HTC Desire 500 - Camera

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell



Our Score:


HTC Desire 500 - Camera

Cheaper phones generally skimp a little on the camera, but on paper the HTC Desire 500's camera specs are quite promising. It shoots at 8MP, which is adequate enough, but the impressive bit is it has f/2.0 aperture (the iPhone 5S is f/2.4 and the Nexus 5 f/2.5), which is better than some higher-end phones.

This is offset by the standard 1/3.2-inch sensor, which is the same size as the vast majority of smartphones. This isn't a criticism, merely a reminder that the wide aperture isn't a guarantee of superlative performance.

Things continue to look good when you look at the camera app and features on offer. It has an infinite burst mode, so you can hold the shutter down and keep shooting until the memory is full. This is useful for action shots and the phone will pick the best of the shots for you to use. It records video at 720p and you can take a photo while recording a video at the same time. There are numerous filters, too, all of which can be viewed 'live' so you can see what they'll look like.

There's sweep panorama as well, which is one of a few scene modes accessible via a small icon in the top left. There's a decent selection, including a dedicated night mode, though we'd like a slightly easier way to access them as the icon is small and hard to reach when operating with one hand. Still, on the software side of things it's a very nice experience.

It's a fast experience, too. The Desire 500 focuses quickly and takes snaps with little shutter lag. It is, in other words, a proper mobile camera experience that's ready for that impromptu moment.

The results are decent, too, but there are one or two caveats to remind you that this is still a mid-range phone.

HTC Desire 500 camera photos 3

HTC Desire 500 camera photos 2

In our usual test shot of the City of London skyline, it handles the colours and contrast just fine, but the detail is a little off. In a 100 per cent crop it's noticeably inferior to the Nexus 5, though this is by no means a major embarrassment given the difference in price. It's a fine photo for a mobile, even if it struggles to resolve detail in places.

HTC Desire 500 camera photos 4

Of greater concern is the inconsistent exposure and white balance. We took the three close-up shots above in close succession (within minutes) in the same light, but with very different results. One is actually very good, one is slightly off and the other is... well it's rubbish. This wasn't a regular occurrence, but it's a slightly alarming inconsistency that raises its unwelcome head every now and again.

HTC Desire 500 camera photos

Low light performance isn't as impressive as the f/2.0 aperture suggests, either. With the flash enabled this shot is still rather murky, while the Nexus 5 produces a bright and clear shot. Without the flash the HTC didn't produce any kind of shot in the same conditions, though this is quite an extreme example.

HTC Desire 500 camera photos 1

Above is a more representative shot, showing that the Desire 500 struggled to deal with this indoor shot with bright overhead lights.

HTC Desire 500 camera photos 5

Finally, the HDR mode is decent, but does show a few signs of haloing around objects that you won't see elsewhere.

We must stress, however, that the Desire 500 still performs well for a phone at this price. In decent conditions it takes good photos that anyone will be pleased with; only the most challenging conditions are too much for it.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut

Thomas Fogh

September 26, 2013, 9:35 am

The Desire 500 DOES have removable battery cover!


October 6, 2013, 2:02 pm

yes, it DOES have a removable battery/ battery cover


October 13, 2013, 9:28 am

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


November 13, 2013, 5:35 pm

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


November 16, 2013, 11:43 am

There is no comparison.


November 25, 2013, 7:17 pm

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


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


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


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.


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?


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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