HTC Desire 820 & Desire 820 dual SIM review: The doppelganger

The doppelganger

GSMArena team, 20 January 2015.

Display

The HTC Desire 820 is equipped with a 5.5-inch 720p display. It is nothing spectacular by today's standards, but is nonetheless, a solid choice for a mid-range smartphone.

With its 267ppi it falls just a little short of what's become known as Retina-grade pixel density (300+ppi).

As already mentioned the panel is identical to that found in its predecessor - the Desire 816 and is consequently plagued by much the same problems.

HTC Desire 820 Dual Sim
The 5.5" 720p LCD on the Desire 820 has excellent viewing angles

While the panel does use IPS technology and hence offers excellent side viewing angles, the edges on the screen elements looks a little jagged under close observation.

HTC Desire 820 Dual Sim

Bet perhaps the biggest concern is the poor brightness. The phone doesn't come off as exceptionally bright, but this is more or less compensated by the good contrast, which definitely improves outside visibility.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Lenovo Vibe X2 0.16 188 1196 0.38 447 1188
Oppo N3 0.31 290 931 0.59 551 937
OnePlus One 0.39 317 805 0.75 598 799
Xiaomi Redmi Note 0.3 305 1001 0.52 536 1016
HTC One (E8) 0.2 250 1268 0.51 615 1208
Sony Xperia C3 Dual 0.13 152 1207 0.56 642 1153
HTC Desire 816 0.15 164 1087 0.46 478 1032
HTC Desire Eye 0.24 329 1345 0.62 806 1311
HTC Desire 820 0.18 235 1299 0.45 598 1327
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo 0 142 0 389


Looking at the specs sheet, we can't help but notice that although the Desire 820 borrows the display from the 816, the lack of screen protection has been addressed and the handset is equipped with Gorilla Glass 3. What good is a quality screen that is all scratched-up. HTC definitely deserves credit for improved attention in this department.

The added protective layer seems to be have led to a slight increase in reflectivity as the blacks on the Desire 820 apper a bit brighter than on the Desire 816. On the other hand maximum brigtness seems to show a slight improvement, boosting the whites and consequently, the contrast.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    4.033
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
    3.799
  • Oppo R5
    3.678
  • Samsung Galaxy K zoom
    3.675
  • Nokia Lumia 930
    3.567
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    3.565
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3.549
  • Nokia Lumia 735
    3.547
  • Alcatel Idol X+
    3.527
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    3.512
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    3.509
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    3.487
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    3.42
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 Active
    3.406
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    3.386
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    3.174
  • Samsung I9000 Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Ativ S
    3.129
  • Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    2.958
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.95
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Samsung I8730 Galaxy Express
    2.861
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • HTC Desire Eye
    2.815
  • Gionee Elife S5.1
    2.812
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.79
  • Meizu MX4 Pro
    2.765
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    2.618
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia T3
    2.609
  • BlackBerry Passport
    2.595
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • Motorola Moto G 4G
    2.546
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    2.416
  • LG G Flex
    2.407
  • HTC Desire 820
    2.372
  • HTC One (M8)
    2.371
  • Meizu MX4
    2.366
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2.352
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • HTC One (M8) for Windows
    2.291
  • Oppo Find 7a
    2.279
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • Nokia Asha 311
    2.25
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    2.193
  • HTC One (E8)
    2.185
  • Oppo N3
    2.181
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    2.17
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    2.142
  • Nokia 515
    2.134
  • HTC Desire 500
    2.129
  • Sony Xperia C3 Dual
    2.12
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    2.119
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    2.103
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • Sony Xperia SL
    2.078
  • Nokia Lumia 630
    2.056
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    2.024
  • Samsung I9295 Galaxy S4 Active
    2.022
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    1.992
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Oppo R819
    1.957
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Lenovo Vibe X2
    1.952
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Sony Xperia E3
    1.943
  • Nokia Lumia 1320
    1.941
  • HTC One mini 2
    1.94
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
    1.935
  • Sony Xperia J
    1.932
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    1.931
  • LG Nexus 4
    1.926
  • LG G Pro 2
    1.922
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    1.913
  • Nokia Asha 308
    1.911
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    1.905
  • Sony Xperia T
    1.894
  • Nokia Lumia 830
    1.887
  • HTC Desire X
    1.878
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • HTC Windows Phone 8X
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly S
    1.867
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    1.845
  • LG G2 mini
    1.838
  • LG G3
    1.82
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
    1.813
  • HTC Desire 616 dual sim
    1.797
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • HTC Desire 816
    1.783
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • HTC Desire 700 dual sim
    1.769
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • LG Optimus G
    1.753
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
    1.74
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
    1.735
  • Sony Xperia SP
    1.733
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • Oppo Find 7
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.68
  • Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9
    1.672
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • LG Optimus 3D Max
    1.658
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    1.632
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
    1.622
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Sony Xperia go
    1.577
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160
    1.566
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • Samsung Galaxy Core Prime
    1.507
  • BlackBerry Curve 9320
    1.488
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Oppo N1
    1.47
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1.462
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    1.4
  • Microsoft Lumia 535
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo
    1.393
  • Sony Xperia M2
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    1.38
  • Sony Xperia E1
    1.372
  • Nokia Lumia 625
    1.371
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    1.35
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8
    1.35
  • HTC Desire 510
    1.34
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    1.331
  • Sony Xperia miro
    1.324
  • Samsung I9082 Galaxy Grand
    1.321
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    1.315
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Nokia X
    1.291
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Nokia Asha 503
    1.281
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.27
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    1.268
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    1.245
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Samsung Galaxy Young
    1.22
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215
  • Nokia XL
    1.204
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Asus Memo Pad 7 ME176C
    1.198
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.18
  • Nokia Asha 305
    1.178
  • Nokia Asha 306
    1.175
  • Sony Xperia neo L
    1.169
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    1.161
  • Samsung S6802 Galaxy Ace Duos
    1.148
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

Battery life

The HTC Desire 820 is equipped with a rather modest 2,600 mAh battery. It is also absolutely identical to the one found in the Desire 816, but surprisingly enough, while the Desire 816 scored quite favorably at 64h, this is not exactly true for the phone at hand.

Our tests showed an oddly low 49h endurance rating and may we remind that this is a mixed result from fairly favorable conditions. We had the display set to 50% brightness and frankly, this made it too dim to be comfortably used outdoors even on an overcast day.

HTC Desire 820 Dual Sim

Still the numbers speak loud and clear and the Desire 820 will not be winning any endurance races any time soon. The question remains as to why this anomaly exists.

The two devices seem similar enough for the scores to match up, but seeing as this is not the case, we can perhaps point a finger towards the new octa-core Snapdragon 615 processors or, if not that, software issues that need some tweaking.

The possibility of a faulty test unit is also there, but it seems very unlikely. You can check out our battery testing procedure in detail.

There are also two separate power-saving modes implemented in Sense UI 6 that could potentially help better the battery life.

Power Saving dims the screen and slows the CPU down, while the Extreme Power Saving mode does away with multitasking and background tasks altogether and switches the UI to a very simple version, meant for only the most basic of tasks.

HTC Desire 820 Dual Sim
The Extreme Power Saving mode turns the Desire 820 into a feature phone

While this is extremely useful to have and could potentially get you out of a tight situation, the two modes are for emergency use only and therefore had no place in out measurements.

Connectivity

The HTC Desire 820 comes in two versions - single and dual SIM. The device uses only nanoSIM cards, despite the ample room, but it is far from the only offender in this department.

The on-board modem itself offers quad-band 2G/EDGE support, along with 3G HSPA+ (max 42Mbps downlink) and 4G LTE (up to 150 Mbps). The LTE connectivity covers different bands depending on the region - FDD Band 1,3,7,8 / TD-LTE Band 38,39,40,41.

Keep in mind that, as expected, the second SIM slot is only 2G/ 2.5G - GSM/GPRS/EDGE enabled. The built-in Dual network manager also allows the manual selection of the mode of each slot, so you can change which slot will be 3G-enabled from the UI without having to physically rearrange the cards.

As far as local connectivity goes, the Desire 820 is equipped with Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 with the aptX audio codec as well as DLNA. Naturally, a GPS module (with GLONASS support) is present.

HTC's website does not disclose anything in regard to NFC functionality, but we are happy to report that our unit does have this functionality onboard. It might be a regional option, as was with the Desire 816, so be sure to check before you buy a unit.

By the way, the HTC Mini+, a phone-shaped Bluetooth headset is compatible with the Desire 820 so you can keep the large phablet in your bag and still accept calls and control the music player. Speaking of that, the Bluetooth-enabled HTC BoomBass cube can pair wirelessly with the stereo speakers on the phablet for even better sonic experience.

Finally, HTC Media Link HD adds DLNA support to TVs that don't have it natively.

HTC Desire 820 Dual Sim

Reader comments

  • Bhojie

I would like to ask about the system upgrade... no more system upgrade since it launch...

  • beirohc

Why hTc 820 dual sim support 4G but hTc desire 820G+ doesn't support 4G??

  • ram

wait after warranty gone then you will get to know what happened