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HTC Desire 601 Review

HTC Desire 601

Posted: , by Ray S.




The Desire 601 might have a 5 MP, which is more than the One's 4 MP camera, but the sensor's pixels aren't of the "Ultra" size as on the One, so this here's just a basic 5 MP snapper with a relatively wide aperture of f/2.0 and a BSI (backside illuminated) sensor.

Sadly, HTC is yet to change its camera app interface, which works, but isn't particularly comfortable to use. That's so because all of the settings are stuffed inside a small pop-up window on the screen and you usually need to do a lot of scrolling up and down in order to find what you need. Other than that, it's a versatile app, which lets you take advantage of difference scene modes, HDR, anti-shake option and so on and so forth. There is no continuous autofocus, though; instead, you can use the tap-to-focus gesture to change the focus while shooting a video.

So, we weren't lying when we said that this is a basic snapper. Photos often come out overly sharp and totally lacking in detail. Colors are, for the most part, realistic, though they do tend to appear just a bit warmer than they should (meaning there's a bit more red). Dynamics aren't very good as well, with some well-lit areas easily ending up overexposed.

Indoors, where there isn't plenty of light, noise starts to be an issue, especially due to the relatively high sharpness of the images. Still, colors manage to remain natural, so the situation isn't all that bad. The LED flash isn't anything to write home about – when you're using it, colors do get strangely altered, but at least... you know, it's there if you happen to need some extra light.

The HTC Desire 601 is capable of recording 1080p video at a relatively smooth frame rate of about 27 fps. Despite the high resolution, however, the video doesn't really look very good, and is suffering from the same issues as the photos – lack of details, sharpened image and noise.

Having in mind this is a mid-range handset, the camera is passable; however, we feel that HTC should start to equip even its lower-tier phones, like the Desire 601, with something better than this, because the photos and the footage clearly aren't good.

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
HTC Desire 601 3.2
No data
HTC One mini 3
No data
Samsung Galaxy S4 mini 3
No data
View all


The Desire 601 allows you to enjoy all the multimedia entertainment out there, but there are some tradeoffs. For example, the screen has a very good size of 4.5 inches, but the 540 x 960 resolution means that you won't be able to enjoy YouTube videos in HD, which causes a significant drop in image quality. Thankfully, there are the awesome Boom Sound speakers which make the sound coming from the Desire 601 much more powerful and fuller. The stereo speakers on the Desire 601 don't seem to sound as clear as those on the HTC One, but they are still way better than the typical speakers you'll find on non-HTC phones.

In addition to the standard Android music player, HTC is also shipping its own Music app, which is quite simple and efficient. It will display album art, artist photos and lyrics, but it lack some more advanced functions, so if you want a bit more control over the settings, you might want to find a third-party player of some sort in the Play Store.

Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
HTC Desire 601 0.47
HTC One mini 0.67
Samsung Galaxy S4 mini 0.31
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
HTC Desire 601 79
HTC One mini 76
Samsung Galaxy S4 mini 75
View all

  • Options

posted on 24 Sep 2013, 12:26 3

1. No_Nonsense (unregistered)

Er, PA isn't it time to review mid-range phones with mid-range standards rather than the high range standards?

posted on 24 Sep 2013, 12:47

2. b1acktiger (Posts: 223; Member since: 19 May 2012)

C'mon ! Its a Mid range device ! What do u expect from a Mid Range S400 powered device ? 10k in quadrant and 50k in AnTuTu and a 50MP Camera ?

posted on 24 Sep 2013, 15:38 1

3. DukeX (Posts: 327; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)

This thing only scores a few 100 more points then my ZTE Avid....which i paid $30 for on clearance. Yes the camera,ram,and memory is more but damn this ain't midrange. THIS IS AVERAGE. HTC and other companies can't afford to make phones like this if others are making way more cheaper phones with better performance. And that's the first thing a user will notice is PERFORMANCE!

posted on 24 Sep 2013, 20:40

4. AfterShock (Posts: 3698; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)

I'm looking the build and look.
If the One was built like this with a latched rear cover, things would be quite a bit rosier for HTC IMO.

posted on 24 Sep 2013, 20:41

5. AfterShock (Posts: 3698; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)

Liking, autocorrect fml.

posted on 24 Sep 2013, 22:17

6. taikucing (unregistered)

WTF!? it only gets 6?

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 01:29 1

7. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)

Nice design phone. PA please review with mid-range standards.

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 03:16

8. elliotsilva (Posts: 13; Member since: 04 Sep 2011)

I think this device looks cool, but even mid or low range HTC are expensive compared to others smartphones with,same caracteristcs, at least in europe.. Anyway Reviews in phonearena are getting more and more useless with each phone they review, Ray shouldn't even get the chance to review since he puts every smartphone in the same category and dont even like Android.. Phonearena be less pretentions and more objective..this is Just sad

posted on 03 Nov 2013, 23:30

9. Genersis (Posts: 219; Member since: 29 May 2013)

Seems like an odd cross between the HTC One Mini and the Galaxy S4 Mini.

It seems like a good midrange phone, perhaps not as premium in feel as the One Mini, but ends up a little more powerful thanks to the lower resolution screen, not as strong as the S4 mini, but it's other unique features I think make them comparable.

I would of rated it at least a seven, an eight max.

posted on 22 Nov 2013, 11:57

10. hmh_hmh (Posts: 1; Member since: 22 Nov 2013)

Can reviewer confirm that this device use IPS type of LCD panel? It is little weird because major HTC's screen supplier is Samsung(S-LCD) which don't own rights to produce IPS panel, the best(8-bit) Samsung panel are either S-PVA or PLS(Samsung's answer to LG and Panasonic IPS technology)

It's evident that this reviewer is poor or this site is not consistent in opinions. This mobile phone shares same processor and other internals as One mini and in One mini review is written:
"We didn't notice any lag or stuttering, and, despite the single gig of RAM, instead of the 2 GB on the One, we also never felt the phone is gasping for memory, either.",
while in this review reviewer mentions some hiccups.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 07:43

11. alexvv (Posts: 165; Member since: 16 Oct 2013)

an f/2.0, bsi sensor with 1/4" size with a dedicated htc image chip is not exactly what i'd call run-of-the-mill despite its 5mp. i hope in the future every smartphone will have such a run-of-the-mill camera

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HTC Desire 601

HTC Desire 601

OS: Android 4.4.2 4.2.2
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display4.5 inches, 540 x 960 pixels (245 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera5 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Dual-core, 1400 MHz, Krait processor
Size5.30 x 2.63 x 0.39 inches
(134.5 x 66.7 x 9.88 mm)
4.59 oz  (130 g)

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