HTC Desire 820s Review

| Published Date
13 - Apr - 2015
| Last Updated
04 - Dec - 2016

Where to buy

The HTC Desire 820s is a good option on the higher end of the budget segment but is it good enough?

HTC Desire 820s Rating 74100100

Our Verdict

The HTC Desire 820s is not a performance beast nor the lazy non-performer, it settles itself for somewhere in between. It is a good combination of features which make it a considerable choice over a few but still lacks the overalls to be unequivocally recommended without an ‘if’ clause.



  • Fresh Design
  • Good Display
  • Light UI
  • Excellent camera


  • Average performance

HTC Desire 820s: Detailed Review

The budget smartphone segment has been the point of focus for phone manufacturers for a while. This price segment (which extends up to Rs. 20,000) is home to some of the best value for money offerings in the market right now. Be it the OnePlus One, the Xiaomi Mi4 or the Honor 6, all present stiff competition to the HTC Desire 820s. To overcome this fact, the Desire 820s uses HTC's tried and tested formula of good looks and true to  value features, but is it enough? Let's find out. 

Design & Build

HTC is one of the few companies which has its own distinctive design language and give all its phones a unique look. Moreover in HTC’s Desire range of phones the design is kept quite similar across the range albeit materials can be different. Plainly put, the Desire 820s is a good looking phone. The dual-tone colour setup gives it a very distinctive look among its competition. Button placement is good as well and offer satisfactory travel.

From a build point of view the smartphone has a plastic shell which is good but is definitely inferior to what OnePlus One or Honor 6 offer at this price. The slim profile and the slippery back may require users to purchase a cover. Another thing that I noticed was the camera protrusion at the back that has a flushed glass cover which will eventually scratch. That said, the phone felt sturdy enough during my use and will do just fine if you are careful.

Display and UI

Displays on HTC devices have been good lately and the Desire 820s is no different. The said display has good colour reproduction with decent viewing angles. Since it uses a good quality LCD panel, whites and more importantly, reading text is much easier on the eyes. The display also gets Gorilla Glass 3 Protection, although sunlight legibility could have been better.

Coming to the UI, it's business as usual with HTC Sense 6 laid over Android 4.4 Kitkat. Swipe from the left brings up the BlinkFeed, and one can see small bits of HTC’s custom touches here and there but otherwise it's a clean and true to stock interface. HTC’s sense is one of the lightest custom UIs out there and comes with only a couple of pre-loaded apps.


The Desire 820s is an average performer in its price range and falls noticeably below what the Xiaomi Mi4 or the OnePlus One achieve. Powered by a new gen 64-bit Mediatek MT6752 SoC, the phone felt fast and responsive. In the entire time I used the phone It didn’t slow down but it did freeze up and restarted a couple of times while playing Sky Force 2014.

I'm happy to report that MediaTek has listened to critics and the heating issues have been taken care of, but only to an extent. The heating issues were there and only felt when I left the camera open for a prolonged time or tried to play games for more than an hour straight.

The phone runs on Android 4.4 Kitkat out of the box and HTC has shared no plans to update the phone to Android Lollipop. Check out how the phone performs in synthetic benchmarks.


The dual-speaker setup has very low sound output, just know that if you are like me and use the alarm clock on your mobile, you are going to be late to work. The earpiece speaker is also not that loud and I had trouble listening to people on the other end. Sound via headphones is okay (average) and same goes for the signal reception on the Dual-SIMs.

Camera & Battery

There is a slight protrusion at the back which houses the 13MP camera. It is one the best 13MP shooters I have seen in a while. The colour saturation, vibrance and fidelity is top notch. The camera takes pictures instantly and only a moment longer when shooting in HDR. The front facing 8MP camera is good as well and the camera app has a beautify feature.

HTC Desire 820s

The 2600mAh sealed-in battery is good. On an average day with moderate usage I was able to get about 8 hours of battery life. This was enough to last a day quite easily. The battery only depletes rapidly if you play games at a stretch but that is true with almost every phone.


If you look beyond its design, display and camera, the HTC Desire 820s is an average performer with decent battery life. It might not the chart-topper I had hoped for but it does take up the challenge quite well. Overall, the HTC Desire 820s is a good phone and offers yet another option to the upper end of the budget segment. You can still opt for the OnePlus One, Mi4 or the Honor 6 over this HTC.

Latest Forum discussions on HTC Desire 820s

  • Htc desire 820s dual sim launched in india for rs 24,890

    HTC has launched a new smartphone, the Dual SIM HTC Desire 820s. They have really thought about the people of India. The MRP of the device is Rs 25,500, but it will be available at a market operating price of Rs 24,890. I think it's really a new cool handset, lets see where it...

    1. Saiyangoku13/03/2015
      There was no need of HTC to launch it when they already have a better Desire 820 at similar price. :mad: Buyers should either buy the original Desire 820 or prefer Oneplus One. And no, they never really "thought about the people of India" when they launched it. This is purely business strategy. :facepalm:
    2. Kkn1313/03/2015
      Mediatek no thanks rather buy One Plus One or HTC D820 [SIZE=1]- - - Updated - - -[/SIZE] [QUOTE=SaiyanGoku;2209147] And no, they never really "thought about the people of India" when they launched it. This is purely business strategy. :facepalm:[/QUOTE] Forget that,its priced higher than their own HTC D820 AND has a Mediatek chipset,they want...
    3. Mohit920614/03/2015
      If HTC really thought about the people of India they would have priced this phone at 10k.
    Show More
  • Htc desire hd and desire z released !!!!

    On 15th Sep HTC held a Exhibition and HTC Desire HD was there too Specs [quote] HTC Desire HD Judge this phone ! % Design % User friendliness % Features % Performance % Price / Quality ratio % Your rating 85% Overall rating Submit your rating! HTC Desire HD Compare this phone! Our Top 10 Samsung SGH-F… € 409.21 Sony...

    1. Drumster19/09/2010
      Hmm, wonder when they will hit India. I believe they wont bring it to India for the next 3-4 months atleast. Because they just launched Desire and would not want to cannibalize their Desire sales.
  • Htc desire x or htc 8s..

    A big question which way should i go Desire x or 8S..coz both are at same price..I have never use android & windows both so really messed up.. Please Help Me..

    1. Debarshi03/11/2012
      As per Geekaphone, you should go for the HTC 8S Check it out [url=]HTC 8S vs Desire X - Our Analysis[/url]
    2. Bhushan2k03/11/2012
      dont look for desire x...if u need android in 22k then look for something better like nexus, razr, galaxy s2, atrix 2 or xperia p...if u need windows phone then htc 8s is good...
    3. Debarshi03/11/2012
      Wait for sometime for the new LG nexus to be launched here. See the prices and then decide.
    Show More
  • Htc one v or htc desire hd

    Hi, Im getting HTC Desire HD one year old bt in mint condition with exchange with my HTC One V 3months with Bill. I just have to pay 500INR on top of it. Pls help me should I agree with the deal and take Desire HD or stick with my One V only :p

    1. Sam23/09/2012
      why you want to downgrade?
    2. Iplay23/09/2012
      Can have ICS custom ROM.
    3. Sam23/09/2012
      Should have went for HTC Incredible at the first place. And One V will have better roms once the customer base increases.
    Show More
  • Htc explorer or htc desire c ?

    My budget is 9-10k. I like the build quality of HTC and its UI customization so i dont prefer any other brand. I m confused between Explorer and Desire C. Explorer = 8k Desire C = 12k when compared, Desire C has - 3.5 inch screen - runs on ICS - 4GB internal memory - 5MP camera (No flash) Explorer has - 3.2 inch screen - runs...

    1. Sam09/09/2012
      Desire C is seriously overpriced. At 8k grab Explorer else at 10k there is Xperia Mini though with a smaller display and only 300MB internal memory. You may look at Xperia Tipo but heard it is having software problem. So unless you can wait for Sony to release a fix, ignore it. There are few more like Live with Walkman, Huawei IDEOS X5 Pro and...
    2. Dan4u09/09/2012
      90MB internal memory in the htc explorer is too little, you will run out of space very soon if you install 7-8 apps, also its nearly a year since it was released , [URL=""]Sony Xperia Tipo[/URL] is a good choice
    3. Balaji252509/09/2012
      [QUOTE=dan4u;1746167]90MB internal memory in the htc explorer is too little, you will run out of space very soon if you install 7-8 apps, also its nearly a year since it was released , [URL=""]Sony Xperia Tipo[/URL]...
    Show More

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