Phone Comparisons: HTC Desire 820 vs Samsung Galaxy S5



We have another good one for you today – the new HTC Desire 820 versus the Samsung Galaxy S5.  The HTC Desire 820 follows in its big brother's, HTC One, footsteps with its basic design only out of plastic, not aluminum.  But like the Samsung Galaxy S5, which is also made out of plastic, they both have a good, solid feel to them, although the Galaxy S5 definitely has a more premium look to it.

Coming from different manufacturers and price levels, you would think that these two devices would have had very little in common…and you would be correct, but let us look at what areas they are similar.  Both devices use 2GB of RAM and each has a 16GB internal storage model.  The both have room for expansion via a microSD card to add up to an additional 128GB of storage.  They are somewhat similar with their main camera and even the batteries are close to the same specs.  They both have the usual Dual-Band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and a microUSB connector for charging the device or doing data transfers.  Both devices are running Android 4.4 – the HTC uses Sense 6.0 for its overlay and the Galaxy S5 uses Samsung's TouchWiz overlay.


Please take a look at the detailed Specification sheet listed below to see where these two really differ, and then we will look at each device on a more individual basis, list its pros and cons, and that will help us deter a winner for this comparison.


Desire 820 vs Galaxy S5 Final 2 Specs



HTC Desire 820

HTC Desire 820When HTC announced that the new HTC Desire 820 would be their first 64-bit smartphone, we were wondering what HTC was up to – putting a 64-bit processor in a Desire model?  But this Desire is not quite like the other budget-range models…it is more of an upper-mid-range model, if that is possible.  It comes in a bunch of different colors, is definitely a phablet and is definitely geared towards the social media younger generation.

The HTC Desire 820 is packing a 5.5-inch HD LCD display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and just 267 pixels-per-inch (PPI) – .4-inch larger than the Galaxy S5, but since the Galaxy S5 is a FHD display it has 432 PPI.  Both devices use a Snapdragon processor, although the Desire 820 uses a new 64-bit processor, the 615 quad-core clocked at 1.5GHz, versus the 32-bit higher-end 801 quad-core clocked at 2.5GHz found in the Galaxy S5.  Like I said earlier, they both use 2GB of RAM and the Desire 820 has 16GB of internal memory – the Galaxy S5 has a 16GB and 32GB model, but with both offering a microSD card for an additional 128GB, the 32GB model is a moot point.

The camera area of the Desire 820, like all Desire models, is a far departure from the UltraPixels used on their One M8 – the camera's used on the Desire 820 are the typical 13MP sensor with auto-focus and an LED flash for the main camera and this is up against the 16MP sensor in the Galaxy S5.  Where the Desire 820 really makes a statement is with the huge 8MP front-facing camera (FFC) for social selfies or video chatting…this is up against the more normal 2MP FFC found on the Galaxy S5.  The 2600mAh battery is slightly smaller than the 2800mAh found in the Galaxy S5, although will certainly make it through a full day of normal usage.


The Desire 820 is quite a bit larger than the Galaxy S5 and would make one-handed texting for the target audience next to impossible, but the owner would certainly be the hit at any social event taking selfies with others.  The Desire 820 is also a Dual-SIM smartphone to operate on two different networks – something that is very common in the Asian market, where most of these will end up.  It does have dual, front-facing stereo speakers with HTC's BoomSound, a built-in FM Radio and operates Android 4.4 with Sense 6.0 but will see an upgrade to the 64-bit Android 5.0 Lollipop.  You can purchase one online or at Amazon for $360 – $400 off contract, just make sure it will work with your network before purchasing.

Samsung Galaxy S5

AH Samsung Galaxy S5 -9The Samsung Galaxy S5 was launched by the middle of April in most markets…and while it was upgraded in many areas, it was met with skepticism and even ridicule.  There was no QHD display, no metal and only 2GB of RAM.  On top of that, they added a perforated pattern on the back of the device for a better grip that many likened to golf ball dimples, or worse, a Band-Aid.  They packed it with health focused devices (gimmicks) and a myriad of other improvements, but they were all for naught and sales were way off from a normal Galaxy S series flagship.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a 5.1-inch FHD Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with 432 PPI – kind of blows the Desire 820's display away.  It is also using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz – it may not be 64-bit, but it is superior in all performance areas.  They both come with 2GB of RAM and the Galaxy S5 comes in both a 16GB or 32GB model, but with a microSD card slot to increase that storage by up to 128GB, either model would be fine.


The camera area is of particular interest in this comparison due to the Desire 820's 8MP FFC.  The Galaxy S5 has a great 16MP main camera with an LED flash and auto-focus, but still no Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), although it does have Samsungs own ISOCELL technology for better low-light shooting.  As far as the FFC for selfies and video chatting, it has the more traditional 2MP camera.  So while you will get some terrific camera shots, the prize for the FFC will have to go to the Desire 820, although because of the lens design, it is not likely to fit more than a couple faces in the photo.

As far as other features go, the Galaxy S5 does have NFC built-in, and it is Wi-Fi Calling and VoLTE capable as well.  It is also IP67 certified for dust and water protection, it has an IR Blaster, fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor.  It is running Android 4.4 with TouchWiz and is scheduled to get the new Android 5.0 Lollipop in early 2015.  The Galaxy S5 can be purchased from all major U.S. carriers for $199 on a two-year contract, although there are many deals for it as well.

…And The Winner Is…

AH Samsung Galaxy S5 -10 LOGO



For this comparison, I had to choose the Samsung Galaxy S5.  Other than the 8MP FFC on the HTC Desire 820, the Galaxy S5 simply outperforms the mid-range Desire 820 in just about every category.  The Galaxy S5 has a better display, more powerful, albeit 32-bit, processor, a slight edge in memory options with a 32GB model, a slightly better main camera, a slightly larger battery and easier to hold.  It is also IP67 certified for dust and water resistance, has an IR Blaster, fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor.  You can grab one any major U.S. network for only $199 (or less now) on a two-year contract.

Please hook up with us on our Google+ Page and let us know which one of these two devices you would pick as the winner and WHY…as always, we would love to hear from you.

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Senior Writer

Cory has written for Androidheadlines since 2013 and is a Senior Writer for the site. Cory has a background in Accounting and Finance and worked for the FBI in the past. From there he pursued his Masters in English Literature. Cory loves Android and Google related technology and specializes in Smartphone Comparisons on our site. Contact him at [email protected]

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