HTC Desire X review

Can HTC's latest budget-friendly Android smartphone with its Snapdragon S4 chip, fend off the competition from Motorola's Atom-based Razr i handset?

Battery life

The removable 1650mAh lithium-ion battery located behind the rear cover of the handset is smaller than the norm. Whilst it's possible to buy an extended-life battery, it's a move most buyers - those who have specifically chosen the Desire X to fit into their tight smartphone budget, at least - probably won't make due to the increased cost and thickness.

During test, we simulated a heavy workload of multiple screen brightnesses, mobile and Wi-Fi data, Bluetooth scanning and processor-based tasks. Although synthetic, it provides an excellent worst-case scenario for handsets, setting and sets a far more realistic bar than the often over-generous estimates provided by the handset makers themselves.

HTC Desire X - Battery

Surprisingly, given the diminutive battery, the Desire X acquitted itself well in testing, managing an impressive 7 hours 30 minutes of heavy-duty usage. Our testing is a worst-case scenario, meaning that most users should be able to get a full working day, at least - out of each charge. Those who use their smartphones more lightly could probable eek each charge out to a couple of days - but no longer.


The Super LCD screen on the Desire X is bright and clear, although suffers from the same issue of narrow viewing angles at low brightness settings as all LCD panels. It's no match for an AMOLED display, but that's something you're unlikely to find on a device in this price range.

At maximum brightness, the display is clear even in direct sunlight. The automatic brightness setting, however, is needlessly aggressive and quickly turns the brightness down while you're indoors. Although that's good for extending the device's battery life, it can make the display difficult to read - we'd certainly recommend switching it off if possible.

The Desire X's 480 x 800 resolution is somewhat disappointing, but again common in this price bracket; and while you won't be watching HD video the image is kept crisp thanks to a high pixel density of 252 pixels per inch. The downside, of course, is a smaller screen. At four inches diagonally the Desire X is far from the smallest on the market, it can still feel compact - a good thing if you're looking for a pocket-friendly handset.

Gareth Halfacree

Gareth Halfacree is an experienced tech journalist and IT professional, and has been writing since 2006. In addition to contributing article for ITPro, Gareth has been featured in publications such as PC Pro, Techmeme, The Register, The MagPi, and Tom’s Hardware.

In addition to his digital articles, Gareth is the author of several best-selling books. These include the Raspberry Pi User Guide, an essential text for those looking to get started with their Raspberry Pi, as well as The Official Raspberry Pi Beginner’s Guide. Gareth also wrote the Official BBC micro:bit User Guide, a comprehensive guide to setting up the pocket-sized computer, learning to code on it, and even creating your own hardware addons.