As a parent with a 10 year old, I’m starting to get questions about when he can get his own phone to take to school. I myself didn’t get my own mobile phone until I was in college but kids these days live in the digital world and I’ve seen many of the kids at his school with smartphones. Even teachers these days are encouraging kids to bring in smartphones so that they can look up information online or download special apps that are part of their curriculum. I’m sure many of you parents too are getting this question as well and with that said, exactly what kind of phone do you buy a child? You don’t want to get them a flagship device that costs $600-700 because that’s just out of the question but you also don’t want to buy a cheap-ass phone that can’t do all the things your child needs. Luckily for you, there are actually some pretty decent entry level Android based smartphones out there that can handle most of what a child needs without breaking the bank. One example of this is the latest HTC Desire 530.
HTC’s latest Desire 530 model is an entry level device that doesn’t skimp on features. For part 1 of this write up, I’ll be mainly taking look at the hardware and what you’ll be getting with the HTC Desire 530 and how this smartphone is perfectly built to handle the activities of childhood.
I’ll start off with how the HTC Desire 530 looks. Unlike HTC’s flagship HTC 10 smartphone, the HTC Desire 530 is made of impact resistant polycarbonate with a unique micro spash finish. What that means for you is that you’ll be getting a device that is a bit more drop proof. Polycarbonate doesn’t dent like aluminum or shatter like glass when you drop it. I would still recommend a good case however, especially if this is going to a kid as an added layer of protection. As for the micro splash finish, this is just a really interesting and unique speckled paint effect that is unique to each device.
The HTC Desire 530 does come in various colors with different micro splash designs. Take for example the device I have here. This one is called “Blue Lagoon” and features a dark blue body with what looks like baby blue accents and micros splash accents. The power button is accented in baby blue and ridged for easy touch identification and the text on the back is in baby blue as well. This one comes courtesy of Verizon. If you’re looking for it on T-Mobile or AT&T, I suggest getting the unlocked edition from HTC.com which will come in Sprinkle White.
Other than the neat micro splash effect, the only other thing really interesting about the body is the fact that the HTC Desire 530 comes with a rather old school feature I haven’t seen in a long time on phones. It actually has a lanyard hole in the back where you can attach various accessories like a wrist strap or even those old school mobile phone charms people used to have for personalization.
The screen on the HTC Desire 530 isn’t too shabby either for an entry level device. It’s a 5-inch HD screen with a full HD 720p (1280x 720 pixels) Resolution at 294 ppi (pixel per inch). It’s obviously not as good as a flagship device, but for a kid, it’ll be more than enough for them. The screen itself is fairly bright too and even in bright sunlit conditions, I had no trouble viewing the screen.
Also, I’m not exactly sure what kind of the glass the screen itself uses, but regardless of type, I suggest using a screen protector just to keep it from getting scratched up.
Like most HTC devices, this thing has huge bezels. Still not sure why HTC does this, but there is a lot of wasted space around the screen that could have been used to make the usable area larger. It also has those Android virtual buttons instead of integrating then into the bezel which would have saved space as well.
But issues like the bezel really only affect us as honestly, your kid isn’t going to care that the bezels are huge.
One area where your kids will care about is he camera and the HTC Desire 530 has that covered. The rear camera is an 8MP unit with autofocus and a BSI sensor, ƒ/2.4 aperture and 34mm focal length, featuring HDR mode and Panorama mode. The front camera is a 5MP unit 5MP with a BSI sensor, ƒ/2.8 aperture and 34mm focal length, and features Auto selfie (smile selfie, still selfie), Voice Selfie, Selfie timer up to 10 seconds, Touch to capture, and HDR mode.
While he camera again isn’t quite flagship specs, it’s enough for kids. I’ll have a future post up with some photo samples later using the camera.
The other area that should please your kids with the Desire 530 is the the audio quality. The HTC Desire 530 features HTC BoomSound Dolby Audio Profile as well as a built in amp that boosts volume and bass for distortion free sound at high volume levels.
While the HTC Desire 530 looks like it might have two speakers up front like past HTC devices with BoomSound, you’d be mistaken because it only has one speaker and it’s the one at the bottom. That means no stereo sound when using the device’s speakers. On the plus side, the speaker is pretty loud, though you’ll probably want to stick with using headphones or a Bluetooth speakers.
Rest of the Specs
Now here is where the specs get a bit muddy. Since this an entry level device, the rest of the specs don’t really sound too impressive for those of us who have been using top tier devices and flagships.
The HTC Desire 530 only has a quad-core Snapdragon 210 with 1.5gb of RAM. What that means is that this smartphone isn’t very speedy. I’ll get to that part of the review in other post as I haven’t fully had time yet to play with the software all too much.
On the plus side, the HTC Desire 530 does include a microSD slot for expandable memory, has a 2000mAh battery, Android 6 (Marshmallow), and still has a standard headphone jack.
While I myself wouldn’t buy an HTC Desire 530 for myself as I’m more of a power user, I will say that from most of the specs, this would make for a decent starting device for my child. I like the fact that the Desire 530 is made of polycarbonate and not aluminum or glass and the rather low entry price means I won’t feel quite as bad if the phone gets all scratched up or dropped.
Not only that, the HTC Desire 530 is a good sized device that isn’t too large or too small. The curved edges and polycarbonate body make it very easy to grip and hold as does the fact that it’s pretty light weight.
The overall hardware itself looks pretty good and ticks off most of that a kid would want. It’s got a large screen, good cameras, standard micro-USB port, expandable memory for more space, and a pretty neat design element with the micro splash effect. Not only that, the inclusion of the old school lanyard holes means they can further personalize the look of their device.
With that said, stay tuned for part 2 of the review where I evaluate what it’s really like to use the HTC Desire 530.
This item was provided to us by the manufacturer for review.
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