The HTC Desire 310 dual sim is the company’s answer to Motorola’s Moto G. Priced at roughly the same range, the 310 is designed to be affordable yet offer some of the basic tools needed to give first-time smartphone users a pleasant experience. But does it succeed? And more importantly, does it offer better value compared to the Moto G?

Design and Build

When HTC announced the Desire 310, we felt it had better aesthetics compared to Motorola’s offering. However, in reality, things are quite the opposite. The matte-finished plastic body has a very cheap feel to it and is not something we expect from HTC. It’s a bit chunky as well at 11.3mm in depth.

The 310 doesn't look all that good in the real world
The 310 doesn’t look all that good outside press shots

Apart from the logo, there aren’t any capacitive buttons since everything is on-screen now. There’s a front-facing VGA camera for Skype calls. The display is a 4.5 TFT LCD, which is the most disappointing part of the phone. Not only is the resolution not HD, the quality of the panel is below average. Due to this, the colour reproduction and viewing angles are sub-standard at best.

The 5MP fixed-focus sensor on the back
The 5MP fixed-focus sensor on the back

We found the button placement and the feedback to be quite disappointing as well. Not only is everything on the right, it gets worse as the buttons sit almost flush with the body making it a task to actually press them. Tactile feedback is almost non-existent as well. Around the back is a 5MP shooter but no flash.

The matt-finished back is quite drab
The matte-finished back is quite drab

The HTC Desire 310 hasn’t really gotten off to a very good start. The build and finish of the handset are very disappointing to say the least. Hopefully, it will redeem itself in the software department.

Features

The Desire 310 is bundled with Android 4.2.2 but is stripped off the Sense user interface. It’s a little weird using an HTC phone without Sense as it feels like a lot like a Micromax or a Karbonn phone, since the UI is very similar to what you get on those phones. There are some remnants of Sense like video previews and BlinkFeed but that’s about it. Since the 310 doesn’t have to deal with this extra burden, the interface is quite spiffy despite the 512MB of RAM.

The 310 has mostly stock Android
The 310 has mostly stock Android

The Desire 310 is powered by a MediaTek MT6582M quad-core chipset running at 1.3GHz. This ‘M’ moniker at the end indicates the GPU runs at a slightly slower 416MHz as compared to 500MHz on the standard version. The 512MB of RAM raises an issue if you try to multitask. This is where the phone gets a bit laggy. You get the standard suite of Google apps pre-installed as well as apps like Facebook, Polaris Office 5.

Media

We have the stock music player for music and the same goes for videos. Audio quality is not bad through a pair of good IEMs. You even get equaliser presets to tune your music. There’s 4GB of internal memory out of which, the user gets 2.6GB. This can be expanded by 32GB thanks to the MicroSD card.

Media playback is decent
Media playback is decent

There’s 1080p video playback support but we doubt you’d enjoy a movie on this phone due to its low-res screen.

Connectivity

The Desire 310 is a dual-SIM phone (GSM+GSM) with single-band 3G and quad-band 2G support. Call quality was good as well as we didn’t have much issues here. The phone isn’t the best for surfing the web due to the lacklustre display but there’s the basic connectivity in place. There’s also Wi-Fi ‘n’, Bluetooth 4.0, GLONASS and USB 2.0. Sadly, there isn’t any notification LED to alert you with incoming calls and messages.

Some of the bundled apps
Some of the bundled apps

Camera

Adding to the roster of disappointments is the 5MP camera. To start off with, it lacks auto-focus, which is the last nail in a coffin as far as we’re concerned. Unsurprisingly, the quality of pictures is pretty bad despite the lighting condition. The interface is also very basic and similar to what local brands offer. You can record in 1080p though, for whatever that’s worth.

The camera UI
The camera UI
Quality of pictures are below average
Quality of pictures are below average

Battery life

Battery life gives the 310 a small feather in its otherwise sparse cap. The phone managed to complete our 8-hour loop test with 17 percent to spare. The 2000mAh battery does offer good back-up time but then it ought to when you have only the bare essentials in the phone.

Under the hood
Under the hood

Verdict and Price in India

With a street price of roughly Rs 11,500, the HTC Desire 310 dual sim is too expensive for what’s on offer. In fact, we wouldn’t even recommend it if dropped to half its price. It’s quite simply a disaster of a product which is too bad when you consider the Desire 210 and Desire 816, which actually have good potential. The Motorola Moto G continues to be the best Android under Rs 15,000. If you don’t mind the rival camp, then we also recommend the Nokia Lumia 525 instead of the 310.


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