Perhaps you noticed that AT&T started selling the low-cost HTC Desire 610 late last month for just $0.99 on-contract and $200 without. That was apparently only the first step in HTC's attempted conquest on the mid-range device market in the US. The 610 is now on sale direct from HTC and the Desire 816 is launching on August 12th (tomorrow) on Virgin Mobile and direct from HTC.


The 610, in case you've forgotten, packs a Snapdragon 400, 1GB of RAM, and a 4.7-inch FWVGA (854x480, yuck) LCD. The Desire 816 is a little more respectable with a 5.5-inch 720p LCD, 1.5GB of RAM, and a Snapdragon 400. Both devices have BoomSound speakers too. The 816 will sell for $299 from Virgin and HTC, no contracts of course. HTC's site currently lists bands for the 816 that would limit usability in the US (even though it should be unlocked), but this might be a placeholder from the international version ahead of the official launch tomorrow.

Both phones are running Android 4.4 with Sense 6, but there's no Ultrapixel camera. Some of the features are scaled back a little, but it's not that far off from the experience you get with the One M8.

[PR NewsWire, Desire 610, Desire 816]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play.

  • Myke Sorrel

    On HTC website it says only 1 GB of RAM?

    • AbbyZFresh

      It's a budget phone. 1GB is to keep costs down.

      • Sruly J

        I believe they were questioning the article because it says the phone has 1.5 GB, and the site says 1 GB

  • Sruly J

    "Expands Expands" ?

    • http://techdissected.com/ Nick Schiwy

      Many Expand, such growth. Wow.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      You saw nothing!

      • Sruly J

        I must have imagined this.
        Good thing I didn't refresh the page on my phone until after you replied ;)

        • Sruly J

          Wow, that pic just reminded me I need to enable ad blocking again.

          • Daniel Pogue

            Might be nice not to use it on this website since it's how they make money... your choice of course though.

          • Sruly J

            I know that's how they make money, but it's a whole cumulative effect of all the sites and apps with the ads.

  • MJ

    I don't get it? You can buy a much better spec'd Nexus 5 (that came out last year) that we know will get updates for only $50 dollars more...

    • jonathan3579

      You're also getting the Sense experience here (which actually isn't all that bad) and those speakers. Not to mention, the Nexus 5 leaves a lot to be desired regarding battery life.

      • MJ

        The Sense experience is that much a plus? Really? Over stock Android with the Google launcher?

        Speakers I will give you (and camera, SD card).

        Battery life? HTC Desire 816 (from their website) - Talk time: Up to 21 hours Standby time: Up to 737 hours...Nexus 5 16 GB (from their website) - Talk time: Up to 17 hours Standby time: Up to 300 hours

        Sounds like a easy win for HTC but... The test times for the Desire 816 were on 3G and the Nexus 5 were on LTE. Plus... The Nexus 5 has to power a way better processor, more memory, more storage, and a 1080p (vs 720p) display. I am sure one will get better battery life with the Desire 816 but don't think it will be worth all the trade offs.

        Desire 816 other short comings - NFC (optional), no Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, and no wireless charging. The Nexus 5 is only $50 more!

        • Doakie

          No thanks. These Desire phones seem pretty lame up against the Ascend Mate2 4G at $299...

  • sweenish

    Options are great, but I don't see the Moto G shaking in its boots.

    • AbbyZFresh

      The next Moto G if you saw today's article will certainly be shaking in its boots. Look at the price.

      • Myke Sorrel

        wrong reply, ignore.

      • sweenish

        It's rumored to cost a whopping $36 more than the 816, which is the phone it's competing against here. The Moto E has the 610 dead to rights.

        That's not "shaking in boots" territory, especially when Motorola has proven themselves in regards to swift updates and and a near stock experience, making it a de facto recommend by people in the know for that price range.