HTC is taking a different approach to this year's mid-range Desire phones. They're decidedly less modest.
With the new Desire 530, 630, and 825 phones unveiled at Mobile World Congress, HTC is deploying what it calls a micro splash design. We call the look sparkly. HTC says the look comes from the use of spray nozzles using different settings of pressure and paint viscosity. It's the design @evleaks leaked earlier today.
The provided press image was spot on. All three of these devices are polycarbonate with rear cameras in the upper corner, zigzagging speaker grills, and holes in the back for a phone lanyard.
Unlike Samsung and LG, HTC doesn't seem to be ready to reveal its next flagship, the One (M10), at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week. But the company's portfolio doesn't stop at the One lineup. There's the Desire range as well, and one of its impending models is codenamed A16 and pictured in the leaked photo above, courtesy of Evan Blass (@evleaks). There are six color variants including plain black and white, and starry / sparkly black, white, red, and navy. Or at least that's the way my eyes see it.
But don't let that code confuse you into thinking this is an A-series smartphone, like the One A9.
HTC's Desire brand has hung on through two revisions of the "company-wide" One moniker, oddly adopting features and style queues from the flagship series while aiming for a lower price point. So it is with the latest Desire phones to come to Verizon, the 526 and 626. Verizon announced the pair earlier today, with the cheaper Desire 526 going on sale tomorrow (August 13th) and the Desire 626 available "in the coming weeks."
The 526 is the cheaper of the two phones, with a 4.7-inch 960x540 screen and an 8-megapixel camera (according to Verizon's short press release). HTC's website has rather more information, revealing a Snapdragon 210 processor, 1.5GB of RAM, 8GB of storage plus a MicroSD card slot, a rather diminutive 2000mAh battery, and a 2MP front-facing camera.
Today at its big Double Exposure New York event, HTC officially unveiled the leaked Desire EYE. What sets this phone apart from others isn't impressive specs or phenomenal build quality. Oh no, it's the giant 13MP front-facing camera. With a matching camera on the back, this phone wants your selfies to look just as impressive as the photos you take of other people. There's even dual LED flash on both sides as well.
As fun as this concept and selfies in general are to mock, let's acknowledge for a moment that it's not unreasonable to expect front-facing shots to look as crisp as images captured with the rear shooter.
The HTC Desire 610 marked a revival for the "Desire" brand in the US when it came to AT&T in late July. Now a variant, the Desire 612, is finding its way to Verizon Wireless, as the carrier will start selling the handset in just two days. Think of it as largely the same as the version on AT&T, just with more branding and extra red.
The HTC Desire 612 is meant to be an affordable mid-range device. It has a 4.7-inch screen with a 960 by 540 display. It's not going to be particularly impressive, but for the price point, it's serviceable.
HTC is set to unveil some new hardware at a New York City event on Wednesday. The company itself has already given us some clues to a GoPro-style sports camera (including a couple of unintended product images), and a few less reliable sources claim there will be a phone with a 13-megapixel Duo camera. This weekend the Twitter leak account @Upleaks showed some images of an alleged "HTC Desire Eye," a phone that embraces the selfie craze (ugh) in a big way.
Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
If HTC's various members of the One family seem a little cold and lifeless to you, you'll appreciate the new Desire 820. This decidedly mid-range device uses a variety of color schemes on its polycarbonate shell, adding a bit of style to the company's standard unibody dual-speaker layout. The result is a look that blends the HTC One M8 and, oddly, the iPhone 5c. Check out those two-tone accents on some models.
Inside the Desire 820, you'll find the first application of the Snapdragon 615, Qualcomm's middle-of-the-road 64-bit processor. HTC isn't saying what the clock speed is, but the standard implementation is an octa-core 1.8Ghz chip paired to an Adreno 405 GPU.
HTC's Desire family is the brand that just won't stop, having survived not one but two company-wide product refreshes. And strangely, it looks like it will also host the first HTC device to come with a 64-bit processor. The Desire 510 is a low-end phone aimed at bargain hunters and pay-as-you-go wireless users, but its inclusion of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 410 system on a chip makes its otherwise lackluster specifications notable.
The 1.2Ghz quad-core 410 isn't exactly a powerhouse, but its ability to support both 32-bit and 64-bit processing should make it a popular choice for mid-range and low-end phones as Android begins to support the latter with the upcoming L release.
The HTC Desire 610 is now available from AT&T, marking the first time in years that the Desire brand has appeared on carrier store shelves in the US. The phone is very affordable, going for just $199.99 without an annual contract. With one, it's only 99 cents.
American readers might not know this, but HTC just loves the Desire brand name. It's been around since 2010, when the original launched as a slightly modified version of the Nexus One. Since then it's gone through many permutations, like the keyboard-equipped Desire Z (the G2 in the US) and got at One X-style makeover with the Desire X. The 601 brought the family up to the HTC One M7's industrial design, meaning the name has survived two of HTC's complete hardware overhauls. Now for the first time in years, we're getting a Desire in the US, courtesy of AT&T.
The line has gradually shifted the the budget market, and the new Desire 610 fits well below the HTC One Mini 2 as a starter or contract-free phone.