For many years, HTC has been fighting against two juggernauts in the mobile industry, especially in North America. They have worked hard to gain good brand name recognition and a reputation for making quality products. Their Desire range of smartphones has been around for sometime now, it has become synonymous with those seeking maximum value and features on a budget. The Desire 530 continues to appeal to consumers who simply want a smartphone that works well and is built to last.
The 530 literally gets it feet wet on the smartphone market with its very unique ‘micro splash’ finish in both grey or white. Translated, the back is designed with different spray paint nozzles creating a various sized dot pattern effect. As far as build quality goes and its all plastic construction there were no issues – despite being a budget phone, it felt good in the hand.
The phone also comes with a beautiful 5-inch Super LCD screen which is the equivocal “sweet” spot when it comes to screen size vs form factor. It does have average brightness at its highest setting, which does make outdoor viewing challenging at times. However, the 530 also features a micro SD slot which is often overlooked nowadays and is a welcome addition on a phone living in selfie-everything world of 2016. As the phone is also rocking Android Marshmallow, its adoptable storage feature additionally allows more efficient space management.
The OS does add some bloatware apps but does tend to stick with as close to stock android as possible, keeping things zippy. The HTC sense skin has come a long way and does co-operate well with the android ecosystem for the most part. We still love Blinkfeed (a news aggregate widget) and do wish it came on every smartphone and with HTC’s theme function, you can even customize the way you want things to look on the home screen and throughout.
The only detriment we found with this phone was its hardware, the phone runs on a Snapdragon 210 CPU and 1.5GB of RAM. Simply put, in 2016, this just isn’t powerful enough and translated to a frustrating user experience when using more resource intensive apps and at times we found there were even general navigation stutters.
The camera is adequate with its 8-megapixel camera’s f/2.4-aperture lens but in low-light the phone struggled to maintain focus. The mono speaker was also as about as good as most budget handsets on the market. The battery on the other hand, did surprisingly hold up well. Despite only being a 2200mah battery, we were easily able to get a day’s use out of it.
At the end of the day, is this a phone you should consider if you are on a budget? Yes. With back to school just a week a way, it is the perfect starter phone for any teenager or just someone who is keeping an eye on their pennies.
You can get yours at – hHTC Desire 530 D530U 16GB Stratus White, 5″, 8MP, Unlocked International Model, No Warranty
***Congratulations to the winner of our competition – Johnny A.***