HTC Desire 820 review

Review

We take a look at HTC's Desire 820 and put it through its paces. How does HTC fare when it turns its attention to the mid-range?
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HTC Desire 820 review

A CLOSE SECOND TO THE DESIRE EYE

The new HTC Desire 820 arrived at the same time as its little brother, the 620. The two share some looks, but as with all siblings, internally it’s a totally different story. We all know that HTC can make a great top-end smartphone, but let’s take a look at how it does with the mid-range stuff.

PROS

  • Hi-res selfies from the 8MP front-facing camera
  • Unbeatable sound with BoomSound speakers
  • Large screen is great for movies and games

CONS

  • Low screen resolution doesn’t give great detail
  • Selfies look grainy despite high resolution
  • Deceivingly small camera lens

LOOK & FEEL

There is no getting away from the fact that this phone is quite big. The screen measures 5.5-inches, but surprisingly isn’t Full HD, instead coming in at standard HD resolution (720p). The lack of Full HD won’t make a huge difference to everyday usage, but this will be a contributing factor as to why it sits with the mid-range handsets, and can’t play with the bigger boys.

As with the 620 (read our thoughts here), the 820 review model we have is wrapped in an uninspiring grey plastic shell. The colour scheme continues onscreen with a gloomy background when the phone is turned on – it’s like starring into the olden days. Thankfully other colours are available, and of course you can change the wallpaper of the phone to whatever you like. What’re you playing at, HTC?

HOW IT WORKS

The Desire 820 runs on Google’s mobile operating system (OS), Android KitKat. This isn’t Google’s latest OS, but we hope an update will be announced soon.

As with all HTC handsets, there are loads of great features to make the mobile experience even better. Take BlinkFeed for example, your very own personal news channel. BlinkFeed can be accessed directly from the home screen by swiping to the right, and there you’ll find updates from people and publications you’re interested in.

There’s also Zoe, who sadly isn’t a nice girl that comes with the phone. HTC Zoe is a camera-editing suite that puts together your photos, videos and music to tell a great story.

CAMERA

On the back of the phone you’ll notice what appears to be a massive camera lens, almost spilling off the side of the phone. Look closely however, and you’ll notice that thing’s aren’t quite as they seem. This is more of a design point, but right in the middle of that big black circle, is a very standard-sized 13MP camera.

You can get some good quality images with the camera, but as the screen resolution and brightness aren’t amazing, colours look a little washed out. If they’re transferred to a computer however, you should see some improvement.

Round the front of the phone you’ll find an 8MP camera, which is pretty impressive – hot on the heels of the HTC Desire EYE’s 13MP snapper. However, despite the relatively high megapixel count, the images still come out a little grainier than we would have hoped. It should be noted that we’re being picky here though; this lens is certainly nothing to be sniffed at.

PERFORMANCE

The Snapdragon 615 processor means this smartphone is geared up to deal with today’s apps and games. It also ensures that everything runs smoothly, be that hilarious cat videos on YouTube or your favourite playlists on Spotify.

There’s also a 2,600mAh battery on board, which is comfortably bigger than the 620’s 2,100mAh capacity. This will make sure you’ve got enough power to see you through the day and into the night.

OUR VERDICT

Both the Desire 620 and 820 are great mid-range handsets. The plastic build takes away a little bit of the premium quality we’ve come to expect from HTC, but it’s clear that the shiny stuff is reserved for the top of the line products.

If you like the sound of the HTC Desire 820, follow the link to find out more and browse our great deals. And, if you have any questions, drop us a comment below.

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