Reviews HTC Desire 816

Published on May 7th, 2014 | by Abby


Comparing the HTC Desire 816 to the HTC One Max

HTC has been busy so far this year, with the release of the flagship One M8 proving a rather large success. One phone that has slipped under the radar is the HTC Desire 816, a mid-range smartphone boasting a 5.5” display, putting it right on the smartphone/phablet border. What does this mean for the HTC One Max, the last phablet released by HTC? Will the Desire 816 take its mantle? Or can the two handsets live together in harmony?

HTC Specs on Paper

The Desire 816 is set for release any day now, more than five months after the release of the HTC One Max, but the specs aren’t as clear cut as you’d think. The Desire features a smaller display than the Max, which is a self-proclaimed phablet, with a 5.5” HD display compared to the 5.9” full HD display of the One Max.

Internal storage and RAM is also slightly smaller, with 8GB of built-in space and 1.5GB RAM being slightly lower than the Max’s 16/32GB storage and 2GB RAM. But whilst this may sound like bad news for the Desire 816, it remedies this by featuring a MicroSD card slot capable of expanding its memory by 128GB, more than enough for your average music library, movie collection and photo album.

The Max also features a memory card slot, but only up to 64GB, making storage space slightly less fruitful compared to the Desire. So while the Max boasts a slight edge over the Desire under the hood, with a marginally faster processor and CPU,  this difference is pretty much impossible to spot when running the phones side by side.

HTC One Max design

HTC camera comparison

If there’s one area that HTC didn’t need to massively improve upon, it’s the camera.

HTC has offered its UltraPixel technology in the HTC One Max, which increases the size of each pixel to let in more light and improve the overall quality of the shot.

But the Desire 816 goes in a different direction, conforming with the majority of other manufacturers by packing in as many pixels as possible into the handset. On paper, this makes the Desire a more attractive handset, sporting a 13 megapixel snapper over the Max’s 4 megapixel effort, but in reality, both cameras are pretty much head and head when it comes to a camera comparison.

Prefer the original? Check out our range of HTC One Max contracts.

On the front side of the phone is where it all changes, however, with the Desire outclassing the Max with an impressive 5 megapixel front facing lens.

This stands head and shoulders above the 2.1 megapixel selfie snapper on the Max, making the Desire a better handset if you take a lot of selfies and make plenty of video calls.

Desire 816 vs HTC One Max Design

HTC has opted for a radically different design with the Desire 816, verging away from the premium metal design we saw on the HTC One Max and recently release HTC One M8.

The Desire 816 actually resembles the iPhone 5c more than any of its HTC brothers and sisters, with a colourful, plastic design instead.

Whilst it might not be as fancy as the One Max in terms of its material, the Desire 816 more than makes up for it through pure style.

Available in white, black, blue, orange, grey and green, you really are spoilt for choice in terms of options.

The build quality is still top drawer as well, and the handset is as durable as ever, making it a really fabulous looking smartphone from every angle.

The HTC Desire 816 colour range


The HTC One Max will set you back around £400 sim-free if you were to buy it today, whereas pre-orders for the Desire 816 can be found for £300. So with a saving of £100 between the two handsets, the Desire 816 is 25% less expensive than the HTC One Max. And while this difference in price  is obviously down to the marginally weaker specs and smaller display, these are hits we would be more than happy to take for savings of that standard.

Also, with its colourful and reliable design, the Desire 816 arguably looks better than the HTC One Max and also packs a better camera, all for a much cheaper price.

Which handset do you prefer in our Desire 816 vs One Max roundup? Place trust in e2save to serve you the freshest phone releases from HTC.


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