Hands-on: HTC Desire 816 [VIDEO]



Even though HTC’s big reveal isn’t for a few more weeks, the Taiwanese manufacturer was still able to show off another sexy new handset for Mobile World Congress. Announced earlier this week, the HTC Desire 816 is the company’s latest weapon to attack the mid-range phablet market.

With a gorgeous “polycarbonate” design, the Desire 816 features a large 5.5-inch 720p display, a 1.7GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM and 5MP front facing camera for ultra clear selfies. With HTC’s trademarked BoomSound front facing speakers, there really is a lot here to love, especially given the Desire’s lower price point.


During our time in Barcelona, Spain for Mobile World Congress we were able to track down the Desire 816 where it was only being shown behind glass at HTC’s booth. After some gentle persuasion, we were given a quick “eyes-on” demo of the phone, showing off its handsome good looks for the camera. Because HTC’s KitKat build with Sense 5.5 still isn’t finalized, that means the phone remained off for the entire demo. After playing with it for ourselves, we decided to give HTC the honors of talking about their latest phablet in our video below.

We have to admit, we were a tad disappointed to see HTC reserving this design solely for their new mid-range segment instead of their flagship line which, according to rumors, will keep the original One’s aluminum build quality.

HTC says the Desire 816 will hit the European market during Q2 of this year. If you’re wondering exactly how much easier the 816 will be on the wallet, HTC says to expect “Moto X-like” pricing. No word on when or even if we can expect to see the Desire 816 hit US shores, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed.

android at mwc

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. (Stroking white cat)

    “Ah Mr. Bezel, we meet again……I’ve been expecting you.”

    1. *twists mustache diabolically*

      “See you in New York on the 25th!”

      *escapes out window*

      1. The name’s Bezel. Bloody Big Bezel.

        License to destroy your retinas.

        1. People do know that bezel protect the screen in drop right? S4 has a smaller bezel but do worst on the drop test.

          1. No, the screen is protected by the RAISED RIM around the display.

            The bezel (as most tech commentators refer to on phones) is the black bar around the viewable screen – in this case that includes the extra large section that seems to exist purely for showing the ‘htc’ logo.

          2. Yes on a dang on concept phone HTC haven’t even revealed their flagship device yet

          3. The raise rim only protect the screen if it fall flat screen side down. The rim does not protect the phone if it fall on the side or corner. The bezel of a phone is like a chassis of a car, the bigger the chassis the more impact a car can take. The shockwave of an impact travel upward or forward from the point of impact. The more the shockwave have to travel the more kinetic energy it loses. The bezel add extra area for the shockwave to travel, so the more kinetic energy it will lose.
            This is an old article bit it prove my point on bezel and not s raise rim http://www.phonearena.com/news/Smartphone-displays-need-a-bezel.-Heres-why_id27670

  2. Guess the HTC one is going to have a 5mp front facing.

  3. Funny how HTC brings back the SD slot… on their MID-RANGE devices. Not that I’d care much if they also brought it back for the “New One”, since they failed with the huge chin bezel anyway. So close and yet so far.

    After this MWC, IMO:
    1) Samsung S5 ties Sony Z2 (shocker)
    2) Nexus
    3) LG
    4) Motorola
    5) HTC

    1. Sorry to call you a fool, but fool, HTC flagship haven’t even been revealed

      1. Uh, it’s been leaked many times, foo, and, it’s got a huge chin bezel.

        1. Dude are you kidding me, I have seen three leaks, 1. The chin bezel was huge 2. The chin bezel was slim and 3. There were no bezel at all and the third looked more legit than the two with the bezel………… Soooooooooo, what now

          1. What now? Hmm… ComeAtMeBrahh! hah. We’ll see.

          2. We will, and I hope you wrong, not just to say your wrong, but because if you’re right, well HTC will lose me this year

        2. I know you are not an engineer if think a bezel have no point http://www.phonearena.com/news/Smartphone-displays-need-a-bezel.-Heres-why_id27670 It prove my point in my other comments

          1. Space-wasting bezels are for tablets, not phones.

          2. I guess you did not read the article did you? What is the difference beside size? It could be wasting space to you but it will protect your screen from a drop. Case in point http://www.squaretrade.com/blog/category/videos/drop-tests-videos/. Look at how the S4 with it thin bezel has the higher risk of break then the wasted space bezel of the HTC one and moto x

    2. Is this a ranking of the amount of bezel a phone has? lol…
      But I’d hold off making a list until the “New One” is announced.

  4. “the new flagship in our mid-tier”, how confusing….

    1. It’s not their flagship, that’s gets revealed March 25

  5. It’s 1.5 gigs of ram, also is it ddr3 or ddr2. Yes that makes a difference

  6. You’re disappointed they’re using aluminum in the One again? Honestly, I am too. I prefer to not have a case on my phone and a metal back forced me to use a case on my One. I’m really loving this phone and I plan on importing if it’s not brought over to the States.

    1. OG HTC One X is still my favorite design. Honestly, I don’t hate plastic. I just hate the way Samsung uses it on their devices (chrome accents look cheap to me).

  7. I think it’s sexy.

  8. For those of us who use a protective case, the smaller the bezel the better and polycarbonate works just fine. Never had a broken screen on any smart phone.

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