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HTC Desire 820 Review

HTC Desire 820

Posted: , by John V.


HTC Desire 820 Review

HTC Desire 820 Review
HTC Desire 820 Review
HTC Desire 820 Review

In our review of the HTC Desire 816, we were enamored by the solid package HTC was able to deliver – easily making it one of the more noteworthy devices in the mid-range market. Even with its universal acclaim, its only area of opportunity came in its processing performance. Naturally, it suffices for basic things, but strains under the pressure with intensive stuff. Well, that’s where the HTC Desire 820 comes into mind, as it bears an impressive piece of silicon in the form of a potent 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor.

The package contains:

  • microUSB cable
  • Wall charger


It’s seriously one of the better looking plastic phones on the market.

Historically speaking, HTC is known for the meticulous designs of its devices – and the Desire 820 surely follows in that rich tradition! For a glossy plastic bodied thing, it’s surprisingly attractive, slim for its massive size, lightweight, and solidly constructed to give it some substance. Indeed, it bears the same design language as the Desire 816 before it, but it’s been evolved to exhibit a livelier look, thanks in part to the way they’ve accented the device. It’s an effective amount on our particular review unit, which has a slick contrast due to the blue accents around its edges and camera lens.

Fashioned to follow HTC’s design principles, it features the same dual front-firing speakers of its siblings. At the same time, it’s accompanied with the usual suspect of ports and buttons around its trim – they include its power button, volume control, microphones, microUSB 2.0 port, and 3.5mm headset jack. Another unique characteristic of the Desire 820 is that it’s a dual-SIM device, a nifty offering for the global traveler.

HTC Desire 820
6.21 x 3.1 x 0.3 inches
157.7 x 78.74 x 7.74 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)

HTC Desire 820

HTC Desire 816
6.17 x 3.1 x 0.31 inches
156.6 x 78.7 x 7.99 mm
5.82 oz (165 g)

HTC Desire 816

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
5.84 x 3.05 x 0.34 inches
148.4 x 77.4 x 8.6 mm
5.73 oz (162 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo

5.76 x 2.94 x 0.35 inches
146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm
5.26 oz (149 g)


To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


It’s the same display in the Desire 816, but it receives a few improvements.

On paper, it looks like HTC didn’t change a thing with the Desire 820’s display, seeing that its specs match the Desire 816 – so what we get is a 5.5-inch 720 x 1280 LCD display. Size is undoubtedly one of its assets, but it’s not particularly the sharpest tool in the shed with its pixel density count of 267 pixels per inch. However, we find it acceptable enough taking into account its class.

Other aspects of its display are similar to the Desire 816’s screen, like how it closely matches it in the areas of color temperature and color reproduction. However, it lays claim to several improvements as well, which all help to make this a better looking display than before. In particular, it emits a stronger brightness output of 543 nits, and has a better average gamma of 2.19, which is really close to the 2.2 reference. What's more, color temperature is pretty tolerable at 7100 K, though there's a bit of a slight cyan-ish tint that may not appeal to some. Overall, the display looks a bit colder than ideal, but it's not that big of a deviation, especially for this class of phones, so we can live with it.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
HTC Desire 820 543
HTC Desire 816 389
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo 391
LG G3 455
View all

HTC Desire 820 360-Degrees View

  • Options

posted on 20 Nov 2014, 05:52 7

1. Rajanvir (Posts: 56; Member since: 11 Dec 2013)

Only NOKIA and HTC knows how to make real Smartphones

posted on 20 Nov 2014, 13:22 1

9. robocopvn (Posts: 448; Member since: 10 Mar 2010)

Not really with the 5.5' smartphone with these thick bezels (Screen-to-body ratio)

posted on 20 Nov 2014, 05:54 2

2. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3117; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)

Wish I would have waited to get this instead of the 816. But I still am loving mine anyway.

posted on 27 Jan 2015, 05:39

24. nishakushwaha30 (Posts: 1; Member since: 27 Jan 2015)

so as per your opinion which one is better , 816 or 820?

posted on 20 Nov 2014, 06:17 4

3. Birds (Posts: 1171; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)

Wait... This thing has 1.9 volts of audio output poower? I must have this phone simply for that reason...

posted on 20 Nov 2014, 06:26 1

4. zunaidahmed (Posts: 1044; Member since: 24 Dec 2011)

misleading, the G3 that is used to compare is the g3 mini or the cheap version of it, they should have pointed it out.

posted on 20 Nov 2014, 10:54

8. tury694 (Posts: 167; Member since: 25 Aug 2014)

No, they are using the regular G3. The chipset in this phone is a monster. I have a G3 and all of these benchmarks seem correct to me. Well other than Antutu because I am running a newer version and scoring higher.

posted on 20 Nov 2014, 15:25

10. roldefol (Posts: 4365; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)

Screen resolution has a dramatic effect on graphical benchmarks. So it's not really a fair comparison. I for one would not buy a 5.5" phone with a 720 resolution in 2014.

Add the Xperia Z3 Compact to their comparison and you'll see what I mean.

posted on 20 Nov 2014, 06:34

5. androidfanyo (Posts: 9; Member since: 16 Nov 2014)

He is wearing Asus zenwatch but PA when will you review it.

posted on 20 Nov 2014, 06:43

6. vuyonc (Posts: 1062; Member since: 24 Feb 2014)

Either HTC cheated in benchmarks or the SD615 is a graphical beast. Eh, HTC cheated.

posted on 20 Nov 2014, 07:28

7. Donotnameme (Posts: 47; Member since: 01 Jul 2014)

I love how there are so many Linkin Park songs/albums there

posted on 20 Nov 2014, 15:53

11. roldefol (Posts: 4365; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)

I love how it's -5°C in New Jersey.

posted on 20 Nov 2014, 17:07

12. Classique (Posts: 73; Member since: 10 Jan 2014)

615 is a monster I hope it finds its way into more phones if you remember the 600 was high end in 2012 the GS4 and One M7 used them and this is only better just wait until a phone with lollipop gets this so it could take advantage of 64 bit

posted on 20 Nov 2014, 18:01

13. roldefol (Posts: 4365; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)

The GS4 and One used the S600 because it was Qualcomm's best at the time. LG, Sony, and Nokia all waited for the superior 800. Once the 810 drops, you'll see it in all the flagships... and see its GPU crush the 615's.

posted on 21 Nov 2014, 11:43

15. Classique (Posts: 73; Member since: 10 Jan 2014)

Yea but upper middle range this is a beast

posted on 23 Nov 2014, 08:59

17. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3821; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)

The 600 was top of the line in 2013, not 2012.

posted on 24 Nov 2014, 08:51

18. zunaidahmed (Posts: 1044; Member since: 24 Dec 2011)

600 was just a renamed s4 pro, which, more of less is actually the same processor. SO, I would say 2012 would be more accurate.

posted on 24 Nov 2014, 09:05

19. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3821; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)

You could say the same about the 800 & 801, but there are clearly upgrades in there, no matter how small. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

posted on 18 Dec 2014, 17:42

22. Noonting (Posts: 133; Member since: 19 Sep 2014)

600 is not a renamed version of s4 pro

posted on 21 Nov 2014, 05:20

14. deanylev (Posts: 223; Member since: 11 Mar 2014)

S615 is actually way better than I expected. Qualcomm have done a much better job than Mediatek on 8 core. Probably the superior GPU. I understand it's half the resolution, but I added the Xperia Z2 (phone I have) to the comparison and it performs almost as well. So here's the math S615 w/ 720p = S801 w/ 1080p = S805 w/ 1440p. Impressive

posted on 24 Nov 2014, 23:46

20. guidoconrad (Posts: 25; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)

I read that the S615 is supossed to have the same performance as the S800 from last year, which is still an amazing processor

posted on 25 Nov 2014, 03:30

21. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3821; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)

In most ways, it's better. For instance, the GPU is way ahead of the 800 & 801.

posted on 29 Dec 2014, 15:48

23. UglyFrank (Posts: 1940; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


posted on 21 Nov 2014, 16:53

16. Furbal (unregistered)

they need to make the E9 follow this style, I like its looks more than the m8...

posted on 29 Jan 2015, 00:37

25. nareshmagam (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 Jan 2015)

i was using this desire 820 since past 2months....Touch and display quality was too worst.... they were not even providing the proper service at the service centre.... They were on there seats just to suggest us to call the customer care and talk to them.... When we try to connect it won't connect.... Even the battery backup was very bad.... It only supports 4-5hours on full charge.... Better don't go with this model... The worst mobile which I haven't used ever.

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HTC Desire 820

HTC Desire 820

OS: Android 6.0 4.4.2
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display5.5 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (267 ppi)
Camera13 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 615, Octa-core, 1500 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53 processor
Size6.21 x 3.10 x 0.30 inches
(157.7 x 78.74 x 7.74 mm)
5.47 oz  (155 g)

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