HTC Desire 820

HTC kicks off IFA with a revamped hero device for its mid-range lineup

IFA 2014 At IFA 2014 in Berlin today, HTC unveiled its latest mid-range flagship, the Desire 820. Building on the Desire 816 — a phone barely six months old — the 820 slims things down, improves the design with a new plastic construction style with bright, prominent accents. It's also a landmark for HTC and Qualcomm, being the first handset to use a Snapdragon 615 SoC — a new octa-core, 64-bit capable chip.

From the outside, the Desire 820 is clearly identifiable as a member of HTC's mid-range family of devices. Like its predecessor it's flat and rectangular with wide, rounded corners, and HTC's trademark BoomSound speakers flanking a 5.5-inch 720p display. And while the pixel density is relatively low compared to current high-end stuff, colors are plenty vibrant and the display is extremely bright when maxed out.

The chassis itself is a mostly glossy plastic affair with HTC's new "double shot" styling, which adds bright secondary colors to the whites, pinks, greys and reds of the main body. It's noticeably slimmer than the Desire 816, with narrower bezels to boot, and HTC's rearranged that phone's frustratingly-placed buttons; between all these changes it's noticeably easier to one-hand than the earlier model.

A flatter, slimmer Desire with a new 'double shot' design.

Around the back is a 13-megapixel camera — again, encircled with the accent color — that gives the phone a slight camera bump. We'll have to spend some more time with the phone before we make any judgment on camera quality, but any improvement over the 816's camera would be welcome. Around the front, HTC's shipping its highest-resolution "selfie" camera — an 8-megapixel unit that ties into new software features in Sense. The 816 can swap and merge faces in photos, with results ranging from amusing to terrifying.

HTC Desire 820

The whole package is powered by Qualcomm's new 64-bit-capable mid-range chip, the Snapdragon 615. This is an octa-core chip combining four 1.5GHz cores and four 1.0GHz cores, paired with 2GB of RAM. The Desire 816 isn't exactly a slow phone, but in our brief time with the Desire 820 its performance seemed very close to that of high-end Android competitors. Part of that can be attributed to HTC's speedy software — Sense 6 has made it across to the 820 mostly in one piece, though as we've seen in other mid-range HTC devices, many of the higher-end features like Motion Launch haven't made the cut.

The HTC Desire 820 will ship globally beginning in late September. It's a solid improvement on the 816, boasting faster performance, improved camera capabilities and easier one-hand use, however it remains to be seen whether it'll be able to repeat the 816's success in Asia on a wider scale.

More: HTC Desire 820 specs


Reader comments

HTC Desire 820 hands-on


I honestly just hope the flagships fall inline and ditch the UltraPixel Camera and go up to 13,or 16MP.... One can only dream

Posted via Android Central App

I agree! I have the HTC One M8 and I love it! I don't mind the camera because I've already got a high quality mirrorless camera which is a SONY Alpha NEX 6-L for my photography needs.

Posted via my HTC One M8

Without wider reading and research my gut reaction is that HTC would love to improve that megapixel camera but maybe a lack of premium T1 command with manufactures and budget held that back.

I almost bought the M8 but the camera caused me to back peddle. So I opted for the Z2. The first phone I can take to work use unreservedly and need not worry about charging until day 2. Above that the camera is great. Still hoping HTC can make a great flagship camera. Then, In theory it could be 'game over' for the competition.

Posted via the Android Central App

Seems HTC has some great midrangers. Almost in between mid and hi end. For most average consumers, that should be a sweet spot.

My brother's phone has a 8MP camera and it sucks compared to the 4UP.

But well, what do I know...

Posted via Android Central App

Nice phone but I prefer a smaller screen for 720p. 5.5" is a bit much and it woulda definitely kept costs down even more to keep it at 5" at the most. Everything else is perfect. I like HTC but they always miss the mark by thiiiis much..

Posted via Android Central App on The Nexus 5

I wish I could get this on Verizon off contract, so I could keep my unlimited data.

>I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.