Here at MWC in Barcelona this year, HTC decided to quietly launch a couple of new budget friendly devices. One of them is the new, low end Desire 530. Design-wise, it’s very similar to most previous Desire phones, although with a new colorful, speckled rear shell.

The front has the usual thick plastic top and bottom panels with built-in speaker and earpiece, and the same huge black frame surrounds the display. There’s a 5MP camera on the top left corner.

On the back, HTC opted for a white plastic covered in multi-colored spots that make it look like a birthday cake flavored jelly bean. It also has an 8MP camera on the back with a single LED flash. There’s a brightly colored, textured power button near the volume rocker on the right and a flap covering the SIM and MicroSD ports on the left. It measures just 8.3mm thin and runs Android Marshmallow.

As you’d expect, it also runs HTC’s Sense UI on top and features the BlinkFeed screen which fills the 5-inch 720p display with news stories and updates. Other specs include a low-level quad-core Snapdragon 210 processor, 1.5GB RAM and 16GB storage which you can expand up to an impressive 200GB.


All in, this is clearly a low-end phone, but it’s not a bad one. In fact, my first experience was pretty decent. It hits the market next month alongside the higher end Desire 825 and Desire 630. Both of which share similar design, but upgraded specs.

Personally, I’m glad HTC is continuing with its Desire series of phones. The all-plastic devices, in my experience, generally offer a good all round experience for the respective price points. Usually, they have good battery life, they feel good in hand and aren’t hard to live with unlike other big name manufacturers’ cheap devices. Whether or not this year’s models live up to past devices is yet to be seen. On first impressions, they seem just as unremarkable and yet pleasing as the older versions.

Despite the overall positives, it’s still difficult to see how these devices will help HTC recover much-needed popularity, market share and profits. They don’t offer the same performance and specs you might get from similarly prices devices from Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi or OnePlus. The former’s Mi 5 looks incredible for the $300 price point, while the OnePlus X is easily one of the best phones under $250.

All eyes are on the HTC One M10 this year, and so far, all we’ve seen is the rumored rear metal chassis and an official chamfered edge teaser.

Desire 530 Specs

  • 5-inch 720p screen (294ppi)
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Quad-Core Snapdragon 210
  • 1.5GB RAM
  • 16GB storage, expandable to 200GB
  • 8MP rear camera
  • 5MP front camera
  • 2200mAh
  • 8.3mm thin

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Cam Bunton's favorite gear