Product Desire Eye
Specifications Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 5.2in, 1080x1920 pixels, 424 ppi IPS touchscreen, 16GB storage, 13MP front camera with autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash and HDR, 13MP front cameras, 4G, 3G, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, Android 5.0 Lollipop, 152x74x8.5mm, 154g, Li-Ion 2400mAh battery
Price From £400
HTC HAS HAD a tough time of it over the past few years and has lost increasingly large chuncks of its market share to Korean competitor Samsung.
However, HTC made some serious ground in reversing this trend in 2014, releasing what in many buyers' minds, including ours at The INQUIRER, was its best smartphone to date, the One M8.
HTC has had success in the top-end market, but has yet to make much headway in the mid- to low-end market, a space it once dominated with the Wildfire smartphone.
The Desire Eye is designed to rectify this and offer an affordable, but still well specced, alternative to the One M8.
Design and build
HTC has long been one of a select number of companies capable of taking Apple on when it comes to design. At the top end of its range, the firm has done this by designing smartphones using robust metal frames, like the single piece chassis on the One M8.
Below this, the Desire range has featured less solid and premium feeling polycarbonate frames. The Desire Eye continues this trend and features a three-tone polycarbonate design.
The Desire Eye still feels fairly premium. The plastic has a matte finish that, combined with IPX7 certification, gives it a well-built feel. The certification means the Desire Eye is dustproof and water resistant up to one metre for 30 minutes.
The right-hand physical power, volume and shutter buttons also feel reasonably well built and are suitably sensitive and responsive.
Additionally, thanks to the reasonable 152x74x8.5mm dimensions, 154g weight and rounded sides, the Desire Eye feels comfortable in the hand, especially when compared with recent plus-sized handsets, such as the Nexus 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.
Our only design qualms with the Desire Eye are that the left hand nano-sim and microSD inputs are prone to pop out slightly when the handset meets with even moderate force and the blue review unit we used was prone to picking up dirt marks.
The Desire Eye features a fairly large screen by HTC standards and comes with a 5.2in, 1080x1920 pixels, 424 ppi IPS touchscreen.
We found the Desire Eye's display fairly impressive for a midrange device. Compared with most phones in its price bracket, the Desire Eye display features decent sharpness and contrast levels and, unlike many Android handsets, doesn't oversaturate colours.
That said, there are some problems with the display. The biggest is its reflective nature. The display performed great in regular light, but moving into more adverse conditions, such as bright sunlight, it quickly became close to unusable.
Next: Operating system and performance