HTC’s desires a world where big phones are mid-range

You might want a big phone, but you also probably want one that won’t cost an arm and a leg. HTC wants to be there too, and in the latest Desire, is aiming right for that.

There’s a new phone this week, and it’s one geared at anyone keen on having a screen and phone the size of Apple’s iPhone 6S Plus, but without the same sort of price associated with it.

While the big iPhone 6S Plus can cost anywhere between $1229 and $1529, HTC is going for a very different part of the market, with a price of $549 for a 5.5 inch phone.

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That’s what you’ll find in the HTC Desire 825, and while the screen sizes may be the same, the phones are very different, with HTC targeting the mid-range not just with that pricing, delivering a Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor, 16GB storage, 2GB RAM, and Google’s Android 6.0 “Marshmallow”.

“HTC has built its reputation on delivering industry-leading design, combined with smart functionality delivering a premium smartphone experience”, said Ben Hodgson, Country Manager for HTC Australia and New Zealand.

“With customers seeking greater personalisation and individuality, viewing their phone as a fashion accessory, we wanted to create something different. We are proud to be working with JB HI-FI to launch our best, most adventurous Desire product to date, yet again setting a powerful new standard for mid-range smartphones.”

You can expect 4G support here via a Category 4 LTE modem, meaning speeds as high as 150Mbps down and 50Mbps up, while the camera is fairly sizeable, supporting 13 megapixel images on the back and 6 megapixel selfies up front.

Interestingly, there’s support for 24-bit high-resolution audio here, with HTC’s front-facing BoomSound speakers, while Bluetooth 4.1 and NFC round out the rest of the multimedia technology, and WiFi too.

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While it might sound like the Desire 825 already nails a bunch of things, we do need to point out that HTC has definitely pulled back on quality technology for this phone, with that 5.5 inch display offering merely a 720p 1280×720 screen, which means you get a fairly paltry pixel-peeping of 267 pixels per inch, 50 below that of the iPhone 6S, and 134 pixels per inch below that iPhone 6S Plus that sits in the same size.

Pixels per inch might sound like a bunch of jargon — and it is — but essentially it means the screen on the Desire 825 is large, just not super clear, so if you see pixels at a distance, you know why.

Likewise, the Snapdragon 400 processor being used on the Desire 825 is relatively low end, commonly used for low-to-mid range phones, and is outdated now that we have a Snapdragon 410 in phones these days.

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That tells us the Desire 825 is more likely to be old hardware re-engineered to be modern again, and while that may not necessarily be a bad thing it doesn’t suggest to us to be mid-range hardware, just repurposed to appear that way.

You’ll get to judge that for yourself, however, with the HTC Desire 825 arriving in stores this week for $549, with JB HiFi the exclusive retailer for this phone.

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