The HTC Desire 510 delivers budget 4G goodness

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Amidst the furore surrounding its high-end One M7 and M8, HTC has been slipping mid-range devices under our noses, many of which are piggybacking the now iconic design of the One with its thin side bezel and top and bottom panels.

Previously reserved for headline “Boomsound” speakers, less expensive models such as the new Desire 510, the successor to the budget 500, forgo this for a traditional single speaker and microphone, but the 510 has a different USP up its sleeve that should satisfy those who prioritise surfing over sound. Billed as the “most affordable LTE smartphone to date”, this promises to deliver 4G to the masses, complete with all the benefits of smooth HD video streaming and super-fast downloads.

“Owning the latest and greatest technology shouldn’t be reserved for those with the highest budgets” says HTC CEO Peter Chou, and while as consumers we couldn’t agree more, we’re always hesitant to get too excited about anything that commands the use of the word “budget”. Let’s have a look under the hood:

A quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410 processor runs the show, there’s a 4.7” (480×854) display, 8GB of storage with a microSD, a 5MP rear camera and 0.3MP front facer. HTC wasn’t kidding then – this is fairly budget as things go, but you can apparently squeeze 17 hours from the battery life and it runs Android 4.4 KitKat with a proprietary sense UI, which includes features like Zoe and Blinkfeed found on the higher-end models.

Chou goes on to state:

“People today should expect their smartphones to double as mobile entertainment hubs. This means ensuring that they’re fully loaded with the latest movies, TV shows and albums, by taking advantage of the super-fast network speeds available. The HTC Desire 510 does this and more, making it the perfect mobile media device.”

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And in fairness the 510 does (hyperbole aside) seem to fulfil these promises – like most of the Desire range it’s a tidy looking device that’s capable of all the bare necessities along with the added benefit of 4G; though it is disappointing not to see dual front-facing speakers on a “multimedia device”, even if they aren’t of the same quality of its big brothers.

The Desire 510 will be available in the UK from September in a choice of Terra White and Meridian Grey and is compatible with the HTC Dot View case for added customisation options. And the price is indeed nice – £149 SIM free. Certainly worth a look if you can find a good value 4G plan.