MWC: HTC Handset Photos Leaked Ahead Of Launch

Nathan Eddy is a contributor to eWeek and TechWeekEurope, covering cloud and BYOD

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Photos and specifications of three new HTC smartphones – the Touch HD Mini, Desire and Legend – were leaked online ahead of their official unveiling at MWC

In-demand smartphone maker HTC, known for its sleek handset designs and embrace of Google’s Android operating system, had plans to debut three handset models at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. However, that plan was blown when photos of all three phones and specs of two of the phones were posted on the Android forum Android.MoDaCo. Details of the handsets Desire (formerly known as the Bravo), Legend and Touch HD Mini leaked on Monday, with official release photos of the handsets also posted online. Details of the Touch HD Mini were not leaked.

According to the leaked details, the Desire will boast a 3.7-inch touch-sensitive AMOLED screen, an optical navigation stick, a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU from Qualcomm and HTC’s Sense user interface. Also expected to be included is FM radio, Android version 2.1 (aka Éclair), a GPS with internal antenna, four sensors (proximity, ambient light, G-sensor and digital compass) as well as Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity with FTP/OOP for file transfers and PBAP for phonebook access from a car kit. Rounding out the package is a 5-megapixel camera with auto focus and flashlight.

The HTC Legend features many of the same specs including onscreen navigation with optical trackball, a 3.2-inch touch screen AMOLED display, and will run Android Éclair). The battery provides up to 440 minutes talk time for WCDMA and up to 490 minutes for GSM networks, with standby times of up to 560 hours and 440 hours for the respective networks. Also included is an expansion slot for a microSD memory card, which is SD 2.0 compatible.

HTC was able to issue some news on its own on Monday, announcing plans to deliver a portfolio of Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Series phones to market later this year. The company said the phones would support Xbox LIVE games and Zune music and video service, a capability highlighted by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at the company’s official software unveiling at MWC on Monday. During the event, Ballmer and VP of Windows Phones Joe Belfiore put a strong emphasis on the personal and unique experience the software would bring to each individual user.

Peter Chou, chief executive officer of HTC Corporation, called Windows Phone 7 Series a “significant milestone” for Microsoft, the industry and ultimately people looking to do more on their phones. “HTC is working closely with Microsoft to bring the unique HTC experience that customers love,” he said. “Microsoft has clearly listened to feedback from people and brought a new, fresh approach to the smartphone experience that is beautiful, powerful and compelling.”

Andy Lees, senior vice president of the mobile communication business at Microsoft and the man who introduced HTC as an official partner at the Windows Phone 7 Series software unveiling, said people are moving faster than ever, juggling more priorities and turning to technology to manage it all. “Windows Phone 7 Series simplifies common tasks by bringing together related content from the web, applications and services into a single view to make life easier,” he said. “We are pleased to work closely with HTC, a global leader in mobile phone technology and design, to bring new Windows phones to customers around the world.”