HTC Launches Desire 816 at MWCby Joshua Ho on February 24, 2014 10:30 AM EST
Today, HTC seems to be delivering on their promise for a stronger focus on the 150-300 USD market segment by launching the Desire 816, a phablet with a 5.5" 720p display and a Snapdragon 400, along with dual front facing speakers with an amplifier on each speaker. For now, it seems that HTC is quite tight-lipped on software, as they only state that the 816 runs "Android with HTC Sense", although based upon the press images it's clear that the hardware buttons have been removed and it may be the beginning of a trend for HTC's 2014 devices. While many are likely to object over the bezel on the bottom, it seems that this may be an unavoidable bezel, as the One, One max, LG G2, Nexus 5, and other phones all have the glass bezel area around as tall as the one that looks to be on the Desire 816. Based on the photos that I've seen for the HTC One's digitizer, it seems that the area must be used for digitizer connectors, but capacitive buttons will fit in that area.
Of course, specs are effectively the most important part of midrange phones when it comes to placing the kind of value that they have, so I made a table to summarize the key points:
|HTC Desire 816|
|Display||5.5" 720p LCD|
|SoC||MSM8928, Snapdragon 400, 1.6 GHz quad Cortex A7|
|Rear Camera||13MP f/2.2, 1080p HD recording|
|Front Camera||5MP f/2.8 720p HD recording|
|Storage||8GB + microSD|
|Battery||2600 mAh, 3.8V, 9.88 WHr|
|WCDMA Bands||850/900/2100 MHz (Band 5, 8, 1)|
EMEA: 800/900/1800/2600 MHz (Band 20, 8, 3, 7)
Asia: 900/1800/2100/2600 MHz (Band 8, 3, 1, 7)
700 MHz (Band 28) for Taiwan, Australia
Overall, outside of pricing, there's not too much to talk about. It does use a NanoSIM, something that's definitely important to keep in mind for prospective buyers, and the 9.88 WHr battery is a bit small for the 5.5" form factor but based upon the performance of the One max with a 5.9" display, it shouldn't be too big of a deal, especially with the power-sipping Cortex A7s. The press release doesn't say anything about the LCD panel, but I guess that will have to be discovered at the press event. Overall though, this seems like a relatively well-designed phablet. Whether HTC's strategy will work is another question.