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HTC Desire 620 Review: In Depth

The Good

  • Long battery life
  • Sharp HD screen
  • 4G support

The Bad

  • Cheap look and feel
  • Camera merely 'meh'
3.5

We review the HTC Desire 620, a mid-range mobile boasting impressive battery life and a 720p HD screen, but is it as good as a Moto G?

Design

The HTC Desire 620 sports a very similar design to other recent HTC mid-rangers, like the Desire Eye. Thick bezels above and below the screen give a stretched appearance and the phone is rather chunky at 9.6mm, but the (quite hefty) 160g frame is at least well weighted when sat in your palm. It takes some skill to work your thumb up to the top of the screen when using one-handed, but you’ll eventually get the knack.

HTC has gone for a glossy plastic finish, which we reckon gives the Desire 620 a rather cheap appearance, on par with Microsoft/Nokia’s cheapy Lumias. The good news is it’s not a fingerprint magnet like the Desire Eye, and the back pulls right off to reveal the SIM card and micro SD memory card slots, plus a removable battery.

Screen and media

Media fans should be reasonably satisfied with the Desire 620’s 5-inch 720p screen, which is sharp and spacious enough to kick back with a high-def movie on the commute. HD films really do shine, as they do on rivals such as the Moto G and the Honor 6, helped along by a rich colour palette.

Whites may look a wee bit murky and the screen isn’t one of the brightest panels around, but we had no real complaints for everyday use.

Although the Desire 620 has two speakers built into the front, like the BoomSound efforts found on HTC’s flagship phones, for some weird reason only the bottom speaker actually functions when playing media. Sound quality is fine, but there’s not much oomph, so you’re definitely best off using headphones when kicking back on the sofa with a game.

The Desire 620 packs a meagre 8GB of storage, a serious chunk of which is used by the OS, but HTC has kindly added a memory card slot so you can expand to your heart’s content. You can therefore carry around dozens of movies and a massive music collection, wherever you roam.

Features and interface

HTC Sense 6.0 is stacked on top of Android KitKat 4.4.4, bringing some neat additional functionality and a visual overhaul to Google’s mobile OS.

Of course, one of the major tweaks is the BlinkFeed interface, which is very much love-it-or-never-use-it (thankfully it can be deleted if you fall into the latter camp, to clean up your desktops). If you enjoy keeping an eye on the latest internet stirrings, there are far worse ways to do it than with BlinkFeed, which now pulls information from your favourite social apps and news feeds.

If you’re not a fan of how Sense looks, you can call up a different theme and even change fonts through the settings. There’s not a massive selection however, so you’ll need to download some fresh Android themes if you want to sport something a little different.

All of the usual smartphone features are present and correct, including 4G for nippy media streaming and web browsing and NFC to quickly pair with other handsets.

Performance and battery life

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 410 processor is backed up by 1GB of RAM, all packed neatly inside the Desire 620 to provide perfunctory performance.

Occasionally the phone drags its heels, taking a while to load up all of your browser tabs (even when you only have five on the go) or even pausing for a few seconds after you punch in your unlock PIN. However, barring the occasional stutter it’s perfectly acceptable, while games such as Fifa 15 run with a smooth frame rate.

Battery life is one of the Desire 620’s highlights and something HTC has nailed with its recent crop of handsets. Even with regular use, including basic tasks such as messaging and browsing the web plus more intensive stuff like shooting video and streaming music, the phone will happily last a day and a half before it needs charging.

However, if you start to cane the phone with non-stop video playback, it struggles to beat rival smartphones. Expect a distinctly average five hours of life.

Cameras

The Desire 620’s rear 8-megapixel camera doesn’t quite match the megapixels of the Desire Eye’s 13-meg snapper, but we weren’t exactly blown away by the Eye’s camera tech anyway. And as we all know, it’s not how many megapixels you pack, but what you do with them that counts.

Whip out the Desire 620 in the street and bring up the camera app in full auto mode and chances are you’ll end up with a decent enough shot. Our daytime snaps were detailed enough to view back on a big telly without looking pixelated or blurry, and while they’re not exactly bursting with life, they’re perfectly acceptable for a mid-range snapper.

However, the auto mode does struggle with lighting conditions if they aren’t just right. Bright light can turn everything blue (thankfully switching to HDR mode seems to help) and when you’re shooting in a dimly lit room, you can expect flat, lifeless and grainy photos as a result. The flash is normally a necessity even when you’re just taking snaps in your lounge.

HTC has wisely decided not to chuck a load of pointless camera features into the Desire 620, but the interface is crowded with all kinds of manual controls, which would be better served hidden off-screen. You can switch on HDR, anti-shake, night-time and landscape modes and so on, as well as dick around with ISO and balance levels.

On the front you get a second 5-megapixel camera, which you call into action by swiping down the camera interface. It’s perfectly serviceable for solo shots, complete with countdown timer so you can get your pose just perfect, although images can once again look rather lifeless.

HTC has also included its long-standing Zoe app, which allows you to quickly compile your shots and short Zoe clips into a montage, to wow your friends with on social media.

Verdict

For around £170, the HTC Desire 620 offers decent enough value. The design may look and feel cheap but everyday battery life is excellent and the HD screen keeps things sharp, while we’re still fans of HTC Sense.

Thanks to Three.co.uk for providing the review handset. Check out Three for hot deals on the Desire 620 and other HTC handsets.

Specification

Screen size5-inch
Screen resolution720p
Weight160g
OSAndroid 4.4 KitKat
Rear Camera8-megapixel
Front camera5-megapixel
ProcessorSnapdragon 410
Memory1GB
Storage8GB + microSD
4G LTEYes

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