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HTC Desire 816 Review - Battery Life, Call Quality and Verdict Review


HTC Desire 816: Battery Life

Keeping the Desire 816 going is a non-removable 2,600mAh capacity battery, which compared to batteries on similarly sized phones like the One Plus One (3,100mAh) and the Nokia Lumia 1320 (3,400mAh) is on the small size.

But you do get the same Power Saver Modes and extreme power saving modes featured on the One Mini 2, and the former is crucial to getting a day’s use out of it. In general use for browsing, gaming and streaming content, it’s largely fine but it can’t match the impressive stamina levels of other big phones.

In video testing, running a standard definition video downloaded from the Google Play Video app with 50% brightness, it managed on average 9 hours and 30 minutes, so it’s good but not the best you can get. When you need to quickly charge from a fully flat battery you can expect around 15% of life, so it’s a slow charger and takes roughly 3-4 hours to fully restore the phone’s life.

HTC Desire 816 hands-on imagesHand holding white HTC smartphone outside.

HTC Desire 816: Call Quality

The performance here is not too different from the One Mini 2, where calls are audible and don’t suffer from any signal dropouts but clarity is not fantastic and calls can sound slightly muffled. But it’s fine speaking in busy environments, like pubs our outside busy tube stations, and the microphone puts in a strong performance making it overall good, but not excellent.

HTC Desire 816 hands-on images 1Smartphone on wooden surface for battery and call quality review.

Should I buy the HTC Desire 816?

If you want a big phone on a budget there are very few ways to fault the Desire 816. The plastic body is surprisingly attractive, the 720p HD screen and speakers make it a great place to watch video and the overall performance from gaming to camera quality is solid. Our only real gripes are with some of the design decisions, particularly the positioning of the buttons, while the battery life is not in the same league compared to similarly-sized handsets.

For the same £300, its nearest competitors for size and specs are last year’s Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and the Nokia Lumia 1320, while the much talked about One Plus One has far superior specs. This puts the Desire 816 in a slightly awkward position. It’s a solid, enjoyable phone at a decent price, but it doesn’t stand out in particular way to say you should go out buy it without further consideration.


The HTC Desire 816 is big phone that’s offers some of the best qualities of the One M8 in a cheaper but still attractive plastic body. It lacks a standout feature, but it’s a good phone that won’t let you down.

Next, try our round-up of the best mobile phones or our Android 4.4 tips, tricks and secrets

We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.

Used as our main phone for the review period

Reviewed using respected industry benchmarks and real world testing

Always has a SIM card installed

Tested with phone calls, games and popular apps

Trusted Score

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Score in detail

  • Performance 7
  • Camera 7
  • Design 7
  • Battery Life 7
  • Value 7
  • Software 7
  • Calls & Sound 6
  • Screen Quality 7

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