HTC has announced the Desire 816 at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona but while we weren't allowed to turn the device on, we did get our hands on it.

The design is great, following a very similar style to the award-winning HTC One, but softened and finished in plastics. The back is glossy and smooth, making it a pleasure to hold and its curvaceous look makes for a lovely design.

It features the front-facing speakers, albeit not as striking as the HTC One's micro-drilled BoomSound speakers, but they still look good and will hopefully produce the same brilliant sound of the current flagship.

The body itself offers a slim, sleek look with rounded edges and a headphone jack at the top. While we had a white device, the models on display came in a charcoal colour, orange and white options, which we assume will be the same offered when the device launches globally in April.

There is a 13-megapixel rear camera that features a LED flash underneath and on the front you will find a 5-megapixel snapper, both of which are decent cameras for a mid-range device.

The thing that's the most interesting, however, is the lack of capacitive buttons on the front of the device. Up until now, we've seen controls flanking that HTC logo on the middle - that's the case on the HTC One family and the Desire family, but not so here.

It plays into the rumours that HTC is going to be ditching the buttons on the forthcoming new HTC One in favour of on-screen controls. There was an interesting detail in HTC's press release for the HTC Desire 816 too that said it would launch in China on Sense 5.5 in March, but then update to the latest version before its global release in April. Sense 5.5 is the latest version, suggesting we'll see Sense 6.0 announced in March.

Back to the device in question, and as the HTC Desire 816 wasn't turned on so we couldn't judge the 5.5-inch 1280 x 720 pixel resolution display or how quickly the 1.6GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor performed tasks.

We suspect we weren't allowed to turn the device on or handle it as it might reveal too much about the forthcoming HTC One flagship launch on 25 March.

Sections HTC Phones