American readers might not know this, but HTC just loves the Desire brand name. It's been around since 2010, when the original launched as a slightly modified version of the Nexus One. Since then it's gone through many permutations, like the keyboard-equipped Desire Z (the G2 in the US) and got at One X-style makeover with the Desire X. The 601 brought the family up to the HTC One M7's industrial design, meaning the name has survived two of HTC's complete hardware overhauls. Now for the first time in years, we're getting a Desire in the US, courtesy of AT&T.


The line has gradually shifted the the budget market, and the new Desire 610 fits well below the HTC One Mini 2 as a starter or contract-free phone. When it launches on AT&T on July 25th, it will cost just $199.99 without a contract, and prospective buyers can split that up with a NEXT payment plan or buy it as a prepaid GO Phone. Though the Desire 610 shares its looks with the latest One family, including a minimalist case design, front-facing speakers, and virtual nav buttons, its hardware is in line with its low price. AT&T isn't all that keen to talk specs, but the international model uses a 4.7-inch 960x540 screen, a Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage plus whatever you put in the MicroSD card slot, and 8.0 and 1.3 megapixel cameras on the back and front, respectively. The non-removable battery has a 2040mAh capacity.

The 610 does have an LTE radio (with AT&T bands, of course), which isn't a given at this price point, and it's packed with Android 4.4 and Sense 6. It seems like a decent deal for those on a tight budget, though the low RAM and battery power are going to force some compromises. Considering the fact that AT&T's on-contract phones rarely go above $199.99, even for brand-new flagship devices, one might just be tempted by the contractual ball and chain.

Source: AT&T

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Daniel Marcus

    Good job to HTC for what looks like a solid budget entry. I'd love to see a budget comparison between this, the Moto G, and Samsung and LG's comparable entries.

    • Mystery Man

      Shitty resolution screen. No comparison.

  • tintin.92

    $200 without contract? Is this available to everyone, or just AT&T customers? Cuz this seems to be as good a deal as the Moto G (save for the screen resolution).

    • blumpkinator

      should be able to buy it outright directly from AT&T even if you're not a customer. Alternatively, you can buy it used once it's been out for a bit. Or just buy the international model.

      Any that were sold by AT&T will be sim locked to AT&T so you'd need to unlock it for use on any network besides an AT&T MVNO.

  • Jephri

    Not a bad looking phone for 200 bucks.

  • CeluGeek

    The only thing I find attractive are the front-facing speakers. Otherwise, I'd still pony up the extra $30 and buy an LTE version of the Moto G unlocked,

    • Arthur

      Don't forget the Moto G has a very nice 720p display, I can't remember if the LTE version is only offered with 8GB internal memory but I know it's got the expandable storage the non-LTE version doesn't. This HTC also has a marginally larger battery, the Moto G has a 19xx mAh non-removable battery.

      • Daniel Marcus

        The Moto G also has a very efficient processor. The battery life on the G is excellent. Also, despite not having front-facing speakers, the G is surprisingly loud.

        • George264

          BoomSound isn't just about loudness it sounds just so much better than any tinny speaker pushed to the max

  • DonEmu

    So when is the E8 releasing Internationally? That's the one that seems interesting.

  • ProductFRED

    Same specs as the Moto G LTE, minus the screen. Not bad. On the other hand, the Moto G LTE gets updates much quicker.

    • George264

      BoomSound, better cameras, IMO better looking, I think this is a good deal.

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  • Lirodon

    My mom and brother have a Desire 601; it's actually not that bad.

  • mgamerz

    "The line has gradually shifted the the budget market"

  • J_Pod

    HTC Sensation screen resolution, sigh. 720p and avaliable to all like the moto G and this would have become the next phone I would have recommended to everyone rather that the moto g

    • Daniel Marcus

      The main reason I would probably still recommend the G is the OS experience. Especially on a slightly slower phone, Sense is bound to lag even worse than it does on the top-of-the-line models. The stock android experience of the G is much better IMO.

      • J_Pod

        True, but the front facing speakers on my M7 are great and I use them all the time and this Desire has them too. Too bad that the Moto G doesn't because with front facing speakers it would turn an awesome phone into an amazing one

      • Mantas

        Umm... Sense is a skin that's the least likely to lag. It absolutely flies on flagships and middle tier phones without any hiccups, so I don't think it would lag on this one. At least definitely less then the competition (maybe not the moto G)

        • Daniel Marcus

          That's what I thought until I had to figure out why the slide-out menu was running at 2FPS on HTC flagships when it ran smoothly on everything else.