HTC Desire 816 Full Review

When it comes to phones, I have to say I’m not the kind who upgrade every few months and in fact as long as it’s still functioning, I would use it until it dies proper. Of course, there are still a few criteria I would look for to suit my lifestyle, and I will cover them in this post. At the moment I am on the lookout for a new phone (because my old one has officially lost its voice), and I was excited to receive a HTC Desire 816 to review. You see, HTC caught my attention a while ago when I attended a launch of one of its products, and I feel that it would be a great phone for me as a musician, food enthusiast and generally a vain pot. Let’s take a look, shall we?

HTC Desire 816 is a fairly big phone with 5.5″ screen (HD display), which takes a little getting used to. The design is sleek and elegant, with matte finish on the front and side, and beautiful glossy finish on the back. Despite its size, it’s pretty comfortable to hold.

The power and volume keys are located on the left side.

On the top left is where the front camera is located, and next to it the very impressive looking BoomSound Speakers (same speaker gills also located at the bottom). The headphone jack is located on top, slightly off centre.

There is a removable flap which covers the nano-sim slot and micro SD slot, which I think is pretty clever. The USB port is located at the bottom like most other phones. The main camera and LED light is aligned neatly on left top corner the back of the phone.

Display wise, HTC Desire 816 only supports up to 720p HD Display, but it doesn’t faze me because I have been quite impressed with the image quality. The phone has internal memory of 8GB, but there’s always the Micro SD which can expand the storage capacity if needed.

Setting up the phone was a breeze, because there is an option to transfer all the files from another phone via Bluetooth. The touch screen is similar to my Android phone so it was easy to get use to.

Now let’s talk about the features that I really like about this phone. First and foremost, the BoomSound. Since I’ve been having problem with my iPad’s audio, this is exactly what I need. The front facing speakers deliver top quality audio with solid bass and I can now listen to my favourite songs (and watch my favourite shows) without having to use headphone. I could even multitask (cooking, for example) and the volume would still be sufficient.

The 13MP rear camera produces decent photos, and I am impressed at its ability to capture night shots too. What I am more impressed with is the 5MP front camera. Selfie has become much easier! I like how there’s an in-built editing option with the camera app itself, no need for CYMERA or Mei Ren Xiang Ji anymore.I should also mention that both the front and back camera are capable of shooting 1080p HD videos, which is another useful feature to have as a musician. By the way, I love the way the gallery is displayed too, it automatically arranged your timeline into a slideshow/video complete with audio. It pleases my inner hipster, that’s for sure.

So let me show you some photos I’ve captured with the HTC Desire 816:

After setting up our gears at Royal Lake Club. Applied the filter which comes with the Camera App itself.
Paperplane Pursuit at Guinness Amplify Launch. Sharp image even at night time. I focused on the lead singer so the rest are a little blur, well gig photos are always tough as everyone’s moving at the same time!
Big Breakfast at Ante Kitchen & Bar. This photo was taken with the aid of LED light.
Homemade Hainanese Chicken Rice.
Can’t go without posting a Selfie, the front camera takes decent photos too!

As a social media person (tempted to use the word Wh*** but let’s keep it clean here), HTC Blinkfeed is a fun feature where I can glance at all the social media as well as news update at once by just scrolling through the feed.

HTC Blinkfeed

The battery life of this phone is decent. With heavy usage (multiple apps such as Whatsapp, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Chrome, frequent Uber/Myteksi calls, occasional Waze) it could last a full day. But with light usage it could definitely go without charging overnight. The Call Quality is decent (but then again I might be biased because my own phone has totally lost the sound) though I still find it a little strange to talk into a phone of this size. Typing wise, I miss the Swiftkey on Samsung mobile, but the next word prediction is also almost as good as Swiftkey’s so I haven’t actually try to download it yet. Overall, I’m pleased with the HTC Desire 816 and so far have no complaint.

With all these features, I was surprised to learn that the RRP of HTC Desire 816 is a very reasonable RM1199. Impressive, HTC; I think you might have a convert right here. Thank you HTC Malaysia for the opportunity to play with this phone!

To find out more about HTC Desire 816 and other HTC related news/promotions: check out and

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