Introduction

The HTC Desire 616 dual sim seems specifically designed for Asian markets - it's affordable but with a large screen, an impressive sounding chipset and that all important dual-SIM connectivity. However, "budget-conscious" is not usually in HTC's wheelhouse, if you allow us the baseball jargon.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

HTC Desire 616 dual sim

Indeed we found many of what we've come to think of "trademark HTC" features missing. There's no metal unibody of course, not in this price range, but we've seen better plastic used in some other products of theirs, too. There are no BoomSound speakers either (the Desire 700 dual sim had them), and the HTC Sense is an old and cut-down version.

Of course, the HTC Desire 616 dual sim is not without its merits - it has a 720p screen when many of its opponents go for qHD, it has an octa-core processor, a user-accessible battery and a microSD card slot, just to name a few. Here's a summary of the phone's specs and what we found lacking.

Key features

  • Dual SIM phone
  • 5" 720p TFT LCD, 294 pixels per inch, ambient light sensor
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with HTC Sense 5.5
  • MediaTek MT6592 chipset with octa-core 1.4GHz Cortex-A7 processor, Mali-450MP4 GPU and 1GB of RAM
  • 8MP camera, single LED flash, 1080p video recording
  • 2MP front-facing camera, 720p video recording
  • 4GB of built-in storage, expandable via a microSD card slot
  • 2,000mAh battery
  • Recyclable, eco-friendly packaging

Main disadvantages

  • Battery is on the small side
  • Non-IPS screen with no scratch protection
  • No BoomSound speakers and poor audio quality
  • Plastic build and finish
  • Old software with many Sense apps replaced by stock Android

As you can see, we had our share of disappointments while reviewing the Desire 616 dual sim. We've already seen MediaTek's octa-core chipset in action but it really needs a more recent Android version. Speaking of which, Sense 5.5 had many of its apps replaced with stock Android ones.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

HTC Desire 616 dual sim at our office

Still, HTC has managed to pack a lot of bang for the buck inside the Desire 616 dual sim and the HTC's premium aura might pull away some of those looking at similar packages with an affordable price tag by local brands.

Will the good outweigh the bad? That's the question we'll be trying to answer as soon as we open the box.

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.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

An eco-friendly box • standard contents

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.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

The three materials of the Desire 616: glass, matte plastic and glossy plastic

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.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

HTC Desire 616 dual sim in the hand

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.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

5" TFT LCD with 720p resolution • 2MP camera and sensor array

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.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

Removable back cover • three card slots • single loudspeaker on the back

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.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

Volume rocker and Power key on the right • nothing on the left

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.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

3.5mm audio jack on top • microUSB port on bottom

Display

The HTC Desire 616 dual sim has a relatively large 5" screen. It has 720p resolution for a satisfactory 294ppi pixel density. It's a basic TFT LCD though, so viewing angles are not perfect - there's a slight color shift and contrast loss at an angle.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

The screen is sharp but not the brightest

The screen is quite dim at its maximum setting - outputting just below 500 nits when cranked up all the way. The Desire 816's screen wasn't much brighter though and neither is a flagship like the Sony Xperia Z2. On the up side, the contrast is about 1000:1, which is quite good for the class.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 0.24 232 815 0.72 588 813
HTC Desire 616 dual sim 0.35 306 880 0.5 487 976
Alcatel Idol X+ 0.38 309 805 0.67 601 895
Sony Xperia C 0.18 151 842 0.66 639 962
HTC Desire 700 dual sim 0.22 235 1086 0.59 671 1142
Sony Xperia M2 0.33 325 989 0.64 643 1000
HTC Desire 816 0.15 164 1087 0.46 478 1032


The front glass is not a scratch-resistant and is fairly glossy, which worsens sunlight legibility. That said the LG G3 flagship performs virtually the same, despite being brighter. The Desire 816 and 700 dual sim are at this level of legibility too, while potential competitors like the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 and the Sony Xperia M2 do worse.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy K zoom
    3.675
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    3.565
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3.549
  • Alcatel Idol X+
    3.527
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    3.512
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    3.487
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    3.42
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    3.386
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung I9000 Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Ativ S
    3.129
  • Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    2.958
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.95
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Samsung I8730 Galaxy Express
    2.861
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.79
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • LG G Flex
    2.407
  • HTC One (M8)
    2.371
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2.352
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • Oppo Find 7a
    2.279
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • Nokia Asha 311
    2.25
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    2.193
  • HTC One (E8)
    2.185
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    2.17
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    2.142
  • Nokia 515
    2.134
  • HTC Desire 500
    2.129
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    2.119
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    2.103
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • Sony Xperia SL
    2.078
  • Nokia Lumia 630
    2.056
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Samsung I9295 Galaxy S4 Active
    2.022
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    1.992
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • Oppo R819
    1.957
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Nokia Lumia 1320
    1.941
  • HTC One mini 2
    1.94
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • Sony Xperia J
    1.932
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    1.931
  • LG Nexus 4
    1.926
  • LG G Pro 2
    1.922
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    1.913
  • Nokia Asha 308
    1.911
  • Sony Xperia T
    1.894
  • HTC Desire X
    1.878
  • HTC Windows phone 8X
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly S
    1.867
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    1.845
  • LG G2 mini
    1.838
  • LG G3
    1.82
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
    1.813
  • HTC Desire 616 dual sim
    1.797
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • HTC Desire 816
    1.783
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • HTC Desire 700 dual sim
    1.769
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • LG Optimus G
    1.753
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
    1.74
  • Sony Xperia SP
    1.733
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • Oppo Find 7
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.68
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • LG Optimus 3D Max
    1.658
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    1.632
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
    1.622
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Sony Xperia go
    1.577
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160
    1.566
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • BlackBerry Curve 9320
    1.488
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Oppo N1
    1.47
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1.462
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    1.4
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo
    1.393
  • Sony Xperia M2
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    1.38
  • Sony Xperia E1
    1.372
  • Nokia Lumia 625
    1.371
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8
    1.35
  • Sony Xperia miro
    1.324
  • Samsung I9082 Galaxy Grand
    1.321
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    1.315
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Nokia X
    1.291
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Nokia Asha 503
    1.281
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.27
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    1.268
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    1.245
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Samsung Galaxy Young
    1.22
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215
  • Nokia XL
    1.204
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.18
  • Nokia Asha 305
    1.178
  • Nokia Asha 306
    1.175
  • Sony Xperia neo L
    1.169
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    1.161
  • Samsung S6802 Galaxy Ace Duos
    1.148
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

Battery life

The HTC Desire 616 dual sim has a 2,000mAh Li-Po battery. That's fairly small for a phone this size but it's user-replaceable so you can easily pop in a spare. Still, the octa-core processor is bound to put a lot of pressure on it.

The phone lasted 13 hours of calls on a 3G network, an hour short of the official reading. That's about the same as the Desire 816 and a bit less than the Desire 700 dual sim. It helps a bit that the second SIM is disabled during a call.

The web browsing and video playback times both barely broke past the 5 hour mark, making it one of the worst performers of the Desire family with a place near the bottom of our all-time chart.



Connectivity

The Desire 616 dual sim (as the name suggests) accepts two SIM cards. One of the slots takes miniSIMs (that's SIM1) and the other does microSIMs (SIM2). Both can be used for voice and texts and also both can be used for data connection, but with a twist.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim

SIM1 is the miniSIM slot, SIM2 the microSIM slot

Only SIM1 has 3G connectivity making it the only viable option. Also note that this is a dual-standby phone, where both SIMs are active simultaneously when there is no call going in. Once a call is initiated on one of them, the other becomes unreachable for the duration of the call. There's an app to set up call forwarding to handle this case.

Both SIM slots offer quad-band 2G connectivity and SIM1 adds dual-band 3G on top of that. It's not the fastest 3G with up to 21Mbps downlink and up to 5.76Mbps uplink and there's no LTE.

42Mbps models are quite common but at least it's better than what the Desire 700 dual sim got (14.4Mbps downlink).

The phone can connect to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi b/g/n networks to access the Internet or serve as a hotspot to share its data connection with other devices. Another use of Wi-Fi is wireless display mirroring. The microUSB port is just for charging / computer connection, there's no MHL.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim

Regular microUSB port

The rest of the local connectivity includes Bluetooth 4.0 with the apt-X audio codec for high-quality audio streaming.

The MediaTek MT6592 chipset also features a built-in A-GPS receiver, but unlike newer MediaTek chipsets or competing Snapdragon designs there's no GLONASS (the Russian GPS alternative) or Beidou (the Chinese one). Those aren't strictly necessary if you don't live in either of those countries but can improve lock times and accuracy even in other regions as in this way more satellites are available for the phone to connect to.

User interface: not new but not bad either

The HTC Desire 616 dual sim is lagging behind in terms of software with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and Sense UI 5.5. This means you miss out on some of the latest features of Android or the latest UI polish of Sense 6. The app package isn't up to date with HTC's latest proprietary apps either. In fact, some apps are gone altogether, replaced by their stock Android counterparts.

Around version 5, Sense turned into one of the best-looking custom skins and the Desire 616 dual sim UI doesn't look bad but even entry-level phones are launching with KitKat these days. This includes phones powered by the exact same chipset as the Desire 616.

HTC dropped its custom lockscreen with version 5.5 of Sense in favor of the stock Android variety. Even the four shortcuts that were so popular at one time are gone. Widgets can be added to the lockscreen, they go on separate panes to the left, while the pane to the right launches the camera.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

HTC Desire 616 dual sim lockscreen

The homescreen follows the typical HTC setup. The leftmost pane is the familiar BlinkFeed that resembles the Flipboard UI a lot. It can easily be disabled if you're not a fan but BlinkFeed does have its uses - it aggregates posts from your social networks and stories from over a thousand news sources.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

The new BlinkFeed • search through the BlinkFeed content

If you have social network accounts linked, you can post on them straight from BlinkFeed, including sharing stories that you've come across on the feed. Or you can save articles to read offline later on.

The notification area is stock Android with notifications and quick toggles split into two separate screens. Toggles cannot be reordered or hidden/added. HTC has thrown in a few toggles of its own, including Audio profiles - it's an easy way to switch between preset and custom profiles that can modify absolutely any audio setting on the phone.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

The notification area • Quick Settings pane

You can have 5 homescreen panes at most. Those are easy to rearrange, add or delete and you can set any of them as the default screen. This is where you can also add widgets. The homescreen panes themselves are nothing special, they contain widgets and shortcuts and there's a fixed dock of four shortcuts at the bottom.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

The homescreen • managing the homescreen

This dock remains visible in the app drawer too. There's no clock or weather info in the drawer, similar to more recent Sense versions. This leaves a bit more room for shortcuts, 4 x 5 fit by default. You can sort apps by most recently installed and there's a Play Store shortcut, which makes managing apps and installing new ones a breeze. The hide option lets you move any bloatware out of view.

Since Sense 5.x, HTC has been experimenting with a two button layout but the Desire 616 dual sim uses the traditional on-screen trio of Back, Home, App Switcher. It's the vanilla switcher too, not the 3 x 3 grid found in some other HTC phones.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

Task switcher

Some goodies like Do Not Disturb, Kids and Car mode are not present on the device. The HTC Transfer Tool, the app that pulls contacts from your old phone over Bluetooth isn't available out of the box either, but can be downloaded from the Play Store.

Google Now is available and offers context sensitive information but also doubles as search field. You can look for something specific or ask it a question - either by typing it in or by saying it - and quite often it comes back with a succinct, informative answer. A widget is available too, it's great for the at-a-glance info provided by Now.

A long-press on the Home button reveals the Google Now shortcut so you can launch it from anywhere in the menu.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

Google Now

We'll cover performance in the next chapter, here we'll just mention that the Desire 616 dual sim crashed and rebooted twice on us even though we only had it for a week or so. We didn't test its stability longer but two crashes in a week is a sure sign of unstable system software since we hardly install any third-party apps on it (besides the usual benchmark tools).

Lackluster performance

The HTC Desire 616 dual sim is one of several HTC MediaTek-powered phones but is the only one that went for the MT6592 chipset with an octa-core processor - this is a set of straight eight Cortex-A7 cores, all running at 1.4GHz. Flagship octa-core designs using the big.LITTLE setup see four of those replaced with the more powerful Cortex-A15 but the Desire 616 dual sim is a midranger, through and through.

We still would've liked more than just 1GB of RAM. One of the more intensive benchmarks we use ran out of memory. Even with lighter benchmarks we noticed that the phone had to reload the homescreen (which takes a couple of seconds) as it was purged to make room for the running app.

For graphics, the MediaTek chipset in the Desire 616 uses a quad-core Mali-450MP4. We've seen this chipset struggle in 1080p phones like the Huawei Ascend P7 and the Gionee Elife S5.5 - hopefully it does better at 720p resolution. Also there's no OpenGL ES 3.0 support, which is only added by Android 4.3 and later.

Before we begin, it's worth noting that our anti-cheat benchmarks detected no foul play.

We've lined up a selection of large-screened dual-SIM midrangers, some of which use the same chipset as the Desire. The Alcatel Idol X+ is based on the MT6592 chipset but the CPU is clocked at 2GHz and there's 2GB of RAM. It runs Android 4.2 like the Desire 616, while all the others are on v4.3 or later.

Unsurprisingly, the Alcatel Idol X+ takes the cake in the raw CPU benchmark but the HTC Desire 616 dual sim posts a competitive result - nearly double what a Moto G or Galaxy Grand 2 achieve in Geekbench 3. Even the Desire 816 lags behind (it only has four Cortex-A7 cores @ 1.6GHz).

Basemark OS II gives the overall victory to the Desire 816, which also posted good single-core performance. The 616 takes the mutli-core test by quite a margin but that's the only place it shines.

GeekBench 3

Higher is better is better

  • Alcatel Idol X+
    2842
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    2581
  • HTC Desire 616
    2125
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    1895
  • HTC Desire 816
    1510
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    1159
  • Motorola Moto G
    1120

Basemark OS II

Higher is better is better

  • HTC Desire 816
    520
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    492
  • HTC Desire 616
    378

Basemark OS II (single-core)

Higher is better is better

  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    1781
  • HTC Desire 816
    1739
  • HTC Desire 616
    1533

Basemark OS II (multi-core)

    Higher is better is better

  • HTC Desire 616
    12986
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    8941
  • HTC Desire 816
    7071

Overall performance in AnTuTu 4 places the Desire 616 slightly ahead of its bigger sibling, however the other octa-cores in the lineup beat it with higher clockspeeds.

AnTuTu 4

Higher is better is better

  • Alcatel Idol X+
    31717
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    26957
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    25812
  • HTC Desire 616
    23482
  • HTC Desire 816
    21580
  • Motorola Moto G
    17214
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    17106

GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan failed to run as it requires OpenGL ES3.0, so we had to go with 2.7 T-Rex. The quad-core Mali-450MP4 can double the performance of Adreno 305 found in Snapdragon 400-based phones (like the Desire 816 and Moto G).

Still, even dropping to the native 720p resolution of the Desire 616 dual sim wasn't enough and the result was a dismal 13.4fps.

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better is better

  • Huawei Ascend P7
    12.3
  • Alcatel Idol X+
    10.9
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    10.8
  • HTC Desire 616
    8.7
  • HTC Desire 816
    5.9
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    5.8
  • Motorola Moto G
    5.6

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (onscreen)

Higher is better is better

  • HTC Desire 616
    13.4
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    12.4
  • HTC Desire 816
    11
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    10.6
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    10.6
  • Alcatel Idol X+
    10.6

Basemark X shows Mali-450MP4 doubling the score of Adreno 305 but it too reports sub-10fps framerates.

Basemark X

Higher is better is better

  • HTC Desire 616
    3006
  • HTC Desire 816
    1437

The web browser experience relies on fast single-core performance for JavaScript and the Desire 616 comes behind the 816 purely because of clockspeed rather than core count.

Kraken 1.1

Lower is better is better

  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    12201
  • HTC Desire 816
    13564
  • HTC Desire 616
    16953

All those cores didn't help the Desire 616 win in page rendering either - it has the same screen resolution as its bigger sibling but failed to keep up. The Gionee Elife S5.5 with the same octa-core processor but at a higher clockspeed lagged behind because it renders at more than twice the resolution (1080p vs. 720p).

BrowserMark 2.1

Higher is better is better

  • HTC Desire 816
    774
  • HTC Desire 616
    683
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    432

In the end, an octa-core processor to brag about may be good marketing but the reality is it doesn't do well at daily tasks, especially if it's clocked lower than quad-core processors. The GPU is no champ either, though at least it beats the Adreno 305 that is used in several competing phones. Lack of OpenGL ES 3.0 can limit the game selection though.

We come back to the 1GB of RAM - it's not unheard of in a midrange device but it's clearly not enough with the current software setup. Maybe we just got used to KitKat's Project Svelte and its efficient use of memory.

Still, having to wait for apps to reload because the OS ran out of RAM and had to close background apps holds back multitasking. Running one app at a time fast doesn't make up for that and in the Desire 616's case it's not all that fast either.

Minor tweaks to a stock phonebook

Out with the Sense phonebook, in with stock Android. It gets the job done but is missing one of our favorite features that goes way back to the Windows Mobile days. The Sense phonebook uses tabs to display texts, emails and social networking messages in the contact info, a wonderful information hub.

Here viewing a contact's details just shows the basics - phone numbers, email and other tidbits you've added. One proprietary change is that certain phone numbers can be bound to a specific SIM, that will be the default SIM to call and text that number.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

Viewing a contact

This sounds like a great addition to the Desire 616's dual-SIM nature but the execution is lacking. First off, if you assign a number to SIM2 but SIM1 is currently active the phonebook will still ask which SIM to use. It dials directly only if the preferred SIM is currently active, so often it's just a reminder of which SIM to use without saving you that extra tap.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

The phonebook

Another questionable UI choice is that the contact editor is unaware of this feature. You have to go through the Associate card option in the menu instead. Small things but we go to HTC for the feel of polish it brings and blemishes like this disappoint.

The contact list itself is bog standard with an alphabet scroll, search option and the ability to display contacts from multiple sources. That means multiple online sources as well as the two SIM cards. Contacts can be moved between phone memory and SIM cards.

Dual SIM telephony lacks refinement

The HTC Desire 616 dual sim had solid reception on both of its phone connections. The in-call audio has good quality but is a bit on the quiet side. Inside the notification area you'll find toggles to switch SIMs or just have the dialer ask each time.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

The Desire 616 helps you set up new SIM cards • picking a default SIM

The phone does not support dual-standby - while one card is in a call, the other goes offline. There's a pre-installed app to help you set up call forwarding to deal with this if you need to.

The dialer shows the call log behind the keypad so you can quickly call the last two numbers. You can also go into the call log for a more detailed look, including the option to sort calls by type (incoming, outgoing, missed).

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

The dialer • call log • setting up call forwarding

Smart dial is supported and it searches both numbers and names, but name search is a bit flawed. For some reason it prefers to split the letters instead of look for consecutive letters. For example, typing "33" to look for Dexter puts results like Dee Dee and Duck Dodgers first. It also fails to look for more than two letters, meaning you can't just type "339" for Dexter either. Again, small issues but things start to pile up.

The HTC Desire 616 dual sim features a single loudspeaker on the back, HTC's trademark BoomSound speakers are nowhere to be found. The device scored a Below Average mark. You can find more about the testing process here.

Speakerphone test Voice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
HTC Desire 616 dual sim 61.5 58.5 72.6 Below Average
HTD Desire 816 66.6 65.7 66.6 Below Average
Sony Xperia C 65.3 61.7 75.7 Average
HTC Desire 700 65.7 66.7 75.7 Good
Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 66.5 66.6 75.7 Good
Sony Xperia M2 66.6 66.7 75.7 Good
Oppo N1 73.7 67.7 78.7 Very Good
Motorola Moto G 81.6 75.7 82.7 Excellent


Note that you can set individual ringtones for the two SIM cards, to easily tell them apart.

Basic messaging

Unlike the phonebook, the Messaging app is proper old-school Sense and we don't mean it in a good way. Most of the functionality is present but the looks are outdated.

Texts and MMS messages are grouped into threads by contact. You can use the notification area to switch SIM cards. Messages have small labels beneath them to indicate which SIM was used to send them. You can change the ringtone and the wallpaper for each thread. A notification pops up when a new message arrives, a feature you can disable if you wish.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

Messaging

The message editor features a smiley button but those aren't the standard set you might be used to if you're using Google's keyboard or the Hangouts app, those have a much larger selection than what HTC offers here.

The keyboard was quite easy to type on but you can go through the calibration process to improve the accuracy. A Trace keyboard is available if you prefer swiping over typing and you can add arrow keys for better cursor control. Voice input is another option.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

QWERTY keyboard • settings

The HTC Mail app is another Sense member that got axed for the Android version. The stock Email app isn't bad, don't get us wrong, it supports multiple accounts and a combined inbox and email setup was quick and easy. Still, this half Sense/half stock mishmash isn't what we expected.

The Gmail app is also on board to handle your Google-based email.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

Stock Email app • Gmail

Stock Gallery and no Zoe

The stock Android Gallery on board the HTC Desire 616 dual sim is quite plain. It can group and sort photos by album, location or time but that's as far as it goes. We miss online album and social network integration and the advanced editing features that come with Zoe.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

A simple gallery

Instead of Zoe we just get Video Highlights. It automatically stitches images into a video slideshow complete with multiple themes and soundtracks to choose from. You can pick which photos and videos go into a Highlight and choose whether to keep the audio from videos or not.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

Creating a Video Highlight is easy

Simple video player

The video player is as basic as they get - you see a list of all videos and tap on one to play it. The player lets you adjust the video aspect ratio and scaling but that's as far as it goes, there are no subtitles or access to the equalizer here.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

The simple video player

Video codec support proved decent and the phone played 1080p videos stored in AVI, MP4 and MKV files but AC3 and DTS sound was a no go.

While the Desire 616 dual sim does not have wired TV out it does support wireless screen mirroring over the Miracast protocol.

Music player

In contrast, the music player is quite feature-rich. You can browse your music collection by artist, album or playlist, including an automatically created Recently added playlist.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

Browsing through the music library

The Now playing interface isn't exactly pretty (the latest Sense music player is a looker) but at least the buttons are visible and easily accessible. Music controls are also available in the notification area but strangely none showed up on the lockscreen.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

The Now playing interface

We're pleased - if a bit surprised - to report the Desire 616 dual sim has a music player equalizer. Other HTC phones, even flagships, haven't had one in quite a while but here you get a 5-band equalizer with presets, bass boost and 3D effect. You can also add a reverb effect to simulate differently-sized rooms or halls.

FM Radio with broadcast recording

The phone has an FM receiver with RDS support. It supports RDS so you can view the station name and additional info it broadcasts and you can play the sound through the loudspeaker (headphones should still be plugged in).

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

The FM Radio app

A nice but rare option lets you record radio broadcasts. Keep in mind that this feature may be region-specific due to varying local regulations.

Audio output disappoints

We are used to seeing market-leading performances from HTC smartphones in terms of audio quality, but unfortunately the Desire 616 didn't quite manage to repeat the performance of its siblings we've recently reviewed. The smartphone put in a decent if unspectacular showing in the first part of our test, but fell flat on its face in the second half.

When attached to an active external amplifier, the HTC Desire 616 delivers impressively loud audio with low noise levels, very good dynamic range and stereo crosstalk. The frequency response was adequate for the most part although its extreme bass frequencies are cut off. Harmonic distortion is nicely low, but the intermodulation distortion reading isn't ideal.

Plug in a pair of headphones when we plugged in a pair of headphones. Volume levels dropped from excellent to average, while stereo crosstalk and intermodulation distortion spiked. Even noise levels and dynamic range were affected, adding up to a rather disappointing overall performance.

Keep in mind that we used Google's Play Music app for the test, rather than the default Music app. The performance was even worse with the Music app, so we suggest you stay away from it if audio quality matters to you.

And here go the results so you can see for yourselves.

Test Frequency response Noise level Dynamic range THD IMD + Noise Stereo crosstalk
HTC Desire 616 dual sim +0.08, -1.08 -90.4 89.5 0.019 0.246 -85.9
HTC Desire 616 dual sim (headphones attached) +1.11, -5.74 -83.0 88.0 0.028 1.926 -49.1
HTC Desire 816 +0.02, -0.08 -93.8 93.8 0.0017 0.0091 -94.9
HTC Desire 816 (headphones attached) +0.10, -0.01 -93.9 93.9 0.0046 0.020 -83.0
Alcatel One Touch Idol X+ +0.03, -0.26 -92.0 91.8 0.021 0.034 -82.1
HTC Desire 700 dual sim +0.34, -2.31 -92.2 92.1 0.061 0.352 -91.0
HTC Desire 700 dual sim (headphones attached) +0.34, -2.13 -92.3 91.7 0.054 0.545 -67.5
Alcatel One Touch Idol X+ (headphones attached) +0.09, -0.24 -91.9 91.8 0.018 0.855 -44.8

HTC Desire 616 dual sim frequency response

HTC Desire 616 dual sim frequency response

You can learn more about the whole testing process here.

.

8MP camera with puzzling issues

HTC has had its ups and downs with smartphone cameras but the Desire 616 dual sim should have been easy - a regular 8MP shooter, no UltraPixels or deciding mid-way to switch to a 13MP camera (the One series is a bit of a mess right now).

Our first negative impression was the camera UI - it's based on the previous generation of the interface with some modifications. The left viewfinder column holds shortcuts for Normal mode, Live photo, "Face beauty" and panorama. While in normal mode you have access to a few more controls in the top right part of the screen - smile shutter, HDR mode, front/back camera toggle and flash mode.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

The camera interface

The UI feels pretty feture-rich if a bit cluttered. Digging into the settings we find a pleasing amount of options, including something called Zero shutter delay. In some situations having this feature enabled did speed up the shot-to-shot time but if the camera had to refocus the advantage was usually lost.

So why didn't HTC enable this by default? We snapped a few photos with the feature disabled and enabled to see if it had any effect on image quality. Since we can't see a tangible difference, we can only assume this feature draws more power or HTC would have no reason to ever disable it.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

Zero shutter delay test: feature off • feature on

The Live photo was an interesting option too. The phone instructed us to hold still so we assumed we're getting a GIF. Instead we got a six second video that does the effect below. We wonder how useful this really is but what really bugged us is that while taking a Live video the screen is disabled.

The phone does offer tracking autofocus - you tap and hold on an object and the camera will begin tracking it.

None of that matters as the real downfall of the HTC Desire 616 dual sim camera is the image quality. Photos have a relatively high amount of noise in them with extra sharpening on top of that. Fine detail is quite low for an 8MP shooter. Colors are oversaturated and the red tends to come out brown or slightly purple.

Our unit seems to have a lens issue as part of the image was often just out of focus. For some images the whole frame was out of focus, ruining the shot. Even when everything turns out alright with equal sharpness across the frame, the photos are nothing to write home about.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

HTC Desire 616 dual sim camera samples

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

HDR test: off and on • off and on

Photo quality comparison

The HTC Desire 616 dual sim can have its pick of 8MP shooters to challenge. The first chart looks okay with only small traces of the lens issue but do note that this is the best of several shots we took. The next chart seems undersaturated and with a bluish tint (obviously a particularly bad choice of white balance). The third chart looks okay, though the noise and noise reduction become quite evident in parts of the image.

Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool

The HTC Desire 616 dual sim in our Photo compare tool

1080p camera in name only

The first warning sign is that 1080p videos are recorded into 3GP files - that's a format from the early days, long made obsolete by modern MP4 or MOV based files. Still, videos are shot at a healthy bitrate of 17Mbps (which is what the Galaxy S5 uses) and audio is captured in stereo at 128Kbps and 48kHz.

While those numbers sound good on paper, the reality of the video quality doesn't live up to either 1080p or 17Mbps. Jaggies on diagonal lines and general lack of detail make this seem more like an upscale job than true 1080p video.

The autofocus does something strange - instead of jumping back and forth to find focus it starts a continuous jitter that's a bit difficult to spot at first but can be quite annoying to look at.

And here's a short 8 second video sample to view in a desktop video player. Note that the 3GP format support isn't as good as that for more popular codecs and some of the video players we use for the test had issues with it.

Video quality comparison

The third image shows just how far the HTC Desire 616 dual sim camera is off the 1080p mark. The lack of resolution is a bit harder to spot in more natural images (the first two) but a good 720p shooter can give the Desire 616 a run for its money.

Video Compare Tool
Video Compare Tool
Video Compare Tool

The HTC Desire 616 dual sim in our Video quality compare tool

Web browser has full Flash support

The HTC Desire 616 dual sim comes with both a modified Android browser and Chrome. The stock browser UI has been tweaked to match the Sense look and offers all expected features - incognito tabs, desktop site view, saving pages for offline viewing and more.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

The modified Android browser running on HTC Desire 616 dual sim

Android 4.2 is actually old enough to still support Flash - not officially but you can sideload the APK if you wish.

The downside of this is that the Android 4.2 browser is behind the times. Chrome gets its updates from the Play Store so you get the latest version. It lacks Flash but is up to date with the latest web technologies and can sync open tabs and bookmarks between devices.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

Chrome is up to date

Other apps

The Desire 616 comes with Polaris Office 5 - a popular Office document editor. It can handle editing of Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents and can also display PDFs. There's a built-in file browser so you can easily find your docs wherever they are.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

Polaris Office 5

Instead of the Sense calendar the Desire 616 comes with - you guessed it - the stock Android calendar. Note that this isn't the new Google Calendar that took over from the AOSP app a while back. This one supports multiple online accounts and can do the job but we'd recommend installing the Google app.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

The Calendar

The Clock app can show the times in as many cities around the world as you wish and features a built-in timer and stopwatch.

There's also a calculator app though it's so old it adds a menu key to the row of on-screen buttons. The menu key was deprecated with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich - not that this has any impact on adding numbers together but it's yet another area where the software feels thrown together in the dark.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

Clock app • Calculator

You also get a To-Do app where each entry can have an expiration date.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

HTC Tasks

Then there's a file manager to navigate both the internal memory and the microSD card and a Backup and restore app that can be a life saver if something goes wrong.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

File browser

Google Maps is the default mapping solution and probably the only one you need. It has excellent coverage and can provide voice-guided navigation in many countries. It helps if you save a map for offline use but even without that the vector maps are very data efficient. Traffic alerts and public transport route planning is available in some regions too.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

Google Maps

Note that the MediaTek MT6592 only supports GPS - there's no GLONASS or Beidou support. Getting a GPS lock took a while and you don't get the improved benefits from using additional satellites from the other two positioning systems. Having data enabled for A-GPS and Cell-ID positioning tangibly speeds up the process.

The Google Play Store has flourished in recent years, but keep in mind that the HTC Desire 616 dual sim runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean that came out in late 2012. Most apps support Android 4.1 or even lower but they won't be able to use all new goodies Google has added to the OS over the last couple of years.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

Google Play store

Final words

The HTC Desire 616 dual sim failed to create the same excitement as other HTC phones have in the past. It feels like too many things were compromised - small things here and there adding to a few bigger ones and the end result is something that barely feels like an HTC phone at all.



Let's start with what really didn't work, the potential deal breakers. The camera has to be on top of the list - it's not a good 8MP camera or a good 1080p camcorder. The limited built-in storage means you absolutely must put in a microSD card for media files. And games will quickly deplete storage space too, so you may have to start moving apps to the memory card at one point.

Battery life was subpar and the removable battery doesn't alleviate the issue. And while we can live with a single loudspeaker the audio quality just wasn't good enough at the jack.

Key test findings

  • Back cover is made out of cheap plastic
  • Display is above average but it's not as bright as expected
  • Battery dies fairly fast when browsing or watching videos
  • Chipset not as fast as it sounds, phone needs more RAM
  • Music app reduces audio quality, other players do better
  • The single speaker on board is too quiet
  • Camera offers sub-par image quality
  • Default video player won't play videos with AC3 and DTS audio tracks

It's not all bad though. Despite falling short of expectations, performance was actually okay, though not as hot as the eight cores will suggest. The screen didn't wow either as it's not particularly bright and it's quite reflective but its viewing angles and contrast ratio is above the norm for its price segment.

If the Desire 616 doesn't provide the trademark HTC feel, you might as well look around. The Alcatel Idol X+ is almost a flagship phone with its 5" 1080p screen (IPS to boot), 2GHz octa-core processor paired with 2GB of RAM and a 13MP / 1080p camera. It's a dual-SIM, dual-standby phone and it has stereo speakers so the only thing to watch out for is storage - there isn't a card slot so better grab the 32GB version.

Alcatel Idol X+

Alcatel Idol X+

Samsung has the Galaxy S3 Neo and Galaxy Grand 2 - a slightly smaller and slightly bigger dual-SIM phones respectively (4.8" and 5.25"). They're behind on processing power but 50% more RAM and newer Android versions will give them a boost. The Galaxy S3 Neo in particular even has a Super AMOLED screen, which has traditionally great contrast ratio and deep blacks.

Samsung I9300I Galaxy S3 Neo
Samsung Galaxy Grand 2

Samsung I9300I Galaxy S3 Neo • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2

It's not out yet but LG has a competitor in this segment too - the LG G3 S Dual (aka G3 Beat Dual) has a 5" 720p IPS screen and runs Android 4.4.2 out of the box. In true LG fashion, it's more compact than most other phones but packs a bigger battery than the HTC Desire 616.

LG G3 S Dual

LG G3 S Dual

Asus have the Zenfone 5, offering a 5" IPS screen of 720p resolution and an option for 2GB RAM. It uses an Intel Atom chipset, which concentrates its processing power in two fast cores instead of going with the 8-but-slow approach of the MediaTek chipset.

Asus Zenfone 5

Asus Zenfone 5

The HTC Desire 700 dual sim has a 5" screen too but with fewer pixels (qHD resolution) though it makes up for it with BoomSound speakers. The Sony Xperia C falls in this class too but neither of those have the processing power or major advantages over the Desire 616 dual sim. These are the kind of phones it hopes to beat for a place in your heart.

HTC Desire 700 dual sim
Sony Xperia C

HTC Desire 700 dual sim • Sony Xperia C

In the end, a lot of our disappointment stems from what we expected from a device with the HTC badge. If you don't go in with high expectations, the Desire 616 dual sim is actually quite competitive in its price range. It can really use a lift to a more recent Android version to improve stability and performance, plus a couple of Sense apps more. But as things stand right now, it's really tough to recommend it in favor of the competition we mentioned above.

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.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

An eco-friendly box • standard contents

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.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

The three materials of the Desire 616: glass, matte plastic and glossy plastic

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.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

HTC Desire 616 dual sim in the hand

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.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

5" TFT LCD with 720p resolution • 2MP camera and sensor array

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.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

Removable back cover • three card slots • single loudspeaker on the back

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.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

Volume rocker and Power key on the right • nothing on the left

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.

HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim
HTC Desire 616 dual sim

3.5mm audio jack on top • microUSB port on bottom