HTC unveils the Desire 816, a midrange phone with a massive 5.5-inch screen

htc desire hero
Photo: Florence Ion

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Out of nowhere, HTC just announced a new mid-tier phone. In a closed event limited to members of the press alone, HTC announced the HTC Desire 816 mere hours before Samsung shines the spotlight on its new lineup of devices.

The Desire 816 borrows design cues from the rest of the HTC One family, and will be available in black, green, white, and red. It’s definitely not a flagship handset like the One, but it could help buoy HTC’s lagging smartphone effort, reaching the ever-growing market of price-conscious smartphone buyers, especially in Asia. Its form factor should also appeal to folks who want some something in between a “normal-sized” large phone and a full-on phablet.

htc desire mwc Photo: Florence Ion

It’s a mid-tier phone with a giant, 5.5-inch display, front-facing speakers (like its siblings, the HTC One and HTC One Max), a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a 13 megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 5 megapixel front-facing camera. The phone will be available in March in China, and rolling out everywhere else afterward.

We’re still waiting for HTC to announce its flagship product for the year. Cher Wang, the co-founder and chairperson of HTC, said at the beginning of the event that although she wished she could have revealed it at MWC, “we have to keep the surprise for just one more month.”

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