Smartphone maker HTC today unveiled two new Android-based phones, along with an updated version of its own user interface, HTC Sense, and a new online service called HTCSenhse.com, to let users manage their phones from a computer.
The two phones are the HTC Desire, with a 4.3-inch display, and the powerful 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor; and the Desire Z, with a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a slightly less powerful Qualcomm chip. Both run Android 2.2, the Froyo version of the OS.
The Desire HD also has an 8 megapixel camera, which can record 720p HD video, and dual-LED flash. It supports Dolby Mobile with SRS virtual surround sound. The Desire HD is expected to be available in Europe and Asia in October, but no plans were announced for the U.S. Pricing was not announced.
Desire Z is said to resemble the just-available T-Mobile G2 Android smartphone. It runs runs an 800MHz Qualcomm processor. Its 5 megapixel camera also records 720p HD video. One big difference is the flip out QWERTY keyboard. The keyboard was designed for "for people with long fingernails and chubby thumbs," according to a story by UK tech news Web site Electricpig, which was present at the announcement. This phone will also appear in overseas markets first, but one report says it will appear in the U.S. later in 2010. Pricing was not announced.
The Web site posted photo sets of both the Desire HD and the Desire Z Both phones can connect to HTCSense.com, where you locate a lost or stolen phone, sound the ringer, and remotely lock it. Through the Web site, users can add images, plug-ins and sounds to their phone.
The updated HTC Sense UI, which sits atop Android, includes a battery of new features, including a unified in-box. Maps can now be pre-cached, reducing the wait times in loading and zooming. Another addition is HTC Fast Boot, which cuts the time it takes to complete the phone's power-up sequence to 10 seconds or less from about 45 seconds, according to reports.
John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World.
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