HTC's 8-megapixel selfie Desire 820 comes prepped for 64-bit Android L

HTC's new mid-tier flagship, the Desire 820, arrives in waiting for Android L.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
desire 820
Image: HTC

HTC has announced the Desire 820, its first 64-bit smartphone and the new flagship for its colourful mid-tier line.

The Desire 820 updates the Desire 816, which launched this February with a five megapixel camera aimed at those with a fondness for taking selfies. Like the 816, the new device comes with HTC's BoomSound audio, and dual speakers top and tailing the display. 

HTC hasn't announced pricing for the new device, saying only it will be "competitive". A price tag that comes in close to the Desire 816's £299.99 in the UK would seem reasonable though.

The 5.5-inch screen on the Desire 820 is in many ways similar to that of its predecessor, but takes its selfie ambitions to new heights with an eight megapixel front-facing camera, while retaining the same 13-megapixel rear camera of the Desire 816.

It's an interesting contrast to HTC's approach to the camera in the One M8, where it attempted to convince fans that UltraPixel would compensate for the 4.1-megapixel main camera. But even in the One M8, HTC latched on to demand for better selfies, giving it a five-megapixel wide-angle front-facing camera.

One standout feature of the Desire 820 is its Qualcomm 64-bit capable multi-core processor, which could add value once Android L arrives with its move to a 64-bit ART runtime. Google says this will double performance, and with improved efficiency, it should also lighten the load on the battery.

The Desire 820 is the first phone to come with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 615 processor, which includes integrated Cat 4 LTE, supporting download speeds up to 150Mbps.

HTC has said it will update its HTC One M8 and M7 to Android L within 90 days of the OS' arrival. Given there's no word about when Android L will arrive, it's not clear if the handset will have Android L installed when it ships later this autumn, or whether it will follow the M8 and M7 with an OTA update.

Despite many similarities to the Desire 816, according to AnandTech, two improvements in the Desire 820 include larger 2GB RAM (up from 1.5GB on the 816) and support for aptX, which claims CD-like quality sound over Bluetooth. One feature it doesn't change however is the LCD display, which offers a resolution of 1280x720 at 267ppi.

The device will be available in white, grey, orange or blue. Or, in HTC-speak, a choice of Marble White, Tuxedo Grey, Santorini White, Milky-way Grey, Tangerine White, Saffron Grey, Flamingo Grey, Blue Mist, and Monarch Orange.

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