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Multimedia-savvy HTC phablet launches in Australia, from $499

Multimedia-savvy HTC phablet launches in Australia, from $499

Optus will be the first to stock the 5.5-inch Desire 820

HTC’s multimedia-savvy Desire 820 will launch next week in Australia. Optus will range the smartphone first, though HTC claims the smartphone will progressively roll out to other retailers.

The Android phablet bundles 4G connectivity with a large display, amplified stereo speakers and high resolution cameras in an effort to woo lovers of multimedia.

HTC Desire 820

A two-one plastic unibody — and not the bespoke metal of the One range — has been used on the Desire 820 to keep the price wallet-friendly.

This is a smartphone designed for folks keen on watching videos or browsing the web. The display is a large 5.5-inches and it is flanked by HTC’s BoomSound technology.

HTC introduced its BoomSound concept two years ago with the One (M7), and since then it has continuously impressed critics and users alike with above average sound quality. It works by amplifying the two front-firing speakers.

The resolution of the screen is 1280x720, and although that makes for a modest 267 pixels-per-inch, it will help help the 2600 milliamps-hour battery power the smartphone for longer.

Upholding the multimedia theme are two high resolution cameras. The front camera will capture photos at a market-leading 8-megapixels, while those taken with the rear camera will measure a commendable 13-megapixels.

The Desire 820 is one of the first smartphones to be powered by Qualcomm’s 64-bit Snapdragon 615 processor. The octa-core CPU alternates between a 1GHz quad-core CPU and another 1.7GHz quad-core CPU in an effort to balance economy with performance.

Read more: Google Nexus 9 first impressions: Hands on with HTC's first tablet

Memory is handled by 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and a memory card slot that will take microSD cards up to 128GB in size.

The 4G smartphone has a decent connectivity repertoire, with Bluetooth 4.0 and dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11n.

HTC qualify the Desire 820 as a mid-range smartphone. It has an outright retail price of $499, or can be purchased on an Optus 24 month contract for $40 per month when it goes on sale 5 March.

The company is expected to announce a new flagship smartphone, a successor to the One (M8) at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) next week. Visit Good Gear Guide next week for our live report at the MWC in Barcelona.

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