HTC Desire C review: Welcome aboard
Uninspiring 5 MP camera
The HTC Desire C packs a 5MP fixed-focus camera that does stills of up to 2592 x 1944 pixels and records VGA video @ 30fps. There is no LED flash and no shutter key either. Given the lack of autofocus the lack of a dedicated camera is hardly as big an issue, but it still would have come in handy for quickly accessing the camera app.
The camera interface is the same for both the still camera and the video camera - no they don't "look alike", the camera just has the UI shared between both functions, with the option to either take a video or snap a still image all from one screen.
The right-hand side features the Effects button, shutter key, camcorder record key and a shortcut to the gallery that shows the last photo/video taken. On the left are buttons for general settings and shot mode.
To snap a photo, you tap the shutter button. To record video, you tap the button below it.
The dual interface is convenient to say the least, but it does have a few drawbacks. For one, if you're shooting video at the highest resolution possible, VGA, once you hit the record button the frame shrinks down to 4:3. This can make framing a bit tricky, as you don't get to see the actual dimensions of the image until you start recording.
The effects button brings out a panel with the usual set of color effects (sepia, solarize and so on), while the shot mode button offers just a few very limited options - portrait, landscape, and low light.
As far as the quality of the shots is concerned, the Desire C definitely leaves something to be desired. In our tests it had a hard time getting the white balance correct, and a lot of our outdoor images had some color deviation and underexposure issues. When it works as it should, the level of detail and color rendering is pretty good, although up close photos do have a grainy look .
Overall, the camera is certainly not the best we've seen from, but considering the low-cost package, it could have been worse.
Photo quality comparison
The HTC Desire C joins the other 5MP shooters in our Photo Compare Tool. The tool's page will give you enough info on how to use it and what to look for.
VGA video recording
The VGA (640 x 480) recording capabilities of the Desire C are nothing to write home about, especially in this day and age when it seems that every other device out there is capable of 720p recording.
If you can get past the low resolution, the camcorder itself has quality similar to that seen in the still image samples - slightly-skewed white balance which leads to rather dim outdoor images, and color reproduction that is otherwise accurate.
Videos are stored in MP4 files and have a variable framerate which generally hovers around the 29fps mark. Audio gets recorded at a sampling rate of 44kHz and a bitrate of 96Kbps.
Here is an untouched sample VGA@30fps video clip.
And here's a video uploaded to YouTube for convenience.