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HTC staggers on with a pair of forgettable midrange Android handsets

HTC staggers on with a pair of forgettable midrange Android handsets


Launching in Taiwan for now

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Image: HTC

HTC has announced a pair of new smartphones for the Taiwanese market, the HTC U19E and HTC Desire 19 Plus, indicating there’s still a little life left in the company’s once dominant smartphone division.

The HTC U19E is powered by a midrange Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, flanked by 6GB of RAM and a 3,930mAh battery, and has a dual camera setup on its rear consisting of a main 12-megapixel camera with a 20-megapixel telephoto lens. GSMArena reports that the HTC Desire 19 Plus is powered by a MediaTek Helio P35 chipset, and has a triple camera setup on its rear that consists of a 13-megapixel main sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide, and a 5-megapixel depth sensor.

As its smartphones stagger, HTC’s VR business marches on

HTC’s smartphone efforts aren’t in great shape. From the company’s high as an early Android pioneer (the HTC Dream was the first ever Android-powered smartphone, after all), its smartphones have since faded into near irrelevance. Google has gutted HTC’s smartphone design division, putting the team to work on its own Pixel devices, while HTC’s blockchain-powered Exodus smartphone was a risky bet that doesn’t appear to have paid off judging by the continued decline in the company’s revenue. Its customer service appears to also be experiencing problems: Android Police reports that numerous phones have been sent in for repair, only to never be returned or to return broken.

While its smartphone business is in decline, HTC is at least making moves on the VR front. This year it’s announced a total of three new headsets: the premium PC-powered Vive Pro Eye, the wireless Vive Focus Plus, and the Vive Cosmos, which is also powered by a PC, but ditches the need for external trackers. HTC is also releasing the 5G Hub, which is meant to provide home broadband over a 5G connection. HTC as a company might not be dead just yet, but it’s hard to see its smartphone division continuing for much longer.

The HTC U19E will retail for TWD 14,900 (around $475) and will be available starting tomorrow. Meanwhile, the HTC U19 Plus will start at TWD 9,990 (around $320) and will be on sale in early July. There’s currently no word on whether either phone will be released outside of Taiwan.