• SPECIFICATIONS
  • Operating System: Android 4.4.2
  • Processor: 1.6GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
  • Frequency: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz, HSPA 850/900/1900/2100MHz, LTE 900/1800/2100/2600MHz
  • Screen: 5.5-inch HD Super LCD2
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz), Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA, microUSB 2.0, 3.5mm stereo audio jack
  • Memory: 1.5GB
  • Storage: 8GB, microSD (up to 128GB)
  • Others: 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Dimensions: 156.6 x 78.7 x 7.9mm
  • Weight: 165g
  • Pros:
  • Reasonably priced
  • Large screen
  • HTC BoomSound
  • microSD card support
  • 13-megapixel camera
  • Cons:
  • Glossy plastic
  • Non-removable battery
  • Power button and volume rocker placement
  • Benchmark Results
  • 3DMark (Ice Storm): 5,859 points
  • 3DMark (Ice Storm Extreme): 2,912 points
  • 3DMark (Ice Storm Unlimited): 4,823 points
  • AnTuTu: 21,217 points

Will You Desire More?

As we mentioned in our August issue when we reviewed the Desire 610, HTC is now looking to do more to promote their Desire range of mid-range devices. This is a good thing as there are now plenty of other smartphone manufacturers offering high-end devices at a fraction of the price. This month, we got to test out yet another entry in HTC’s mid-range offering, the Desire 816.

Much like the Desire 610, the 816 is built using plastic instead of aluminium. With that being said though, the device is still really sturdy and has no creaking parts thanks to the unibody design. One thing we didn’t quite like was the rear of the device which is very glossy and does attract smudges and fingerprints quite easily.

The HTC Desire  816 features a 13MP camera that takes great photos, and comes with an camera app suite that allows users to enhance them even further

The HTC Desire 816 features a 13MP camera that takes great photos, and comes with an camera app suite that allows users to enhance them even further

The Desire 816 shares many design cues of its other brethren save for a few exceptions. The front of course is taken up by the large 5.5-inch display, the dual front-facing speakers and the 5MP front facing camera. Then on the rear is where the 13MP camera and flash is located. The differences lie in the positioning of the Power/Lock button and volume rockers which are on the left side of the device and this may take a little getting used to especially the Power button which is located on top, making it a little harder to reach. On the right of the device lies the flap that hides the SIM card and microSD slot.

The microSIM and microSD card slots can both be easily accessed from the side of the phone

The microSIM and microSD card slots can both be easily accessed from the side of the phone, after opening a rubberised flap

One of the selling points of the Desire 816 is its 13MP rear camera and it is quite attractive as it boasts a BSI sensor, f/2.2 aperture and 28mm lens. It can also record videos in 1080p. While the rear camera is able to capture great photos in well-lit environments, we found it just to be a little sluggish and HDR shots were a little hit and miss. Hopefully these issues get ironed out in an update.

The Desire 816 may not be the most svelte phone HTC has to offer, but everything is within the reach of your fingertips, and the phone is comfortable to hold

The Desire 816 may not be the most svelte phone HTC has to offer, but everything is within the reach of your fingertips, and the phone is comfortable to hold

Performance wise, the Desire 816 does just as well as expected. It doesn’t have the most powerful hardware but we found it to be decent enough as we could multitask with no problems and playing games such as Dead Trigger 2 and Asphalt 8: Airborne was enjoyable. As for battery life, the 2,600mAh battery did okay as it managed to last us a full day with at least 15% left with medium to heavy usage.

CHIP CONCLUDE: All in all, for a mid-range device with its very attractive price tag, we can easily look pass the HTC Desire 816’s issues. It is a good device in its own right and for users who don’t want to splurge on a high-end flagship that costs over RM1,500, this could very well be the next best thing.

(previously published in issue October 2014)

HTC Desire 816