Last May (2014) I bought a Google Nexus 5 as a second phone to my Nokia Lumia 925. After few months Nexus 5 became my primary phone, Nokia 925 (Windows Phone) went to my office lab for testing purposes. Moving from a curated ecosystem of Windows Phone was not easy. I missed the fantastic camera of Lumia 925, the driving mode which when I am in the car automatically switches my music player and reads out text messages, the Windows Phone connector app for Mac OS X which makes sync with iTunes a breeze. I hated the stock Android Dialer, Message, Mail, Player, Photos App for example. Then my friends who were using Android helped me with recommendations and I started to get the hang of Android. As the year progressed Google updated Nexus 5 to Lollipop and released lot of polished apps for Gmail supporting Office 365, Google Camera, Google Messenger (replacing the awful Hangout). I found a simple paid app SMS Backup & Restore by Ritesh Sahu for backing SMS messages and restoring it back (something that iOS and WP does with ease OOB). For photos app I found QuickPic Gallery to be good, especially to select multiple photos and delete them, edit them easily. For Music I got Rocket Player, for tasks management I went with paid subscription of Todoist which works in all platforms, for detecting when I am in my car switch on Music Player automatically I selected Trigger though IF was the popular app but it suit me. Everything was going well until around Christmas 2014 when I accidentally broke the touch screen of Nexus 5, this was the second time it was happening for me, so I decided I need to buy a new phone.
That’s how for New Year 2015 I gifted myself HTC Desire 820 Dual Sim for Rs.24,700. After much searching I went with this phone, the reasons were I didn’t want to spend for a premium phone like HTC M8 or Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC 820 supports both the 4G bands that are being introduced in India by Airtel and Reliance Jio (whenever that is). I had experiences with HTC phones in the past, the first HTC phone I owned was in 2007 with HTC S710 a lovely Windows Mobile with a pop-out full keyboard and the last HTC phone I used was in 2010 with HTC Mozart 7 running Windows Phone 7.
My first impression of HTC Desire 820 was how polished and integrated Android from HTC feels compared to stock Android from Google. The default apps like the Dialer, Messaging, Clock, Mail, Gallery and Camera from HTC were so much better that I didn’t install any 3rd party replacements. HTC Pair a feature that helps you to setup your phone from your PC through a web browser was a breeze to use. The HTC Sync Manager app for Mac OS X while not as full featured like Windows Phone connector made is easy to sync iTunes and iPhotos from Mac to the phone. I took a liking to HTC Blink widget as well. The voice quality was great, I hardly any call drops which is a rare for any phone in India.
My most loved feature in the phone was the HTC Sense Input that ships with every HTC smartphone. Reason for liking Sense is the Tamil language keyboard that comes with it, typing my mother tongue with this phone was the best experience compared to all other devices out there including iPhone, the word suggestions were out of the world.
After buying the phone I found there was a Smart display on case (a full case cover for Dot View Touch sense feature in the phone) for the phone from HTC for Rs.499. I highly recommend you buy it. To my knowledge HTC is the only phone which supports this feature called HTC Dot view. What this basically does is to show a low resolution display through the tiny holes in the front case cover. You can even force touch to say pick a call without opening the cover to wake up the full display, saving battery.
After using the phone for last 5 months overall I am happy with the phone, I found I wasn’t comfortable with big size (5.5 inches was too big for me). The low-lights of the phone were the Camera in low light / indoor conditions are average and Battery life was mediocre lasting till 6/7PM after a full charge in the morning. The biggest irk was non-availability of Android 5.0 (Lollipop) for Desire 820 from HTC even after 8 months of release by Google, HTC promised one so that the 64Bit feature of the CPU in the phone gets enabled, but there are no signs of it.