In amongst the fountain spring of product launches, unveilings and announcements this week at IFA 2014, we have HTC and their new mid range offering, the Desire 820. The Desire 820 is the successor to the HTC Desire 816 that we reviewed a few months ago, adding advanced features including HTC’s signature BoomSound speakers, an improved 8MP selfie camera, 64-bit processing and LTE support.
The Desire 820 addresses HTC’s need (or should I say desire…) for a really strong contender in the mid-range Android smartphone segment. The Desire 820 builds on what the company had with the 816, but boosts certain aspects to make it a more attractive proposition in an increasingly competitive space where we are now seeing very compelling offerings from Chinese vendors like OnePlus and Xiaomi as well as super affordable devices from ASUS and others.
The HTC Desire 820 features a 5.5 inch 720p LED IPS display and runs the latest Android Kit Kat with the new HTC Sense UI. In terms of storage you are getting 16GB of internal storage backed by microSD support of up to 128GB. Connectivity includes WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0.
One area that kind of dissapointed us with the Desire 816, was that the BoomSound speakers we had come to enjoy on HTC’s One series were badly missed. With the HTC Desire 820 they are back. We haven’t had the chance to try them out first hand just yet (fingers crossed we will at IFA later this week), but if they are of the same caliber as other BoomSound speakers we have encountered, then I would say users are in for a treat.
The Desire 820 also excels in other key areas, with an improved 8MP front facing camera that should outperform the 5MP camera on the 816. There is also an additional Live Makeup feature which is similar to several beauty filters that we have seen before, allowing users to apply makeup in real-time to the selfie image before taking the photo. I know some girls that will have fun with that for sure…
There is also the matter of the device’s processor platform, which has received a boost with a 64-bit ready Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 replacing the Snapdragon 400 on the 816. The Snapdragon 820 is a octa-core system-on-chip that has four Cortex A53 cores clocked at 1.0GHz and four clocked at a higher 1.8Ghz for more intensive tasks. The Snapdragon 615 also brings multi-category LTE support to the Desire 820.
Overall the HTC Desire 820 looks to be a strong contender for the Taiwanese manufacturer that clearly wants to strengthen its mid-range offerings. We look forward to getting hands on at the first opportunity. The HTC Desire is expected to come to market in early September, 2014. Certain regions will enjoy dual SIM card support.