HTC unveils overpriced Desire 700 and Desire 501 alongside dual-SIM Desire 601
HTC unveiled a couple of new smartphones in its home market of Taiwan today, alongside a dual-SIM version of the already announced Desire 601. These add to the increasingly confusing number of midrange Android handsets the company sells, and unfortunately they’re overpriced for their capabilities.
Anyway, on to the phones. Oh, and, by the way, if you were wondering why HTC isn’t doing so well in the mobile space, these devices may just be the perfect examples.
The Desire 700 is an HTC One lookalike – so much for the company differentiating between its high-end devices and other offerings. It is plastic, though, unlike the One. The HTC Desire 700 comes with a 5-inch 540×960 touchscreen, a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage, microSD card support, an 8 MP rear camera, a 2 MP front camera, HSPA, dual-SIM support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and a 2,100 mAh battery. It runs, get this – Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. That version is almost 18 months old at this point!
Let’s just say this outright: no one should be forced to use a 5-inch screen with less than 720p HD resolution. Unless your hobby is counting pixels, that is. In which case this would be fine.
The most ridiculous thing about the HTC Desire 700 is its price, though. It’s going to retail for 13,900 Taiwan dollars, which is around $469 or €344. Needless to say, you should forget about this and get a Moto G instead. The compromises there would be the smaller screen, non-expandable storage, non-removable battery and lower-res camera – but the screen is actually higher-res than the Desire 700’s so it’ll be a lot crisper. And you can buy two of those (in the US) for the price of one Desire 700 (or almost two in Europe). How HTC expects to sell this in droves is a mystery.
On now to the Desire 501. This comes with the design from the One X/ One S line from 2012, and a 4.3-inch 480×800 touchscreen, a 1.15 GHz dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage, microSD card support, 14.4 Mbps HSDPA, an 8 MP rear camera, a 2 MP front camera, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, and a 2,100 mAh battery. It’s unclear which version of Android this runs, but we wouldn’t expect it to be too recent. Nor should you expect any type of software update from the Desire line.
This one at least should feature good battery life, unimpressive as its specs may be. The pricing in this case is more reasonable, though not actually decent, with the Desire 501 expected to cost 9,900 Taiwanese dollars ($334, €245). It’s still more expensive than the aforementioned Moto G and doesn’t bring any better features except perhaps the expandable storage and rear camera.
The HTC Desire 601 also received a dual-SIM version today, while otherwise remaining the same. Along with the Desire 700 and Desire 501, it will be available in Taiwan next month. There’s no word yet on whether these handsets will make it to any other markets.