HTC Desire 601 Review
Interface and Functionality
It looks like HTC really enjoys the Sense 5 UI that debuted on the One, as it's been used on pretty much every smartphone the company has produced since then, including the Desire 601. Here, Sense 5 is running on top of Android 4.2.2, so you have a relatively up-to-date version of Android.
To the leftmost end of the screen, you'll find the so-called BlinkFeed, which aggregates various types of content like news, your calendar appointments, social updates, etc. It's a fine feature, but unfortunately, there's no option to turn it off if you want a more stockish experience. Other than BlinkFeed, the rest of the homescreen interface is your standard affair. You can have multiple pages used for app shortcuts and widgets.
As you probably know, HTC Sense 5 is a pretty extensive UI, changing the look and functionality of most built-in applications, including the dialer, messaging and organizer tools. All in all, we like HTC's custom user interface and think that it's among the most polished and unique ones out there. There are some small inconveniences – for example, adding icons and widgets to the home screen is unnecessarily complicated, but those things don't ruin the overall positive impression.
Processor and Memory
The Desire 601 is powered by the Snapdragon 400 chipset, which features a dual-core Krait CPU at 1.4 GHz and the Adreno 305 GPU. While this CPU-GPU combination may not sound particularly enticing, we're glad that the system itself manages to move at a steady pace, without much lag. The might be a slight hiccup here and there, but on the whole, it's a satisfying and smooth experience.
Thankfully, there's the sufficient for such a phone 1 GB of RAM, while internal memory comes in at 8 GB. While this kind of storage space sounds OK for the most part, the problem is that the user-accessible part of those 8 GB is just 4.68 GB. Now that changes things quite a bit, doesn't it? Don't worry, HTC knows what it's doing, because the Desire 601 sports a microSD card slot, which will allow you to install additional storage space on the phone.
Internet and Connectivity
HTC is keeping its own internet browser as the default option in the Desire 601, though Chrome is also available, if you'd like to use that one instead. We really like HTC's browser, as it happens to be noticeably speedier than Chrome, although it lacks the auto text-size inflating feature of Google's browser, which makes reading a bit more inconvenient. Besides, double-tap zooming doesn't work well on HTC's piece of software. If you can look past these issues, however, you'll enjoy super-fast browsing and even the well-incorporated Adobe Flash Player, which has become something of a rare find on Android phones these days.
If you have the luck to be in an LTE-powered area, you'll be delighted to know that the HTC Desire 601 supports LTE connectivity. Still, if you don't have that kind of luck — and chances are that you don't — you'll be surfing the web at your standard HSPA+ speeds, which can theoretically go up to 42.2 Mbit/s down and 5.76 Mbit/s up.
Besides the standard features such as Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi (a, b, g, n) and GPS, you also get DLNA, so the Desire 601 is pretty well-equipped, though some exotics like NFC are missing. We don't consider this a real issue, or at least, not as big of an issue as the 245 ppi pixel density of the screen.