Meet HTC Desire 820, price 20k: India’s first 64-bit Android phone

The HTC Desire 820, to be launched in India on Tuesday, will be priced at around Rs 20,000-22,000, and will be India’s first 64-bit Android phone. It will also be one of the cheapest LTE phones in the market till date.


The phone, which will NOT be available in stores immediately after its launch on Tuesday. It will be available in the first week of November. The phone’s price will fall to the Rs 17,000 range within about two-three months of launch.

With the Desire 820, HTC has stolen a march over rivals Huawei, Samsung, LG and Sony in announcing the first ever 64-bit enabled Android phone in the market, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset. It will also be among the cheapest phones to come with LTE.

The Cortex A53 64-bit core that underlies the Snapdragon 615 chipset is expected to be about 50% more powerful than the Cortex A7 cores that are being used by Mediatek in its popular quad-core and octa-core chips.

As an example, the Micromax Canvas Gold (price Rs 19,000) is powered by Mediatek MT6592T octa-core processor with eight Cortex A7 processors running at 2 GHz each. Phones with this chip have been reported to score around 25,000-28,000 in Antutu tests. In other words, an optimum implementation of Cortex A53 cores could give Antutu scores upwards of 35,000.

However, the Desire 820 has been designed not just as a mid-range chip, but also a very low-power consumption one. Four of the cores are clocked at just 1 GHz, while the remaining four are tuned at just 1.5 GHz.

As a result, in terms of raw power, it may actually underpeform the octa-core processors found in Micromax’ and other models available in India, but will certainly be more power efficient.

Another challenge that the HTC Desire 820 will have to overcome is the poor support for 64-bit hardware platform from Android. As a result, it is expected that the phone is likely to ship with the 32-bit version of Android, and a 64-bit upgrade may have to wait for updates. Of course, users can also install custom 64-bit ROMs when they become available.

Still, the HTC Desire 820 is a milestone for HTC in India. The company has long suffered from the “too costly” tag, and the latest phone may help it come back strongly to the mid-range market.

Another big plus for the 820 is its looks. The phone is drop dead gorgeous and users have been drooling over its looks wherever pictures have been put up.

In addition, the phone also comes with support for LTE, which will come in either the 1800 MHz band or the 2300 MHz band, both of which are being deployed in India. Support for both bands is not on the cards.

The Desire 820 will have a 5.5-inch, 720p display, 2 GB of RAM, an 8 megapixel front camera and a 13 MP shooter at the back, and the all-new Adreno 405 graphics processor (compared to the 300 series currently available in the market.)

In addition to the Desire 820, two other models — Sony Xperia Z3 and Lenovo K920 (both priced Rs 50,000) — will also be launched in India this week.

Other 64-bit Android phones that will be launched in India over the next two months are almost all built around the Snapdragon 410 chipset, which is the quad-core version of the 610 series. The models being prepped for launch include Samsung Galaxy Alpha (price around Rs 25,000?), the Huawei G621 (around Rs 15,000), Samsung GM-510 (Rs 18,000) and HTC Desire 510, also around Rs 15,000.