HTC Desire 700 dual sim review: Smarts for size

GSMArena team, 05 February 2014.

Introduction

A flagship, a mini and a phablet. From there on, it's all you Desire. This pretty much sums up the Taiwanese smartphone portfolio where the once premium Desire line is doing double and triple shifts to cover all kinds of price brackets, shapes and sizes in the midrange. It's a place where dual SIM support is closer to a must-have than a nice-to-have.

The HTC Desire 700 dual-SIM has bits of the character of the current flagship but some of the smarts have been obviously traded for size and an extra SIM slot. There's no mistaking where the Desire 700 got its looks from but instead of a gapless aluminum unibody this one has been treated to glossy plastic. The upside is a detachable back panel and hence, a removable battery.

At 5 inches, the Desire 700's screen is bigger than the 4.7-inch screen of the HTC One, but the qHD resolution means that the pixel density is at lower-midrange levels. The good news is the front-mounted stereo speakers are available here as well.


HTC Desire 700 dual sim official images

The back isn't adorned in Ultrapixel glory but a regular 8MP camera more than suffices for the price range. The HTC Desire 700 greets you with Sense 5 atop the aging Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with, hopefully, an update to at least Android 4.3 in the works (and the more advanced Sense 5.5 in tow).

Hoping to balance price-conscious decisions and delivering value to customers, the Desire 700 dual-SIM looks like a good match for the Asian markets where a big screen and multiple SIM slots go a long way. That said, like others before it, the Desire 700 will certainly find its way to the old continent, too.

Let's see everything the HTC Desire 700 dual-SIM has to offer in our breakdown below.

Key features

  • SIM 1 GSM 850/900/1800/1900, SIM 2: GSM 900/1800/1900 HSDPA 850/900/2100
  • 5" 540 x 960 pixel Super LCD2 capacitive touchscreen, 220 ppi
  • Android OS v4.1.2 Jelly Bean with Sense UI 5.0
  • Spreadtrum Shark chipset, quad-core Cortex-A7 CPU @1.2GHz, Mali-400 GPU, 1GB of RAM
  • 8 MP autofocus camera, 1/3.2'' sensor; LED flash
  • 1080p video recording @ 22fps with HDR mode
  • 2.1MP front-facing camera, 1080p video recording
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA; Wireless TV-out; Wi-Fi Hotspot
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS
  • 8GB of built-in storage
  • microSD card slot
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Front-mounted stereo speakers with BoomSound tech
  • FM Radio
  • USB On-The-Go

Main disadvantages

  • Not competitively priced (€300 at the time of writing)
  • Budget-grade chipset
  • Disappointing camera output in both stills and video
  • 5" screen a tad thin on resolution
  • No 3G support on the secondary SIM card
  • No carrier video-call support
  • Poor video codec support out of the box
  • No quick settings toggles in Sense 5
  • MHL, NFC, IR and Beats audio reserved for the top dogs

The HTC Desire 700 dual SIM has screen size, battery capacity and full-HD video capability over the predecessor, the Desire 600 dual SIM. But six months later, it's not the straightforward upgrade that HTC was after - the Desire 700 and its siblings mark a strategic shift for the company. In an attempt to lower the production costs, the Taiwanese have switched chipset suppliers.

The Desire 700 is powered by a China-made Spreadtrum Shark running four Cortex-A7 cores at 1.2GHz. The immediate benefit is 1080p video recording but we're yet to see what kind of compromise the low-cost chipset makes and how it compares against lower-end Snapdragons.

HTC Desire 700 dual sim HTC Desire 700 dual sim
The HTC Desire 700 dual-SIM live shots

And, of course, we'll look at what makes - or breaks - the Desire 700 as a viable option for users requiring two SIM slots. We are ready to give this one the benefit of the doubt, so step right in as we try and make up our minds.

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