.
There’s a dual-core 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8225 Snapdragon processor on board, backed by 768MB RAM, which isn’t bad for this price range. It benchmarked a performance score of 4,969 with AnTuTu, which puts it a nudge in front of Samsung’s Galaxy Beam but behind the Huawei Ascend P1. In practise, there were occasional signs of lag when opening new apps, especially when you have a few open already.
Music and movie playback gets a bit of help from Beats Audio processing technology, which boosts your volume and your bass — fine if you like that sort of thing, but if you don’t you can always disable it. This is a stripped-down version of the technology, with no graphic equaliser, and you won’t find any Beats Audio headphones in the box either.
The 5-megapixel camera is standard at this price point, but this one has a few extras borrowed from its more expensive brother. There’s a BSI (Backside Illuminated) sensor that helps with low-light snaps as well as an f2.0 aperture, which should let in a bit more light. It has autofocus, as well as a burst mode which can take up to 30 quick-fire snaps in a row if you hold the shutter button down for long enough. And the features keep coming, with face detection and auto smile capture, plus HDR to help with high-contrast shots and a panorama mode. You can also take snaps while you’re in the middle of filming video.
Speaking of video, recording drops to WVGA resolution (800 x 480 pixels), so it’s certainly not HD, though the fact that it records at 30fps means it looks pretty good. Picture quality overall is only so-so though, with a lack of detail in many snaps.
The battery held up fairly well, all told, delivering a little over a day of fairly heavy use.
The HTC Desire X is a perfectly decent midrange handset but is let down by its insensitive screen and it doesn’t really do a lot to distinguish itself from rivals in this space, like the Sony Xperia Sola, Galaxy Ace 2, Sony Xperia P or Orange San Diego. It is better to opt for Xperia P by stretching your pocket a bit.
For– Dual Core, 768 MB RAM, Snappier User Interface, Usabilty, Price.
Against– Camera, GPU is a let down, low developer community support, no Jelly Bean as yet of now, touch sensitivity.