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Hands-on with the HTC Desire 601, a new mid-level handset with LTE

HTC may have have already released the One Mini – a mid-range version of its current flagship – but there’s still a large portion of the market that’s served by even cheaper smartphones. That’s where the Desire 601 comes in. It’s a new HTC handset with low- to mid-range specs that borrows designs from past Desire phones, as well as features from the One line.

The first thing you’ll notice about the Desire 601 is the display. It’s a 4.5-inch panel with a 960×540 resolution – that’s a little disappointing given the 4.3-inch 720p screen found on the One Mini. Still, the display tends to be one of the most expensive components in a smartphone, so we’re assuming HTC had to make a necessary compromise in order to keep costs down. And it’s a perfectly capable display: viewing angles are good, and it’s nice and bright. Other specs include a dual-core Snapdragon 400 SoC clocked at 1.4Ghz, 1GB of RAM, and a 5-megapixel camera.

HTC Desire 601

Don’t expect an UltraPixel sensor, though. HTC has included its Highlight and Zoe features, but you won’t get the same low-light performance out of the camera as you would on the One or One Mini. Otherwise, this is the same Sense we’ve already seen on this year’s crop of HTC smartphones. The company has included the dual stereo BoomSound speakers found on the One series too, so audio needs are more than taken care of.

HTC didn’t tell us when the phone will be released, or what it will cost, but did say that it will be priced lower than the One Mini. Expect the Desire 601 to be at the top end of the current Desire lineup – in other words, affordable, but not dirt cheap.

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