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HTC Desire 816 review
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HTC Desire 816 review

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Amidst the clutter of mid-range phablets available in India, the HTC Desire 816 stands out as a stylish option. Its dual-SIM capabilities along with CDMA / 3G support also makes it quite compelling. …

Amidst the clutter of mid-range phablets available in India, the HTC Desire 816 stands out as a stylish option. Its dual-SIM capabilities along with CDMA / 3G support also makes it quite compelling. We've taken it through our review gauntlet to figure out how well it fares


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  • 1. HTC Desire 816 Review in pictures
  • 2. Respectable specs inside a stylish phablet • 5.5-inch, 720p display • 1.6GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor • 1.5GB of RAM and 8GB expandable storage • 13-megapixel primary snapper with BSI sensor, f/2.2, 28mm lens • 5MP front camera • Runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat with Sense 6 • Dual-SIM (CDMA/3G + GSM)
  • 3. Style is its middle name • Looks stylish • Encased in plastic, but doesn’t feel cheap • A tad too large for a 5.5-inch phablet • Available in black or white • Trademark BoomSound speakers at front • Glossy back, matte spine
  • 4. 720 reasons to love the display • The 5.5-inch 720p Super LCD2 display offers a pixel density of 267ppi • Seems low in terms of density, but outputs lovely visuals • Colours look vibrant, the text looks sharp and everything from media viewing to gaming gets a boost • Good viewing angles and sunlight legibility too
  • 5. Dumps UltraPixels in favour of 13 megapixels • Not as feature-loaded as the HTC One (M8) • The shooter boasts modes like continuous shot, HDR, panorama, but no background defocus, though you can always use other apps like Google Camera for this • Fair bit of creative control, including filters, scene presets, ISO, white balance and exposure
  • 6. And good images for a mid-ranger • Churns out good images, especially in daylight • The images retain a fair degree of detail and sharpness • Low-lights shots, though grainy, are usable too • Images shot with flash don’t look unnatural
  • 7. KitKat and Sense at the base • Runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat with HTC Sense 6 • Clean look and neat typography • No killer software features but you do get BlinkFeed, the news and social feed aggregator • Vertically-scrolling app drawer lets you hide/unhide apps, sort them the way you want and change grid size • Dual network manager to control the two SIMs
  • 8. Smooth operator • The 1.6GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor mated to 1.5GB of RAM keeps things fairly snappy. Routine tasks runs smoothly and without lag, and even graphics-heavy games play quite well • Connectivity options available include DLNA and USB. The device accepts nano-SIMs in its two slots, with the first supporting CDMA and 3G, and the second featuring GSM support • Out of 8GB, a little less than half is available to use, though you can add up to 128GB more via the microSD slot
  • 9. Hardly a guzzler, this • The sealed 2,600mAh battery packs in enough juice to last for a full day comfortably even with heavy usage • Apart from the usual battery saver, HTC has also thrown in the Extreme Power Saving Mode for times when you’re in a crunch
  • 10. At a glance • 5.5-inch, 1,280 x 720 display • 13MP primary camera, 5MP front shooter • 1.6GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor • Adreno 305 graphics • 1.5GB RAM, 8GB expandable internal storage • 2,600mAh battery • Dual-SIM CDMA/3G + GSM, Wi- Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS, DLNA, USB OTG • Android 4.4.2 with Sense 6
  • 11. - • Large size could be unwieldy for some • Glossy plastic back could be prone to scratches • No killer feature Pros and cons + • Stylish looks • Smooth performance • Supports CDMA on the primary slot • Capable snapper • Very good battery life
  • 12. Price Rs 24,500 Pricing and verdict “The HTC Desire 816 is a surprise package. While it lacks exciting features and is tad too large, it looks great, performs well, boasts a capable snapper and good battery life. Amidst the tough competition, it manages to stand out as a compelling mid-ranger, especially thanks to its dual-SIM CDMA + GSM capabilities.”