Back in the day (about eight months ago), luxurious quad-core processors were the exclusive preserve of the smartphone elite. The Desire 310, however, has a quad-core chip but promises to stick to the cheaper end of the smartphone spectrum. Read on for everything you need to know.

Quad-core power, at least on paper
Beneath the Desire 310's curved exterior hums a four-core chip, clocked at 1.3GHz. Extra cores help to deliver a snappier smartphone experience, and in this case are backed up by 1GB of RAM.

On paper, that sounds like enough grunt to handle a multitude of apps without any stutter or lag, although it's not unusual for phones that sound powerful to occasionally feel sluggish, or indeed for mobiles with meagre processing power to feel very slick indeed. Until we go hands-on and can give it the full review treatment, we won't know for sure how much impact that quad-core processor is really making.

HTC has thoughtfully included some photo and video software, which mangles your snaps and clips into automatically generated highlight reels. While these might start to feel stale if you churn them out often enough, it could be a neat way of quickly compiling photos from a holiday, for example, before uploading the resulting video to Facebook and making all your pals jealous.

Where you might fall down in the photographical endeavour is when it comes to actually capturing images. The Desire 310 has a 5-megapixel camera, which -- in this day and age -- isn't a very high resolution for a smartphone sensor. Fingers crossed it defies our expectations when we give it the full review treatment.

Android and Blinkfeed
The Desire 310 is powered by Android 4.2, also known as Jelly Bean. That's not the most recent version of Google's mobile operating system, but it's still very advanced software that will give you access to a massive range of apps and other features.

You'll also get HTC's Blinkfeed app, which mushes updates from social networks and news stories from around the Web into an attractive, tiled interface. There's an offline mode, which lets you add up to 120 articles from your reading list while connected to Wi-Fi, which then become available to peruse when you're away from an Internet connection.

Desire design
As you can tell from the images above, the Desire 310 doesn't stray far from HTC's design template, resembling a rounded, slightly-less-striking version of the flagship HTC One. It'll be available in navy blue, white, or bright orange. It packs a 4.5-inch display, with an 854x480 pixel resolution, and has a microSD card slot should you want to expand its on-board storage.

HTC has promised to bring the Desire 310 to the UK in April, on O2, Vodafone, and Carphone Warehouse. Are you tempted to buy, or less than inspired? Let me know in the comments below.