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HTC Desire 500 review

Andy Vandervell

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Reviewed:

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HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500
  • HTC Desire 500 28
  • HTC Desire 500 camera photos 5
  • HTC Desire 500 camera photos 1
  • HTC Desire 500 camera photos 2
  • HTC Desire 500 camera photos 3
  • HTC Desire 500 camera photos 4
  • HTC Desire 500 camera photos
  • HTC Desire 500 camera photos

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

Pros

  • Nice, classy design
  • Bright and clear screen
  • Decent general performance

Cons

  • Camera slightly inconsistent
  • Battery life a little weak
  • Mediocre built-in speaker

Key Features

  • 4.3-inch, 480 x 800 screen; 4GB storage; Qualcomm Snapdragon 200, 1.2GHz quad-core; 8MP rear camera with LED flash and autofocus; 1.6Mp front camera; microSD card slot; 1,800mAh battery; 123g
  • Manufacturer: HTC
  • Review Price: £200.00

What is the HTC Desire 500?

The HTC Desire 500 is HTC's new mid-range phone, available for around £200 SIM-free, £180 on pre-pay and from £17 or so a month on contract. It has a 4-inch screen, a decent overall spec and a design that far exceeds what we're used to at this price.

On paper it's a very promising phone, though like most mid-range phones it now has the formidable Nexus 5 to contend with, which - although £100 more - is a tempting alternative given it's only £3 a month more on contract. Can the HTC compete?

Watch our HTC Desire 500 video review:

SEE ALSO: 10 best cheap phones you can buy

HTC Desire 500: Design & Features

We like the look of the HTC Desire 500. It comes in three flavours: all black, white with red trim and white with blue trim. Ours is the white and red variant, but each has its charm and the build quality and feel of the phone in the hand are very reassuring. It's plastic, but it feels sturdier and pricier than the Samsung Galaxy S4, though we're not sure if this reflects well on the HTC or badly on the Samsung. Probably the latter.

In any case, it's a classy, svelte and light phone (just 123g) with no annoying protrusions or sharp corners. The only physical buttons are the power/hold button at the top and volume controls on the right. If we have a criticism of the Desire 500's design it's that the volume buttons are hard to locate by feel alone, but it's not a serious problem and we rather like the way they're integrated into the coloured trim, visually.

The only visible connection is the standard miniUSB charging port, but prise off the back and you'll find a microSD card slot. It's a necessity given there's only 4GB onboard, of which just over 3GB is already accounted for before you install any apps.

Wireless connectivity is well catered for thanks to Wi-Fi (802.11n), GPS/AGPS, Bluetooth 4.0, the latter being an impressive addition at this price. There's no space for NFC, but that's hardly a dire omission. That it runs Android 4.1.2 means the Desire 500 is a little behind the times, though this shouldn't put off the average buyer.

SEE ALSO: 10 best Android phones you can buy

HTC Desire 500: Screen Quality

Neither should the screen, which is a decent effort. Its 800 x 480 resolution falls short of the pixel squeezing feats of the Samsung Galaxy S4 (440 ppi) or Nexus 5 (445 ppi), but the smaller 4.3-inch frame ensures a reasonable 217 pixels per inch (ppi). You'll see a little fuzziness around text when viewed close-up, but held at a reasonable distance the HTC Desire 500's screen looks good enough.

This is helped by the exceptional brightness and contrast for a phone at this price. The brightness is a particular highlight, no doubt due to the use of an LCD screen as opposed to the AMOLED type seen on some high-end phones. This peak brightness really helps when outdoors, where the Desire 500's screen is easier to use than many cheap phones.

Colour and contrast, meanwhile, don't reach the heights of an AMOLED screen, but are very good for a phone at this price. You'll have no complaints when viewing photos or watching videos.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut

Thomas Fogh

September 26, 2013, 9:35 am

The Desire 500 DOES have removable battery cover!

edelxander

October 6, 2013, 2:02 pm

yes, it DOES have a removable battery/ battery cover

Elkaan

October 13, 2013, 9:28 am

hi, can tell me about the display and glass used in desire 500.

dourscot

November 13, 2013, 5:35 pm

How about comparing this with the Moto G? I'd suggest the HTC is in trouble.

sitlop

November 16, 2013, 11:43 am

There is no comparison.

highlander

November 25, 2013, 7:17 pm

It's a 4.3 inch screen and not 4 inch as stated in the video review.

erk

December 19, 2013, 8:21 am

the desire has support for a 64gb sim card while the moto doesn't even have a slot. Biggest deal breaker for me :P

diya

March 25, 2014, 9:43 am

I want to buy dis htc desire 500. I have read no. Of reviews bt still confused whether to choose this phone or something else.. pls do guide me

hiren

April 9, 2014, 5:07 am

this is nice phone .dont think more and will bye it.i also bought this phone .its very good features and camera clearity.

Obi

May 17, 2014, 5:33 pm

How is the Skype feature on this phone. I am always on the road, and stay in touch with family via Skype, Viber, and such. Anyone?

Adam West

May 28, 2014, 11:17 pm

Anyone know if this phone is dual SIM?

Joe

May 31, 2016, 5:06 am

Firstly the phone is cool is all respects. But the biggest issue with HTC phones are (Im owning Desire 500) the display gets blackened from corners first, then it increases to whole screen. I have used my phone basically for communication only and VERY less of video or browsing but still the display started getting blackened from top corners. This issue I have heard from my cousin and also few others on net reviews. The company asks for 7K for screen repair (I better buy a new phone than spend my hard earned money for this). I paid Rs. 20,000 for this device and in 1 year with very judicious use and with no accidents, such a complaint is not feasible for a company like HTC. Hope this info helps some and makes the company more profession in dealing with effected customers.

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