HTC Desire 616 dual sim: Managing expectations

GSMArena team, 06 August 2014.
Pages: 12345678910

Tags: HTC, Android, Dual SIM

Introduction

The HTC Desire 616 dual sim seems specifically designed for Asian markets - it's affordable but with a large screen, an impressive sounding chipset and that all important dual-SIM connectivity. However, "budget-conscious" is not usually in HTC's wheelhouse, if you allow us the baseball jargon.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim HTC Desire 616 dual sim HTC Desire 616 dual sim HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

Indeed we found many of what we've come to think of "trademark HTC" features missing. There's no metal unibody of course, not in this price range, but we've seen better plastic used in some other products of theirs, too. There are no BoomSound speakers either (the Desire 700 dual sim had them), and the HTC Sense is an old and cut-down version.

Of course, the HTC Desire 616 dual sim is not without its merits - it has a 720p screen when many of its opponents go for qHD, it has an octa-core processor, a user-accessible battery and a microSD card slot, just to name a few. Here's a summary of the phone's specs and what we found lacking.

Key features

  • Dual SIM phone
  • 5" 720p TFT LCD, 294 pixels per inch, ambient light sensor
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with HTC Sense 5.5
  • MediaTek MT6592 chipset with octa-core 1.4GHz Cortex-A7 processor, Mali-450MP4 GPU and 1GB of RAM
  • 8MP camera, single LED flash, 1080p video recording
  • 2MP front-facing camera, 720p video recording
  • 4GB of built-in storage, expandable via a microSD card slot
  • 2,000mAh battery
  • Recyclable, eco-friendly packaging

Main disadvantages

  • Battery is on the small side
  • Non-IPS screen with no scratch protection
  • No BoomSound speakers and poor audio quality
  • Plastic build and finish
  • Old software with many Sense apps replaced by stock Android

As you can see, we had our share of disappointments while reviewing the Desire 616 dual sim. We've already seen MediaTek's octa-core chipset in action but it really needs a more recent Android version. Speaking of which, Sense 5.5 had many of its apps replaced with stock Android ones.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim HTC Desire 616 dual sim HTC Desire 616 dual sim HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim at our office

Still, HTC has managed to pack a lot of bang for the buck inside the Desire 616 dual sim and the HTC's premium aura might pull away some of those looking at similar packages with an affordable price tag by local brands.

Will the good outweigh the bad? That's the question we'll be trying to answer as soon as we open the box.

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