HTC Desire 816 Dual SIM Unboxing and First Impressions


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HTC’s Desire 816 is the company’s bold bet in the mid range phablet segment, where it has literally been non-existent so far. The 5.5 inch device with a 720p screen was launched along with the HTC One M8 in India, but it has reached the retail only now, but for an attractive price of Rs. 23,990. Competing with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 and the Sony Xperia T2 Dual, the Desire 816 strikes a good balance between specifications and price, which is what the segment exactly wants. We weren’t able to get a complete look at the 816 when it launched at the MWC, mainly because it had the same Sense experience on the software side, but we have finally got the retail version here in India, and we present you our usual unboxing video with a quick look at the phone’s hardware and a bit of the software, take a look –

As you saw from the video above, the Desire 816 comes with a few box contents, and here are all of them listed in a single image –

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Box Contents

  • HTC Desire 816 in black
  • USB adapter
  • Micro USB cable
  • Plain earphones with mic

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Coming to the device, the Desire 816 blew us away in terms of hardware, even at the MWC event where it was launched, so it was no surprise that the build is still very nice and solid. Made completely of plastic, the device has an interesting blend of matte and glossy finishes, with the former applied on the sides and the front for grip, while the latter shows up on the back. We think the glossy back might attract a lot of fingerprints and scratches on all the colours except for white, which can easily mask them. The design of the phone is very much in terms with the language that HTC has been pursuing on its phone since the One M7, and it was great to see even some features like the front facing Boomsound speakers showing up on this mid range phone. The display is a really nice 5.5″ 720p screen that has decent viewing angles and colour rendition, but on the OS side, it’d be interesting to see how HTC has dealt with scaling of apps.

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The design on the back is very minimal with the logo nicely fading into the black at different angles. The camera unit on the back is a 13 MP unit this time, not the 4 MP Ultrapixel one that the company uses on its flagship. This could be an encouraging sign, but we will let you know how it goes in that department. Under the hood, we have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chip running on a 1.6 GHz quad core processor and the Adreno 305 GPU, which should be adequate for most tasks including gaming. Interestingly, this is also one of the first ever phones to sport dual nano SIM slots, a major new addition to take note of, for potential buyers. There is a micro SD card too, complementing the 8 GBs of internal memory, which leads us to the most important aspect of this phone, the price. Coming in at Rs. 23,990, this phablet occupies a crucial segment in the market, where flagships once existed. It has all the qualities of a superhit phone for HTC, but can it compete against the likes of the already popular Galaxy Grand 2 or the Xperia T2 Dual from the respective rivals? We will soon find out, in a complete review, but until then, stay tuned for more on the HTC Desire 816.

More pics –


Author: Bharadwaj Chandramouli

Bharadwaj is a content creator who has been obsessed with technology since the early days of smartphones. He loves talking about tech, is a fan of good design and photography. You can follow him on Twitter @gadgetbuff_ to know what he's upto!