The HTC Desire X is a phone that shows you don't have to spend all that much money to get an Android phone that feels fairly high-end. At under £250 SIM-free, it's priced to compete with mid-range Androids like the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2. It may not cause jaws to drop, but the HTC Desire X is a phone that even the smartphone elite should be able to live with easily enough.
Watch our HTC Desire X video review:
The HTC Desire X resurrects one of HTC's classic smartphone ranges. The original HTC Desire, released in 2010, was one of the first phones that the occasional gran knew, alongside the hordes of phone geeks. It was a class act.
Desire is no longer a high-end brand, though. The One range has bumped it down a peg, leaving the HTC Desire X, HTC Desire C and HTC Desire V to supply mid-range phones for those on a slightly restricted budget.
Turn on the critical eye and this is apparent in the HTC Desire X's bodywork. Where the mid-range HTC One V has a largely metal body, this phone is mostly plastic. There's a thin strip of metal surrounding the screen, but the rear is covered almost completely by a removable soft touch plastic battery cover.
A few design touches stop the HTC Desire X from looking too cheap, though. There's the unusually large camera sensor surround on the rear, finished in an eye-catching texture of concentric circles. Matched with the small Beats logo on the phone's rear, it provides the phone with a slightly youth-centric vibe, but not to an extent that should put off grown-up buyers.
HTC has also produced a bunch of tailored cases if you want to take the look closer towards the unusual. There are hard shell plastic cases with circular cut-outs that let the phone's bodywork show through.
There's a hint of styling, but the HTC Desire X does feel a little less distinctive than the HTC One V.
Physical connectivity is standard for a mid-range phone like this. There's a microUSB port on its left edge that also doubles as an MHL video output. Using the right accessory - available for a shade under £20 - the HTC Desire X can output movies to a TV. The positioning of this connector may seem a little odd when the standard is to jam it on the bottom, but it's consistent with the HTC One X design, letting you use the Desire X with that phone's dock
The 3.5mm headphone jack sits up top, just where you'd expect it to be. Although this is the top-end model in the new Desire line-up, its internal storage is minimal at 4GB. However, HTC does include a microSD memory card slot, which lives under the battery cover.
HTC has gone through the standard mid-range moves with the HTC Desire X. It's smaller than the top-end models, it's fairly thin at 9.3mm and the largely plastic-bodied design keeps it light at 114g. Aside from the slight lip that's a genetic throwback to the unibody days of the Desire range, this phone's good looks feel quite commonplace. But in a reasonably affordable phone this is no bad thing.