HTC Desire 816 ReviewHTC Desire 816 8.5
Not ideal, but surely among the best in the Desire 816's price range.
Launching the Camera application brings forth a familiar interface. It is very clean, with no buttons and knobs in the viewfinder's way, and the image adjustments are only a few taps away. It is convenient that we're allowed to switch between the front and the rear cameras with a simple swipe.
Unlike the HTC One (M8), the HTC Desire 816 will not give you access to manual controls for the focus and white balance. It will, on the other hand, let you tweak the ISO and exposure value, while the white balance can be modified by applying one of several presets. Plus, you get a variety of filters, HDR and panorama modes, and an Anti-shake digital image stabilization for still images.
As for the actual image quality, it turns out that the HTC Desire 816 is a capable shooter, and probably one of the best performers in its price range. It preserves details naturally in its photos, adding just a hint of sharpness and contrast for a better look. Digital noise can be seen when viewing images at 100% zoom, but the large number of pixels makes up for that, which is why scaled down images look lovely. The warm tone of the morning sun has been preserved well in our photo samples. Bright objects in the frame, however, are likely to “burn” out should the dynamics range of the scene turn out to be greater than what the camera can capture.
Indoor photos from the HTC Desire 816 turn out detailed enough. There's a higher presence of artifacts and digital noise, but it is all within a tolerable range. The color tone in neutral to warm, depending on how much ambient light there is around. And if lights are too dim, the LED light provides enough illumination without distorting the image's color accuracy.
Use our samples comparison tool to see photos from more phones
The HTC Desire 816 shoots 1080p video at 30 fps, 720p videos at 60 fps, and slow-motion videos at 120 fps with a resolution of 768 by 432 pixels. Full HD footage looks good, albeit a bit too contrasty. Details are sufficient, and the camera's auto-focus works fast enough. Note that by default, the camera locks its focus in videos, requiring the user to use taps to change the focus distance, but continuous auto-focus can be enabled from the settings menu. Low-light videos are usable, but noisy and with a fair amount of motion blur.
The large screen and front-facing speakers make the HTC Desire 816 very suitable for multimedia consumption.
The Music player bundled with Sense 6.0 has a clean interface that is easy to get the hold of. Audio can be grouped by album, artist, or song name, and whatever album art happens to be missing from your library can be downloaded automatically from the internet. It is also nice to see that HTC has added an audio visualizer and support for lyrics, which scroll as the music is played. There is no equalizer, however, so you don't have any freedom to fine tune the audio reproduction to your liking. Alternatively, one is free to use Google's Play Music application instead of HTC's solution.
HTC has not included a dedicated video player application with its custom UI. That's why your options are to either watch videos from the Gallery application, or download a third-party app from the Play store. Should you choose to stick with the former, you won't be able to enjoy DivX videos as those aren't supported by the Gallery app. Other popular formats, however, run perfectly fine at resolutions of up to 1080p. The video playback interface is very clean and easy to navigate. It comes with a built-in editor that can trim videos to a desired length.
As we already mentioned, the HTC Desire 816 sports a pair of front-facing stereo speakers dubbed BoomSound. These appear to be identical to the ones outfitted on the One (M8) as the sound they produce is equally good. Audio output is clear, loud, without any clipping sounds, and there's even a fair presence of lower-end frequencies. It goes without saying that the speakers turn watching movies and playing games on the Desire 816 into a very pleasurable experience.
Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
HTC Desire 816 Review - Camera and Multimedia