Okay, so I was pretty excited when I learned that the HTC Desire C was going to be launched yesterday in the Philippines, alongside its more powerful bigger brother, the HTC One S. I love the idea of more budget phones in the Philippine market so us Pinoys have a wider pool to choose from when it comes to budget phones like the recently discussed Samsung Galaxy Y, LG L3 and Huawei Ascend Y200. The Desire C even promised to offer a lot of bang for buck: Beats Audio, a larger 3.5″, 4GB of internal storage and ICS out of the box. Sure, those things would have driven the price up, but if it were priced like a Galaxy Mini 2 instead of a Galaxy Y, I wouldn’t have minded.
Well, the launch is over and the SRP is out: Php 10,990. That figure makes me cringe. Why? Because despite all the nice extras like Beats Audio, a 5mp camera, larger internal storage and ICS out of the box, it is still just a 600Mhz phone. Heck, the Galaxy Y would operate more smoothly because of its faster 832Mhz CPU and an OS that isn’t as bloated. For about Php9-10k, you could get a Galaxy Mini 2, Sony Ericsson Live w/ Walkman, or the LG Optimus Hub with full manufacturer’s warranty, all of which would give you a much smoother experience for the money. Sure, they’re all stuck on Gingerbread 2.3, but it’s the overall experience that is of importance here, and if you’re going to try to run ICS on a dinky little 600Mhz CPU when it needs at least 1Ghz to even run smoothly, you’re in for a bad time.
Still, I’m not giving up on the Desire C. It’s a fresh launch after all, and the price should stabilize in relation to its competition a few months after launch. I doubt it will ever be priced as low as the Galaxy Y or L3, and it shouldn’t have to (that’s what the HTC Explorer is for). But it needs to be priced in the Php8-9k range for it to have a chance at competing in the Philippine market.