First Look: The HTC Desire 601: a mid-range, 4.5-inch One lookalike
BERLIN -- With its all-metal design and full-HD screen, the HTC One is a stunning piece of kit, whether you're a hardened tech nerd or a casual phone fan with deep pockets. If your budget is a bit tighter -- or you simply have better things to spend your money on -- the Desire 601 might be more up your street.
It has a 4.5-inch display, a dual-core processor, LTE connectivity, and a 5-megapixel camera, all wrapped up in a body that's taken design cues from its big brother. HTC hasn't announced pricing or availability yet, but the 601 is being touted as "affordable," so don't expect to pay the big bucks for it.Design
With the dual front-facing speakers, it's easy to see the family resemblance to the HTC One phone. Add to that the touch-sensitive back and home buttons beneath the screen and it would be easy to mistake the 601 for its more expensive sibling.
Turn it round, though, and it looks more reminiscent of the earlier HTC One X. Instead of metal, the Desire 601 has a plastic body with a black, rubberised finish. The back panel is broken by the HTC logo, a large camera unit with metal surround and the red Beats audio logo on the bottom. It might not have the same luxurious look and feel of the metal One, but it's still quite attractive and the stiff plastic feels like it can take at least a few knocks.
At 4.5 inches, it's slightly smaller than 4.7-inch One, making it marginally easier to hold in one hand. If you need something even more hand-friendly, then the 4.3-inch HTC One Mini might be more suitable. Its 960x540-pixel resolution won't satisfy tech addicts, but it's plenty for everyday tasks.
Around the sides you'll find a volume rocker, power button, Micro-USB port and 3.5mm headphone jack. Whether the dual speakers are capable of the same big sound of the HTC One's remains to be seen.
Inside the phone is a dual-core 1.4GHz processor. That's a far step down from the powerful quad-core chip of the One, but should have plenty of power for social networking, Web browsing and a spot of light gaming.
It's running on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, which has HTC's Sense 5 interface slapped over the top. It's the same interface as you'll see on the One, so if you've had a play with one in a shop, there'll be no surprises here. As well as the large, minimalist menu icons, you'll find the same Blinkfeed scrolling news aggregator to the left of the home screens. If you don't use a service like Flipboard then BlinkFeed's constant presence might become annoying, but it's at least an interesting way to keep track of your social networks.
A 5-megapixel camera sits on the back of the phone. The HTC One might only have 4 megapixels to its name, but its pixels are apparently bigger and therefore let in more light for better pictures. How the two cameras measure up side by side will be seen in the full review.Outlook
With stylings and software taken from its more expensive, more luxurious big brother, the Desire 601 might be a good choice for those of you after an HTC but don't want to splash top dollar on the flagship. Let's hope that HTC sticks to its "affordable" price promise.
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