HTC has a new addition to its more affordable mid-range Desire smartphones. Called the Desire 620, this 5-inch Android KitKat phone comes with a 720p display, a 1.2GHz quad-core processor and 4G LTE connectivity. Most importantly, it looks terrific -- that two-tone plastic body really stands out among the slew of black and grey rectangles you normally see with mid-range phones.
It's due to hit stores in the UK from early next year -- so far, O2 is the only network to announce plans to stock the phone, although no prices have yet been announced. HTC has promised it will have an "affordable price tag", however.
It hasn't yet said whether the phone will come to the US or Australia, but I'll update this article when I hear more.
The Desire 620 follows the same design scheme as other recent phones such as the, launched in Berlin earlier this year, and the Desire Eye. It has a one-piece plastic shell, which has been given a cool two-tone effect.
It'll come in three colours: two-shade grey, white with orange, and white with blue. I'm really rather keen on this approach -- it's attractive, it's fun and it helps them stand out from many other cheap and mid-range phones, which are usually saddled with rather dull, grey designs. The white and orange one is particularly snazzy.
Its 5-inch display means it's not a small phone. It measures 150mm long, 73mm wide and 9.6mm thick (5.9 by 2.9 by 0.4 inches). It'll no doubt be quite a stretch of your thumb to be able to type one-handed, so expect to use both hands to tap away comfortably. The display has a 1,280x720-pixel resolution, which is a step down from the 1,920x1,080 pixels of the bold, but should be sufficient to make the Android interface look fairly crisp.
The plastic bodies of the Desire 820 and Desire Eye feel sturdy and durable, so I'm hoping that the Desire 620 feels similarly tough -- something I'll be putting to the test in the full review. The phone comes with 8GB of storage, which you'll fill up pretty quickly once you start downloading big apps and games, so you'll want to make use of the microSD card slot, which supports cards up to 128GB in size.
The Desire 620 runs Android 4.4 KitKat (not the latest 5.0 Lollipop, but this is forgivable on a budget phone). HTC has slapped its Sense 6 interface over the top so it won't look much different to most of HTC's recent phones -- including the flagship. I like Sense 6 as it's quite stripped-down and easy to use. It's also mercifully free of all the preinstalled bloatware you'll find on Android phones from Samsung or Sony.
HTC's Blinkfeed news aggregator sits off to the left of the homescreens, pulling in content from your favourite news outlets (including CNET, of course) and your social network accounts. It's quite handy seeing things in one place, but you can get rid of Blinkfeed if you're not keen.
Powering the phone is a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 401 quad-core processor, with 1GB of RAM, which should be sufficient to give a reasonably smooth experience. There's a 2,100mAh battery, which I'd hope will be able to give a full day of use, but I'll be putting this to the test in the full review. On the back of the phone is an 8-megapixel camera, with a 5-megapixel camera on the front. Again, I'll be testing these when I spend some quality time with the phone.
The Desire 620 doesn't come with the fiercest new technology on board, but it looks fun, and should be able to tackle the essentials with ease. The big question of course is how much the phone will actually cost, but if HTC sticks to its "affordable" promise, it might be worth checking out.