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HTC Desire EYE Review

HTC Desire EYE

Posted: , posted by Peter K.




A month or so ago, HTC decided that it was high time it put an end to the selfie race and unveiled the HTC Desire EYE, a smartphone that is doomed to intrigue with its ginormous 13MP selfie snapper. However, the front-facing camera is just one of the assets of the Desire EYE, because it also packs pretty respectable hardware under its predominantly-plastic hood. On paper, it seems that HTC's foray into selfie-centric phones might be a pretty successful one, but is this truly the case? Let's find out!

In the box:


A big, surprisingly pleasant to hold handset that has certain issues

Despite its large dimensions (5.97 x 2.91 x 0.33 inches or 151.7 x 73.8 x 8.5 mm) and weight of 5.43 oz (154g), the large HTC Desire EYE does is not unwieldy and feels good in the hand. On the contrary, the device is pleasantly ergonomic and sits good in the hand.This time around, HTC put its faith into hard, matte plastic as a build material, both for the back and for the sides, which is pretty pleasant to touch and provides a more-than-acceptable amount of grip. It does not smudge easily, but still tends to hold a bit of grease, especially if your hands are sweaty or dirty.

It's quite possible that the main culprits for the tall silhouette of the device are the two frontal speakers (neatly hidden in gaps between the display's frames and the top/bottom bezel of the phone) and the large selfie camera up front. These take their toll and make the Desire EYE as tall as a Galaxy Note 4, for example.

Meanwhile, the right edge of the device is home to a set of hardware buttons (power/lock, volume rocker, and a dedicated two-step camera shutter key), the interaction with which is quite unpleasant – they are shallow and it's extremely hard to discern them from the surrounding plastic. The two-step camera button is particularly unpleasant – it does not provide enough feedback about its position. At the left side of the phone, we can find the slots for the nano SIM and the microSD cards, which fit rather tightly inside the frame. The HTC Desire EYE is IPX7-certified, too, which means that it will live to tell the tale if you dip it in the water – in particular, for as long as 30 minutes at a depth of up to a meter.

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


Excellent outdoor visibility and acceptable color reproduction

Up front, we have a 5.2" 1080p display that has a pretty good pixel density of 424ppi – the display is sharp enough and we failed to discern any individual pixels. It also is very bright, vibrant, and has an excellent outdoor visibility. At the same time, its contrast is top-notch, too, but the color accuracy leaves something to be desired – its readings don't exceed the borders of the sRGB color chart, but the display fails to match with many of the color targets. The Desire EYE reproduces colors a tad bluer than they should be in real life – it has a color temperature of 7248K, noticeably higher than the reference of 6500K. The gamma, at 2.37, is also above the perfect value of 2.2. The viewing angles are mediocre at best, yet acceptable.


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PhoneArena rating:
8Very good
Display5.2 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (424 ppi)
Camera13 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2300 MHz
Size5.97 x 2.91 x 0.33 inches
(151.7 x 73.8 x 8.5)
5.43 oz  (154 g)

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