HTC Desire 616 dual sim review: Managing expectations
Unboxing the HTC Desire 616 dual sim
The HTC Desire 616 dual sim comes with all the basics in the box - a charger, a detachable microUSB 2.0 cable and a one-piece headset. The headset has tangle-free flat cables, which is a nice touch.
The packaging itself is eco-friendly - 99% of it is recyclable and 50% of the resources used are easily renewable. The box is even printed with soy ink.
HTC Desire 616 dual sim 360-degree spin
The HTC Desire 616 dual sim measures 142 x 71.9 x 9.2mm and weighs 150g. That makes it slightly more compact than the Desire 700 dual sim, another 5" phone but with BoomSound speakers. The difference is 2mm in height and 1mm in thickness, we would trade that for the better speakers in the blink of an eye.
Both phones weigh the same, which is a bit too much for a plastic phone this size.
Design and build quality
The HTC Desire 616 dual sim takes after the likes of Desire 816 or the One (E8) but the lack of the lower grille betrays it as a member of HTC's affordable lineup and not the premium line.
The body of the phone consists of three materials - glass on the front (with no known scratch-resistance claims), matte plastic for the earpiece and sides and a glossy plastic for the back. This is the same arrangement as the Desire 816.
The glossy plastic is a serious fingerprint magnet but the front glass also lacked any oleophobic properties and became a smudgy mess, too. Worse still, the glossy black plastic is the type that gets scratched as soon as you look at it.
The Desire 616 dual sim is not a small phone, it packs a 5" screen after all. It's not very wide and the rounded sides make it fairly comfortable to handle and the 150g of weight give it a pleasant solid feel. The device is reasonably thin too, 9.2mm is slender for a midrange device.
The 5" screen lacks Gorilla Glass protection but at 720p resolution it almost reaches a pixel density 300ppi. That's not flagship territory but for most people 300ppi is the threshold where they stop noticing pixels and jaggies on the screen. The screen however has bigger issues than the lacking scratch protection, more on that in the next chapter.
Above the screen is a grille that is just an earpiece, the actual loudspeaker is on the back. Next to it are the usual sensors (proximity and ambient) and the 2MP/720p front-facing camera. There's nothing below the display but the HTC logo, the buttons are on-screen.
The back of the Desire 616 dual sim features the 8MP camera and its LED flash. Further down is the loudspeaker. This panel is removable so you can access the battery and the three card slots, all three of them are blocked by the battery so no hot swap.
The three slots are all different - one is a miniSIM slot, the other a microSIM and finally a microSD card slot. The miniSIM slot is SIM1 so your card with data should go in there, but for calls and texting it doesn't matter.
The right side of the phone holds the volume rocker and the Power button below it. This makes the button easy to reach with your thumb, we're glad HTC learned their lesson about putting the Power key on top in tall phones. The left side is free of any controls.
On top we have the 3.5mm audio jack and at the bottom is the microUSB 2.0 port. This one does not double as TV out since there's no MHL or SlimPort support here.