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MWC 2014: HTC Expands Desire Smartphone Range

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Two new mid-range devices announced at MWC as HTC aims to kick-start its flagging fortunes

HTC has announced two new smartphones as the company looks to build up its mid-range offerings.

Promising to ‘reignite the mid-market’, the Desire 816 and Desire 610 are part of what the company calls it ‘ambitious 2014 mid-range portfolio’, with their launch coming a few weeks before the company announces a new flagship device.

The two devices indicate a focus on consumers creating and sharing content, providing users with a better user experience thanks to improved camera functions such as HTC’s Zoe and Video Highlights software, as well as enhanced multimedia playback.

HTC MWC 2014Objects of Desire

The Desire 816 features a 5.5inch 720px HD display, and comes with a 13MP rear-facing camera which is able to record 1080p HD video, along with a 5MP front-facing camera. The 4G/LTE-enabled device is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.6Ghz, 1.5GB RAM, and comes with 8GB of storage, although this can be expanded to up to 128GB via microSD.

Weighing 165g, the Desire 816 somewhat resembles its bigger brother, the HTC One, featuring front-facing BoomSound speakers, and will be available in a range of six colour schemes and will go on sale in China next month with global availability following in April.

“The HTC Desire 816 marks the beginning of an exciting new era for the mid-tier,” said Peter Chou, HTC CEO. “Incomparably beautiful to look at and hold with the technology and software to match, the HTC Desire 816 challenges everything that people expect from lower cost smartphones. It is bringing genuine choice to the category by delivering stunning design and high-end performance at unbelievable value.”

The less powerful Desire 610 has been described by the company as, ‘a compact entertainment hub’, and features a 4.7inch qHD screen again powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, albeit one clocked at 1.2Ghz. It comes with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage which can be upgraded to 128GB via microSD. It features an 8MP main rear camera able to record 1080p HD content, with a 1.3MP front-facing equivalent.

HTC Desire 610

The Desire 610 (pictured right) will also be able to connect to 4G/LTE networks, and will be available across Europe from May.

“Consumer choice should be about selecting the best-in-class features without having to compromise on quality,” said Philip Blair, President, HTC EMEA. “The HTC Desire 610 offers an outstanding combination of performance and entertainment at a price that makes it possible for everyone to enjoy an exceptional smartphone experience.

HTC will be hoping that these new mid-range devices will be able to kick off what proves to be a crucial year for the company. It is due to reveal its new flagship smartphone, dubbed the HTC One 2, on 25 March, and has also confirmed it will be revealing some kind of wearable technology this year (which will apparently be shown off in secret at MWC) as it seeks to revive itself.

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HTC Desire 816 & 610 MWC 2014

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HTC announces Desire 816 and 610 at MWC 2014
HTC Desire 816