HTC's Desire 626 is a decent Android smartphone for cheap, but its terribly short battery life makes it a poor choice for business users. The phone packs a bright, roomy display, a sturdy design and an SD card slot for expanding its internal storage, but it lasts only half as long as competing budget phones.
I do like the Desire 626's roomy 5-inch, 1280 x 720 display, which provides plenty of room for productivity tasks like viewing documents and managing your email inbox. The screen is also brighter than average, and offers good color accuracy.
I was also pleased to see that phone comes with a relatively clean installation of Android 5.0 Lollipop, the latest version of Google's mobile operating system. Lollipop adds a bunch of new productivity-boosting features, like an automated Do Not Disturb mode that might come in handy during morning meetings. I also like the addition of native wireless printing, and the ability to respond to incoming messages from the lock screen helps me get back to work quickly.
For the price, the Desire 626 offers reasonable performance for basic work tasks, running on a low-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor with 1.5GB of RAM. Applications take a while to load, and switching between apps is likely to cause some slowdown, but performance is decent otherwise. Other budget phones outperformed the Desire 626 on the Geekbench 3 benchmark test, though, including the Motorola Moto G and the Blu Life One.
But it's the Desire 626's short battery life that will be the deal-breaker for most workers. It died after a paltry 4 hours and 6 minutes during our battery test, which simulates continuous Web browsing over 4G. That's less than half the longevity of the average smartphone (8:28). And the matchup looks even worse next to Motorola's excellent Moto G, which ran for an impressive 9 hours on the same test. Such short battery life would be a nuisance on a personal smartphone, but it's unacceptable if you depend on your phone to do your job.
While budget-minded business users might be tempted by the Desire 626's low $185 price tag, this off-contract handset has some serious shortcomings. Motorola's Moto G is the better buy in almost every way, offering better performance and much longer battery life for just $179.