We've clearly got a little bias on the subject, but Android has a long and storied history filled with its own triumphs and pitfalls. It's been well over a decade now since that first HTC G1 landed, the inaugural Android smartphone, and things have changed drastically since then. Being "first" might make you think the G1 was the most influential Android phone — but was it, really?
Mixed reality experiences continue to play their roles in helping us understand concepts, tell stories, market products, or in just letting us hang out with a virtual Pomeranian for a hot second. For Android phones, that means having Google certify that your phone supports its ARCore APIs. We've got our first batch of new supported devices for 2021 right here.
One of the more interesting VR applications we've seen in recent years is Tilt Brush, an app that lets users create 3D art in a virtual environment. Unfortunately, Google has announced that it's ending internal development for the app. It will get another chance to succeed, however, as an open-source project.
HTC has been struggling for a couple of years now, but its latest offering, the Desire 21 Pro 5G, looks pretty promising. Having just gone official, this phone offers 5G, a 90Hz refresh rate, an impressive array of cameras, and a sizable 5,000mAh battery. Not bad.
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It can be hard for something as anonymous looking as a smartphone to stand out in the world. So, when coming up with ways to advertise and market their wares, manufacturers of these products often try to get... creative. Sometimes, they get far, far too creative, and hilarity ensues. While some of their biggest snafus may be indefinitelylost, we have 11 smartphones commercials and promo videos that we think are the absolutely cringiest, most bizarre, and generally weird ever to be created (and, frequently, the targets of later attempted destruction by their creators — so, thanks, random YouTube re-uploaders).
Sure, HTC doesn’t run a booming smartphone business anymore, but its sporadic efforts remind us the company's not quite done for good. In line with its plan to introduce its first 5G phone this year and a recent teaser, the Taiwanese brand has just unveiled a pair of mid-rangers with lot in common, from their battery sizes to the camera count: the U20 5G and Desire 20 Pro.
HTC isn't quite dead yet, but the company has seemingly given up on releasing flagship phones. HTC's last high-end device was 2018's Exodus 1, which itself was a slightly-tweaked HTC U12+, but there have been a handful of Desire and Wildfire-branded budget phones released since then. Now it seems yet another mid-range phone is on the way, and it looks like the company is set to announce it June 16.
For a company that's been on a years-long downhill toboggan, HTC still has hopes of playing catch-up in 2020. There's a 5G phone in the works, we're tracking another entry in the budget-minded Desire series, and now, for some reason, we're looking at some AirPod clones.
LineageOS is the most popular custom ROM in existence, and the project prides itself on bringing newer versions of Android to unsupported devices. However, Lineage has been a bit slow to roll out a version based on Android 10 — the Pie-based ROM was already available by this time last year. Thankfully, the next major version of LineageOS seems to be just around the corner.
HTC hasn't released a new flagship smartphone since the poorly-designed U12+ in mid-2018, and the company's most recent budget device was last year's Exodus 1s (which shipped with Android Oreo). HTC doesn't seem to be done with phones quite yet, as it plans to produce a 5G device sometime this year.