Desire 816 is HTC’s iPhone 5C, in a good way

The HTC Desire 816 was officially unveiled yesterday, and today I managed to track it down on the show floor here at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. HTC’s booth is mostly filled with HTC Ones, but tucked away in the corner were a few glass boxes with orange, blue, and white Desire’s inside. With a little persuasion, I got to hold one of the demo units.

The Desire 816 is like HTC’s iPhone 5C. It’s a plastic version of the HTC One, but retains a lot of the build quality and attention to detail that makes HTC special these days. On the inside it runs what I still consider very good specs: a 1280 x 720 pixel 5.5-inch screen, 1.6GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 1.5GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage (there’s a MicroSD slot that supports up to 128GB cards, thankfully), a 13-megapixel (not Ultrapixel) rear camera, and an impressive 5-megapixel selfie cam. Front-facing selfie cameras are becoming a hot item this year. It may be able to support dual-SIMs as well, if having two phone numbers is your thing.

Though it’s a budget device, the outside had a clean look to it with especially push-able and good-looking power/volume buttons on the left side of the device. A single hatch holds a MicroSD slot and space for two SIM cards.

The unit I used wasn’t finished so it couldn’t turn it on, but I got a quick look at a device running Sense 5.5, and it looks pretty standard, but nice. There don’t appear to be any major surprises in how HTC’s interface looks. If you’ve seen an HTC One, you know what you’re getting here. And if you haven’t seen an HTC One, check one out sometime. It’s one of the best-looking phones available.

Release details and price aren’t yet known, but this will be a cheaper phone than the HTC One and is coming sometime in the next few months.