A brief conversation with someone made me realise that I have been reviewing mostly high end phones. It’s a rather valid point, actually, because I am quite a “power user”, and similarly for most of my peers.

Yet, after trying out so many large powerful devices over the years, I wonder if a budget smartphone equally meets my needs.

On hand: HTC Desire 601. It’s not exactly a budget phone, but rather a mid-range device below S$500. It progresses after Desire 600 which I reviewed a few months back. From the look, you can tell that HTC took after the HTC One design mould with the Desire-inspired removable plastic back.

HWZ offers an excellent in-depth write-up on the Desire 601, so I shall not dwell further.

To test how reliant I am to high-end smartphone, I took the Desire 601 for several full-day use.


I missed how compact mobile phones can be. The HTC Desire 601 houses a 4.5-inch 960×540 screen and 130g light. Everything is within reach by my fingers.

The disadvantage of a small screen is the lack of screen size. I see less information and needs to scroll more to read. If the content layout is mobile-optimized, no problem. If it contains many dropdowns and pop-ups, then the screen becomes so hard to work with. More so when the on-screen keyboard appears and covers almost half the screen.


The HTC Desire 601 runs on dual-core 1.4GHz. When using social apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the phone breezes through with ease. The crunch comes when you create content like collage, video editing, or browse photo gallery with high-res images, where things get a little sluggish.


Running on removable 2100mAh battery, the phone manages to stretch one working day with my kind of aggressive use. For non-power users, it should breeze through the day.


After using the Desire 601, I have to ask myself why I should pay double for a high-end smartphone without getting double benefits. Perhaps all I really need is a mid-range gadget like Desire 601.

My answer? Yes I needed a more expensive smartphone because I needed a larger screen to see more content and I needed a more powerful processor to handle my editing needs. More importantly, I needed a larger battery capacity to last me the day.

Who knows, perhaps the upcoming ASUS Padfone Mini might be the gadget I need.

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