HTC Desire 820 Officially Unveiled With ARMv8-Based Cortex A53 CPU

After weeks of leaks, the HTC Desire 820, which is the successor to the Desire 816, has finally been unveiled. The phone is one of the first ARMv8-based devices to be announced this year, as part of HTC’s aggressive plan to bring 64-bit smartphones to market based on the next-gen ARMv8 architecture from ARM.

It runs on the Snapdragon 615 chip, which we’ve talked about before. It’s a rather strange chip that’s made out of eight Cortex A53 CPU cores, where four cores are clocked at 1.0 Ghz and the other four are at 1.5 Ghz, making it not terribly efficient in terms of die space for very little gain in terms of power consumption.

In our previous coverage we concluded that this chip exists mainly for marketing purposes, especially in Asian markets, where many-core chips have a bigger impact in advertising campaigns. But in terms of performance, or even power consumption, there shouldn’t be a large difference between the quad-core Snapdragon 610 and the octo-core Snapdragon 615 that the Desire 820 is using.

The phone also comes with an Adreno 405 GPU, which should bring some performance increase over the old Adreno 305 that we saw in the Desire 816. More importantly, it will have support for the new OpenGL ES 3.1 graphics API, which will make it more future-proof and allow its users to enjoy higher-quality graphics in their games (as long as the game developers take advantage of it).

Other features include a 5.5” screen with a 720p resolution (adequate for a mid-range device), 13MP rear camera, 8MP selfie camera (the highest resolution on the market), BoomSound speakers (a feature that is coming to more and more HTC phones lately) and support for Cat 4 LTE. Qualcomm seems to be pushing LTE in mid-range phones with its new chips, too, and HTC is one of the first beneficiaries.

The Desire 820 will be available on the market at the end of September in several different colors including Marble White, Tuxedo Grey, Santorini White, Milky-way Grey, Tangerine White, Saffron Grey, Flamingo Grey, Blue Mist and Monarch Orange. There will also be a dual-SIM variant. 

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Now the important question... will it get Cyanogenmod support or are the buyers stuck with the lousy manufacturer firmware? :D
  • permanoob
    Holy iPhone 5c Batman!
  • captaincharisma
    lol iphone 5C? this phone make the iphone 5C look like a crappy old HTC Diamond
  • permanoob
    Just saying the back looks like the 5c. Color and design-wise.