HTC’s Desire 610 arrives to capture the $300 range

Before HTC announced the metal-bodied M8, it had two mid-range models to show the world. We’ve already seen the Desire 816, and now it’s time to see what the 610 has in store for Australians.

A model aimed at keeping the costs down, the Desire 610 is here, offering a similar product to what HTC showed us in last year’s 601, except with a couple of digits switched around and a few spec changes from last year.

For starters, the SIM has changed, so you can’t just jump ship from the 601 to the 610, with nanoSIM used here instead of microSIM, a shift in line with everything else HTC is doing, which we saw on the HTC One M8 and the Desire 816.

Also changed is the screen size, running the same quarterHD (qHD) resolution of 960×540 on a slightly bigger 4.7 inch screen, marginally higher than the 601’s 4.5 inch display.

These are little changes, and they continue all throughout the phone, with the dual-core Snapdragon 400 on the 601 jumping to a quad-core on the 610, Android 4.2 “Jelly Bean” moving to Android 4.4 “KitKat,” the 5 megapixel camera on the back moving to 8 megapixels, while the front-facing VGA camera shifts to a better 1.3 megapixel shooter.

Some things stay the same, though, with 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Category 4 4G LTE technology, 8GB storage, 1GB RAM, Bluetooth, GPS, with support for a microSD slot, and a love for plastic, because like last year’s below mid-range model, this one is plastic too, reminding us of the iPhone 5C, with highly glossy and reflective plastic all over the back.

In the hands, our initial impressions are that it feels a touch more solid than the 601, though it is a fingerprint magnet, and that’s from the first go.

Beyond the looks, we’re told this should be ideal for Australia, with 700MHz spectrum support included, making it ideal for working inside buildings and into the outskirts of town, at least when Telstra switches on that technology.

“Our Desire range presents unparalleled value for customers who want a best in class 4G smartphone, with no compromise on quality, at an affordable price,” said Ben Hodgson, Country Manager for HTC Australia and New Zealand.

“We have worked closely with Telstra again to ensure the HTC Desire 610 supports Telstra’s ultra-fast 700MHz network band which will allow people to stay connected deeper in buildings or on the edge of the network in rural areas.”

We hope that’ll be the case, but only time will tell, and at $312, HTC’s Desire 610 isn’t a hard ask for anyone keen to go with that sort of gamble. Telstra’s network is likely required, though, since it’s a Telstra exclusive for the moment, which makes sense since the 601 was a Vodafone exclusive back then.

If you’re good for that, though, you’ll find the HTC Desire 610 in Telstra stores shortly for that outright price of $312, as well as plans from $55 per month.