Introducing the HTC Desire 816: Everything you Desire in a Mid-Range Smartphone

In 2013, HTC raised the bar for smartphone design with the HTC One. And this year, we’re bringing the same premium design and performance that you expect from our flagship devices to our entire 2014 lineup starting with the new, mid-range devices in the Desire family.

Introducing the newest member of the HTC family and the first HTC phone of 2014, the HTC Desire 816, unveiled today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.


The Desire 816 is the first member of the new Desire family that adopts the iconic design of the award-winning HTC One, applying exciting colors and premium materials to give the 2014 Desire family their own distinctive flavor.

But it has more than just pretty looks—the Desire 816 comes equipped with dual-frontal speakers and HTC BoomSound that boosts audio performance with the full sound you’ve grown to love on the HTC One.

This is the ideal phone for photography lovers – whether you want to take the perfect selfie or capture a stunning view, the Desire 816 allows you to enhance your images and edit your video clips before sharing them or by simply reliving the moment on the large high-resolution screen. It comes with a whopping 5MP front-facing camera, a 13MP rear-facing camera, and Video Highlights..

The Desire 816 offers world-class speed and performance that can keep up with the busiest lifestyle and most demanding multi-tasking featuring 4G LTE connectivity and Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor.

And we can’t forget about the generous 5.5” HD screen that allows you to see more of your personal, real-time news stories, social updates, and notifications at a glance on BlinkFeed.

The new-look Desire 816 delivers a fresh interpretation of the classic, premium metal design of the 2013 One family. If you’re looking for an affordable phone that reflects your individuality, this is the perfect phone for you.

The Desire 816 will ship with the latest HTC software and will be available later this spring, with availability varying by country and region. Stay tuned for more information.

  • Bascule

    Hope it gets more TLC from HTC than the One S did. I won’t be risking it, though 🙁

    • http://www.jasondunn.com/ Jason Dunn

      The One S software update was complicated due to the Qualcomm S4 vs S3 issue. It was a unique situation, but I can understand why it was frustrating for you. We have a very solid track record with the HTC One family of fast software updates.

      • Eric Hibbs

        Unless you’re addressing the Bluetooth issues. It’s been almost a year and most One users still can’t use a BT headset!

        • William Ross

          What? Why are you making up stuff? Since when have most one users not been able to use a Bluetooth headset?

          • shogu

            Unfortunately it is because he is a Samsung LOVER. He even starts a new article about this. Samsung has been known and caught to hire writers to blackmail HTC on many forums.

          • Eric Hibbs

            Not true at all, I actually despise Samsung electronics but need SOMETHING THAT WORKS. Not making this up at all either. I posted a reply earlier with link to several websites regarding the known BT issues but the mods apparently didn’t allow it. I really love my One, but the BT issues keep it from being highly functional. Google it. I just want HTC to address and resolve a known issue with as much vigor as they put into a new product release!

          • Sascha WerwilldasWissen

            My HTC one perfectly connects to our vw car system…. The s4 can’t do it.. I just need something that works 😉

          • Eric Hibbs

            I can stream BT audio to my car stereo systems just fine, but the issue rears its ugly head when I try to use BT to talk. I can hear the caller fine but the caller reports they can’t understand me until I turn BT off and use the handset. Looks like you are in Germany, can you transmit voice via BT successfully? I’d like to report all success/failures back to the HTC Engineering Group I’m working with. Germany may have the same BT protocol as Taiwan.

          • Sascha WerwilldasWissen

            no problem in telephoning in car

          • Eric Hibbs

            Good to hear, thanks for the reply. I’ll pass this along to the engineering team as well.

          • Eric Hibbs

            William, please read my description of the One’s BT issues below in response to Ted Chien’s questions.

          • William Ross

            I don’t have a single problem with any of my Bluetooth devices and I connect the car to play music, jam box, Motorola S11s, Jawbone Era… Etc… All have been connecting fine with my HTC One!

          • Eric Hibbs

            I have no trouble streaming music to BT devices either. Both mine and my wife’s car work great, it’s just transmitting via BT headset. Glad you’re not having that issue William.

        • Bascule

          My original comment here was nothing to do with Bluetooth. It was about the One S (launched with the One, with the same promise of updates for a reasonable time). Left languishing on Android 4.1.1! I appreciate that the “software update was complicated due to the Qualcomm S4 vs S3 issue” and it may well be the case that HTC found themselves unable to do anything about it but that doesn’t alter the fact that people who baught it got a raw deal and HTC offered not even an apology. Even a small incentive to trade in for another model or some kind of gesture should have been made. I don’t know if the cock-up was HTC’s, Qualcomm’s or no one’s at all but something went wrong and nothing was done about it. Right, I think I better leave this behind me now and move on! Those buying HTC’s other (admitedly excellent) phones are generally very happy. But I’m still cross enough with them to shop elsewhere.

  • https://www.sjb.co.uk/ Mike Clark

    Does the Desire 816 have NFC?

    • http://www.jasondunn.com/ Jason Dunn

      It’s listed as an optional feature in the official spec sheet – so it will likely vary carrier by carrier, country by country.

      • https://www.sjb.co.uk/ Mike Clark

        Thanks! Any chance of shooting that spec sheet (or a link) over to mike@nfcworld.com?

  • jackjiarocks

    Love the color Jason!

  • Moto Psycho

    I am sure it is shiny and all but where the hell is my gorram keyboard???? been stuck with a desire z for three years now, starting to lose faith here

    • http://www.jasondunn.com/ Jason Dunn

      Phones with keyboards are a thing of the past. I completely understand why you love yours – I too was a hardcore keyboard user for years – but the world has moved on from them. Time to bite the bullet, get a new phone with an on-screen keyboard, and join us in the future. 🙂

  • jlesther

    I’d love to have the green one.. >.< Awesome!

  • Anaron

    This is precisely what I was hoping HTC would do. And they didn’t disappoint me. I want one in every colour now.

  • http://molmulyono.wordpress.com/ Mol Mulyono

    Great specs for a mid-range offering.

  • pepsigolda

    this looks like a great phone, especially since HTC dropped the ultrapixel on this one. i actually think of getting one but still traumatized by one x’s wifi that’s practically useless after 4.2.2 update. HTC is still the most well-designed smartphones in my opinion, but i always have issues with every HTC phones that i have.

    • http://www.jasondunn.com/ Jason Dunn

      WiFi problems are notoriously hard to isolate and nail down because there are just so many variables. Have you tried the obvious things like updating your WiFi router’s firmware, removing and re-adding the network on your phone, etc.?

  • Eric Hibbs

    If you’re a Bluetooth headset user you’ll want to be sure BT works on this new device before buying. Having had a One and using 3500 minutes a month without using my BT headset for six months is ridiculous. HTC has no solution and no promise to resolve the issue on their flagship product that’s been out for nearly a year! I’ve been a LOYAL HTC user for about eight years and love my One, but no usable BT is ridiculous on the flagship product. Samsung users not having these issues.

    • http://htchien.tw/ Ted Chien

      Weird, because I can use all my BT headsets with my every HTC devices without any problems (Sony MW600, Sony MEX-2600BT Car Audio, etc.). I can also use my HTC One to connect with all my other BT devices to transfer files via BT without any problems (Nexus One, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 2013, Moto XOOM WiFi, MacBook Pro, etc). Please name your BT headset before you say your HTC One is not working properly on BT.

      • Eric Hibbs

        Please read my comment above to Ted Chien. I think that will answer all of your questions.

        • William Ross

          Is it possible that is just your phone with a possible defect. I just don’t have those issues and I think I’m in the majority?

          • Eric Hibbs

            Sure it’s possible, but the sheer numbers of individuals reporting having the same problem suggests otherwise. William, are you in the US?

    • http://htchien.tw/ Ted Chien

      Please name your BT headset. I can use my HTC One with many BT headsets without any problems (I tried most Sony BT headsets including my Sony MW600, I also use HTC One with my Sony MEX-2600BT Car Audio, and they are all working properly).

      • Eric Hibbs

        Ted, I’ve used Plantronics Legend, Plantronics Voyager, several Jawbones, an older Jabra and an older Motorola. ALL of these work on my older HTC phones as well as my wife’s IPhone5.

        The issue that exists is that the One user’s voice transmission is extremely garbled to the point that the distant party has significant trouble understanding the One user. As a voice technician, the best way I can describe it is as the transmit volume is EXTREMELY hot, yet the throughput volume is at a normal level, thus giving a distorted sound.

        The issue exists with the BT function on both my car stereo integration as well as my wife’s car stereo. Her phone and my previous HTC phones work fine, but the One transmit quality is terrible.

        HTC is well aware of this, but it does appear that you’re in Taiwan and I know that region doesn’t experience the issue. The BT algorithm in Asia is slightly different than the western world and this is apparently where the trouble resides. US, European countries and other regions use a different BT algorithm that was somehow missed in the One’s development as I understand it.

        HTC is reportedly buying a lot of BT headsets from the US to test this, but there has been no news in more than a month. I can transfer files, stream audio to a device, etc. okay, but voice transmission is absolutely terrible and countless users have been complaining and posting about it since the One’s release. At this point it is assumed, but not known, that the One Mini and One Max share the same problem.

        I truly am a BIG HTC fan, but using 3500 minutes a month without a BT headset for the past 6 months with no resolution in sight makes me rethink my allegiance.

        • http://www.jasondunn.com/ Jason Dunn

          Hey Eric, thanks for sharing some details of your problem. Let me see if I can help. Hit me up on Twitter (@jasondunn).

          • Eric Hibbs

            Tweet sent, thank you.

  • Rahib

    Can I know the price in Indian rupees…

    • http://www.jasondunn.com/ Jason Dunn

      This phones has been initially announced in the European market only; in the coming months as more details emerge around release in other markets, there will be pricing information.

      • Rahib

        Thanks for the information….

  • http://www.jasondunn.com/ Jason Dunn

    This particular model, no.

  • Diane

    This is definitely going to be the go to smartphone for selfie lovers!!!

  • Dishank Pundir

    What will the price of htc desire 816 in india & what is the current price of this in europe

  • Being Parijat

    its on the news that 816 will release in dual sim variants in India and some Latin American countries,
    if that be so will it be like the htc one i.e GSM+CDMA?

  • Sudipto Mukherjee

    Will this Desire 816 be launched in Dual sim variant in India? Please let me know. I want to upgrade my phone. If its a dual sim will wait for its launch.

  • http://lunniey.com lunniey

    How much battery capacity it has? This is would be an awesome phone if the price is around $300 😀

  • coopere

    Looks good in white

  • omkar garg

    Please Launh it in India

    • http://mynazariya.blogspot.in/ Ajit Dubey

      I am also waiting but can’t wait much as my current phone is not working.

  • Ahmad Nadeem

    I sure hope it has a price that can compete with other phones in its category, since price is the major decider of a phone’s success in markets like Asia

  • c00ller

    It is listed to have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, but which model? A Snapdragon 400 CPU could be a 1.2 GHz dual core up to a 1.6 GHz quad core.

  • http://www.iproductsbuy.com/ Afifa Afrin

    Great offer for us.

  • Sandeep Parulekar

    Is this phone available with boom sound & beats audio technology

  • http://mynazariya.blogspot.in/ Ajit Dubey

    A Commitment from me-
    If HTC 816 is priced under 20K INR and preferably with dual sim, I’ll book on the day of its launch. As I was reading some article that in China, you may launch the 816 with aggressive pricing.

    • Parijat Mishra

      I’m pretty sure it’s not gonna be under 20k. Did you even look at the specs? 😉

      I’m guessing something in the mid/high 20s range (think Nexus 5), which is still pretty damn good for a phone like this.

      As per leaks, two more similar devices (Desire 316 and 516) are on the way. From their name, we can guess they’ll be cheaper than this one, with slightly lower specifications.

      • http://mynazariya.blogspot.in/ Ajit Dubey

        I completely agree with you. I expected it to be around 20K only because of it’s pricing in China which is under 300$.

        I can understand it’s not fair to expect 13MP rear, 5 MP front, HTC sense 5.5, HD Display and boomsound etc under 20K but finger crossed for it’s pricing.

        and for 316 and 516, it might be slightly lower than the specs and pricing..

  • yash raj jain

    whats the pre-order price in china?

  • Pramod Kumar Singh

    When this awesome phone is going to launch in India and at what price??? Do you able to launch a dual sim variant to India??? Desperately waiting for this mobile in Dual sim avatar.

    • http://mynazariya.blogspot.in/ Ajit Dubey

      Sorry brother! I am also waiting for this phone but as far as my knowledge is concerned, 816 won’t come up with dual sim

  • Tushar Saraf

    As the news goes on the HTC Desire 816, it is to cost around 18000. Check the following :

    Whats the deal with non removable battery and the NFC…
    Will it be available in dual sim variant..???

    • http://mynazariya.blogspot.in/ Ajit Dubey

      No. As far as my knowledge is concerned HTC has unveiled two mid range smartphones. 610 and 816. 610 will come up with dual sim but not the 816.

      • Tushar Saraf

        Thanks…but what problem does the non removable battery pose…
        Will it have Gorilla glass…???

  • Rachel

    Will this be coming to any US carriers? Preferably T-Mobile or AT&T… Really excited about this phone!

  • Raja Reddy

    There isn’t a Gorilla Glass protection for such a big Screen? Even a low budget phone MOTO G has a Gorilla Glass 3 protection.