At its core the Desire C is a typical Android 4.0 smartphone with all the latest features that entails, and this one factor is enough to put it ahead of many budget phones running older versions of the software. But HTC has of course had a fairly thorough tweak of the overall look and feel.
The homescreen experience is pared down compared to HTC's flagship One series, with only five homescreens on offer, but we hardly see this being a problem for most users. Likewise animations aren't rendered in 3D so screens simply slide left and right rather than rotating as though on a carousel. Also missing is the zoomed out thumbnail view of your homescreens that is normally activated by a tap of the Home button when already on the main homescreen. Both these latter changes we're actually quite happy with as they're rather superfluous anyway.
To customise your homescreens it's just a case of holding down your finger on the homescreen and up will pop the customisation interface. This is really nicely implemented, making it really easy to get all your favourite apps and widgets arranged as you like.
Jump into the App Launcher and you've got options for Frequently used apps and Downloaded ones as well as the standard list of everything you have loaded on the phone. Again, it's simple and easy to use.
As with most new mobiles coming out at the moment, HTC hasn't used software buttons – as stipulated by Android 4.0 – for Back, Home and Multitasking but instead has these as touch-sensitive buttons under the screen. On a phone this small this makes sense and we felt overall navigation was a cinch.
Setting up the phone is also very easy thanks to plenty of easy to follow setup instructions and Android's in built support for most online email and social network accounts.