The Desire 826 isn’t the top of HTC’s game, but we’d still rock one

The entry-level HTC Desire 320 isn’t the only device HTC announced at CES 2015. There’s also a successor for the mid-range Desire 820 in the shape of the HTC Desire 826, and this one might be coming to the States.

The Desire 826 follows the design language set by the Desire Eye in late 2014 and sports solid, mid-range specs that should make it a standout Android phone. It’s unclear whether the device will journey outside of Asia or not, but regardless, the Desire 826 looks to be another hit for HTC.

Desire design language reigns supreme

Although it’s a big phone with a 5.5-inch full 1080p HD display, the Desire 826 doesn’t look that much bigger than the Desire Eye or the flagship One M8. The slim, plastic phone fits comfortably in your hands, and is relatively easy to manage, despite its large size. To maintain consistency of design among its Desire phones, HTC used a polycarbonate unibody with brightly colored accents along the edges of the device, just like the Desire Eye.

The plastic back on the Desire 826 is shiny plastic, instead of matte, and it comes in many more colors than the Eye. The first color combination is a soft white with a creamy tan accent called White Birch. The next, called Blue Lagoon, features a dark bluish gray and bright blue accents. The last one, called Purple Fire, features a purplish gray back with desert rose-toned accents along the edges.

We found the color combinations stylish and subtle, rather than garish and over-bright, which is a common problem with colorful phones. The only downside to the new Desire 826’s design is the shiny plastic back, which picks up every single fingerprint.

When it comes to ports and buttons, the Desire 826 is pretty minimalistic. There’s just a power button that sits almost flush to the device on one side. The volume rocker is located above the power button, which could become confusing. On the other side, there’s a section for multiple SIM card slots, as this phone is bound for China first. Finally, there’s the Micro USB port on the bottom, and a headphone jack along the top.

Solid, mid-range specs

Inside the Desire 826, you’ll find an impressive 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset, clocking in at 1.7GHz. There’s also 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, which is expandable via a MicroSD card.

HTC packed a decent 2,600mAh battery into the phone and added its signature, front-facing BoomSound speakers to the front. The speakers are almost completely hidden, so you won’t even know they’re there until you play some music. It will run Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the gate with Sense UI on top and it supports 4G LTE.

Photo credit: Digital Trends / Malarie Gokey
Photo credit: Digital Trends / Malarie Gokey

The main camera is a 13-megapixel shooter with a LED flash, just like the one on the recently released HTC Desire Eye. HTC also placed an UltraPixel selfie-cam on the front. The resolution of this camera comes in around 4-megapixels, and it has HTC’s UltraPixel technology, which was used in the back camera of the One M8.

It will launch in Asia and maybe the U.S.

The HTC Desire 826 is set to roll out in Asia Pacific at the end of January 2015, other markets are to be confirmed, but we’re optimistic because it’s listed on HTC’s U.S. website. You can expect a dual-SIM version in some markets. There’s no word on the price yet, but it should be competitive.

Highs

  • Sleek design
  • Decent, mid-range specs
  • Sharp cameras
  • Lollipop 5.0

Lows

  • Picks up fingerprints
  • No price yet
  • No U.S. release date yet
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