HTC Desire 626 Review

HTC Desire 626 Review
HTC Desire 626 Review
HTC Desire 626 Review
HTC Desire 626 Review
Introduction


One of the biggest surprises in the area of the mobile scene this year is the war that’s been waging in the entry-level segment – you know, phones that are priced below $200. Taking into account that carriers have totally ditched the subsidy model that we’ve all been accustomed to following, it’s going to be even more crucial for phones to really show that they have a ton of value for the money. Even though it’s been a tough year for HTC, the Taiwan-based company is always continuing to diversify its robust portfolio. This time, here comes the HTC Desire 626. Knowing what’s out there already, can this sub-$200 offering stand out in a sea already filled with some killer options?

The package contains:

  • HTC Desire 626
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Stereo headphones
  • Get start guide
  • Important information

Design

It’s the same old, very predictable design. Still, it’s pretty charming.

By now, HTC’s Desire line has followed a particular and predictable design language that hasn’t seen any dramatic changes in the last couple of years. So, to no one’s surprise, the HTC Desire 626 follows in familiar fashion with its two-toned, all-plastic construction. Our particular unit, the marine white variant, combines a white body with a blue colored accent, but it comes in other color combinations that we find charming. It’s certainly not an original design, that’s for sure, as it boasts many of the traits we’ve come to expect from the Desire line.

In standard Desire fashion, its buttons and ports are found in their usual locations – so that means the power and volume controls on its right edge, 3.5mm headphone jack on top, SIM and microSD card slots on its left, and microUSB port on the bottom. Initially, it seems like it stays faithful to HTC’s practice of offering dual front-firing speakers, but it’s only the bottom grill that’s used for audio output, as the top one is reserved for the earpiece only.

 

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Front view | Side view
HTC Desire 626
HTC Desire 626
5.78 x 2.79 x 0.32 inches
146.9 x 70.9 x 8.19 mm
oz (0 g)

HTC Desire 626

Motorola Moto G (2015)
Motorola Moto G (2015)
5.59 x 2.85 x 0.48 inches
142 x 72.4 x 12.2 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)

Motorola Moto G (2015)

Microsoft Lumia 640
Microsoft Lumia 640
5.56 x 2.84 x 0.35 inches
141.3 x 72.2 x 8.8 mm
5.11 oz (145 g)

Microsoft Lumia 640

Asus ZenFone 2
Asus ZenFone 2
6 x 3.04 x 0.43 inches
152.5 x 77.2 x 10.9 mm
6.00 oz (170 g)

Asus ZenFone 2


HTC Desire 626 Review

Display

The subdued tone of the display makes it tough for it to stand out.

Accompanied with a 5-inch 720 x 1280 Super LCD screen, it certainly fits the bill for a _phone_ in its price category. Neither exceptionally detailed with its 294 ppi pixel density, nor polarizing with its qualities, the display at the very least is effective for everyday use. Surprisingly enough, the panel favors a warmer tone with its ~6300K color temperature, which is close to the ideal reference value if 6500K. Topping it off too, is the fact that it’s able to accurately reproduce most of the color gradients in the sRGB color spectrum chart – save for the colors of green, which have a sprinkling of yellow to them. There are undoubtedly some good qualities about the screen, but there’s just this subdued tone that prevents it from being livelier to the eye.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
HTC Desire 626 476
(Good)
15
(Poor)
1:1414
(Excellent)
6290
(Excellent)
2.46
3.06
(Good)
3.34
(Good)
Motorola Moto G (2015) 449
(Good)
19
(Poor)
1:1116
(Good)
7440
(Good)
2.27
5.87
(Average)
4.04
(Average)
Asus ZenFone 2 442
(Good)
28
(Poor)
1:1336
(Excellent)
7622
(Average)
2.8
6.44
(Average)
6.16
(Average)
Microsoft Lumia 640 352
(Average)
1
(Excellent)
1:869
(Average)
6939
(Excellent)
2.25
3.96
(Good)
2.02
(Good)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Asus ZenFone 2 73.5%
71.4%
72%
19%
10%
3.4%
16.4%
HTC Desire 626 82.8%
86.7%
88.1%
64.2%
19.5%
7.8%
157.8%
Motorola Moto G (2015) 86.6%
84.2%
83.1%
7.6%
1.3%
32.7%
14.4%
Microsoft Lumia 640 88.4%
0%
83.4%
10.8%
1.8%
0%
100%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


HTC Desire 626 Review

HTC Desire 626 Review
HTC Desire 626 Review
HTC Desire 626 Review
HTC Desire 626 Review
Introduction


One of the biggest surprises in the area of the mobile scene this year is the war that’s been waging in the entry-level segment – you know, phones that are priced below $200. Taking into account that carriers have totally ditched the subsidy model that we’ve all been accustomed to following, it’s going to be even more crucial for phones to really show that they have a ton of value for the money. Even though it’s been a tough year for HTC, the Taiwan-based company is always continuing to diversify its robust portfolio. This time, here comes the HTC Desire 626. Knowing what’s out there already, can this sub-$200 offering stand out in a sea already filled with some killer options?

The package contains:

  • HTC Desire 626
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Stereo headphones
  • Get start guide
  • Important information

Design

It’s the same old, very predictable design. Still, it’s pretty charming.

By now, HTC’s Desire line has followed a particular and predictable design language that hasn’t seen any dramatic changes in the last couple of years. So, to no one’s surprise, the HTC Desire 626 follows in familiar fashion with its two-toned, all-plastic construction. Our particular unit, the marine white variant, combines a white body with a blue colored accent, but it comes in other color combinations that we find charming. It’s certainly not an original design, that’s for sure, as it boasts many of the traits we’ve come to expect from the Desire line.

In standard Desire fashion, its buttons and ports are found in their usual locations – so that means the power and volume controls on its right edge, 3.5mm headphone jack on top, SIM and microSD card slots on its left, and microUSB port on the bottom. Initially, it seems like it stays faithful to HTC’s practice of offering dual front-firing speakers, but it’s only the bottom grill that’s used for audio output, as the top one is reserved for the earpiece only.


Front view | Side view
HTC Desire 626
HTC Desire 626
5.78 x 2.79 x 0.32 inches
146.9 x 70.9 x 8.19 mm
oz (0 g)

HTC Desire 626

Motorola Moto G (2015)
Motorola Moto G (2015)
5.59 x 2.85 x 0.48 inches
142 x 72.4 x 12.2 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)

Motorola Moto G (2015)

Microsoft Lumia 640
Microsoft Lumia 640
5.56 x 2.84 x 0.35 inches
141.3 x 72.2 x 8.8 mm
5.11 oz (145 g)

Microsoft Lumia 640

Asus ZenFone 2
Asus ZenFone 2
6 x 3.04 x 0.43 inches
152.5 x 77.2 x 10.9 mm
6.00 oz (170 g)

Asus ZenFone 2


HTC Desire 626 Review

Display

The subdued tone of the display makes it tough for it to stand out.

Accompanied with a 5-inch 720 x 1280 Super LCD screen, it certainly fits the bill for a _phone_ in its price category. Neither exceptionally detailed with its 294 ppi pixel density, nor polarizing with its qualities, the display at the very least is effective for everyday use. Surprisingly enough, the panel favors a warmer tone with its ~6300K color temperature, which is close to the ideal reference value if 6500K. Topping it off too, is the fact that it’s able to accurately reproduce most of the color gradients in the sRGB color spectrum chart – save for the colors of green, which have a sprinkling of yellow to them. There are undoubtedly some good qualities about the screen, but there’s just this subdued tone that prevents it from being livelier to the eye.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
HTC Desire 626 476
(Good)
15
(Poor)
1:1414
(Excellent)
6290
(Excellent)
2.46
3.06
(Good)
3.34
(Good)
Motorola Moto G (2015) 449
(Good)
19
(Poor)
1:1116
(Good)
7440
(Good)
2.27
5.87
(Average)
4.04
(Average)
Asus ZenFone 2 442
(Good)
28
(Poor)
1:1336
(Excellent)
7622
(Average)
2.8
6.44
(Average)
6.16
(Average)
Microsoft Lumia 640 352
(Average)
1
(Excellent)
1:869
(Average)
6939
(Excellent)
2.25
3.96
(Good)
2.02
(Good)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Asus ZenFone 2 73.5%
71.4%
72%
19%
10%
3.4%
16.4%
HTC Desire 626 82.8%
86.7%
88.1%
64.2%
19.5%
7.8%
157.8%
Motorola Moto G (2015) 86.6%
84.2%
83.1%
7.6%
1.3%
32.7%
14.4%
Microsoft Lumia 640 88.4%
0%
83.4%
10.8%
1.8%
0%
100%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Interface and Functionality

It’s Sense 7.0 that we all know by now, so there’s nothing really new here.

The HTC Desire 626 is greeted to the same Sense experience we all know and love. Even now, it remains to be one of the more likable experiences, especially for a budget conscious phone, seeing that it blends Sense 7’s modern and appealing design language with a simplified and straightforward approach. Therefore, we get staple Sense features such as HTC BlinkFeed for social networking aggregation, and the HTC Sense widget that offers meaningful apps recommendations based on our usage and location.

Now, the only thing really missing here are the various Motion Launch gestures we get in HTC’s higher-end offerings. Regardless of that, the Sense 7.0 experience on top of Android 5.1 Lollipop is highly versatile and customizable to appeal to such a broad range of folks. However, on the other side of the spectrum, it really doesn’t bring anything new to the table that we haven’t experienced on other recent HTC devices.

Processor and Memory

The choice of the going with the Snapdragon 210 chip results in a choppier, less responsive performance.

Out of everything, it’s rather perplexing to know that HTC has opted to put in a quad-core 1.1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 SoC inside of the Desire 626, as opposed to the Snapdragon 400 chip used by other similarly spec’d phones. The result, though, is a performance that undoubtedly lacks the finesse to really match what the Moto G 2015 puts out. Sure, basic operations are all handled in a good manner, but just expect load times to be longer – plus, it’s definitely not suited for gaming due to its choppiness. The 1.5 GB of RAM the Desire 626 is equipped with tend to be sufficient for most tasks.

Out of the box, its 16 GB of advertised storage translates to a real-world tally of 9.74GB. Certainly, that amount is still miniscule, but it’s nice to know that there’s a microSD slot to supplement it.

Performance benchmarks

AnTuTu
Higher is better
Asus ZenFone 2 41442
Motorola Moto G (2015) 22406
HTC Desire 626 17396
Microsoft Lumia 640 11945
Vellamo Metal
Higher is better
Asus ZenFone 2 1368
Motorola Moto G (2015) 1224
HTC Desire 626 688
Vellamo Browser
Higher is better
Asus ZenFone 2 3407
Motorola Moto G (2015) 2186
HTC Desire 626 1450
Sunspider
Lower is better
Asus ZenFone 2 789.5
Motorola Moto G (2015) 1361.8
HTC Desire 626 2337.3
Microsoft Lumia 640 1231.1
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen
Higher is better
Asus ZenFone 2 27.6
Motorola Moto G (2015) 9.6
HTC Desire 626 8.9
Microsoft Lumia 640 7
GFXBench Manhattan on-screen
Higher is better
Asus ZenFone 2 12.7
Motorola Moto G (2015) 3.9
HTC Desire 626 3.9
Basemark OS II
Higher is better
Asus ZenFone 2 1243
Motorola Moto G (2015) 581
HTC Desire 626 372
Geekbench 3 single-core
Higher is better
Asus ZenFone 2 908
Motorola Moto G (2015) 528
HTC Desire 626 293
Geekbench 3 multi-core
Higher is better
Asus ZenFone 2 1938
Motorola Moto G (2015) 1554
HTC Desire 626 989
View all

Internet and Connectivity


For those who have a lot of patience and don’t necessarily get annoyed by small, trivial things like minor delayed responses, they’ll find the web surfing experience tolerable with the Desire 626. Having more than enough real estate to work with, complex pages load fairly quickly, but it’s noticeable that navigational controls and page rendering aren’t accompanied with the same high-level responses we get from top-tiered phones.

Our exact review unit of the Desire 626, AT&T’s variant, is equipped with the necessary GSM radios to make it a world traveler, but Verizon’s version offers CDMA support in addition to GSM to give it greater compatibility. Besides that, it’s acquainted with the usual set of connectivity features – so expect to find aGPS with Glonass, Bluetooth 4.1, and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. Sorry people, there’s no NFC here.



Camera

A passable 8 MP shooter that will not inspire you in any way.

Looking into the Desire 626’s camera hardware, it’s presented with an 8-megapixel main rear camera and 5-megapixel front camera combo. The camera interface is the same as that on other Sense 7.0 running phones. However, its shooting modes have been whittled down to only 3 main modes – automatic, HDR, and panoramic. The front camera forgoes having any sort of beautifying options.


Understandably, the camera’s performance is mostly underwhelming. Well, we shouldn’t expect too much considering that we’re dealing with an entry-level offering here, but nonetheless, a slightly more composed shooter would have been much appreciated. Fine details are almost non-existent, as it captures photos that appear somewhat smudgy, which becomes more apparent when there’s less lighting in the shot. Even though digital noise is kept to a minimum in extreme low-light situations, its quality is just too fuzzy and the lack of fine details deprive it from being a strong candidate. However, we do like how its HDR mode performs under high-contrast scenes by focusing on the shadows to giving them increased exposure.


Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Motorola Moto G (2015) 3.4
5
658
641
Microsoft Lumia 640 4.5
No data
293
277
HTC Desire 626 4.7
No data
397
334
Asus ZenFone 2 6.2
No data
354
230
View all

The problem is not that it maxes out at 720p resolution, but the fact that it produces unbelievably soft and subdued details, which isn’t aided by the heavy noise and crackly voices that its microphone picks up.



Multimedia

While it’s usable for watching videos, its speaker performance is subdued and lacks depth.

Jumping over to the Sense music player, it features the same visuals and operations we’re familiar with – so that includes a nifty looking visualizer option while playing a song. The 72.5 dB of power being produced by its internal speaker is just ample enough for close confined spaces, but its thin toned production prevents it from having a commanding presence.

Video playback isn’t an issue at all with the HTC Desire 626, as 1080p clips play smoothly without any evidence of choppiness.



Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Microsoft Lumia 640 0.615
HTC Desire 626 0.58
Asus ZenFone 2 0.428
Motorola Moto G (2015) 0.377
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Microsoft Lumia 640 68.7
HTC Desire 626 72.5
Asus ZenFone 2 72.7
Motorola Moto G (2015) 78.5
View all


HTC Desire 626 Review
HTC Desire 626 Review
Call Quality

It has its challenges, but the quality is more than acceptable to use when background noise is minimized.

Generally speaking, the Desire 626 is more than handy for phone calls. For starters, the earpiece produces extremely potent voices that make it very easy for us to hear them in even the noisiest of conditions. However, the microphone tends to make voices sound raspy on the other end of the line – while the subdued output of the speakerphone makes it challenging to use.

Battery

For a 2000 mAh battery, it has good longevity.

Don’t be quick to judge this one and its 2000 mAh battery cell, because it achieves better results than some other phones with beefier sized batteries. Judging from our custom battery benchmark test, the HTC Desire 626 obtains a respectable mark of 6 hours and 32 minutes. That’s pretty good in our book, but it’s made better knowing that it’s more than long lasting to get us through at least a solid one-day of normal, real world usage.

Battery Benchmarks

Battery life (hours)
Higher is better
Motorola Moto G (2015) 8h 3 min (Excellent)
Asus ZenFone 2 7h 34 min (Good)
HTC Desire 626 6h 32 min (Average)
Charging time (minutes)
Lower is better
Motorola Moto G (2015) 251
Asus ZenFone 2 58
HTC Desire 626 136
Microsoft Lumia 640 196
View all

Conclusion


Right now, the 2015 edition of the Moto G is the benchmark that many folks will use to compare phones that are within the same scope. Indeed, the HTC Desire 626’s outright price point of $185 makes it an attractive offering, especially if you find its tailored design to be better, but it’s still a somewhat underperforming package that doesn’t threaten the Moto G in terms of functionality. Well, that’s pretty concerning because you’re going to fork over just a smidgen more for it – plus, it lacks the better specs of the Moto G. We won’t deny that HTC has something tangible here for consumers who don’t want to spend a fortune on their next phone and are looking for a good-looking handset, but we just expect better results everywhere to keep it in the same pedestal as some of the other prized options out there.

Software version of the review unit:
Android Version: 5.1
HTC Sense Version: 7.0
Build Number: 1.10.502.1
Kernel Version: 3.10.49-perf-g61b738f




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