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.