The HTC Desire 820s, the MediaTek version of its mid-range Desire 820 phone, is now available in select stores in India at a price of about 21,000.
However, the official price of the phone will be around 19,999, according to distributor sources. The phone will be widely available by next week.
The phone is the cheaper version of the HTC Desire 820, priced at Rs 22,700 on Flipkart. Unlike the 820, which is based on a Snapdragon platform, the 820S comes with MediaTek.
The Desire 820, initially priced at Rs 24,500, was launched a month ago, and comes with an octa-core Snapdragon 615 chipset.
The Desire 820s is based on the MediaTek MT6752 chipset, with built-in 4G LTE and eight 64-bit cores based on the mid-range Cortex A53 core design.
The phone was launched in China last month at a price of around 1,800 Yuan (Rs 18,000).
The launch of the new phone follows the pattern that HTC followed for the 816 series. It first launched the Snapdragon-based Desire 816 priced at Rs 24,000 in June last year. Later, in November, it launched the MediaTek version called 816g at Rs 19,000.
MediaTek processors are learnt to be cheaper than Snapdragon processors. Besides, HTC is a Taiwanese company, just like MediaTek, and is keen to be seen as giving both competing chipmakers an equal preference.
The strategy has paid off for HTC, as it has been able to bring the latest technology first. For example, it was well ahead of everyone else in the Android world in bringing 64-bit technology to India thanks to the Desire 820 and the Snapdragon 615 platform.
Though pricey, for a 720p HD phone, the Desire 820 sold well due to its innovative design and HTC’s brand value in India.
It is now HTC’s turn to reduce the price of the 820 with some help from MediaTek, just like it did for the 816. The 820 is currently retailing nfor Rs 23,800, and a 4,000-rupee discount on it would imply a price of around Rs 19,800.
The MediaTek chip will not be underpowered compared to the Snapdragon chip as both use almost the same design as they are based on the Cortex A53 reference design from ARM Holdings, UK.
While Snapdragon usually tweaks the reference design considerably, in case of 615, it is said that the company decided to go largely with the original outline to cut its time to market. As a result, Qualcomm was able to beat MediaTek by around 1 month in terms of its production cycle.
However, that also means that now that MediaTek MT6752 is here, the 615 is more vulnerable from a price point of view.
All other specifications of the Desire 820s are the same as those of the 820 and 820q – including 13+9 MP cameras, 2 GB of RAM, a 5.5-inch HD-ready display, 16 GB of internal memory, 2.6 Ah battery and support for LTE. The exact bands supported may differ.
A point to note is that while both chipsets support 64-bit software, both phone models come with 32-bit software as Android is expected to move to the 64-bit architecture only with Android 5 Lolipop. HTC is expected to release over the air updates to these phones for the Lolipop upgrade in the next two months or so.