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HTC Desire Eye review Undercover flagship

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HTC Desire Eye is the most capable member of the company’s mid-range family of smartphones to date. Announced in early October, the smartphone features a rather peculiar camera setup, which consists of a duo of 13MP sensors, each flanked by a two-tone LED flash.

HTC Desire Eye official photos
HTC Desire Eye surely looks like a member of the Taiwanese manufacturer’s mid-range lineup, though its hardware specifications tell an entirely different story. With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC, 5.2″ 1080p display, IPX7 certification, and BoomSound stereo speakers to go with the unique camera setup, the newcomer is as well-equipped as some of today’s Android flagship devices.


Key features

  • 5.2″ 1080p IPS display with 424ppi
  • 2.3 GHz quad-core Krait 400 CPU; Adreno 330 GPU; Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset; 2GB of RAM
  • 13MP f/2.2 front-facing camera with two-tone, dual-LED flash; 1080p @30fps video recording
  • 13MP f/2.0 main camera with two-tone, dual-LED flash; 1080p @30fps video recording; dedicated camera button
  • 16GB of built-in memory; microSD card slot
  • Cat. 4 LTE connectivity (150Mbps DL)
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX; NFC; GPS/GLONASS
  • BoomSound front-facing stereo speakers
  • IPX7 water and dust resistance certification (up to 1m of depth for 30 min)
  • Android 4.4.4 KitKat with HTC Sense 6.0 UI
  • 2,400mAh battery
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Main disadvantages

  • The battery is not user-replaceable
  • No 4K video recording or OIS
  • No IR port

A quick glance at its key features reveals that the Desire Eye is actually better equipped than the still-standing company’s flagship smartphone, the HTC One (M8). Only its plastic body prevents the handset from topping the company’s Android family.

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The 13MP front-facing camera is a clear nod towards the rapidly growing, selfie-loving crowd – it makes the HTC Desire Eye stand out among its competitors. The 13MP unit on the back is a welcome sight too. We are all but certain that it will take better photos than the underwhelming UltraPixel unit of the One (M8).

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The relatively modest 2,400mAh battery seems to be the biggest question mark in the HTC Desire Eye. It is smaller in capacity than the unit found in HTC One (M8), yet it has a bigger display to light up. We will surely keep a close eye on its performance in our battery test.

HTC Desire Eye live photos

So, is HTC Desire Eye a capable mid-ranger, or is it the company’s flagship in disguise? Read on to find out! As always, we will kick the review off with unboxing, followed by design and hardware inspection.

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