As the new HTC Desire 626 is due to land in Carphone Warehouse stores around the country this week, we take a look at what the latest smartphone from New Taipei City is capable of.

Opening the box and viewing the new HTC Desire 626 for the first time, I’m hit by a blast of colour from the edge of this new 5-inch smartphone.

Behind the slate matte front there’s a stripe of sky blue running around the entire phone, skirting the power button, volume and Nano SIM/MicroSD cover. Dublin GAA fans – or even Manchester City football fans – will love the dark/light blue combination, as it adds some fun to the phone. The camera and logo on the back are also highlighted in the lighter colour.

HTC Desire 626After powering the phone on and once I’m through the setup pages, I’m quickly connected to the Google server and my own Google Play account. Running Android 5.1 Lollipop out of the box, I’m introduced to all the new notification from Google Now, Google Chrome and Gmail – plus the apps I had already downloaded on another Android device, were back in place in about 15 mins thanks to the 626’s clever software.

As soon as you start to use the phone you’ll realise that the matte finish picks up fingerprints quicker than Sherlock Holmes, so it’s a good idea to invest in a case and screen protector to make sure your 626 is kept in pristine condition.


The HTC Desire series has been around for some time now and the handsets always tend to sit in the mid-range price bracket of around €250-€300 when purchased on pre pay, so they’re a great choice for anyone thinking of switching to their first bill pay smartphone. Luckily, the mid-range price tag doesn’t apply to the specs on the 626 –they are far from mid-range.

An impressive 13MP camera sits on the back of the phone surrounded in the sky blue lens frame with all the features we’ve come to expect from HTC to take great photo from the minute you start to use it.

Autofocus and Geotagging come as standard and 1080p video recording is only limited by the size of memory card you decide to use – which is up to 512GB on the 626, amazing opportunity to hold all your media in one place. The internal memory of the phone is 16GB so storage woes won’t be an issue.

Taking care of the computing side is a Qualcomm Snapdragon Quad core processor. Running at 1.2GHz this is the standard these days for mid-range smartphones and it performs very well –transitioning between screens is snappy and using 4G (depending on location) the downloads and web browsing speeds are as quick as expected.

Compared to other phones in the HTC range you could depart with more money for a metal construction such as the HTC One M8s or the M9, but the 626 isn’t far behind.

Samsung and Sony also offer similar mid-range 5-inch phones in the shape of the A5 (Samsung) or the Xperia M4 (Sony), and if you’re thinking of switching to bill pay for the first time any of these three handsets would be great choices, but the HTC does stand out with more personality and a vivid colour scheme.

Overall, the Desire 626 is a great phone to use – it's lightweight and slim but still big enough to watch videos on Netflix or YouTube.

It's also fast; plus with 18 hours of talk time (3G) in the battery, you'll only ever be reaching for the car charger if you've been streaming music or downloading a lot during the day.

Get your hands on the new Desire 626 today