HTC Desire 816 Android Prepaid Smartphone - Sprint Prepaid
|Model Name||Desire 816|
|Memory Storage Capacity||8 GB|
|Screen Size||5.5 Inches|
|Item Weight||0.36 Pounds|
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Before I go into how much the phone took me by surprise, let me inform you that I use a Samsung Galaxy S5 as my phone, so naturally I compared the HTC to my S5. At first look I was taken aback by how gargantuan the phone is. Even though the display on the HTC is only 0.4 inches larger than the S5, it easily overtakes it by about an inch in height. I'd compare it to a Note 5/Note 4/iPhone 6+/6S+ in size/feel in the hand. Not that this is a bad thing, just the phone isn't necessarily for those who aren't seeking a large device.
Secondly, the display turned out to be pretty good! Coming from a 1080p SuperAMOLED (S5) to a 720p LCD (HTC) I expected to see huge discrepancies between the phones, but honestly without putting decent focus into catching the AMOLED advantages, there's hardly a difference at all. Sure the S5 has a denser screen with more vivid colors, but that LCD is doing work. I watched a few videos on it and was not dissapointed. Text is also something I worried about, feeling it would be too low a resolution to keep text crisp, but alas, I was wrong again. The text/graphics are sharp and you REALLY need to put in effort to notice any jaggedness.
As for the performance of the phone goes, I benchmarked both the S5 and the HTC using GeekBench and the HTC scored half of what the S5 was capable of.
HTC Single Core: 495
HTC Multi Core: 1493
S5 Single Core: 930
S5 Multi Core: 3003
(495+1493 = 1998, 930+3003 = 3933, 1998/3933 = 50.8% of the performance of the S5.)
Though memory (RAM) was a slightly different story (about 30% of the S5's capabilities), I won't knock the phone for how inexpensive it is. When I was using it, I didn't notice any discernible differences between the S5 and the HTC. The phone is fluid and responsive, and I have yet to encounter any hiccups or crashing. The storage of the phone was a little less than I would prefer (8GB HTC, 16GB S5+32GB SD), but with a good 16GB+ SD card you shouldn't have any issues unless you compulsively download copious amounts of applications. With that being said, the system does take a sizeable chunk of that 8GB, actually reducing it to a more cramped 5GB for music, videos, and applications. Again, for most people this is fine, but if they could either reduce the size of the OS (and the bloatware that comes with) or advertise the size after the OS, this purchase would have been perfect. For that reason, I am knocking off a star.
Having a nice camera is good too, but HTC really overdid it in this category by slapping a 13MP (S5 has 16) rear camera with manual controls and flash. Lowlight performance is good, and the camera takes great photos for your casual photography. On top of that they added a nice 5MP (2.1MP for the S5) front facing camera which took decent photos. Besides a mild weakness in equalizing bright light and darker areas with the HTC, it is practically nipping at the S5's heels in terms of quality. As long as we're on the subject of media, I'd like to say the stereo speakers (boomsound for you CTRL + F individuals out there) add a significant kick to the enjoyability of the phone. The clarity and loudness closely resemble that of a decent laptops integrated speakers. The midrange is noticeably clearer and the highs are far less tinny. The HTC plows the S5 in that regard.
Last but not least, the build quality of the phone. The touchscreen works fantastically and has a good feel to it, the body is rigid (for the most part, if you try to bend it you will with enough force), the vibration notifications of the phone are not loud or overpowering and fall into a nice calm vibration which works great in my opinion. The weight is comfortable and not any more cumbersome than my S5. However, the back of the phone is a glossed black which attracts fingerprints like Planned Parenthood attracts controversy. The thing gets so dirty I don't think I could daily this phone without an attractive case. Honestly, you shouldn't be running this thing around without a case anyways. Though it feels good in the hand, I'm more than certain HTC had to cut corners somewhere with the device being just $99, and I'd be willing to bet the phone wouldn't hold up to much abuse.
All in all, this phone is game changing. The fact I could literally replace my S5 (again, a $600 phone when I bought it and still selling for nearly $350) with a $99 phone and it only be a minor downgrade (and even an upgrade in some instances) is absolutely preposterous. But it's real and I've witnessed it. This phone is a winner.
I'll provide a rating with the price tag in mind and one with all other smartphones in consideration. I work at Sprint, so I've spent good time with the current devices and feel I can provide a decent comparison to what the market standard is.
CONSIDERING THE $99 PRICE TAG
Display: 5/5 stars
Performance: 5/5 stars
Storage: 3/5 stars
Build Quality: 4/5 stars
Operating System: 5/5 stars
Enjoyability/Usefulness: 5/5 stars
Overall: 27/30 stars or 90% successful in its categories.
IN COMPARISON TO THE MARKET STANDARD
Display: 4/5 stars
Performance: 4/5 stars
Storage: 2/5 stars
Build Quality: 3/5 stars
Operating System: 5/5 stars
Enjoyability/Usefulness: 5/5 stars
Overall: 23/30 stars or 76% successful in its categories.
(Just trying to give a realistic interpretation, this is in comparison to $600+ devices which are on another level than this device. The fact it can keep up is great in its own.)
As for the battery, you can't really judge it without dailying the phone for a while, but I had the phone charged to 80% and fiddled with it on/off for about 6 hours and the battery didn't even go under 60% on its very first charge if that info is useful to any of you.
So not even a year later and i decided i had to update my review for this phone. The phone is still great for pictures and works great for everything like it should. However my girlfriend was frustrated with the internal storage. Her previous phone before this one only had like 5 gb of internal storage and not sure how much of it was usable but she seem to get every single app she wanted to on that phone. Anyways my point is this phone has 8 gb of internal space which makes you believe what apps she had on the other phone she would be able to have on this htc desire phone but no that was not that case. She had to go with out many of her favorite apps just because sadly they did not fit and the reason was because all the updates on this phone and apps that come preinstalled on this phone take up most the internal space. Although the camera and other features of this phone were great the internal space was horrible. So i ended up finding her another lg phone that was updated but affordable, which had 16 gb of internal space with about 8 of it being usable but not see gets all the apps she wants and the camera on the one is just has good.