HTC Desire 816 Review : The best mid-range phablet from HTC today

HTC Desire 816 Review : The best mid-range phablet from HTC today

The Desire 816 is a great attempt from HTC in bringing out a mid-ranged phablet. The design is well done, as always, and the phablet also offers a competitve perforamnce package thanks to the Snapdragon 400 SoC. The phablet is a powerhouse in the multimedia department and also comes with a great 13MP rear and a 5MP front camera. At the price point, the phablet is a strong recommendation from us.



  • Display: 5.5 inches Super LCD2 panel with 1280×720 resolution (267ppi)
  • Battery: 2600mAh
  • Storage: 8GB, expandable via microSD card
  • Camera:  13MP rear with LED flash, 5MP front
  • SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
  • CPU: 1.6GHz quad-core
  • GPU: Adreno 305
  • RAM: 1.5GB
  • Operating system: Android 4.4.2 with Sense 6 UI
  • Connectivity: 3G, W-Fi, Bluetooth , Dual-SIM



The Desire 816 is pretty large device with a 5.5-inch Super LCD2 with 1280×720 pixels resolution. The pixel density is at 267ppi which surprisingly doesn’t look all that bad. The display is bright and contrast level on the display is excellent. Viewing angles are perfectly good and colours don’t fade all that much. The touch response is smooth and feels buttery smooth. The bezels above the and below the display are wide to accommodate the stereo speakers. There is also the 5MP front camera right next to the top speaker and the usual sensors and notification LED below them.

The phablet isn’t too bulky and weighs at about 165gms and is pretty slim at just 8mm. HTC has always been excellent in designing their smartphones and the Desire 816 is a neat looking phablet. The back is a bit disappointing with a glossy soft plastic finish which is prone to smudges and fingerprints. The back also has the 13MP camera and an LED flash with a metal ring around it.

The edges have a rubberised finish which extends to the front where the stereo speakers are. The right edge has two nano SIM card slots (Really?) and the microSD card slot hidden under a plastic flap which blends in well the design. The top has the 3.5mm stereo jack and the mic for video recording. The left side has the power/lock button and volume control keys which are made out of metal although a bit flimsy. The microUSB slot is placed at the bottom.

While the Desire 700 was a complete disaster, HTC has done quite well with the 816.


The Desire 816 runs on the latest Android 4.4.2 Kit Kat along with the latest Sense 6 UI which we have already seen on the HTC One (M8). All the features and apps are quite similar although you don’t get the lockscreen gestures so no unlocking the display when it is inactive. You do get the new swiping features on the lockscreen where swiping to the left opens the first homescreen and swiping to the right takes you to BlinkFeed. You can also swipe up the icons in the dock to open various apps right from the lockscreen. There is the addition of new colour themes as well which makes the UI more vivid and colourful.