Mobiles & Tablets

Leaves much to desire!

Sabyasachi Biswas | Updated on January 29, 2014

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Priced in the premium segment, does the new HTC Desire 700 Dual-SIM smartphone justify the moolah it demands?

HTC was quiet on the mid-range front for quite some time – the Desire 600 Dual-SIM didn’t really catch the fancy of the Indian smartphone buyer. And then a few weeks ago, HTC announced its new mid-range portfolio, comprising of the Desire 501, Desire 601 and the Desire 700, all dual-SIM models.

Out of these three, the Desire 700 is the one that seems like the odd man out - it’s positioned below HTC’s other premium models but above the entry-level smartphones. If you skim through the spec-sheet, you’d see some parts which scream mid-range and some that say premium. But the confusion is cleared by the price tag (approx at about ₹ 33,000), which slots it together with the likes of Google Nexus 5.

Like the One, or not?

When we first saw the global announcement, we saw that the Desire 700 had carried over design traits from the One, and we were not complaining at all. But after checking out the India-spec model, we can’t help but grumble a bit! For starters, the device looks more like the older Desire models rather than the new One series which other countries get.

This seems quite unfair considering the HTC Desire 700 is mainly plastic, unlike the HTC One or One Mini or even the One Max. Thankfully it’s not bulky and despite its old-school design the smartphone doesn’t look ugly. It has pleasing subtle green accents on a black body, so it does score some points in the aesthetics department.

The Desire 700 gets BlinkFeed, again a social feed feature that we loved, and gets some good camera tools such as Zoe (it essentially lets you take small videos before you click a picture). No, it does not get the UltraPixel camera like the HTC One but the 8-megapixel snapper at the back takes some really nice pictures. The 2.1MP cam on the front is also bright enough for some good selfies or video calls.

Performance

The 1.2GHz quad-core processor powering the HTC Desire 700 is able enough to take on multitasking on the Android 4.1.2 platform, along with 1GB RAM. We did not observe any lags or freezes until we really overloaded the phone, although we do wish HTC had put in a more recent version of Android on the Desire 700. On the Quadrant Standard benchmarking test, the Desire 700 scores about 3,387 points, lower than the Samsung Galaxy Grand which scored about 3,802 points.

There’s only 8GB of internal storage, but thankfully you get a microSD slot. The battery lasts for an entire day, on mixed cellular and Wi-Fi usage.

The front-facing amplified dual speakers, dubbed HTC BoomSound, are quite good, but they fail to make the HTC Desire a good entertainment device because of the screen. The 5-inch display has a very low resolution - 960x540 pixels only. At this price range, consumers have come to expect a 720p display in the least.

Verdict

Sure, the Desire 700 Dual-SIM’s performance is pretty good the phone itself packs in a couple of HTC’s premium features. But just when it begins to look like a good deal, you notice the compromise on the display and the build quality.

If you are really keen on HTC’s proprietary features such as BlinkFeed or HTC Zoe and are in the market for a dual-SIM smartphone, you could consider the Desire 700 Dual-SIM.

But if you’re looking for a pure multimedia and performance-oriented Android device, you have better options to choose in the same price range, like the Google Nexus 5.



₹ 33,050

Love – Good performance;

HTC premium features; Good sound

Hate – Old design for India; Inferior display; Pricey

Published on January 29, 2014

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