HTC Desire 816 now available from Virgin Mobile USA for $300 pact-free

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HTC Desire 816A pretty big hit (literally and figuratively) in markets across Europe and Asia, HTC’s budget-minded, feature-rich Desire 816 phablet was a nonstarter stateside. Literally, since it’s been really hard to come by on these shores.

Luckily, that’s not the case anymore, and beginning today, Virgin Mobile sells the big guy at the sensible price of $299.99. With 4G LTE connectivity, and no contractual obligations whatsoever.

Unveiled way back at the Mobile World Congress in February, the Desire 816 has strangely not aged a day, looking just as dangerous now for Samsung’s overpriced, jumbo-sized smartphones as it did six months ago.

Of course, as lucrative as Virgin’s prepaid $35 and up monthly plans are compared to what postpaid networks offer, Sprint’s subsidiary remains, well, a minor subsidiary. With a minuscule customer portfolio, so if HTC wants to be taken seriously in the low-cost, mid-range phablet arena, it needs the support of the “big four”.

Otherwise, the upcoming LG G3 Stylus is going to catapult it into oblivion. If you don’t mind going prepaid, and Virgin’s deal feels too good to turn down, head on over to its online store or brick and mortar retail locations.

You’ll be signing up for a mammoth-sized One M8 lookalike with a plastic chassis, beefy quad-core 1.6 GHz Snapdragon 400 chip inside the hood, generous 1.5 GB of RAM and bitching 13 MP/5 MP dual cameras. And yes, Android 4.4 KitKat comes pre-loaded, with Sense 6 UI bells and whistles on top.

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