HTC's Desire 816 packs a big display and pretty impressive hardware for such an affordable phablet. The midrange device stands out thanks to a large 5.5-inch screen, zippy performance and decent battery life.
In the U.S., the phone is available for $300 off-contract through Virgin Mobile. That's the price you'll pay up front, without the need to commit to a pricey two-year contract through a major carrier like Verizon or AT&T. If that seems like a lot to pay for a smartphone, consider that you'll likely save a lot of money with a cheaper monthly data plan through Virgin Mobile — and remember that a flagship smartphone, such as the Samsung Galaxy S5, costs twice as much off-contract. If you can stomach the initial cost of a contract-free smartphone, read on for three features that make the HTC Desire 816 good for work.
The Desire 816's large 5.5-inch screen can really benefit business users. Simply put, displays this big are better for screen-intensive tasks such as managing your email inbox or editing a document on the go. But even though the Desire 816 is pretty slim and light for a phone this big, it could be too large for some users.
The HTC Desire 816 packs relatively modest specs, including a quad-core Snapdrgon 400 processor with 1.5GB of RAM. Still, it's more than speedy enough for everyday business tasks, like running apps and browsing the Web. And unlike many other midrange devices, the Desire 816 is LTE-capable, giving you faster Internet speeds.
Off-contract smartphones aren't for everyone, but they can save you money in the long run. And there aren't many smartphones that can match the HTC Desire 816's particular mix of size, specs and price. The closest competitor is probably Samsung's midrange Galaxy Grand 2, which offers similar performance and a smaller 5.25-inch display for the same price of $300. And if you can deal with the extra bulk, the truly enormous Ascend Mate 2 from Huawei is a 6.1-inch beast of a phablet that's available off-contract for the same price.