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HTC Desire 816 hands on (MWC 2014)

Sporting a beautiful, large display, coupled with great specifications in a body that impresses, here's a quick first look at the HTC Desire 816!
February 25, 2014
MWC 2014 Coverage brought to you by: Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus for Android.

The latest mid-range offering from HTC features a large display and some great specifications in a body that is very well designed. Here’s our first look at the HTC Desire 816!

It has to be mentioned that the screen capabilities will not be seen in the video because we were asked not to show the operating system. The reason is because the next version of Sense is in this phone, and is for the moment being kept under wraps by HTC. They do maintain, however, that we should definitely be excited for the future of HTC’s interpretation of Android. As such, there won’t be a section on the software features of this smartphone either.

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We are still quite excited about the nice design language of the HTC Desire 816. Sporting a 5.5-inch display that is larger that what you’d find with most mid-range devices, the Desire 816 packs it into a body that actually feels very nice. Noticeable is the BoomSound dual front-facing speakers, that should continue HTC’s tradition of good sound.

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Despite a glossy plastic panel on the back, the sides are made of a non-glossy plastic that is very rounded and really helps with the feel. Whereas a rounded back would feel quite comfortable in the hand, these rounded sides seem to serve a similar purpose. The overall handling experience is really enjoyable, even if navigating the larger screen does require some hand gymnastics.

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Since we can’t show you, we can tell you that that the screen, a high quality display with a 720p resolution, is a very nice performer. The viewing angles are all quite great, and the brightness of the IPS platform continues here.

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Underneath the surface is a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.6 Ghz, coupled with 1.5 GB of RAM. The 8 GB of on-board storage may seem a little less, but the availability of microSD expansion, something that HTC ignores with its high-end offerings, does help make up for that. A battery with a 2,600 mAh capacity should provide a battery life that is more than satisfactory.

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Bucking the mid-range trend, the HTC Desire 816 features a 13 MP rear shooter, something that we’ve only seen with premium offerings thus far. The trend setting continues with the inclusion of a 5 MP front camera, the highest megapixel count for your selfie pleasure. You’ll be able to take some good photos, as well as videos, with the front-facing unit, as it is also capable of 720p video capture.

The HTC Desire 816 is definitely an unconventional look at a mid-range device, but that is far from a bad thing. Sporting great specifications in a body that impressed, we’re excited to put the Desire 816 through its paces as soon as we get our hands on one.