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HTC Desire 601: Mid-range Smartphone Review

Hub Associate

A brief conversation with someone made me realise that I have been reviewing mostly high end phones. It's a rather valid point, actually, because I am quite a "power user", and similarly for most of my peers. 

Yet, after trying out so many large powerful devices over the years, I wonder if a budget smartphone equally meets my needs.

On hand: HTC Desire 601. It's not exactly a budget phone, but rather a mid-range device below S$500. It progresses after Desire 600 which I reviewed a few months back. From the look, you can tell that HTC took after the HTC One design mould with the Desire-inspired removable plastic back.


HWZ offers an excellent in-depth write-up on the Desire 601, so I shall not dwell further.

To test how reliant I am to high-end smartphone, I took the Desire 601 for several full-day use.


I missed how compact mobile phones can be. The HTC Desire 601 houses a 4.5-inch 960x540 screen and 130g light. Everything is within reach by my fingers.

The disadvantage of a small screen is the lack of screen size. I see less information and needs to scroll more to read. If the content layout is mobile-optimized, no problem. If it contains many dropdowns and pop-ups, then the screen becomes so hard to work with. More so when the on-screen keyboard appears and covers almost half the screen.



The HTC Desire 601 runs on dual-core 1.4GHz. When using social apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the phone breezes through with ease. The crunch comes when you create content like collage, video editing, or browse photo gallery with high-res images, where things get a little sluggish. 


Running on removable 2100mAh battery, the phone manages to stretch one working day with my kind of aggressive use. For non-power users, it should breeze through the day.



After using the Desire 601, I have to ask myself why I should pay double for a high-end smartphone without getting double benefits. Perhaps all I really need is a mid-range gadget like Desire 601.

My answer? Yes I needed a more expensive smartphone because I needed a larger screen to see more content and I needed a more powerful processor to handle my editing needs. More importantly, I needed a larger battery capacity to last me the day.

Perhaps the upcoming ASUS Padfone Mini might be the gadget I need.




Searching for more reviews? Find them at Chester's blog.
Twitter/Instagram: @musicdiary
Senior Advocate

if what you really after is bigger screen size and cheap with above average spec and battery life, you should try Xperia C


This mobile looks sexy but the only problem i think is the ppi...well, considering how HTC is doing, i don't blame them

how is the camera? still ultra pixel with Zoe?

Hub Associate

The camera is not ultrapixel. It's a normal 5MP camera with Zoe.

Senior Advocate

reading this again (yeah im a boring person LOL), i realized that one of the issue you face with small screen is the keyboard. i would recommend Minuum keyboard. it just came out of beta and currently offering free 30days trial

check it out!