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HTC Desire 816 Review

HTC Desire 816

Posted: , posted by Nick T.



Call quality

HTC Desire 816 Review
Plain old phone calls made with the HTC Desire 816 are of acceptable quality, although we were expecting them to sound better. The earpiece produces natural and undistorted voice tones, but the sound is a bit muffled and lacking in volume. The phone's microphone, in contrast, performs really well. On the other side of the line, our voice sounds clear, loud, and natural.

Battery life

Inside the HTC Desire 816 is packed a non-removable battery with a capacity of 2600mAh, which is decent given the smartphone's class and size. According to the manufacturer, the phone should be capable of delivering up to 21 hours of 3G talk time and should last for over a month if left on stand-by. We ran our custom battery benchmark on it and got a pretty good result of 6 hours 11 minutes, which puts the Desire 816 in the same category with the Galaxy Note 3 and Note 2 phablets. All in all, you should be able to get at least a day of intensive action, or a couple of days of light to heavy use without reaching for a charger.

Like the HTC One (M8) flagship, the Desire 816 comes with a so-called Extreme Power Saving mode, which is meant to be used in emergencies – in cases when you're very low on juice, and a charger is not around. In a nutshell, it shuts down all but the phone's basic connectivity features, reduces the screen's brightness, and switches to a lightweight user interface, thus providing hours of extra stand-by time even if the phone is down to its last 10% of juice.


Well, what do you know: the HTC Desire 816 is an admirable mid-range smartphone, especially knowing that it can be bought for under $400 in markets where it is available. We don't find anything wrong with it given its price range, so guys, if you're on the looks for an inexpensive phablet, this here is one you should check out.

The HTC Desire 816 strikes a good value for money ratio with its solid build quality, large 720p display, and its snappy UI performance. On top of that, you may be surprised by the results produced by its 13MP main camera, while the 5MP front-facing one will leave you very satisfied with your selfies. And seriously, how many smartphones of this price range can offer you a set of front-facing speakers?

Processing power, however, is one of the things that the HTC Desire 816 could have had more of. On one hand, its quad-core Snapdragon 400 SoC has no troubles pushes the UI around, but not all of those demanding video games would run smoothly on it.

In case you don't think that the HTC Desire 816 is the right smartphone for you, feel free to try the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo. Samsung's offering delivers an eye-catchy Super AMOLED display of 5.5 inches and a very capable hexa-core Exynos SoC, but it is also likely to carry a higher price tag at your local retailer. Or take the Sony Xperia T2 Ultra for a spin. The phone is, again, slightly more expensive off-contract than the Desire 816, but in return you get a larger screen and a bigger battery with outstanding longevity.

Software information for the reviewed unit: Android 4.4.2, Software number 1.23.401.1, Sense 6.0


  • Very large display
  • Snappy UI performance
  • Stylish Sense 6.0 interface
  • Front-facing stereo speakers
  • Camera takes good photos
  • Good value for money
  • Above average battery life


  • Heavy video games may be choppy
  • A bit large given the screen size
  • Earpiece quality could have been better
  • Only 4.2GB of user-available built-in storage makes using a microSD card mandatory
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HTC Desire 816

HTC Desire 816

OS: Android 5.0 4.4.2
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display5.5 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (267 ppi) S-LCD 2
Camera13 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Quad-core, 1600 MHz, ARM Cortex-A7 processor
1.5 GB RAM
Size6.17 x 3.10 x 0.31 inches
(156.6 x 78.7 x 7.99 mm)
5.82 oz  (165 g)

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