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HTC Desire 500 is quad-core on a budget, hitting UK for £230

The HTC Desire 500 is on its way to Blighty and it'll set you back some moneymoneymoneymoneymoney -- £230, in fact.

Dee-sii-ii-ii-ii-uhhh! HTC's latest slice of smart phone wizardry is going where the bright lights and big city meet: um, Britain. Yes, the HTC Desire 500 is on its way to Blighty and it'll set you back some moneymoneymoneymoneymoney -- £230, in fact.

Jauntily named phone flogger MobileFun is the first to offer the Taiwanese company's new mid-range mobile, letting you pre-order for £230 SIM-free. MobileFun tells me stock is expected in late September.

That price might change before it arrives, and other retailers and networks are bound to have their own offers on the Desire 500. It comes in the natty black pictured above, or this rather less appealing white and blue.

Its headline feature is its 1.2GHz quad-core processor, making it one of the cheapest mobiles to pack four cores. Acer's Liquid E2, which Andy just reviewed, is even cheaper at a hair under £200, and performed admirably.

You can't expect the world though, and the Desire 500 cuts some corners with its screen. With an 800x480-pixel resolution, the 4.3-inch display has a density of 217 pixels per inch, which isn't even as good as the ancient Samsung Galaxy S. The Liquid E2 is slightly better, at 245ppi, but Andy found it was noticeably less clear than the 720p effort on the Nexus 4.

Google's reasonably priced Android phone looks like it might be the better alternative. It's still £239 for the Nexus 4 with 8GB of storage -- double what the 4GB Desire 500 offers, although HTC's new phone does let you expand it with a microSD card, unlike the Nexus. We'll look forward to putting the Desire 500 through its paces in a full review soon.

Is your fever for the Desire getting higher? Or is it overpriced? Serenade me in the comments, or on our tuneful Facebook page.