HTC Desire 816

Midrange android smartphone

HTC Desire 816 review, rating and the UK's best deals and latest offers


A 5.5 inch screen and superb build quality help this large handful of HTC handset stand out from the crowd with a great camera, great sound and excellent all round character

Our rating
84

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HTC Desire 816

£339.99


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Main features

  1. 5.5 inch Gorilla Glass screen
  2. Excellent 13 megapixel camera with flash
  3. Stereo BoomSound speakers
  4. Stereo FM radio
  5. Android version 4.4.2 'KitKat'


Read our full review here >>>
by Mike Leader

With the HTC Desire 816, HTC have introduced yet another smartphone in the style of the HTC One M8 which is fast becoming the corporate look of HTC's Android smartphone range.

Familiar looks

The now familiar rounded corners and dual BoomSound speakers are there, above and below the screen - it makes sense in landscape mode, the mode you would use to watch a video.

The only obvious difference you will immediately notice are the single row of wide holes that make up each speaker aperture, rather than the finely honed holes of the M8.

It does have the benefit of looking slightly less industrial and is actually based on the design of the original HTC One.

Strong chassis

The chassis isn't the single piece of carved metal seen on HTC's flagship model, but it's a well-built, dare we say premium, polycarbonate with excellent build quality borne out by the fairly hefty 165 grams weight.

The glossy rear cover isn't perfect for grip, although the sides are matte which does go a long way to preventing you dropping the phone, but some will complain that the non-removable rear panel attracts fingerprints too easily.

Are you the type of person who sits looking at the back of their phone or the front of it? Most of you will use a case anyway.

Huge 5.5 inch screen

This is quite a beast of a phone with a Super LCD Gorilla Glass coated screen measuring 5.5 inches. The extra space required for the speakers means this phone is 157mm tall - over 6 inches. With a width of 79mm it is quite a handful but it's nice and slim at just 7.9mm thick.

The HD screen has a resolution of 720 x 128 pixels with a pixel density of 267 pixels per inch (PPI), which offers a clear and sharp viewing experience though it is well below the 400 plus PPI level offered by most flagship handsets.

However, pictures are sharp and clear, and text is also crisp and easy to read without the need to constantly zoom in to read small fonts.

Fabulous 13 megapixel camera

HTC's fantastic 13 megapixel camera makes an appearance here with a whole host of features including LED flash, auto focus, touch to focus, geotagging, face detection, HDR, and simultaneous HD video and still image recording.

Not only can the camera record Full HD 1080p video at 30 frames per second but it also records 720p HD at cinema standard 60 frames per second, allowing you to produce superb video clips with stereo sound.

Stay connected everywhere

Practically all connectivity you need is here with Wi-Fi Hotspot added and assisted GPS with access to the Russian GLONASS system. It was originally stated that there would be no NFC.

This seems a bit odd since just about every other medium to high range HTC handset has it, including the considerably smaller and cheaper Desire 610, but it has in fact been included. You won't use it anyway.

Sounds superb

Those music lovers amongst you will impressed with the capability to play your music including the built in FM stereo radio through those excellent speakers, via a headset using the 3.5mm socket or via Bluetooth speakers, again in stereo.

Plenty of power

Everything is powered along extremely quickly thanks to 1.6 GHz quad-core processor and a generous 1.5 GB of RAM memory. 8 GB of storage is including which can be ramped right up to 128 GB thanks to the side-mounted MicroSD memory card slot.

The Desire 816 runs the latest version of Google's Android operating system, v4.4.2 (KitKat) complimented with HTC's acclaimed Sense 6 interface, which includes BlinkFeed which offers you live feeds of news stories, your latest Facebook messages, or just about anything you want on a customisable screen.

Our summary

It's difficult to fault anything with this handset, which we would have to call premium midrange. It's a lot of phone to carry around with you and perhaps the screen resolution could have been a little higher given the size of it, but then that would have put the price up.

The polycarbonate casing doesn't detract from the build quality and is probably aimed at the younger market a-la iPhone 5c, with various colours available although here in the UK we will probably only get gunmetal grey.

HTC have thought of just about everything, and if we have any complaint at all it is that it does not include a removable battery. But the feature set, build quality and overall likeability of this handset makes it one of our favourites and one we are happy to recommend highly.


Full specifications

Model: HTC Desire 816
® HTC, Google, TalkTalk and 1st Mobile UK are registered trade marks

Looking for sim free Pay As You Go?

Buy now securely with PayPal 

accepted at 1stMobile.co.uk


  1. FREE insured UK mainland postage
  2. Just £13 worldwide shipping (outside UK)
  3. FREE O2 Prepay sim included
  4. NO monthly contract
  5. Full 1 year warranty

IMPORTANT: Customers outside the UK MAINLAND MUST select the "worldwide" option from the drop-down list.

HTC Desire 816

£339.99


In stock now

Choose shipping option:
Colour (subject to availability)

Payments handled securely by Paypal. Credit/debit cards welcome.