Hands on with the HTC Desire 820, one very impressive mid-range phone

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Hands on with the HTC Desire 820, one very impressive mid-range phone


The htc Desire 820’s camera capabilities that HTC seems agog to acclaim a lot of of all in its absolution bumph for the phone. For example, with this handset, you can “merge your appearance with a friend’s or celebrity’s for a avant-garde mashup,” an alms that until now you apparently didn’t apperceive you didn’t want.
There’s aswell a Live Makeup affection that lets you “preview the angel you just took and set the adapted akin of derma cutting afore demography the photo” – absolute for grandma and grandpa, by the sounds of it.
There’s Photo Booth, too, breadth you can abduction a access of shots, acceptation that for accumulation shots you should be able to grab at atomic one photo breadth everyone’s got their eyes open
HTC’s Desire 816 smartphone has already been replaced, afore we in actuality got a adventitious to apperceive it at all. That’s OK though, because the aftereffect is added exciting, bigger looking, and blast up to date with the latest tech. It’s alleged the Desire 820, and was launched just afore IFA 2014 clearly opened its doors. We got a adventitious to absorb a little time with it at the Berlin show.
The aboriginal affair to agenda is this isn’t one of HTC’s metal bodied phones. However, the smooth, top appearance polycarbonate physique looks excellent, and to accord it some cull of its own, it has a air-conditioned two-tone blush aftereffect theme. There is a allegory bandage of blush alive annular the bend of the jumpsuit artificial shell, which has been created application a cast new accomplishment process, and it looks great. This added blush again continues about the camera lens, the buttons, and highlights the HTC logo, too. It’s down to you how absurd you wish to get with the blush combinations, from the subtlety of this white and blah model, to a added look-at-me ablaze blush version.
Related: Analysis out all our advantage from this year’s IFA show
Despite the agleam finish, the buzz doesn’t feel slippery, and at 155 grams is ablaze for such a abounding phone. How big? It borrows the Desire 816’s 5.5-inch screen, and manages to be even beyond than the similarly-equipped LG G3. At 7.7mm thick, it never acquainted bulky though. The screen’s resolution is 720p — this isn’t a top-of-the-range phone, bethink — which performed well, afterwards getting spectacular.
A future-proofed mid-range phone? Sign us up
Once, the admeasurement of the Desire 820’s awning would accept been its capital affairs point, but that’s not the case now. HTC is targeting selfie addicts with the device, and has adapted a big 8-megapixel foreground camera aloft the screen, and added a brace of apps to access the fun. It’s Face Fusion which will accommodate the a lot of laughs, because it takes two selfie pictures and mixes them up into a single, and usually actual weird, amalgam shot. There’s a slider to acclimatize the effect. It’s pointless, but that doesn’t stop it getting awful amusing. HTC’s Live Makeup approach is accession of those derma cutting adorableness effects, which we’ve apparent for selfie cams before, such as on Lenovo’s Vibe alternation and the LG G3, but this one operates in absolute time, so you can acclimatize the acuteness afore demography a picture.
Anything which future-proofs a mid-range smartphone is a actual adequate affair in our opinion.
If the high-spec selfie cam makes the Desire 820 a fashionable phone, again the best of processor will accomplish it standout to tech fans. Central is Qualcomm’s new octa-core Snapdragon 615, forth with 2GB of RAM, and it’s a 64-bit chip. Appropriate now, this isn’t traveling to be of abundant benefit, but it agency the Desire 820 is all accessible for an amend to the 64-bit accordant Android L operating system, accepted afterwards this year. Annihilation which future-proofs a mid-range smartphone is a actual adequate affair in our opinion. Added specs awning a 13-megapixel rear camera, HTC’s Boomsound apostle system, 16GB of centralized memory, a MicroSD agenda slot, and Cat 4 4G LTE connectivity.
Related: Read about Android L’s new appearance and allowances here
There’s a abundant accord to like about the Desire 820, and like the Lumia 830 and the Vibe Z2, it’s accession adequate mid-range buzz that actual few humans will be agitated about allotment instead of a college blueprint model. HTC has appear the Desire 820 globally, but couldn’t accord us an abstraction of if it will barrage in America. It’s advancing to Europe in the next few weeks, and the bulk has been set at 330 euros for the SIM-free device, which is about $430.
HTC Desire 820: The Android Central accidental review
Desire 820
HTC’s added ‘mid-range flagship’ this year is a solid advance in about every area
The accomplished year has apparent the HTC Desire ambit — the Taiwanese manufacturer’s bandage of mid-range handsets — broadcast to awning aggregate from the super-cheap Desire 510 to the selfie-centric Desire EYE. And with it, HTC has alien a new, aboveboard artificial architecture language, while befitting software achievement and appearance mostly in bandage with the flagship HTC One.
Earlier this year we arrested out the Desire 816, award it to be a solid mid-range flagship with just a brace of accessory flaws. For backward 2014, the 816 has been succeeded by Desire 820, a revamped apotheosis of this acute mid-ranger boasting upgraded internals and a aciculate new design. On the outside, the new two-tone anatomy introduces bolder colors into the mix. And on the central there’s a faster 64-bit able CPU, forth with upped accumulator and RAM, and a decidedly upgraded camera setup.
We’ll dive added afterwards the break, in a accidental analysis of the HTC Desire 820.
Desire 820
About this review
We’re autograph this analysis afterwards a brace of weeks of on-and-off use of an Asian dual-SIM HTC Desire 820 (A51_DTUL) on software adaptation 1.13.720.2. We acclimated two SIMs in our accessory — one on the EE arrangement (LTE-capable), and accession on Vodafone UK. The EE SIM was our capital SIM, as the Asian Desire 820 doesn’t abutment Vodafone UK’s LTE bands — about it does abutment Bandage 3, which is the capital bandage acclimated by EE. If you’re importing a Desire 820, bethink to bifold analysis arrangement and bandage advantage afore buying.
We aswell activated the 820 for a abrupt time with alone the EE SIM inserted, and didn’t apprehension any cogent changes in achievement or array life.
HTC Desire 820 video walkthrough

Hardware

The HTC Desire 820 is a big, bold, unapologetic slab of ablaze plastic
Like its antecedent — and a lot of Desire phones appear afresh — the HTC Desire 820 is a big, bold, unapologetic slab of ablaze plastic. It knows it’s plastic, and it’s not aggravating to be annihilation else. Nevertheless, the 820 is decidedly failing and simple to authority and use admitting its abounding footprint. It’s a little thinner and lighter than its predecessor, and the angled corners and ellipsoidal anatomy bang a adequate antithesis amid ergonomics and gripability.
Desire 820HTC’s latest mid-ranger comes in a ambit of two-tone blush options; we’re application the white and dejected model, which takes a mostly white artificial physique and spices it up with abysmal dejected accents about the screen, buttons and camera components. It’s a far cry from the cold, exceptional metal of the One M8, about it’s a footfall avant-garde beforehand single-color Desires. There’s an actual appearance to the artificial casing, but we never acquainted we were in crisis of bottomward the buzz during our brace of weeks of use. The use of predominantly lighter colors aswell agency the assured fingerprints it accumulates are abundant beneath visible.
Desire 820
The Desire 820 doesn’t bang us as a absolute redesign of the Desire 816, and the ancestors affinity is still apparent to see. It’s ablaze that HTC’s accustomed authentic anticipation to just about every breadth of its artificial design, though. Admitting the about identical accessory brand — in fact, the 820 is a hair taller than the 816 — there’s something about the new archetypal that just feels bluff and fresher. That’s acknowledgment to a aggregate of factors — the new blush palette, the abridgement of any arresting joins and the 820’s lighter weight and slimmer profile.
And mercifully, the ability and aggregate buttons accept been confused to a added alive breadth — over on the appropriate edge, with the ability key anchored about two thirds of the way up.
This is simple, honest plastic.
Whereas HTC’s high-end getting exudes a cold, brownish professionalism, the Desire 820 (and the agnate searching Desire EYE has added of a antic look. The ablaze artificial will be a awful for some, but the 820 isn’t age-old or chiffon in any way, nor does it attack to challenge accession material. Instead this is simple, honest plastic.
Desire 820Desire 820
In archetypal HTC style, the foreground is bedeviled by the abounding affectation — a 5.5-inch 720p console — and front-facing BoomSound speakers. The audio bureaucracy is added than abundantly loud, admitting conceivably not as bassy as the HTC One’s speakers. And the display, while boilerplate abreast the eye-watering pixel body we’re seeing at the high-end, is just about aciculate abundant for a lot of smartphone-related tasks — at atomic bold you’re application a accent with roman characters. You can in actuality see alone pixels afterwards abundant effort, but from a accustomed examination ambit it’s in actuality a appealing attractive screen. Colors are alive afterwards getting overblown, admitting greens are somewhat over-saturated. And the console boasts accomplished aurora visibility, even in ablaze sunlight. (Or as ablaze as it tends to get in England in November.)
That behemothic awning is belted by some adequately abundant bezels too. And while we’re abiding there’s affluence traveling on abaft those abounding borders, the added amplitude about the awning brings added backpack to an already abounding device.
Desire 820
Speaking of internals, the Desire 820’s capital point of absorption for adaptable tech nerds is its octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor. It’s the aboriginal handset to use this 64-bit able chip, which pairs four ARM Cortex A53 chips at 1.0GHz with accession four A53s at 1.5GHz. It’s account noting, however, that while the accouterments is 64-bit, it’s still alive a 32-bit adaptation of Android 4.4.4 KitKat. It will, however, be adapted to Android 5.0 Lollipop to yield abounding advantage of its 64-bit hardware. The Snapdragon 615 pairs its 64-bit cores with an Adreno 405 GPU, which provides added than abundant ability to accumulate HTC’s Sense UI alive afterwards a hitch, as able-bodied as powering the scattering of amateur we threw at it, including Subway Surfers and Monument Valley.
The 820 comes with a 64-bit CPU, but it’s still alive 32-bit Android — for now.
That adorned new SoC is backed up by 2GB of RAM — up from the 816’s 1.5GB — and 16GB of storage, of which just beneath 10GB are accessible for your own stuff. There’s aswell a microSD aperture acknowledging up to 128GB cards, and some apps can be offloaded there too. The added RAM will advice future-proof the Desire 820, but the added centralized accumulator is the a lot of adequate change from the 816, which aching by with a paltry 8GB. That said, 16GB is in actuality the bald minimum we’d accede adequate these days.
We’ve been application the dual-SIM Desire 820, and as such there’s a added SIM aperture amid beneath the artificial accessory on the phone’s larboard edge. Both are nanoSIM slots, as before, and HTC’s software provides accoutrement for bamboozlement SIMs as needed.
HTC Sense 6

Software

Desire 820
By now we’re added than accustomed with HTC’s Sense 6 UI, accepting acclimated it on a deluge of accessories this year. As such, we were appropriate at home with Sense on the Desire 820, and for the a lot of allotment the user acquaintance matches that of added big-ticket phones like the One M8, with the barring of a few missing features. Notably absent are Motion Launch, which lets you double-tap the awning to unlock, forth with the committed Zoe cutting approach in the camera app, and some added imaging features.
HTC’s atypical DotView functionality is absolutely supported, about the DotView case for the Desire 820 wasn’t accessible at the time of writing.
For the uninitiated, Sense 6 is HTC’s flattened, avant-garde yield on a smartphone UI, congenital about the BlinkFeed home awning reader, which brings amusing and account updates to your home awning as a scrollable slide-out panel. Sense comes with a array of affair options, and our dejected Desire 820 was set up with a analogous UI affair out of the box. (Others you may be accustomed with from antecedent Sense 6 phones are accessible in the Settings app.)
HTC Sense is as fast as anytime on the 820’s adapted hardware.
Other Sense 6 highlights awning HTC’s Gallery app and Zoe photo-sharing service. Photos are abiding automatically into highlight reels, complete with analogous music and visuals. And application HTC Zoe you can allotment these creations with accompany and acquiesce them to accord their own content. Zoe has yet to yield off in a huge way, about it’s a fun affection to play about with, abnormally considering
Desire 820
Like abounding avant-garde smartphone UIs, Sense is flat, august and colorful. About HTC’s software tweaks are implemented in a way that complements Google’s architecture language, and as a aftereffect the accomplished affair feels like a adamant whole.
What’s more, Sense is fast — in actuality fast. We’re accomplished the canicule breadth scrolling stutters and ascribe lag were a appropriate of every Android phone; nevertheless, the plan HTC’s put into authoritative Sense super-responsive is apparent to see. Some of that’s software, but the added ability provided by the Snapdragon 615 processor is aswell apparent to see. The Desire 816 wasn’t absolutely slow, but if application its almsman you absolutely feel like there’s added allowance afore you hit the banned of the hardware.

Dual SIM

SIM slotDual dialer
Dual SIM
In practice, bamboozlement two SIMs angry out to be decidedly easy.
Being a dual-SIM phone, the Desire 820 we acclimated includes software tricks for switching amid the two SIMs you’ve got loaded up. Naturally, you’ll get two arresting backbone meters up top in the cachet bar, and the congenital Dialer and Messaging apps acquiesce you to accept whether to alarm or argument application SIM 1 or SIM 2. Alone one SIM can be alive for abstracts at a time, however, the added one getting bound to 2G connectivity. And beneath Settings > Dual arrangement administrator you can accept your adopted SIM — that’s the one acclimated for data. Switching is a simple as selecting the SIM you wish from a dropdown, and the handover is added or beneath instantaneous.
If you’re consistently swapping SIMs, the acumen amid SIM 1 and SIM 2 ability get a little confusing. About we begin Sense’s dual-SIM accomplishing to be appealing straightforward.
For added on HTC Sense 6 and its features, analysis out our analysis of the HTC One M8
Desire 820 camera

Desire 820Camera

HTC’s camera efforts accept abundantly underwhelmed in the accomplished year or so, about the aggregation has apparent signs of improvements with contempo accessories like the Butterfly 2. The Desire 820 uses the aforementioned added 13-megapixel sensor from the latest Butterfly, admitting with a beneath absolute camera app and alone LED flash.
Around the foreground there’s an 8-megapixel selfie camera which captures a reasonable bulk of detail, admitting the almost attenuated bend of the lens agency you’ll attempt to get assorted humans into one shot.
Similarly, the Desire 820’s camera app is rather bound compared to its high-end brethren. In accession to erect foreground and rear cutting modes, you’ve got Breach Capture, which takes photos from both cameras accompanying and produces a breach photo out of the two. There’s aswell Photo Booth approach for capturing a alternation of selfies in that style. And that’s basically it. If you were acquisitive for added avant-garde authentic tricks from the HTC EYE experience, you’ll be disappointed. In any case, the approved rear camera approach has affluence of appearance to play with, even if frequently-accessed modes like HDR crave a few too abounding curtains to activate.
 
HTC delivers a adequate all-round camera for a mid-range smartphone.
The adequate account is the Desire 820’s rear camera accouterments is in actuality appealing good, abnormally for a mid-range handset. In fact, if annihilation we’d say it seems to accomplish a little bigger than the Butterfly 2 in agreement of all-embracing angel quality, conceivably due to adapted software tuning. Aurora images are captured with a reasonable bulk of detail, and colors that are about accurate, if a little subdued. Dynamic ambit has bigger acutely from antecedent HTC cameras, and so has the HDR approach acclimated to abduction added detail in scenes with arduous lighting. In fact, abreast from a little added babble in clouded conditions, there’s in actuality annihilation abundant to accuse about if you’re cutting outdoors.

Desire 820 sample

Even low-light photography — which brings with it an access in babble and a accident of accomplished detail — isn’t terrible, and in darker altitude the camera’s college megapixel calculation agency images attending appropriate abundant if beheld zoomed out. That said, the 820 is baffled hands-down by optically-stabilized rivals if cutting in the dark.
Video charcoal a alloyed bag though, and footage from the Desire 820 apparent the admonition mushiness that we’ve apparent from abounding added HTC cameras this year.
So it’s not a absolute achievement from HTC, but the actuality that we’re seeing this affectionate of angel superior from a mid-ranger gives us achievement for next year’s flagship.

Battery life 

 

Desire 820
Fortunately the move to a slimmer anatomy this time about hasn’t appear at the amount of array life. The Desire 820 comes with a 2,600mAh anchored array that’s added than able of powering it through a abounding day of use. You will not get assorted canicule out of this accessory afterwards resorting to power-saving modes, but we never ran out of abstract afore the end of the day.
Array activity apparently will not be an affair for all-inclusive majority of users.
Our archetypal acceptance patterns included browsing and amusing networking over Wifi and LTE with two SIMS in serted, forth with the casual bit of gaming and YouTube playback. Even diffuse browsing sessions didn’t assume to yield too abundant a assessment on the 820’s battery, and we didn’t apprehension any cogent change in array activity if application one SIM compared to two.
All in all, array activity apparently will not be an affair for all-inclusive majority of users. HTC does accommodate a ability extenuative approach that cuts down CPU acceleration and accomplishments abstracts to clasp added activity out of the device, as able-bodied as an Extreme Ability Extenuative approach that disables all but the a lot of basal buzz functions. We didn’t acquisition we bare to use either during our time with the 820, however.
Desire 820

The basal line 

 BlinkFeed

Desire 820HTC already had a appealing adequate “mid-range flagship” in the Desire 816. The 820 takes the foundation of that buzz and builds aloft it with improvements in just about every area. It’s slimmer, lighter, faster and takes bigger photos.
Being such a absolute almsman to the 816 agency the Desire 820 aswell shares some of that phone’s weaknesses. For starters, it’s traveling to be too big for a lot of humans — this is a accessory advised for those who amount awning admeasurement per dollar, and if that’s not you again you’ll wish to attending elsewhere.

BlinkFeedDesire 820

What’s more, abounding awful able 2013 flagships now advertise for about the barrage bulk of the Desire 820 — £259.99 in the UK. Year-old android phones like the LG G2 action added accouterments muscle, a higher-res awning and a added able camera about a agnate bulk point.
The Desire 820 does accept the account of getting a new phone, however, and as such it’s appropriate up to date with the latest HTC Sense UI, with an amend to Lollipop planned to yield advantage of its appropriately new internals. In any case, if you’re in the bazaar for almost bargain buzz with a huge screen, a fun architecture and a ton of features, the HTC Desire 820 is absolutely aces of your attention.

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