HTC Desire 828 Dual is unlike other mid-range desire series phones we occasionally come across  from the Taiwanese smartphone maker’s camp. It is evident that HTC is trying to cut down the price as much as possible, while simultaneously highlighting and improving aspects which have worked well for Desire portfolio in the past. Sharing the stage with the more premium One A9 at the launch didn’t do it any favors, but with HTC branding, powerful spec-sheet and a price of 19,990 INR, it’s a compelling option to put on your smartphone-to-buy shortlist. Let’s help you decide if it needs to stay put or be scratched-off.

Also Read: All HTC Desire 828 Dual Questions Answered – FAQ, Benchmark Scores and Photo Gallery

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Pros 

  • Decent performance
  • Boomsound speakers
  • Ultrapixel selfie camera
  • HTC Sense UI skin strikes that right balance

Cons

  • Unimpressive design

Key Specifications and Features:

Model HTC Desire 828 Dual SIM
Display 5.5-inch, FHD (1920×1080) IPS LCD,  401 ppi
Processor Mediatek MT6753T Octa-core 1.5 GHz with Mali-T720MP3 GPU
RAM 2GB
Internal Storage 16GB, microSD, up to 2TB
Software Android 5.1 Lollipop with HTC Sense
Primary Camera 13MP, F/2.0 aperture, BSI sensor, autofocus, OIS, LED flash
Secondary Camera 4MP Ultrapixel, F/2.0 aperture, autofocus, dual tone flash
Dimensions and weight 157.7 x 78.9 x 7.9 mm and 148 grams
Battery 2800 mAh
Others Micro USB, Dual SIM, 4G LTE
Price 19,990 INR

Looks good from a distance, but Design has its shortcomings

Design is the part which bogs Desire 828 Dual down. Desire 828 is slim and light, yet distastefully sprawls across a wide footprint. However, that is something we can look past. The button placement on the other hand is very hard to ignore.

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The power button and volume rocker are flush with the side frame and made of same material which not only makes them look like flaps, but also hard to locate. We find ourselves reaching out for the gap between power button and volume-rocker (which is identical to power button) more often than not. Fortunately, double tap to wake works fine 8 out of 10 times. Apart from the buttons, the rest of the design is quite ergonomic if not appealing.

It’s entirely made of plastic and makes no bones about it. Rear side has soft touch matte finish, HTC branding and a camera module. The front has a 5.5 Inch display with dual frontal speakers. Speaker mesh and display glass rests a notch above rest of the body, which gently tapers away.

HTC Desire 828 Dual Gallery

Display Is Good

The Display on HTC Desire 828 appears drab when you examine it out of the box (credit goes to dull wallpaper), but further examination concludes that it is a good quality IPS LCD panel.

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It’s a sharp 5.5 Inch display with good viewing angles, accurate colors and a sensitive touch glass, which also resists smudges effectively. Whites slightly hinge towards colder side of the spectrum, but HTC Sense UI gives you freedom to tweak color temperature and unlike 90 percent of the phones we see that feature in, tweaking actually works as you would expect it to.

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The display brightness isn’t great and if you compare it alongside other brighter LCD panels, Desire 828 feels a bit lackluster, but on its own we never felt any deficiency in this regard. Brightness levels are optimum for day to day usage. Everything is still legible outdoors at full brightness, if you are not viewing from angles, but yes outdoor visibility will leave you wanting for more.

Selfie camera works as advertised

The HTC Desire 828 Dual heavily relies on its camera performance. There is a 13 MP rear camera, perhaps the first one to offer OIS for under 20K and also, the Ultrapixel sensor, which HTC has been using only in high end phones, has made the cut for this midranger as well.

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Now the rear camera on HTC Desire 828 isn’t as impressive as say Nexus 5X or OnePlus 2, but it is certainly better than what other phones like Lenovo Vibe S1, OnePlus X, etc under 20,000 INR are offering. Images captured in good lighting consistently show good amount of details. Images clicked indoors in natural lighting are also pretty impressive, but the camera adds visible noise in all shots taken in artificial and low light.

Camera app is rich in features and options to keep you engaged. HDR mode doesn’t work well as shots turn out overexposed, but a functional manual mode is a worthy addition (if that is your thing).

As advertised, HTC’s Ultrapixel camera has large pixels which can capture more light and thus performs better in low lighting, thus providing a solution for eternal selife problem. If you are awfully fond of selfies, HTC Desire 828 should be your best bet in this budget.

HTC Desire 828 Dual Camera Samples 

Software – There is a lot to like in HTC’s Sense Skin

We liked HTC’s Android perspective. You can customize fonts, color temperatures, add an extra navigation button ( for quick setting, notification tray, auto rotate, etc) or change themes and icons as you please. In spite of all those features, everything is situated just right and thus the software never gets overwhelming. This is a significant win in our books.

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Also present are several useful widgets and traditional blink-feed which keeps all your personal updates one swipe away.

HTC Desire 828 UI Gallery

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Performance and Battery

Performance is again not a forte for Desire 828 Dual, and at times in random situations that detestable lag does creeps in, but by and large the phone manages smooth sailing. If you are a basic or moderate user, you won’t have much to complain about.

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We tried some high end games like Asphalt 8, Dead Trigger 2 and Nova 3. Asphalt 8 was plagued with severe lag, but Dead Trigger 2 and Nova 3 ran without any hiccups. The handset didn’t heat much either.

As far as battery goes, I am getting the same mileage as the Nexus 5, that is to say somewhere above the average mark. Moderate users can easily manage 16 to 17 hours of mixed usage or one day backup. Standby times are good. On weekends when my phone is used only for calling I had 60 percent juice remaining by the end of the day. Antutu battery tester score in our testing was 5083, which is just about average. Call quality and HTC Boomsound speaker audio are pretty good.

Verdict

In the past HTC hasn’t been aggressive with pricing, but with Desire 828 it makes an honest attempt. However, in price sensitive and highly competitive Indian market, there are some really compelling options available for couple of thousands more, and that shall check its march.

Apart from design, HTC Desire 828 doesn’t disappoint in any area, but it isn’t particularly impressive either. After spending some more time with it in our own space, we have to admit that our outlook is much more positive than when we first held it.  If you are looking for popular tier 1 branding and a phone which your friends won’t belittle as a ‘random Chinese mobile’ HTC Desire 828 is a worthy option for under 20K. Perhaps after initial price cuts, it will be a more enticing option.

For other details like Free storage, USB OTG support, etc, you can read our HTC Desire 828 Dual FAQ

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