First thing first, HTC Desire 526G Plus, that name makes me wonder if HTC is trying to follow Samsung in “weird names for phones” course. I was hoping it’d be the first and the last phone but that is not the case. There’s 626G Plus already. Although, it has a decent spec-sheet it’s the HTC’s name which will be a factor when making a decision. I was skeptical about its survival since it was launched. Time to have a detailed look at it.
We all have seen this design before. No prize for guessing that old phone. Desire 500 was the first one to sport it. It’s been tweaked a little, nothing major. And yeah, it’s also “faux boomsound” design. When you look at its front you see speaker grills both above and below the display which instantly makes you think it’s got “dual frontal speakers”. Nope, it doesn’t have anything fancy like that. I’d say piggybacking attempt from HTC, nothing else. Display is slightly raised from rest of the chassis.
It’s a jelly-belly design or say pebble like but it’s good. It’s comfortable to hold. Yeah, it has thick bezels but nothing ugly or dealbreaker. It also uses glossy back (which is also removable), so a little compromise on grip and fingerprints are inevitable. Apparently there’s also a matte black variant, at least its site shows it. Other two variants, blue and red are glossy as well.
Now, it’s time for that mandatory design walkthrough. (In slow-mo voice) It has a 4.7 inch display with qHD (540×960) resolution. There’s an 8MP camera on the back with LED flash and it also has a 2MP camera on front. Mono speaker is on the front and below the display.
Remove the back cover and you see a 2000 mAh battery. You’d notice three slots just above it. Two microSIM slots and a microSD slot squeezed in between them. This means memory card is not hot-swappable. We are in 2015, by the way.
All buttons, power and volume rocker, are placed on the right side leaving left side naked. By the way, volume rocker and power are barely recognizable. That’s the best camouflage ever. Top hosts a 3.5mm audio jack while the bottom is fine with a microUSB port and mic. I personally think USB port is placed at an awkward position. You can’t hold the phone properly when it’s connected to charger.
Hardware, Performance and Battery:
Desire 526G+ uses MediaTek MT6592 SoC and has 1GB of RAM. Gone are the days when MediaTek processors were considered weak and lack-luster in performance. The one inside this phone has octa-core processor running at 1.3GHz. Let’s not go deeper into technical details but it uses eight A7 cores which deliver adequate performance while being energy efficient. It passed all the benchmarks with good numbers. My experience says it is more than enough for an average smartphone user. If you at all feel it’s lagging, you can simply go to battery settings untick a setting which caps the CPU performance. However, I didn’t need to do it and yet I’d pleasant experience with this phone.
The 4.7 inch display has qHD (540×960) resolution and it’s an IPS LCD panel. It’s not as crisp as 720p HD displays on other phones but it’s just okay. Still, a 720p HD display would have been a plus point for 526G+ considering the fact that other phones in the segment have it. Display quality is satisfactory with adequate contrast and color saturation. The glass above the display was a bit too reflective so you’d need to set brightness to higher levels outdoors. Touch on my unit was erratic. It failed to register the touch often and it was annoying. The unit sent to me was a test mule or say non-retail unit, so I hope this issue isn’t present on retails ones.
Loudspeaker on Desire 526G+ isn’t what I was expecting from HTC. It has very poor quality and it would distort the sound all the time. Agreed, it’s not Boomsound tech but for the company which understands entertainment so well this is really bad.