Fun, paint-splattered HTC Desire 530 proves funky design doesn’t need to cost a fortune

The HTC Desire 530 will match your sneakers, satisfy your basic smartphone needs, and won’t empty your wallet

HTC unleashed a new lineup of mid-range smartphones with designer looks, modest hardware, and (hopefully) decent prices. The latest HTC Desire smartphones come in three versions, all with a one-of-a-kind paint design on the back of the device. HTC says this is capitalizing on current sneaker trends, and the “micro splash” paint design is unique to each and every phone built. HTC uses special nozzles to spray colorful dots on the phone’s rear plastic casing and create the unique, Jackson Pollock-inspired design.

The new lineup consists of the HTC Desire 530, 630, and 825; but because the 530 and 630 are identical in design, we checked out the former. It’s a low-cost, budget phone that concentrates on looking really cool. HTC is a master of smartphone design, and has unsurprisingly succeeded. The paint-splashed rear cover is particularly cool. Each phone has its own color scheme, and the white model with the orange oversized power button on the side looked fantastic.

The Desire 530 is also very light, and it’s got superb build quality. Unusually, there’s a lanyard strap in the bottom corner, which HTC says is a highly popular feature in Asia. On the opposite end, the 8-megapixel camera is inside a massive lens housing, and as an upgrade over the older Desire 510, it has a flash unit underneath. Yes it’s a plastic bodied phone, but it’s fun and funky, which we really liked.

Both the 530 and 630 have a 5-inch screen with a 720p resolution. HTC’s Super LCD screens are excellent, and even at this size, it’s sharp and bright.

Powering comes from a modest Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 1.0GHz processor and 1.5GB of RAM, and there’s 16GB of internal storage. The Desire 630 is a slight upgrade, with a Snapdragon 400 1.6GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, plus a 13-megapixel camera. HTC installed the same comprehensive camera app and editing features seen on the One M9 on this Desire phone. Many of the features won’t turn your photos into works of art, but you’ll enjoy messing around with them, and some can produce quite startling effects.

The Desire 825 is a larger version of the Desire 530/630, with a 5.5-inch screen, plus a bigger 2,700mAh battery inside. HTC said the version we tried didn’t have the final software installed, so we won’t pass judgement. All three ran Android 6.0 with Sense 7, and the Desire 530 performed well.

The Desire 530/630 will be sold in many European countries, and the former will launch in the U.S. in the near future, according to the company. It’ll never challenge phones with massive specs and killer looks, but the Desire range continues to excite and impress, and that’s unusual when dealing with hardware that doesn’t cost a fortune.

Highs

  • Cool paint-splattered design is best
  • Large, sharp display
  • Comprehensive image editing software

Lows

  • Basic specs
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