HTC Desire 826 Review

| Published Date
28 - Apr - 2015
| Last Updated
06 - Dec - 2016

Where to buy

Check out HTC Desire 826 Review where we review the phone on its performance, build, design, Display, camera performance and UI.

HTC Desire 826 Rating 69100100

Our Verdict

HTC's Desire range of phones have never been market leaders. They have always been an option in each category they compete in and that is not going to change with the HTC Desire 826. It has good specs on paper but scores just below our expectations in every aspect except the display.


  • Excellent display
  • Good touch response
  • Loud stereo speakers


  • Steep price
  • Below par performance
  • Average camera
  • Average battery life

HTC Desire 826: Detailed Review

Smartphones near or just above the 20K price mark are generally good performers. Some of the phones that fall in this category can even be compared to high end flagships. Enter HTC’s Desire 800 series of phones. Now, smartphones in HTC’s Desire range have been good lately. They offer a subtle mix of good specs and design and the story continues with the Desire 826. The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm’s 64-bit Snapdragon 615 SoC which we saw earlier on the Yu Yureka and is only available currently on a handful of phones. So, can the Desire 826 justify its price tag of 24K? Let’s find out.

Design and Build

As I said earlier, the HTC Desire 826 is pretty similar in terms of design and build quality to other HTC Desire phones we have seen recently. The build quality specifically is very similar to what we saw on the Desire 816 and the 820s. However, of all the Desire phone we have reviewed recently, the design of the Desire 826 feels the most disappointing.

Desire 820s & Desire 826

This is all due to small changes in the design. For example, the distinctive speaker grill from the top and bottom is now hidden in crevices. The power and volume keys are somewhat hidden on the right edge as they have a similar colour to the side and are not very tactile to press. Adding in the 183 grams of weight, slippery glossy back and its large footprint, means the Desire 826 is not very ergonomic to hold either. The plastic build does not instill any confidence but feels sturdy enough to take small knocks here and there but we'd still recommend a case.

Display and UI

The Desire 826's 1080p 5.5-inch display is just beautiful from every angle you look at it. There is no denying that this is one of the best 1080p displays in its segment. The display is bright and easily visible under direct sunlight. Any kind of content, be it images, videos, the UI itself or just games, look good. Text looks great and the touch experience is satisfactory as well. 

Coming to the UI, I found the new Sense 6 UI pretty similar to Sense 5. The animations have changed but the core set of apps and services remain the same. The theme manager is a welcome addition and it also allows users to make their own themes with just any image of their choice.


Besides the theme manager, you get a smarter BlinkFeed which is more image centric and the Sense Home Widget which tries to suggest apps related to where you are but isn’t very well optimized. Hints of Material Design are visible in menus across the UI as the phone comes with Android Lollipop out of the box.



The Desire 826 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core SoC which came out as a segment leader when it was installed on the sub 10K Yu Yureka but the competition becomes stiffer over the 20K price mark. With OnePlus One now available without an invite and HTC’s much cheaper 820s performing almost similarly, the Desire 826 really struggles to grab attention.

Saying that, the phone had no issues handling day to day tasks or even graphically intensive games. But prolonged usage made the phone heat up and made it uncomfortable to hold. And then comes the speed throttling issues. In a good 1 hour of gaming, playing ‘Brothers in Arms 3’ the framerates gradually dropped to a level where the phone stuttered with each swipe.


Here is how the smartphone performs in synthetic benchmarks


As you can see, the performance is quite close to other phones in its category but not quite up to the mark.

The phone supports dual-SIMs but I found the reception wasn't so good in underground metros and could have been better. The sound output via the stereo speakers is good and is even better when using headphones.


With a 2600mAh battery on-board I expected pretty average battery life and that’s exactly what the smartphone achieves. Using the phone daily, I was never able to get a day’s worth out of the smartphone and it required a quick charge in the evening on most of the days. However, with the built in power saver mode, the battery was able to last till bed time without any problem. But the results differ under heavy usage, like after an hour of intense gameplay, the phone reported a drop of 38%, which left me rather unconvinced.


The Desire 826 houses a 13MP rear camera like any other smartphone in its category. Like the Desire 820s we expected a good camera but that isn’t the case with the Desire 826. Each and every picture I took with the camera showcased the same problem - over-saturated colours and lack of focus. And when the camera did focus, I found the contrast levels higher than expected. Background noise is kept minimal but it does creep into low light shots or when photos are shot indoors.


HTC Desire 826


The front-facing camera exhibits a similar problem set, so does the video capture mode. The camera software does feature a fair range of adjustment settings and they do make the pictures look better but nobody likes to fiddle around with the camera setting every time they want to take a picture.


The HTC Desire 826 is not the best phone in its category and exists only as an option like every other Desire phone from HTC. The performance it offers is available in other smartphones at more affordable prices and this is where the HTC Desire 826 loses. Phones like the Xiaomi Mi 4 or the OnePlus One are a better buy over this phone and if you still want an HTC, buy the Desire 820 or the 820s.

Explore HTC Desire 826 at Rs. 24,650

Latest Forum discussions on HTC Desire 826

  • Htc desire 826 battery problem

    My phone's battery while on wifi reduces drastically.While browsing on wifi the battery reduces by 20-25% and also while gaming. So is that ok or should I contact for a replacement

    1. Saiyangoku10/06/2015
      Have you checked apps running in background and other possible wakelocks?
    2. Technoboy10/06/2015
      [MENTION=113773]vaibhav23[/MENTION] are you using greenify ?
    3. Vaibhav2310/06/2015
      No i am not using greenify apps running in background are:[ATTACH=CONFIG]15517[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]15518[/ATTACH]
    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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