Preview: HTC Desire C

The HTC Desire X aims to bring design traits from the company's 'One' series to a more affordable package

The HTC Desire X aims to bring design traits from the company's 'One' series to a more affordable package.

Pre-paid Android phones provide good value for money but this is often compromised with a poor quality screen. The HTC Desire X may be a phone that changes that perception — it comes with a large 4in screen that has a resolution of 800x480.

The super LCD screen won't be able to display the same crisp text as more expensive smartphones but at this price it shouldn't have to. A quick look at current pre-paid Android smartphones in Australia will tell you that this should be one of the best screens available in that price category.

The HTC Desire X morphs some design features from the One range into a device that's both smaller and significantly cheaper. The phone is just 9.69mm thick. It has a similar shape and style to the One X and One S but it's not a unibody build. The Desire X does hold one advantage over the One series phones: it has a removable battery and comes with a microSD card slot for memory expansion, neither of which is present on the flagship One X and One XL.

The HTC Desire X has a few other nice additions at this price. It comes with the Beats Audio profile that aims to enhance sound quality (though there are no Beats headphones bundled with the phone) and its 5-megapixel camera borrows some features from the One range. This includes the ability to capture still images while recording video along with a burst mode that will take 2.5 photos every second.

Disappointingly, the HTC Desire X lacks front-facing camera for portrait photos and video calls and its rear camera can't record HD video. The 4GB of internal memory is a little low, but a microSD card should solve any storage woes. HTC also includes 25GB of integrated Dropbox storage for two years.

The HTC Desire X about as powerful as you would expect from a phone that retails for under $300. It has a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, comes with 768MB of RAM and will ship with the 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich version of Google's Android operating system with HTC's traditional Sense UI overlay on top. HTC hasn't stated if or when the Desire X will be upgraded to the latest 4.1 Jelly Bean version of Android but given this is a pre-paid smartphone, we wouldn't expect it to be made a priority over more expensive models.

The HTC Desire X is available now through Optus in Australia. It will sell for $0 upfront on a $35 Optus plan over 24 months. The plan includes $200 worth of calls, unlimited SMS, 200MB of data and unlimited access to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, eBay & Foursquare services per month.

The Desire X will also be available as an Optus pre-paid handset for $299.

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