HTC Desire 626 Review: Tech After Its Time

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HTC is well renowned for producing some of the most scintillating design smartphones, but has somehow failed to breach the combined virtual fortress created by all Chinese manufacturers or with lucrative budget offerings Samsung and Motorola with their budget phones. HTC hasn’t been keeping up with the pace, but more recently tried to fuel a new life in its lower mid-range Desire portfolio with HTC Desire 626 Dual SIM, which is more of an upgraded version of the predecessor Desire 620. We used it as our primary phone for a couple of weeks and here is what we felt.

Related post: HTC Desire 626 Questions Answered – FAQ, Benchmark Scores and Photo Gallery

Key Specifications And Features HTC Desire 626 Dual

Model HTC Desire 626 Dual
Display 5.5 Inch, 720p HD
Processor 1.7 GHz Octa Core MT6752
RAM 2GB
Internal Storage 16GB, expandable up to 32GB
Software Android 5.1 Lollipop based HTC Sesne UI
Primary Camera 13MP, LED flash, F2.2 aperture lens, 1080p Videos
Secondary Camera 5MP, wide-angle lens
Dimensions and weight 146.9 x 70.9 x 8.19mm, 135 Grams
Battery 2000mAh
Others 4G LTE, Dual SIM
Price 12,770 INR

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Design & Build:

HTC rarely sets its foot down on the wrong design-side, and that is also the case with Desire 626. In fact, it is one of the strongest point of the phone. Unlike most HTC devices, it is not jaw dropping beautiful, but its plastic unibody casing with funky colors on top makes it eye-catchy. Conventionally, the power key and volume rocker are on the right edge and dual SIM + MicroSD card tray are sheltered under a flap on the left edge.

The phone has a compact form factor and easily fits in the hand. The plastic back lies somewhere between glossy and matte finish, but the handset doesn’t slip out of our hands. A 3.5mm audio jack is placed on the top while microUSB port rests on the bottom-corner.Desire 626 comes equipped with a 5-inch display which has been sandwiched between HTC’s classic dual speaker grills.

Desire 626 comes equipped with a 5-inch display which has been sandwiched between HTC’s classic dual speaker grills. These grills add to the overall appeal of the phone, but ultimately prove to be hollow enticement as the phone only has a mono speaker on the bottom.

Must read: HTC Desire 828 Dual Review: A Phone That Grows On You

Display & Hardware Performance:

HTC has gone in with a 5-inch Super LCD display which has a resolution of 720 x1280 pixels and per pixel density of 294ppi. The display of the phone is good enough for effective day to day usage. It is sharp and colors are close to natural. The only Issue we noticed with the phone is overall brightness which is less than spectacular. Everything isn’t clearly legible under direct sunnew-1

The decision of going in with an Octa-Core 64bit MediaTek MTK MT6752 chipset ticking at 1.7GHz renders Desire 626 dual unfit to compete with phones which are available in the same price bracket. The chipset is accompanied by 2GB of RAM and Mali-T760 GPU which together handles the day to day tasks of a basic user but it clearly lacks the finesse which we expected from a phone launched in 2016.The phone comes out of the box with 9.74GB usable storage out of 16 which can be supplemented with a microSD card.

Also read: 5 Best Bluetooth Speakers In India Under 3000 INR

The phone handles day to day usage and stripped down sense UI well for most part, but struggles when going gets tough. Out of the box, you get 9.74GB usable storage out of 16GB ,which can be supplemented with a microSD card.

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Software:

The Desire 626 runs on Android 4.4.4 KitKat layered with Sense 6 UI. Any given day if you ask my preference between stock android and manufacturer’s customized UI my vote will always be for Stock version. However, if I have to pick a custom UI for my survival, I will most probably pick HTC Sense. HTC over a period of time has streamlined its UI for better RAM management.

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The HTC sense includes a theme store which let me download themes and wallpaper to customize my phone as per my preference. It also includes HTC blink feed that aggregates feed from various social media accounts in one place. We registered slight occasional lag while maneuvering through UI, but the bigger issue here is presence of three generation old OS, even if you don’t count Android N preview. That could be a total deal breaker if you are anything but a basic user.

IMG_9600

Camera:

In terms of numbers, HTC Desire Camera isn’t second to any other phone available in this budget. It is equipped with a 13-megapixel primary camera with LED flash, f/2.2 aperture, BSI sensor and supports 1080p video recording. During the daylight, rear camera reproduces accurate colors, but overall image quality is just average. Images lack details and low light performance offers nothing to brag about. During our trial, night pictures appear grainy and simply not sharp enough. The selfies we took using front camera in most cases looked faded.

Also read: Oppo F1 Plus First Impression – Looks Good, Feels Good

Camera Samples

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Connectivity and Battery Life:

Connectivity is another strong suite of HTC Desire 626 Dual SIM. The phone support dual-SIM which supports 4G LTE band 3 and band 40 on both the SIM cards. Calling experience on Desire 626 is also average. It also support wiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and GLONASS. The smartphone is backed by a non-removable 2000mAh battery. On an average, the phone did not last for more than 3-hours on moderate to heavy usage.

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Worth Buying:

HTC Desire 626 scores well in terms of design, but internal hardware and software appear dated. To sum up my opinion, the handset will cater only to HTC loyalists on a budget. Other users can choose from numerous other options.

Deepak RajawatDeepak Rajawat
Experienced technology journalist with over 7-years of experience. Before embracing online journalism, he has worked with several legacy publications including print editions at Hindustan Times and The Statesman. He also has a keen interest in Sports, which he used to cover with equal enthusiasm in his early career.

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