HTC Desire 825 will be launched in India this month to take on Redmi Note 3 and LeTV Le 1s. At an expected price of Rs 13k-15k, the phone will be the most affordable 800-series device ever launched by the company in the Indian market.
The Desire 825 was unveiled in the Mobile World Congress recently and comes with a 5.5-inch, 720p display, 2 GB of RAM and Snapdragon 400 chipset.
The model also has a 13 MP camera at the back complemented by a 5 MP front shooter. The device runs on Android 6 Marshmallow and has 16 GB of storage. Its 2.7 Ah battery will come with fast-charging support. As expected, the Desire 825 will also come with dual front speakers and boom sound as well as Dolby audio.
One of the ‘attractions’ of the phone is its unique coloring scheme termed “duo color micro splash.” It will come in graphite gray and gold color options and is supposed to be quite fashionable.
As can be seen from a listing of the hardware specifications, the phone is hardly a powerhouse, and will sorely under perform similarly priced rivals such as Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and LeTV Le 1s. The phone lags its rivals in terms of processing power, display and RAM.
Both Redmi Note 3 and Le 1s will offer twice as much power as the Desire 825 for more or less the same price.The only one that it can compete with in terms of processing power is the Lenovo K4 Note, but here too it loses out because of its lower resolution display.
In terms of battery too, the Le 1s offers a 3 Ah unit while the Redmi Note 3 has a 4 Ah cell.
The only major advantage that the Desire model has is in its operating system. While the Redmi and LeTV models are powered by Android 5, the 825 will be one of the first models in India to come with Android 6.
Another advantage is support for external memory cards, though this is also offered by the Lenovo K4 Note as well.
The Desire 825 was one of the three new models released by HTC at MWC last month. The other two are the 530 and the 630.
In many ways, the Desire 530 and 630 — also likely to be launched this month — could see better sales than the 825 because of competitive reasons. While the 530 is expected to be priced around Rs 7,000, the 630 is likely to set you back by around Rs 10 grand.
At these prices, their main competition will be with the Lenovo K5, but not with Redmi Note 3 or Le 1s.
However, the Rs 12,000 price band is without doubt the most competitive segment in the Indian smartphone market, and HTC has very little scope to make any big splash in this pricing segment with the modest specifications of its new model.
The only other option would be for the Taiwanese company to go for an online-only sales model like Lenovo, Xiaomi and LeEco. However, HTC has never adopted that strategy, instead preferring to support its distributor and retail partners by offering the models via the traditional channels.
This has meant that the company’s products almost always end up looking extremely expensive in the price sensitive mid- and low-range market.
Not surprisingly, the company has been facing financial problems due to poor sales.
If, on the other hand, HTC adopts an online-only model of distribution, it could price the 825 as low as Rs 8,999, at which point the phone could see strong sales in India. Chances for that, however, are low according to industry sources.