Hands-on with the HTC Desire 816

Hands-on with the HTC Desire 816

Although HTC’s big flagship release of the One+ won’t be taking place until March, the Taiwanese company has had a stab at the mid-range market with the HTC Desire 816.

The HTC Desire 816 might well be a mid-range smartphone, but with a set of specs more commonly seen on a premium smartphone, does the Desire 816 offer the best of both worlds?


First things first, the HTC Desire 816 sports a whopping 5.5-inch display, placing it firmly in the phablet category. Mid-range smartphones traditionally have a smaller screen than many flagships, so this is an unconventional move from HTC.

HTC Desire 816

In many ways the Desire 816 looks like the HTC One range of smartphones, with dual frontal speakers and a smooth and simple case. The only thing that makes it stand out as a mid-range device is its plastic chassis compared to the aluminium frame of the HTC One.

Also, the phone is available in a range of vibrant shades, including black, white, orange, green, dark blue and grey.

A 13MP camera on a mid-range smartphone?

One great feature about the HTC Desire 816 is its camera; very rarely do you see a massive 13 megapixel lens on the back of a mid-range smartphone, let alone a 5 megapixel camera on the front of the device, perfect for selfies.

HTC Desire 816 13MP camera

Although even HTC Zoe installed on the Desire 816, so with that, on top of a 13MP snapper, you can’t complain!


Under the hood, the HTC Desire 816 sports an impressive quad-core 1.6GHz Snapdragon processor with 1.2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. In practice, this means the phone will allow you to open multiple apps at once without experiencing delay.

The device also runs Android 4.4 out of the box, laced with the latest version of HTC’s Sense 5.5. However, the representative at HTC wasn't able to show us the phone switched on, presumably because it will give too much away about the upcoming HTC One+.

HTC Desire 816 with HTC BoomSound

It just goes to show that without even seeing the device switched on,  with specs like this, you’re onto a winner with the HTC Desire 816.

Deire 816: Release date and price

Like the look of the HTC Desire 816? You might not have to wait long to get your hands on it as HTC has announced that the device will be released in China, and then to the rest of the world starting in April.

Although the Desire 816’s price tag hasn’t yet been announced, based on previous releases, we predict that the device will be available for an affordable £150-250. This means that HTC Desire 816 deals on contract will probably start at less than £20 a month! 

Written by Charlotte Kertrestel

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