HTC Desire 820 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?
HTC Desire 820 review


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.


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


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


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.

0 Stars

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

comments powered by Disqus
We've pitted the new HTC One M9 against the six-month-old Sony Xperia Z3 to see how they compare in
The HTC One M9 was brought into the light at Mobile World Congress 2015, check out how it compares t
We've seen everything at Mobile World Congress 2015 and these are the top smartphones to look forwar

17 February, 2020
We got our hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S20s. Find out about cameras, Space Zoom...
14 February, 2020
A smartphone that flips and folds? Find out everything you need to know about Samsung’s...
19 August, 2019
We check out the Samsung Galaxy Note10 and Note10+, a power-packed smartphone with...
7 June, 2019
What a performance! The Xperia 1 has a superb triple lens camera, the world’s first...
8 May, 2019
We visited Google’s head office in central London to catch a glimpse of its new highly-anticipated,...
7 May, 2019
The Huawei P30 Lite is a budget smartphone packed with premium features including...
10 April, 2019
The new Samsung Galaxy A80 has arrived - and it’s got all the specs you’d expect...
4 April, 2019
The Samsung Galaxy S10e might be the smallest of the S10 range, but it’s still got...
8 March, 2019
The Samsung Galaxy S10 is the flagship you’ve been waiting for - it’s everything...
19 November, 2018
The OnePlus 6T is a spectacular phone, packed with amazing tech. Thinking of getting...
16 October, 2018
We’re at ExCel London, where Huawei has just unveiled its new Mate 20 Pro. And we’re...
10 October, 2018
The Google Pixel 3 has arrived. We were luck enough to get our hands on it recently,...