When it comes to opt for a smartphone, HTC is a no-brainer. I have owned at least five models in the past five years, spanning a Windows Phone powered Mozart all the way up to HTC One and One 7.
And here is my latest acquisition. The mid-range HTC Desire 826.
Sorry Mondi Ess. I will stick around with my HTC.
Desire 628 is HTC’s midrange offering to take on the growing competition from various Chinese and Indian brands. Instead of opting for the usual phablet form factor that most brands are offering, HTC has kept the Desire 628 as a compact device with a 5-inch display.
HTC has continued the same design language as the previous Desire phones including the dual colour scheme. The 628 doesn’t look any different from the 626 or the 820, except for a different style speaker grill. Looking from the back, you can’t tell the difference between the Desire phones as the camera placement is exactly the same.
The back panel has a glossy finish on the Desire 628 which is a fingerprint magnet and requires constant cleaning. Also, the power and volume button sit flat with the frame on the side – when pressed they don’t give the satisfying clicky feel of a button. Even though it’s an all-plastic body, the phone looks and feels premium for its price.
It has a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels which keeps everything pin sharp. It has slim bezels on the sides and the on-screen navigation keys can be customised with up to 4 buttons). You can also adjust the colour temperature as well as enable three finger gestures for ease of use.
Inside is a 1.3 GHz octa-core Mediatek MT6753 processor, 3GB RAM, 32 GB storage and a 2,200mAh battery. With day-to-day usage, the phone impresses with zippy navigation.
Image quality from the rear 13MP camera is surprisingly good with minimal noise in daylight as well as indoors. You get a plethora of modes to shoot including a full manual control mode. The shutter speed is zippy although the focus does take a sec \nod to lock on the subject in landscape photos. The front 5MP front camera is a letdown; we got grainy photos with soft details.
There are a few other issues with the phone as well :
First, the in-ear speaker volume is on the lower side – we had trouble hearing the person on other end while travelling on a road with traffic around us. Second, it doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner – this is now commonly available on a number of phones that cost less than this.
As a mid-range offering, the HTC Desire 628 has its share of pros and cons. However, it faces strong competition from cheaper devices that offer much more features such as the LeEco Le 1s, Redmi Note 3, Yu Yunicorn and Asus Zenfone Max.