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HTC Desire 816 hands-on and first impressions

HTC today launched the One (M8), the Desire 816 and the Desire 210 in India, each catering to different price segments in the market. Among these, the Desire 816 has been introduced as the company


HTC today launched the One (M8), the Desire 816 and the Desire 210 in India, each catering to different price segments in the market. Among these, the Desire 816 has been introduced as the company’s flagship in its Desire range of mid-range smartphones. This is the company’s 5.5-inch mid-range phablet offering, which was unveiled at MWC in February. To give a recap, it comes with a 720p display resolution, runs on a 1.6GHz Snapdragon S400 processor with 1.5GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, and adorns a 13-megapixel rear camera. In addition to that, the phone supports dual SIMs as well. With all of these along with a beautiful chassis, HTC has ensured to make the Desire 816 look even more lucrative to consumers by tagging it at Rs 23,990, which is quite an impressive price for such a device. Now the question is whether the phone is really worth its price, or is just another device touting a good set of features, but lags behind in terms of action? We used the device at its launch event in Delhi, and here is our take on it.

Beginning with its looks and design, the Desire 816 is indeed a good looker, despite its plastic chassis and a massive 5.5-inch display. The phablet comes in a unibody design, which resembles a bit like the company’s new One smartphone, though, being a mid-ranger it has plastic chassis instead.
The front of the phone has a camera, and the trademark BoomSound speakers placed on above and below the display. Like the newly launched One (M8), this device too features on-screen keys for back, home, and menu instead of the contemporary capacitive buttons below the display. The sides comes with a micro USB port, 3.5mm audio jack and slots for a microSD card and two SIMs.

Overall, it looks great as well as feels good in hand, and is quite a charmer for this price segment. The phablet’s 720p display is also brilliant, with crisp visuals, great color reproduction and a smooth touch interface, and offers good viewing angles as well.

The Desire 816 is powered by a Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor clocking at 1.6GHz speed, with Adreno 305 GPU. The processor is accompanied by a 1.5GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, which is expandable using a microSD. With this processor and memory-size, we expect the Desire 816 to offer a smooth performance even while multitasking and running heavy apps. During the hands-on, we found the device’s performance pretty smooth, even with the company’s Sense UI topping the software.

Talking about the software, the Desire 816 runs on Android’s latest the 4.4 KitKat version out-of-the-box. Considering that there are still a very few phones that come with the 4.4 KitKat version in the mid-range segment, this certainly adds to the value of the phone. In addition to that, the Sense 5.5 UI brings along HTC’s BlinkFeed as well as other features.

Moving to the camera, the Desire 816 sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with flash light and f/2.2, and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera which is good for clicking selfies. Both the cameras seem pretty impressive for a mid-range handset, and performed well when tested. Though, we will reserve our comments on camera performance for later for our detailed review of the device.

To summarize, we would say that the Desire 816 is a great device which looks promising at this price point. The company has finally introduced a powerful device in the mid-range to help it capture some market, which is currently ruled by the local vendors. We are looking forward to review the device and will give you more details about it after we review it.

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  • Published Date: April 21, 2014 6:23 PM IST
  • Updated Date: April 21, 2014 10:23 PM IST

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