It’s no surprise that HTC is working very hard on increasing its brand awareness, preferring to market phones as being HTC devices instead of carrier-branded ones that do not carry any HTC branding at all. This strategy is paying off, and today must’ve been very nice for them: they held an Apple-style product announcement in London, attended by media from all over the world. The news: two new phones, and an improved Sense experience which includes a web presence where you can remotely manage your HTC devices.
Let’s start with the phones first. The HTC Desire family – already consisting of two devices – has been expanded today with two new top-of-the-line phones which compete directly with Apple’s iPhone 4. The first can be described as the EVO for Europe, while the second one is the Android QWERTY-slider you’ve been waiting for (I think – no idea).
Let’s start with the former, the HTC Desire Z, running Android 2.2. It’s actually not a slider, according to HTC, but a pop-out – whatever that means. It’s powered by an 800Mhz Qualcomm processor and carries HSPA+ and 802.11n connectivity, a 5MP HD-capable camera, and comes with the new version of HTC’s Sense UI which we already mentioned in the teaser – more on that a few paragraphs down. As usual, Engadget shot some decent video material of the new Desire Z for us to stare at.
The second new piece of kit can basically be regarded as the European version of Sprint’s HTV Evo. It’s got a massive 4.3″ display housed in a body constructed from a solid block of aluminium. It’s got a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 8MP camera with dual-LED flash and HD recording, Dolby Mobile, and HSPA+ data with 802.11n connectivity. It also runs the new Sense UI on top of Android 2.2. Again – Engadget has the hands-on video.
The new Sense UI consists of more than just a few tweaks to the user interface on the mobile phones itself. HTC has launched HTCSense.com, which is a set of online services and functionality connected to your HTC mobile phone running Sense.
“For example, people can easily locate a missing phone by triggering the handset to ring loudly, even if it is set to silent, or to flag its location on a map. If the phone’s been lost or stolen, users can remotely lock the phone, forward calls and texts to another phone, send a message to the phone to arrange its return or even remotely wipe all personal data from it,” the press release reads, “HTCSense.com makes it easy to setup a new HTC phone or access archived mobile content such as contacts, text messages and call history from a PC browser. People can also customize their phones with exclusive HTC content like wallpapers, HTC scenes, sounds or plug-ins.”
These new devices and services will launch in October in Europe, and the Desire Z will move to North America later this year.