With a screen this size video playback was never going to be the primary use of this phone, but driving the final nail in the coffin – HTC One S style – is the poor playback quality. The slow processor simply can’t cope with anything of remotely high quality, making youtube about the limit of your video ambitions.
Camera and Gallery
Continuing the ‘less than stellar’ theme is the camera which not only lacks autofocus and a flash but also produces pretty grainy shots. There’s also little in the way of effects or extra modes. All told, it’s really only for the most occasional of use. Likewise video, which is only offered in up to 480 x 320 pixel resolution.
Viewing images isn’t so bad with the simple to use Android Gallery app and that decent quality screen. However, you don’t get any fancy integration of photos from your social networks or such like – hardly a surprise at this price.
Along with video, the big advantage of this and most Android phones is that you can load up your files without the need for any extra software of fancy syncing procedure – just plug the phone in and go – and with a microSD slot on hand there’s potentially plenty of room for your vast music collection. HTC has also done a good job in terms of the music interface.
The big draw here, though, is of course the Beats branding, and it means precisely naff all. It amounts to an EQ setting that boosts bass and treble. Overall sound quality is okay but is noticeably a step below higher end rivals.
But, all these issues have to be weighed up against the cost of this phone. At just £150 on PAYG (on Three) and £180 SIM free it is very definitely budget. You can get cheaper phones such as the original Samsung Galaxy Ace or Orange San Francisco II but they’re a step down in quality and features again. That said, it doesn’t take much of an extra outlay to get a lot more capable device. At £250 you can get a brand new larger and much faster Galaxy Ace 2, while second hand you’ll be able to pick up some of last year’s high-end phones for that money.
It’s always a difficult task to judge a budget phone as for some people the compromises made won’t matter but for others they’ll be fundamental – like the missing LED on the flash in this instance. Also, there’s always the competition from second hand models to consider. But overall we think HTC has done enough to make this a sensible option if you’re looking for a first mobile for a child or just for a stylish low cost handset for yourself.
Score in detail
Screen Quality 7