HTC Desire 500 review

6.6/10 AVG.
RATING



6.6/10
Informr score
The HTC Desire 500 currently has an Informr score of 6.6 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 10 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

What's good

  • Sturdy and trendy phone design
  • Relatively smooth performance during everyday use
  • Good display viewing angles

What's bad

  • Poor resolution and pixel density
  • Difficult to find and press volume rocker and power key
  • Occasional stutter when downloading apps in the background

The Desire 500 is part of HTC's mid-range smartphone lineup and is in direct competition with other budget phones like the Sony Xperia M and Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini. As a budget device, it doesn't offer top-of-the-line hardware, but what it lacks in substance it makes up for in style. PC Advisor says, "The HTC Desire is one of the best looking smartphones available…"

The phone measures 5.19 x 2.63 x 0.39 inches and weighs a mere 123 grams. There are three different color options to choose from: all black, white with red trim and white with turquoise trim. While the chassis is made entirely of plastic, reviewers were overall impressed with the build quality and seamless construction despite having a removable back cover. The only issue critics had with the design is the power key button and volume rocker. According to Phone Arena, the buttons lack tactile feedback as it is too flush with the side. Despite this one issue, most found the device comfortable to hold and easy to use.

As with most smartphones, the main focal point of the Desire 500 is its 4.3 inch display. Sadly, it falls flat only offering 800x480 resolution, resulting in 217ppi density. Although good enough for basic use, critics noticed slight blurring around icon edges and fine print. Experts also mention that while the screen offers clean whites and decent viewing angles, text often appears gray and colors lack vividness.

The 1.2GHz quad-core processor and 1GB of onboard RAM offered reviewers a relatively smooth experience when browsing the home screen and using basic apps. TechRadar did notice the occasional stutter when downloading apps in the background, but goes on to say that "It's a barely perceptible difference…which only results in the occasional bit of jerky scrolling." When put through various benchmark tests, the phone scored lower than the Moto G – a device that offers a better screen at a lower cost than the Desire 500.

Other features include 4GB of internal storage, an expandable microSD slot and an 8MP rear-facing camera. Most critics were pleased with the camera's performance, only having issues with overexposure and low light performance.

Despite a couple qualms, most reviewers were pleased with this handset. V3 says "The HTC Desire 500 is a solid affordable phone...but [its] long-term appeal is questionable." Expert Reviews chimes in, "It's a great-looking phone that shows you don't need to buy a tedious black slab…However, it struggles to compete with the Moto G…"


Operating system
Android
Processor
1.2 GHz
Screen Size
4.3"
Camera
8+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


PC Pro

The Desire 500 has a similar front-end to the HTC One (M8) and a good camera, but battery life and performance are both poor.

- Jonathan Bray, PC Pro
Expert Reviews

It's a great-looking phone that shows you don’t need to buy a tedious black slab if you have less than £250 to spend on an Android smartphone. It also has a reasonable screen and good camera, and acceptable performance. However, it struggles to compete with the Motorola Moto G, which has...

- Chris Finnamore, Expert Reviews
Recombu

It's actually a bit more expensive the Motorola Moto G, the benchmark by which all budget Android phones should be judged right now. Is it as good as the Moto G? For the most part, no. The screen resolution is way lower, which makes a real difference when it comes to browsing the web, playing video...

- Thomas Newton, Recombu
The Inquirer

The HTC Desire 500 is a solid, affordable phone. It offers buyers a £199 quad-core Android experience and boasts a reasonably decent rear camera. But since it was released just weeks before the cheaper and higher specified Motorola Moto G that has a more recent version of Android, a better scr...

- Alastair Stevenson, The Inquirer
PCWorld

The HTC Desire 500 is a great-looking device, with tons of unique software and solid mid-range smartphone specs on board. It's hard to find any real weaknesses with the phone, including its reasonable price tag. To sum up, it's simply a very good mid-range Android smartphone.

- David Court, PCWorld


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


HTC released the Desire 500 on August 31, 2013.


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the HTC Desire 500 user manual here.


HTC backs up the Desire 500 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your Desire 500 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact HTC support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find HTC's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.




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Quick view

Screen Size
4.3"

The HTC Desire 500's screen size is 4.3 inches with 480 x 800 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.2 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 Quad core 1.2 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system (OS).

Camera
8+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 8+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 1+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
4 GB

Internal memory is 4 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
1800mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 1800 mAh battery. HTC's performance ratings are 1068 minutes, 391 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Desire 500 Specs

Overview
Release date August 31, 2013
Regions available UK
Networks
GSM:
900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
900/2100 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA 7.2, HSUPA
SIM card Yes
Dual SIM Yes
Operating System Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 Quad core 1.2 GHz
Internal Flash Memory 4 GB
RAM 1 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 0.29 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 1800 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 470 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 391 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 1068 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 18.1 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black, White
Dimensions [H x W x D] 13.2 x 6.7 x 1 cm (5.2 x 2.6 x 0.4 in)
Weight 123 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 480 x 800 pixels
Pixel density 217 pixels
Size 4.3 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key Yes
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, Google Talk
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, OPP/FTP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Geotagging, Multi-shot, Panorama, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, MPEG-4, WMV, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
HD (1280 x 720 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution
1+ megapixels
Zoom
Additional Front Camera Info
Self-portrait
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AMR, MIDI, MP3, M4A, OGG, WMA, WAV
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, AVI, MPEG-4, WMV
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed (Dropbox)
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments
Related Links Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Manual (PDF)
HTC Desire 500 Reviews
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Critic Reviews


PC Pro

A lightweight, low-cost smartphone with a great camera

from PC Pro

For a sub-£200 phone the Desire 500 is uncommonly good-looking. Its glossy white plastic frame is set off nicely by a metallic blue strip that surrounds the edge and seamlessly encompasses the volume buttons along the right-hand edge.

It's slim, too, at 9.9mm thick, it weighs only 123g, and its gently rounded rear panel and corners make it comfortable to hold. The Desire 500 trumps most low-cost Android phones when it comes to design....

More

For a sub-£200 phone the Desire 500 is uncommonly good-looking. Its glossy white plastic frame is set off nicely by a metallic blue strip that surrounds the edge and seamlessly encompasses the volume buttons along the right-hand edge.

It's slim, too, at 9.9mm thick, it weighs only 123g, and its gently rounded rear panel and corners make it comfortable to hold. The Desire 500 trumps most low-cost Android phones when it comes to design.

Perhaps the Desire 500's strongest aspect is its 8-megapixel camera, which produces detailed, balanced snaps full of rich colours. It doesn't suffer unduly from lens flare, as many rivals do. Even low-light shots look okay.

The camera is one of many things we like about the HTC Desire 500. It has a great display, it's slim, light and good-looking, and we like the Sense skin. However, it's pricey compared to the Moto G, its battery life is poor and performance is sluggish.

Read full review

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Expert Reviews

A good-looking phone which can’t stand up to some extremely strong competition

from Expert Reviews

It's a great-looking phone that shows you don’t need to buy a tedious black slab if you have less than £250 to spend on an Android smartphone. It also has a reasonable screen and good camera, and acceptable performance. However, it struggles to compete with the Motorola Moto G, which...More

It's a great-looking phone that shows you don’t need to buy a tedious black slab if you have less than £250 to spend on an Android smartphone. It also has a reasonable screen and good camera, and acceptable performance. However, it struggles to compete with the Motorola Moto G, which has a better screen, similar performance and four times the free storage space, as well as being around £80 cheaper than the Desire 500.

Read full review

Less

Recombu

Great design with smart, stylish interface

from Recombu

It's actually a bit more expensive the Motorola Moto G, the benchmark by which all budget Android phones should be judged right now. Is it as good as the Moto G? For the most part, no. The screen resolution is way lower, which makes a real difference when it comes to browsing the web, playing video files and ogling your photos....

More

It's actually a bit more expensive the Motorola Moto G, the benchmark by which all budget Android phones should be judged right now. Is it as good as the Moto G? For the most part, no. The screen resolution is way lower, which makes a real difference when it comes to browsing the web, playing video files and ogling your photos.

The battery life of the Desire 500 is also not as good as the Moto G’s. In fact, the battery of the Desire 500 is pretty damn awful. However, the Desire 500’s skimpy internal memory can thankfully be expanded, giving it an edge over the Moto G, which comes in 8GB and 16GB flavours, but doesn’t give you the option to add more headroom if you need to.

If you're not fussed about browsing the web or anything other than texting, calling, snapping the odd pic and playing music the Desire 500 is adequate, but let's face it, who buys a smartphone and doesn't want to get online?

If you're in the market for a phone like this, we recommend that you take a look at the slightly more expensive HTC Desire 601 or the slightly cheaper Moto G instead.

Read full review

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The Inquirer

An affordable quad-core Android phone let down by poor timing

from The Inquirer

The HTC Desire 500 is a solid, affordable phone. It offers buyers a £199 quad-core Android experience and boasts a reasonably decent rear camera. But since it was released just weeks before the cheaper and higher specified Motorola Moto G that has a more recent version of Android, a better...More

The HTC Desire 500 is a solid, affordable phone. It offers buyers a £199 quad-core Android experience and boasts a reasonably decent rear camera. But since it was released just weeks before the cheaper and higher specified Motorola Moto G that has a more recent version of Android, a better screen and an even more powerful Snapdragon 600 processor, the Desire 500's long-term appeal is questionable.

Read full review

Less

PCWorld

A great mid-range smartphone with impressive specs and performance

from PCWorld

The HTC Desire 500 is a great-looking device, with tons of unique software and solid mid-range smartphone specs on board. It's hard to find any real weaknesses with the phone, including its reasonable price tag. To sum up, it's simply a very good mid-range Android smartphone.

Read full review

The HTC Desire 500 is a great-looking device, with tons of unique software and solid mid-range smartphone specs on board. It's hard to find any real weaknesses with the phone, including its reasonable price tag. To sum up, it's simply a very good mid-range Android smartphone.

Read full review

Less

Coolsmartphone

A beauty with speed

from Coolsmartphone

For your money, this is a pretty excellent device. You’re getting a lot of the features of the more expensive HTC One (including Beats and the fun video montage feature that is created from your photos). It took me a short while to get used to just the two soft-keys up-front but I didn&rsqu...More

For your money, this is a pretty excellent device. You’re getting a lot of the features of the more expensive HTC One (including Beats and the fun video montage feature that is created from your photos). It took me a short while to get used to just the two soft-keys up-front but I didn’t feel that I was using a “budget” phone in any sense of the word.

Read full review

Less

Know Your Mobile

Reasonable performance, decent screen, very good camera for the price

from Know Your Mobile

It looks and feels like a great little phone, but it’s impossible to view it in isolation and on the current market there are choices which present better value for money at (and in fact below) this price point.

Read full review

It looks and feels like a great little phone, but it’s impossible to view it in isolation and on the current market there are choices which present better value for money at (and in fact below) this price point.

Read full review

Less

NDTV

A good mid-range phone marred by a low resolution screen

from NDTV

The HTC Desire 500 is a good all rounder if you're in the market for a compact Android phone that offers modern features and above average performance. However, we feel that HTC should have included a screen with a better resolution. Even the camera does not take good quality low-light shots and lacks support for full-HD video capture.

Read full review

The HTC Desire 500 is a good all rounder if you're in the market for a compact Android phone that offers modern features and above average performance. However, we feel that HTC should have included a screen with a better resolution. Even the camera does not take good quality low-light shots and lacks support for full-HD video capture.

Read full review

Less

GSMArena

The handset looks fresh and up-to-date, and delivers handsomely for the price

The HTC Desire 500 will likely be the obvious choice for everyone who wants their smartphone to stand out from the crowd. And it's not the typical looks vs. brains dilemma either. The Desire 500 isn't likely to impress with speed and performance, but it won't disappoint either. For anyone coming...More

The HTC Desire 500 will likely be the obvious choice for everyone who wants their smartphone to stand out from the crowd. And it's not the typical looks vs. brains dilemma either. The Desire 500 isn't likely to impress with speed and performance, but it won't disappoint either. For anyone coming from an entry-level droid, or even a feature phone, this one's definitely worth a look.

Read full review

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PhoneArena

The handset's performance is solid in most aspects that matter

from PhoneArena

The Desire 500 is a pretty good shot at the booming lower midrange market for HTC, fusing together an entry-level screen and processor, which, however, do their jobs fine, with some more upscale features like a good 8 MP camera and an eye-catching, youthful design lines.

There are some...More

The Desire 500 is a pretty good shot at the booming lower midrange market for HTC, fusing together an entry-level screen and processor, which, however, do their jobs fine, with some more upscale features like a good 8 MP camera and an eye-catching, youthful design lines.

There are some hiccups here and there, like the lousy power key, but overall the handset's performance is solid in most aspects that matter. HTC has priced it adequately in the $300 segment, too, so it has every chance to become a popular choice.

Read full review

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