HTC Desire 826, the full-HD rival to Samsung Galaxy A7, has been launched in India for Rs 26,200, while the HTC One E9 will also be priced in the same range and be available in the second half of this month.
The low price points, along with the presence of Android 5 Lolipop, is likely to give a boost to the phones’ chances. It was widely expected to be priced around Rs 29,000 when it was expected to be launched by the end of February or early March.
The current launch of HTC Desire 826 is, therefore, a full month later than expected and comes a month after the Galaxy A7 was launched.
With the planned launch of the HTC One E9, the Taiwanese company has rounded out its next-generation portfolio in India.
The line-up will consist of four phones, the E9, the M9 and their ‘plus’ versions. Both E9 and E9 Plus will come with 5.5-inch displays, while the M9 will come with a 5-inch screen and the M9+ with a 5.2-inch screen.
The E series will be powered by the latest MediaTek 64-bit MT67xx series chipsets, while the M9 series will use the Snapdragon series from Qualcomm.
Both chips are essentially based on the same underlying chip design from ARM Holdings, but the cost of the MediaTek chipset – despite being comparable in performance to the Qualcomm offering – is expected to be considerably lower.
As a result, there will be a nearly Rs 10,000 different in the price of the E9+ and the M9+, and about a Rs 8,000 difference between the prices of the M9 and the E9.
The HTC E9 will be priced in the same range as the Desire 826, or about Rs 25,000, while the E9+ will be priced around Rs 35,000. The M9+ will be priced around Rs 45,000.
The main difference between the ‘normal’ version (E9, M9) and the ‘plus’ version is that the latter comes with quad-HD (4 mln pixel) displays, while the E9 and the M9 come with full-HD (2 mln pixel) displays.
The first to hit the market would be 826, followed by the E9, M9 and E9+, followed by the M9+.
The launch of the Desire 826 has been in the works for almost three months, and was supposed to soon follow the launch of the 820. The 820 came with a 720p (1 mln pixel) display and KitKat and hit the markets last year, while the 826 was supposed to be the full-HD upgrade to the phone.
While the 826 launch was delayed, Samsung released its mid-to-high end offering the Galaxy A7, which has been selling like hot cakes thanks to its Rs 30,000 price tag. The A7 also comes with a full-HD 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display.
The launch of Desire 826 also comes at the same time as that of the Gionee Elife S7, a full-HD super AMOLED phone with LTE, priced around Rs 25,000. The Gionee Elife S7 also comes with Android Lolipop.
As we have noted earlier, the HTC Desire 826 is almost exactly the same as the A7 except for the display technology, which is LCD in this case and not AMOLED.
The only point of difference seems to be that the A7 supports LTE Band 40, which is used by Bharti Airtel in places like Punjab, Pune and Bangalore, while the Desire 826 does not seem to offer support for that band. However, both phones support the other LTE band widely in use in India – Band 3, which should even out the comparison largely.
The Galaxy A7 also has support for Corning Gorilla Glass, while we are not sure what kind of protection is offered on the Desire 826.
Both have the same processor – 64-bit Snapdragon 615, and 13 megapixel cameras at the back. The HTC model, however, clearly has a lead in the selfie department as it has a wide-angle 13 MP camera on the front with f2.0 aperture + BSI Sensor and 28.2mm Wide Angle lens. In comparison, the A7 has a 5 MP front camera.
Both have full HD 5.5-inch displays giving a pixel-per-inch of 401. HTC also has what it calls Boom Sound with Dolby Audio Surround Sound, which, in our reviews, has given better speaker experience than normal set-ups.
HTC 826 also comes with high grade headphones and redesigned speakers. Internal memory on both the Desire 829 and the A7 is 16 GB and RAM on both models is 2 GB.
Of course, one key asset for the Desire model is that it comes Android Lolipop, while the A7 has KitKat.
Battery, again, is the same on both, at 2.6 Ah.
While the 826 would have had a spectacular run if launched a month ago along with the A7, it remains to be seen how it will compete with the upcoming Zenphone 2.
The Asus Zenphone 2, whose processor is almost twice as powerful as that of both A7 and Desire 826, comes with nearly all other features as these two models, will be launched in India in three weeks, starting at a price of just Rs 15,000.
Here is a comparison of the two models based on available specifications. The data may change as more details become available.
|Network||SAMSUNG GALAXY A7||HTC DESIRE 826|
|2G bands||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1 & SIM 2||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900|
|3G Network||HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 – A700YD, A700H||HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100|
|4G Network||LTE band 1(2100), 3(1800), 7(2600), 8(900), 28(700), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300), 41(2500) – A700YD||LTE band 1(2100), 3(1800), 7(2600), 8(900)|
|Speed||HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE Cat4 150/50 Mbps||HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE Cat4 150/50 Mbps|
|Launch||Announced||2015, January||2015, January|
|Status||Available. Released 2015, February||Available. Released 2015, March|
|Body||Dimensions||151 x 76.2 x 6.3 mm (5.94 x 3.00 x 0.25 in)||158 x 77.5 x 8 mm (6.22 x 3.05 x 0.31 in)|
|Weight||141 g (4.97 oz)||183 g (6.46 oz)|
|SIM||Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)||Nano-SIM|
|Display||Type||Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors||Super LCD3 capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||5.5 inches (~72.5% screen-to-body ratio)||5.5 inches (~68.1% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi pixel density)||1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi pixel density)|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass 4|
|– HTC Sense UI|
|Platform||OS||Android OS, v4.4.4 (KitKat)||Android OS, v5.0.1 (Lollipop)|
|Chipset||Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615||Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615|
|CPU||Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53||Quad-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53|
|GPU||Adreno 405||Adreno 405|
|Memory||Card slot||microSD, up to 64 GB (uses SIM 2 slot)||microSD, up to 128 GB|
|Internal||16 GB, 2 GB RAM||16 GB, 2 GB RAM|
|Camera||Primary||13 MP, 4128 x 3096 pixels, autofocus, LED flash||13 MP, 4160 x 3120 pixels, autofocus, LED flash|
|Features||Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, panorama, HDR||Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, simultaneous HD video and image recording, HDR|
|Secondary||5 MP, 1080p||13 MP, 1080p|
|Sound||Alert types||Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones||Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones|
|Loudspeaker||Yes||Yes, with stereo speakers|
|Comms||WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||v4.0, A2DP, EDR, LE||v4.1, A2DP, apt-X|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS/ Beidou (market dependant)||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS|
|Radio||FM radio with RDS; recording||FM radio|
|USB||microUSB v2.0||microUSB v2.0|
|Features||Sensors||Accelerometer, proximity, compass||Accelerometer, proximity, compass|
|Messaging||SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM||SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email|
|Java||Yes, via Java MIDP emulator||Yes, via Java MIDP emulator|
|– ANT+ support
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– MP4/WMV/H.264 player
– MP3/WAV/WMA/eAAC+/FLAC player
– Photo/video editor
– Document viewer
|– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– MP4/H.264/WMV player
– MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV player
– Document viewer
– Photo/video editor
|Battery||Non-removable Li-Ion 2600 mAh battery||Non-removable Li-Po 2600 mAh battery|