htc desire 816 dual sim

Htc Desire 816 Dual Sim lacks the fancy aluminum body of its more expensive sibling, the One M8 . But this plastic-clad beauty keeps most of the style and a good share of the features too. Like the One Mini , it only cuts the right corners, ditching a few fancy extras that add to a smartphone’s price, while keeping the essentials that make a mobile reliable, attractive, and useful.

Announced earlier this year at Mobile World Congress, HTC’s Desire 816 was a real surprise. In fact, HTC itself seemed somewhat caught off guard — the Desire 816 phones on display at the company’s booth in Barcelona were non-functional prototypes. But now, almost three months later, the Desire 816 is ready for prime time.

htc desire 816 display price

The Desire 816 delivers a lot for a reasonable price — around $400, £300 or AU$400 without a contract, and $299 in the US with prepaid carrier Virgin Mobile . For now, HTC is only releasing the Desire 816 in Europe and Asia, but you may be able to buy it in other regions online. It’s expected to go on sale over the next month, with UK retailers listing early June as the expected date.

Design

HTC is unifying its range with a standard look, with the Desire 816 a prime example. The rounded edges do a good job of mimicking the One M8, despite being made of plastic.

Like the One M8, the 816 has front-facing BoomSound speakers, but instead of the fine laser-drilled grilles of its fancier sibling, the Desire 816 has several larger holes, which are really distinctive. The front-facing speakers make watching videos on the phone a much better experience, as you don’t need to cup the speakers with your hand to redirect the sound to your ears.

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The 5.5-inch HD screen is brilliant, with great viewing angles. While it’s not a Full HD display, the 1,280×720-pixel resolution is more than sharp enough.

The 816 may not have the premium feel of the One M8, but its plastic chassis has its own charms, without the cheaper feel of some Samsung products. Just be aware that the back cover attracts fingerprints much too easily.

Instead, HTC seems to have taken inspiration from Apple’s iPhone 5C , and the 816 sports a familiar shiny and glossy plastic rear. To make sure the phone doesn’t slip from your hands, HTC has made the edges of the phone matte. Honestly, with the fingerprint issues, the Desire 816 would have been better served if the entire phone was covered in a similar finish.

Located on the left side is a flap that hides the microSD and nano-SIM card slots. There also appears to be another SIM card slot, but that’s blocked up. HTC said that instead of creating a different model for the dual-SIM version of this phone, the company uses a unified design that can be tweaked for different features as needed, hence the unusable blocked slot.

Overall, the phone feels well-constructed and solid. It’s slightly heavier than the One M8 at 5.8 ounces (165g) but the weight is properly balanced and quite comfortable to hold with one hand.

htc desire 816 dual sim processor

The Desire 816 is powered by a 1.6GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, has 8GB of onboard storage and 1.5GB of RAM. If 8GB doesn’t sound like much space, fret not, as the phone has a microSD card slot. Connectivity wise, it comes with 4G LTE, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but there’s no NFC.

Things to consider before you buy a used phone

We’ve already talked about the principles of selling your phone, and you can keep all of those in mind as you go to buy a used phone. Go through the same sort of checklist — factory reset, SIM unlock status, original accessories, damage, sales history — to decide if the phone you’re buying has been given the care you would have given your own phone to sell. There’s a loose thought process to go through:

The first is what kind of used phone you’re looking to buy:

  • A used phone purchased directly from an owner (eg. Swappa, Craigslist, eBay)
  • refurbished phone that has been through a “touch-up” directly from the manufacturer or a partner (eg. Verizon, Samsung, Amazon, Gazelle, Best Buy)

Know what kind of used phone buying experience you want before you start shopping around.

You can probably get the best deal buying directly from someone else because there is no intermediary taking a fee, but you also run the risk of the phone having issues that the naked eye can’t see. If you know exactly what you want and know what to look for, you’re probably going to be comfortable buying a used phone from a direct marketplace like Craiglist, Swappa, eBay or one of many buy/sell forums.

If you don’t want to take any chances with the quality, but still don’t mind a bit of wear and tear, buying through an intermediary marketplace like Gazelle could work really well. The phones often come with (admittedly limited) warranties and money-back guarantees which, as a buyer, offers considerably more peace of mind than the average “meet up at the nearby 7-Eleven and hand over a wad of cash” type deal.

Finally, buying a certified refurbished phone is your safest bet, but comes with the least discount over a new product. Carriers, retailers and third parties all refurbish and sell used devices, with varying levels of discount and inventory options. These phones are used, yes, but they’ve gone through a (varying) set of checks to verify their condition and details before being cleaned up and passed on to you. There’s a peace of mind associated with buying refurbished, but there’s also a cost associated.

Along with all of that, there’s something else to consider — your health.

Given the current pandemic, buying a phone that’s been used by someone else might be something you’re thinking twice about. Seeing as how germs and viruses can stick on devices if not properly cleaned/sanitized, it’s normal to have some apprehension about used phones right now.

While that concern is perfectly validated, we want to reassure you that the possibility of contracting a virus from a used phone is pretty minimal. That said, there are some precautions we recommend taking if you want to minimize any chances of that potentially happening.

The best places to buy a used phone

This is not an exhaustive list. There are innumerable places to buy a used phone on the internet, and depending on your country, this list may not be as applicable (though we tried to highlight international marketplaces as much as possible).

Gazelle

Gazelle logoSource: Gazelle

Gazelle uses an interesting model: it buys phones from sellers and resells some of them on its website just like a regular e-commerce store (the rest are either recycled or sold to third parties). The advantage is that once Gazelle receives the device it performs a so-called “30-point inspection process” to ensure that it is in working order, and puts a SIM card in it to make sure it can properly connect to a network.

As a buyer, that means you may pay slightly more than Swappa for the equivalent model, but you get a phone that is guaranteed to work, either unlocked on a number of carriers or the one that it is advertised to be locked to, and there is a 30-day return policy if you’re not completely satisfied.

Gazelle also offers financing options, which allows it to compete with carriers by offering flexible payment plans that don’t require a lot of money up front. At the same time, Gazelle doesn’t accept every type of Android phone, but it’s willing to take in most popular models that are within a few years old.

Good: Seamless buying experience with plenty of choice, all phones come with a charger and are guaranteed to work, 30-day money back return policy.

Bad: Doesn’t sell every type of phone, and can be more expensive than person-to-person marketplaces.

Craigslist

Craigslist logoSource: Craigslist

Craigslist relies on in-person meetings for a cash transaction, which can be hit-or-miss depending on how adept you are at identifying scams — of which there are many.

The main thing Craigslist has going for it is size and scale — it’s practically everywhere, and has communities for almost every city in the world. You will be able to find a used phone on Craigslist, that’s not the problem; the problem is sifting through the thousands of listings to find something worth pursuing and ensuring that the phone you decide on does not have underlying damage or, worse, that its IMEI (a unique number that helps identify individual devices) hasn’t been blocked due to theft.

Good: Good prices, excellent availability, and plenty of choice, with the option of buying local to check condition.

Bad: Hard to verify sellers or the quality of the phones.

eBay

eBay logoSource: eBay

eBay is enormous, and today continues to be one of the top places to purchase a used phone. It has the advantages of Craigslist, scale, with few of the disadvantages, especially since it uses PayPal to ensure that payments can be recalled should there be a problem.

For buyers, eBay has a robust filtering system, allowing you to search for exactly what you want, with filters for price, carrier — even color. Of course, eBay still has its roots as an auction house, and that is how some used phones are still sold, but far more of them are sold at set prices. eBay charges sellers, not buyers, to host their listings, so all you need to do is find the right listing and you’re off to the races.

eBay’s best feature is its Money Back Guarantee which, combined with the extensive seller profiles, make it easy to buy with confidence. If there’s an issue with the device, or the shipment, you can apply to get your money back and, within reason, eBay will either cancel the PayPal transaction or, if it’s already gone through, refund you. And seller profiles let you filter potential purchases based on trusted sellers that have been around the block once, ten, or ten thousand times.

Good: Lots of selection with verifiable sellers with a money-back guarantee and buyer protection.

Bad: Potentially high cost of shipping, and you won’t be able to see the device before buying.

Swappa

Swappa logoSource: Swappa

Swappa began its life as a small Android-based phone buying and selling community, but it’s since expanded to include all mobile devices like iPhones, as well as tablets, Chromebooks and MacBooks.

Swappa works on a set fee structure that’s very different to most other platforms, and this is important: the buyer pays the fee. Most will pay under $20 for the privilege though, which isn’t bad at all, and all payments are done over PayPal, which is incredibly convenient and secure. Why is a buyer fee better for both buyers and sellers? Because it encourages sellers to list their products on Swappa, adding inventory to a service that relies heavily on participation.

Swappa does not physically inspect devices, but it does do a few things to make sure the buyer is getting what he or she pays for: all listings are verified by a human, who ensures that the IMEI is valid and can be activated. All listings must have good quality photos that clearly show any damage, and the quality (fair/good/excellent) should match the photos. And the cost of shipping is included in the price of the listing, which should prevent post-sale price gouging. And because Swappa uses PayPal, all listings are protected, so if a device doesn’t arrive as advertised, buyers have recourse to get their money back.

Finally, Swappa’s prices tend to be lower than many curated services, and because Swappa lists the sale history of phones of the same type you’re likely to get a fair price for the phone in the current market.

Good: Plenty of listings with clear quality guidelines and good prices.

Bad: Buyer pays fee, and there’s no warranty or guaranteed accessories.

Glyde

Glyde logoSource: Glyde

Glyde has an interesting business model, somewhere between Swappa and Gazelle. Like Swappa, it’s a user-to-user e-commerce portal but, like Gazelle, it asserts some control over the potential exchange by forcing the seller to use its secure shipping container, and doesn’t release payment to the seller until the buyer receives it. It also promises to refund a disappointed buyer within 72-hours.

Buyers pay no additional fee beyond what is shown on the site, but the inventory is limited to just iPhones and the last few generations of Samsung Galaxy phones.

Good: Lots of choice and buyers have leverage if unhappy with a sale.

Bad: Selection limited to iPhone and Samsung Galaxy. Phones are not inspected beforehand so what you see may not be what you get.

UpTrade

UpTrade logoSource: UpTrade

UpTrade is another good choice if you want to keep the process of buying or selling a used phone as simple as can be. If you’re a buyer, just search the phone you’re looking for and UpTrade will show what it has in stock. Every listing includes hands-on pictures of the exact phone being sold, including the UpTrade employee that inspected it and any inspection notes they made. All phones sold on UpTrade are “UpTrade Certified,” meaning they go through a 50+ point inspection check and are sanatized by UpTrade before being shipped to you.

If you have a phone to sell, UpTrade makes things just as streamlined. Indicate the model you’re selling, its configuration, and what kind of condition it’s in. UpTrade gives you a quote for how much you’ll get, and you can then get the full amount in 14 days after the inspection or in 1-2 days after inspection at the cost of a 10% reduction in your payment. You need to provide your own box for shipping the phone to UpTrade, but you get a free shipping label. If you send the phone to UpTrade but change your mind, they’ll send it back at no extra cost.

Good: Very streamlined, easy-to-use website for both buyers and sellers.

Bad: Can take a while to get paid. Have to supply your own shipping box.

What kind of smartphone do you need?

Before choosing any smartphone you should get your priorities straight first. A smartphone is basically a computer you carry around in your pocket that allows you to perform various tasks. This can be anything from ensuring that you’re able to remain connected with the outside world through to sitting in a darkened room playing Clash Royale. But how do you actually use your smartphone every day?

Before choosing any smartphone you should get your priorities straight first.

The point is that in order for you to send WhatsApp messages and publish a few posts on social networks you shouldn’t really need to spend more than about $200. For a gamer who is not prepared to give up a fluid and smooth gaming experience, they had better be on the lookout for smartphones priced at around $400. Whereas those who want the best of the best in terms of design and performance will need to be prepared to spend from about $500 and up.

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Having so many options makes the choice complicated. / © NextPit

Let’s see what are the 10 most important factors to consider before choosing your next smartphone.

1. Mobile carriers and affordable plans

Do you want a new smartphone? Well, you’re pretty much spoiled for choice. Before you whip out your credit card to purchase something online, you should search for the best cell phone plans offered by the various mobile providers. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile each have something interesting to offer customers, and will often provide complete packages including data, calls and SMS. Who knows, maybe it’s the right time you to consider changing your current provider…you can even keep your current phone number.

Here are some offers from the big four networks in the US:

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Choosing a provider can be complex, but there’s something for everyone. / © NextPit

2. Operating system

If you’re reading this article, you’ve already decided to focus on buying an Android-based device, but there are several versions, and versions of versions, of this Google software. Before buying a new smartphone, so you should brush up on your history of Android – or at the very least examine the differences between the last two versions, Android 9 Pie and Android 10.

Besides these being great treats to satisfy even the biggest sweet tooth, these names correspond to different versions of the Android operating system and each offers unique features and functions. The latest Android version available is Android 10, but unfortunately not all devices have the honor of showing it off. I advise you not to buy a smartphone with outdated versions of Nougat or Marshmellow and instead look for a smartphone with Android Pie at least (and if you are guaranteed an upgrade to the newest and latest Android version, that’s even better).

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Google dropped the sweets theme for the latest version of Android. / © NextPit

3. Design and functionality

In selecting a new smartphone, personal taste is a major decision point, both in terms of software and outward appearance. Some people may prefer more rounded lines and a sinuous design, whereas others like a sturdier look, characterized by straight lines and sharp metal edges. We must admit that with each passing month and the succession of launch events we see within the industry, smartphones are increasingly starting to resemble one another and the choice available is strongly influenced by marketing campaigns and trends.

But, design is based on functionality. A metal unibody is stylish and trendy, but in some cases prevents you from using some features such as a microSD card or a headphone jack. Before buying, check the quality of the device to ensure you’ll be able to use it in the way which is most comfortable and convenient for you (provided these elements are important to you).

AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge vs LG G4 camera 2203
Glass or leather? Curved lines or right angles? The dilemmas are endless. / © NextPit

4. Size and type of display

For those who like to receive news updates or simply get lost in the HD graphics of the latest Android games, you should really consider a smartphone that is equipped with a display of at least 5.7 inches. For those that use the smartphone mainly for WhatsApp or to read Facebook posts, a smaller screen will be more than sufficient.

As for the display technology, there are two main types in Android: LCD and AMOLED. The main difference between the two lies in the projection of light. In theory, LCD screens tend to be brighter and display content better when in direct sunlight, while the AMOLED display offers sharper contrast and more saturated colors. In practice, however, with the passage of time and the arrival of new technologies, the difference between the two is becoming less noticeable. That said, Full-HD, FullHD+, or QHD resolution for images are almost always impeccable.

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The AMOLED displays tend to be move vivid. / © NextPit

5. Processor and RAM

The processor is the hub of a device on which depends the overall performance. Sometimes, processor capability is what limits software updates. Qualcomm and Mediatek are a safe bet.

Meanwhile, Huawei with its Kirin processor is proving itself able to offer good performance to users. It should also be noted that for any processor to be its best, the amount of available RAM is crucial. Yes, the processor is important, but we need to look to the smartphone and its technical specifications as a whole.

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The latest Snapdragon 865. / © Qualcomm

6. Internal storage

When you’re scoping out your next Android, check the RAM and internal storage, but not just what it says on the sticker. Take a look at how much space the preinstalled apps take up. Although you can use a MicroSD card to expand your smartphone’s storage capacity, do not forget that a larger internal memory is recommended over using an external card.

At the same time, before you opt for a model with 128GB or 256GB of internal storage, think about how much you’ll actually use. Are you using your smartphone as an external hard drive for your computer by saving movies, music, files and heavy apps? If the answer is no, you’re probably OK with 64GB. Not to mention that you can take advantage of cloud services to save some space and still always have your files at hand, provided you have an internet connection. As a general rule, considering smartphones on the market, it is advisable to opt for at least 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory.

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Expandable memory or the cloud? / © Mediatek

7. Battery life

Battery life is one of the most important features to consider when choosing a new smartphone. Do not be fooled: a higher number of mAh does not amount to more and more battery life, or to a longer battery life cycle. The factors that come into play are different and it’s worth knowing them.

For example, you should consider that screens with a higher resolution consume more energy, while the latest processors optimize battery life. Then there’s display refresh rates and quick charging technology to think about. Rather than just looking at tech specs, it’s best to check out reviews and benchmark results to know how all these factors perform when combines in a single device. At the moment, 4,000 mAh seems to be the standard.

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Don’t forget about the battery. / © Mediatek

8. Camera quality and creativity

Smartphone manufacturers are starting to pay more attention to camera quality and features lately, and that’s a great thing for users. The number of megapixels, hybrid autofocus, optical stabilization, manual modes, special effects, and special selfie features: smartphones are becoming more and more like a digital camera.

Once again, I recommend you not to dwell too much on the numbers showing on the technical sheet. The MP does not tell the whole story and it is important to get an idea of the type of integrated sensor, lens quality, and pixel size. You’ll find all the details specified in our reviews, but once you’re in the store it will cost you nothing to start the camera app and check the brightness of the shots and software features for yourself.

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Megapixels aren’t everything. / © NextPit

9. Software and integrated functions

Do you need a phone that can do absolutely everything? Are you one of those people who needs a built-in fingerprint sensor, heart rate monitor, UV sensor, Swiss Army knife, and a batmobile? You have a wide range of choices here, from the latest top of the line to a mid-range smartphone you will find all the latest hardware innovations.

But don’t limit yourself to choose a smartphone based on the hardware features. Activate the display and explore the software in-depth to find out what hidden features are there and if it provides options that work for you. Often share the device with your children? Ensure you have a guest mode or parental control. Do you like reading ebooks directly on Android? Select an interface that allows you to adjust the hue of the display and that implements some anti-strain eye protection. In short, do not stop at appearances and thoroughly investigate the system. 

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Navigate between the features of each device. / © NextPit

10. Price compared to performance

Last on our list, but probably the first factor to consider if you have a limited budget, it is definitely the price. What do you want to spend on your next smartphone? Is it worth it to use all your salary or is it perhaps appropriate to limit yourself and choose something cheaper but equally powerful and in step with the times? The choice is yours, but be aware that for any price range there are some devices better than others.

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