Much like its bodywork, the HTC Desire X features a mid-level screen. It’s four inches across and uses a Super LCD screen. Although not quite as high-performing as a true IPS display, it feels a perfect match for a phone of this calibre.
HTC Desire X Screen
With a relatively traditional LCD panel, it avoids the pentile sub-pixel array of most AMOLED phones. Without descending into further technobabble, a pentile array makes text looks less sharp than the resolution of the screen might suggest – and the HTC Desire X couldn’t afford that as its resolution is a relatively lowly 480 x 800 pixels.
At normal viewing distances, text still looks sharp, but zoom out in the browser and characters quickly become an indecipherable mess of pixels.
The HTC Desire X isn’t entirely free of contrast shift, either. At particular extreme angles, the shadowy veil of this screen issue rolls in, showing that this isn’t quite as high-end a screen as something like the Retina offering found on the iPhone 5. However, in normal use it excels.
Viewing angles, contrast and backlight bleed have all been hugely improved since previous-generation Super LCD screens such as that of last year’s HTC Sensation. Even in darkened rooms, black areas stay black, rather than blue or grey they appear on lesser LCD screens.
The technical limitations are here, but for the most part you have to look for them.
HTC Desire X Interface and Usability
Continuining the theme that the HTC Desire X doesn’t quite have all the latest, greatest toys in its arsenal, the phone runs Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS with a slightly cut-down version of the HTC Sense 4.2 interface. Google has just unveiled Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and most importantly the phone misses out on the speed increases brought by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
Flicking through the menus of Android isn’t quite as slick as it is in bang up-to-date phones, but performance is actually very good. The HTC Desire X has a 1GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8225 Snapdragon CPU with an Adreno 203 processor and 768GB of RAM.
HTC Sense fiddles with the look of Android a little, with a custom homescreen icon dock, a tweaked apps menu and a handful of widgets that have helped to cement the iconic HTC Sense look. However, next to the default Android Jelly Bean UI, it is starting to look a little past it.
The particular version of HTC Sense in the HTC Desire X tends to look a little boxy and convoluted, occasionally making the UI seem cluttered in its attempts to put features at your fingertips. It also lacks the quick-access settings in the pull-down notifications menu.
Things that you miss from the “full” version of HTC Sense that features in top-end phones like the HTC One X include the 3D multi-tasking nav bar. These are minor issues, though. HTC Sense remains one of our favourite custom UIs, and offers neat features like the active lock screen. This lets you launch into one of four hand-picked apps directly, and does so while looking good too.
You’re given five homescreens to play with as standard, and there’s a custom widget browser that lets you easily pick the home screen to drop widgets into. Widgets pre-installed include calendars, clocks and web bookmarks.
HTC Desire X Contacts, Calling and Browser
HTC Sense offers a particularly good Contacts book, which ties-in notifications from SMSs, emails, social networks and even Whatsapp. Although the Contacts book doesn’t seem a particularly popular way to get your latest social updates, it is a handy way to get an instant update on a friend. But Trusted Reviews does not condone stalking.
Call quality is good, with decent volume and clarity. However, it does not appear to use the active noise cancelling favoured by many other phones.
The HTC Desire X comes with both a generic Android internet browser and the Chorme for Android browser pre-installed. With a fairly fast processor, responsive touchscreen and fairly large screen, this is a great phone for a morning browse.
The virtual keyboard isn’t the most accurate or flexible, and lacks Swype-style input, but it can easily be replaced with another from the Google Play app store. The one significant drawback is that the HTC Desire X’s screen isn’t all that pixel-packed, meaning you’ll often be better off sticking with mobile-optimised websites than the full desktop versions.