The HTC Desire 500 comes with the standard for Android gallery, complete with some perks thrown in by the Sense 5 UI. Sadly, Zoe isn't one of them, as it would be an overkill for the phone's hardware. Still, you get a very sweet set of features to play with.
One of those features is Events. When you get bored by the regular image gallery with photos sorted in folders, the Events groups photos by when and where they were taken. Each event has a 30 second highlight video, which is stitched together from those 3 second clips plus a slideshow, including some of the pics. You can remove clips and add new ones to the highlight video, add a video effect and also include a background music (the tracks are preset, though it is possible to add new ones to the list).
The Photo Editor is rich in options and even sports a Retouch section. There are also effects, frames and transformations available.
As before, you can find a map with your geotagged images in the Gallery.
The Video player on the HTC Desire 500 has a pretty simple interface. There isn't even a dedicated app, you just pick a video from the gallery. Anyway, you get a Play/Pause button and a slider to scrub through the video, a button to launch the camera and a small square with the current time and battery charge. Those automatically hide after a few seconds, of course.
The video player can use the Beats audio sound enhancement just like the music player, which is great for watching videos. The video player supports DLNA and subtitles.
The HTC Desire 500 failed pretty miserably when it came to codec support. It couldn't play any DivX videos, XviDs refused to play, too, and MOV files were out of the question. AC3 sound is not supported either, yet the player managed to play MKV files in up to 1080p resolution.
With a large display like that the HTC Desire 500 could really use some proper codec support to become a powerful tool for watching video on the go. Luckily, there are a few dozen video players in the Play Store to address that deficiency and some of them are even free.
The HTC Desire 500 comes with a custom music player, which is HTC Beats enabled, of course. The audio enhancing feature works only when on headphones.
Anyway, the music player can organize your music library by Artist, Album, Songs, Playlists, Genres, Podcasts or Folders (we don't see this option very often). The phone will also easily stream songs over DLNA, you're not limited to the music library you have in the internal memory.
The music player has some handy features out of the box. It can automatically look for and download Album art and artist photos (you can limit it to Wi-Fi connections only).
There's no equalizer on board, you just have the option to toggle Beats audio on or off. And that only works when headphones are plugged in. Luckily, the Google Play Store is chock-full with decent music player alternatives that offer an equalizer if you desperately need one.
SoundHound is the track recognition of choice for HTC and it has even been integrated it into the music player UI. It easily ID's a song from just a short sample. Or you can say the name of the artist and song and SoundHound will find it for you, including lyrics. The free app however only offers a limited number of uses (99).
There's an FM radio, which has a pretty simple interface. It automatically scans the area for the available stations and allows you to mark some of them as favorite. It also supports RDS and allows loudspeaker playback.
Aside from the headphones or loudspeaker choice you also get Mono sound if the reception is poor. There's no Beats enhancement here, however, not is there a playback control card on the lockscreen. The SoundHound shortcut will find out the name of the currently playing song for you and will offer to take you to a digital music store where you can buy it or lookup the song's lyrics or watch the video on YouTube.
The HTC Desire 500 is a pretty loud smartphone, its output rivaling the best smartphones we have tested, including its HTC One stablemate. Where the entry-level handset can't quite match its premium brother is cleanness.
The Desire 500 had above average distortion in both parts of the test and while the rest of the readings were great, it's enough to prevent it from getting an audiophile-approved stamp.
Those not as picky about distortion get to enjoy excellent stereo quality and high volume levels in addition to great dynamic range and spotless frequency response.
And here go the results so you can see for yourselves.
|Test||Frequency response||Noise level||Dynamic range||THD||IMD + Noise||Stereo crosstalk|
|HTC Desire 500||+0.08, -0.25||-88.0||88.0||0.134||1.063||-87.9|
|HTC Desire 500 (headphones attached)||+0.10, -0.24||-87.9||88.1||0.166||1.056||-68.5|
|HTC Desire 600 dual sim||+0.04, -0.31||-91.3||89.5||0.020||0.052||-89.6|
|HTC Desire 600 dual sim(headphones attached)||+0.10, -0.25||-91.1||89.4||0.020||0.045||-47.5|
|HTC One mini||+0.14, -0.12||-94.4||94.0||0.015||0.013||-87.9|
|HTC One mini(headphones attached)||+0.83, -0.58||-94.5||94.1||0.021||0.034||-77.9|
|Samsung Galaxy S4 mini||+0.06, -0.05||-93.5||92.7||0.0090||0.056||-86.2|
|Samsung Galaxy S4 mini (headphones attached)||+0.08, -0.04||-93.2||91.8||0.029||0.089||-53.3|
HTC Desire 500 frequency response
You can learn more about the whole testing process here.