Not everyone can splash big cash on a smartphone, which is the budget class of equipment at £ 150 or less. HTC offers in this department is HTC Desire 530 – it has the signature HTC style, but does it also cover the goods under it?
HTC Desire 530 Review: Design & Display
The HTC Desire 530 is HTC’s budget offering in the same year that it brought us the capable HTC 10; however, although the flagship was highly capable and well-finished, design wise it was virtually a repeat of what HTC has produced for several generations now. Because the HTC Desire 530 shares the same signature aesthetic HTC has employed across its range, that’s also the case here. It’s not a bad looking phone by any means, but it is a standard HTC-shaped slab just like its forebears. Minimalist, industrial design is the name of the game here, and if you love that then you’re sure to be happy enough with the “less is more” looks. I’m certainly quite fond of it, but I can appreciate it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
However, HTC has always been a firm that knows what kind of materials to employ to give the best experience when handling a device. That is most obivious in flagship models, and in the last few years the company has pretty solidly settled on metal, but we’ve seen it do well with ceramic and plastics in the past too. With the Desire 530, this is also the case; HTC has opted for a satisfyingly robust and quality-feeling polycarbonate and it’s well built with little in the way of wobble or flex to speak of.
Perhaps acknowledging that its style might be a bit spartan for some, as well as standard black and white coloured editions, HTC also has a couple of specialised colour finishes for a bit more glamour. Dubbed “micro splash”, there’s a dark grey colour splashed with golden dots, and a white colour splashed with mult-coloured speckles in red and blue. It’s a bit kooky, but rather fun and certain to appeal to younger demographics.
The large rear-facing camera sensor is tucked neatly into a rounded corner, while on the front it’s business as usual for HTC with the topped-and-tailed design with punched speaker grilles. It’s all well polished and tidy.
The characteristics of this phone is its price, in fact. It is a 1280 x720p HD LCD with good viewing angle and visibility in the sun, although the brightness and color gamut are quite common. Contrast and clarity is good, and redemption. In all show view multimedia. It was nice but it would not let Samsung’s Super AMOLED earthquake boots, you can now get the technology at some entry-level galaxy equipment similar to the price.
HTC Desire 530 Review: Processor, Hardware & Performance
High performance is not something you can ever get from a budget device, however, increasingly as the Android platform and processor technology has developed, things have generally become better and better optimised so that even low-cost phones can have a smooth experience as long as you don’t put them through anything ridiculous; for day-to-day use simply navigating menus, using basic apps, conducting calls and sending messages, they should be fine.
The Desire 530 has quite a low-powered, if adequate 1.1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 quad-core processor with only 1.5GB of RAM. There is some snaggy performance when using the keyboard and some load speeds are a bit sluggish, particularly on media-intensive web pages. In truth, this basic stuff being temperamental isn’t what we’ve come to expect from budget Android phones from major OEMs in 2016.
The phone has 16GB of onboard storage, which is not bad for a budget phone, and supports microSD up to 256GB. Considering this is not going to be a media-intensive device in terms of performance, there should be adequate space here for a small handful of apps. The Desire 530 comes equipped with 4G LTE connectivity, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 and GPS.
HTC Desire 530 Review: Camera
The primary camera is an 8MP snapper and on the whole is a bit of a let-down even in this price bracket. Overexposure is a real problem for this sensor, and the detail and contrast are severely lacking.
HTC Desire 530 Review: Battery
The battery is a 2,200mAh cell (non-removable) and can manage about 9 hours of continuous video playback – a good few hours less than the Moto G and Samunsg Galaxy J5. For moderate use you can comfortably get a day from the Desire 530.
HTC Desire 530 Review: Verdict
HTC Desire 530 key competitors compared to the price of the brackets do not provide good camera experience, this low-end CPU performance on Android is not the same level. The design and construction quality is very good, and the display is quite impressive, but even here, one of the best features of the phone, it is offered by Samsung to show the performance at the same cost.