HTC confirms no new flagship smartphone in the spring

A month ago we reported that HTC would not be releasing an HTC U13 in the spring of 2019. While the company is still planning to release at least one high-end smartphone in 2019, HTC Taiwan president Darren Chen has confirmed that the company’s roadmap does not feature a flagship smartphone for the spring.

Instead, HTC plans to extend the life cycle of the HTC U12+ which was released in May of this year. Chen did not elaborate on HTC’s plans for a flagship device later in 2019, but our source did previously share that “something else” will be coming from HTC, likely during the  second half of the year. 

Chen revealed that HTC’s efforts for 2019 would be centered around mid-range and high-end devices for 2019, in an effort to reboot smartphone sales and increase revenue for the company. It’s no secret that HTC isn’t doing well. 2018 will be the worst year on record for the company with revenue taking a 50-60% nosedive when compared to 2017. 

HTC will be relying on new smartphones like the HTC Desire 12s and the HTC U12 Life to move the needle a little. These new devices don’t offer much for those who have been HTC fans for the past decade, but they should be able to hold HTC over and pull in more revenue as HTC works on more profitable products to bring to market. 

Source: DigiTimes

HTC tries to get back in the game with Desire 12s

HTC has introduced its latest Desire series smartphone in Taiwan. The new HTC Desire 12s isn’t exactly the smartphone Android enthusiast will be clamoring over, but at least its spec sheet sheet mirrors its price. 

The budget device is 8.3 mm thick and sports a unique dual-material design which has shiny texture and double lines matte texture. The handset is light weight and sports a 5.7-inch 18:9 aspect ratio multi-touch display with HD+ resolution.

The HTC Desire 12s specs include octa-core Snapdragon 435 SoC and has options of 3GB RAM with 32GB RAM and 4GB RAM with 64GB ROM. There is a 13MP front and 13MP rear camera both accompanied with LED flash.

HTC Desire 12s Specifications

Dimensions: 154.2 x 72.7 x 8.3 mmWeight: 150 gramsFingerprint sensors: RearSIM: Dual Nano SIMOperating System: Android 8.1 Oreo with HTC Sense UIDisplay: 5.7-inch 2.5D curved glass display with 1440 x 720 pixels resolution HD+ resolution, 18:9 aspect ratio, multi-touch supportChipset: octa-core (1.4GHz A53 x 4 + 1.1GHz A53 x 4) Snapdragon 435 mobile platform with Adreno 505 GPURAM and Storage: 3GB RAM with 32GB storage, 4GB RAM with 64GB storage. Expandable using MicroSD cardFront camera: 13MP with LED flash, F/2.4 Aperture, BSI Sensor, Fixed Focal length, Face detectionRear camera: 13MP with LED Flash, F/2.2 Aperture, PDAF, 1080p video recordingBattery: 3075 mAh with 5V/1A chargingConnectivity: 4G VoLTE, Wi-FI 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Bluetooth V4.2, GPS/GLONASS, MicroUSB, NFC, 3.5mm Audio JackSensors: Ambient Light, Proximity, Gravity, Compass, Magnetic

The HTC Desire 12s 3GB/32GB model is priced at NT$ 5990 (US$ 195 / Rs. 13,900 approx.). The Desire 12s 4GB/64GB variant costs NT$ 6990 (US$ 225 / Rs. 16,250 approx.). The device comes in Red Bloom, Refreshing Silver and Personalised Black colours and is already on sale in Taiwan.

There’s no indication that the HTC Desire 12s will be making its way to the US market, but we could see the phone pop up in a handful of countries across Asia and Europe. It’s doubtful that this device will do much of HTC’s bottom line, but it’s nice to see that HTC hasn’t yet thrown in the towel. 

Source: HTC

HTC offers $50 to $150 in discounts on its 2017 and 2018 smartphones

There’s no denying that it’s pretty easy to spot amazing deals this holiday season and HTC is getting in on all the excitement by offering up to $150 off on select devices.
The prices of the new HTC U12+ and last year’s HTC U11 Life have been reduced by $50. While that may not be that much of a discount on the HTC U12+ since it typically goes for $800, the $50 price cut on the U11 life brings its price down to just $299 which is pretty respectable.
If you want the best deal possible, we suggest picking up the HTC U11 which is selling for $499 thanks to its $150 discount. The device was one of our 2017 favorites since HTC’s incredible camera and design made it stand out from the competition.
HTC may not be getting a lot of attention these days since it has dramatically reduced the number of devices in its lineup, but the HTC U11, U11 life and U12+ are all great options in their respective categories.
Source: HTC
 

HTC jumps in with its first Android Pie update

Android Pie has been available for a few months now, but HTC only now jumping in with its first update. The HTC U11 Life is the first device in the company’s lineup to receive the Android Pie update, though HTC has promised to deliver the new version of Android to the HTC U11, HTC U11+, HTC U12+ and the HTC U12 life.
While we’re excited to see begin its Android Pie rollout to older devices, we don’t expect the update for the HTC U11 and the HTC U12+ are right around the corner. The update that’s currently rolling out is for the Android One version of the HTC U11 life which runs on stock Android with a few minor tweaks. The HTC Sense variant of the HTC U11 life will likely not receive its Android Pie update for a few more months and the US model sold by T-Mobile will likely get its update even later than that.
Project Treble falls short, leaving Android more fragmented than ever
HTC hasn’t given any indication as to when the HTC U12+ will receive its Android Pie update. The company has typically released Android updates for its flagship devices in mid-Q4, but it looks like we may be waiting until early 2019 before the HTC U12+ and last year’s HTC U11 will be getting a taste of the latest version of Android.

EXCLUSIVE: No HTC U13 in 2019, expect ‘something else’

With all the Samsung Galaxy S10 rumors floating around these days, you might be wondering what other smartphone makers are planning for 2019. Rumors and speculation regarding HTC’s next device have started spreading with quite a few HTC fans hoping the next HTC device will feature a full-screen display (we hope they skip the notch) the next stage of HTC’s “buttonless” design language that we saw on the U12+,  VR/AR integration to complement the HTC Vive and of course the inclusion of Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 8150.
What we know about HTC’s 2019 plans
Rumors are thin at the moment with HTC keeping their cards close to their chest, HTC will probably not release the HTC U13 in the spring. Instead, we should expect to see a mid-range device that would echo earlier year’s release schedules.
While we do not have any additional details at this time, our sources did hint at “something else” from HTC later in the year.  There’s no indication as to what this “something else” actually is, but HTC has the chance here to completely re-group and start with a fresh plan moving forward in mobile.
Our take on this new information
Rather than continuing to compete with “the big boy,” HTC may change its focus to concentrate on the core network of fans and die-hard users. What we’re actually going to see in 2019 is anybody’s guess, but with recent industry introductions of hidden cameras, in-screen fingerprint readers and button-less design (U12+), perhaps we should start preparing for something similar to the HTC Ocean that was accidentally teased nearly 2 years ago.
One thing is clear, HTC needs to stop what it’s been doing and hit the reset button in 2019.

A few things you might not know if you are new to the HTC conversation.

Long before HTC decided to go it alone, it manufactured devices for other companies, who then sold them under their own names. The list of early products it made includes the HP iPAQ Pocket PC and the Palm Treo 650.
The HTC Wallaby, the first phone HTC ever made, was sold under many pseudonyms including – O2 XDA, T-Mobile MDA, Dopod 686, Siemens SX56, and Qtek 1010.
HTC, until recently still made devices for other companies from time to time. These include Google’s Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Nexus One.
HTC was the first company to add a customized skin on top of Android. Called “Sense” it debuted in 2009 on the HTC Hero. Almost every manufacturer has followed HTC’s example since then.
HTC reached its peak in the Q3 of 2011. According to reports, the company was the biggest smartphone maker in the U.S. with nearly 25% of the mobile phone market. Shipping around 5.7 million devices in the period, 800,000 more than Samsung in second place. Apple came in third with sales of 4.6 million units.

[Poll] HTC in 2019
— Darren Millar (@darrenmillar) November 16, 2018

With less than 2 months to 2019 and less than 6 months until spring we can only imagine what is happening on the famous 16th floor of HTC’s HQ in Taiwan. Oh to be a fly on the pristine white marble walls. I’ll likely be attending MWC in Barcelona next year, I’ll meet up with my sources an see what’s coming, in the meantime, I’ll keep an ear to the ground. Here’s hoping HTC can turn it around in 2019 maybe they’ll even bring back some metal body variants.

It’s time for manufacturers to ditch custom UI’s for stock Android

Before I begin, I’m writing this completely from an HTC user perspective. I understand there are other manufacturers out there, but my experience of other brands is limited, if your experiences are different or you have anything to add from the other side of the fence, I’d love to read your comments.
“We’ve come a long way baby.”
Since the first Android phone in 2008 from HTC, we’ve seen a full spectrum of “skins” or custom User Interfaces from numerous manufacturers based on the Android OS. Ten years ago, it is what seemed like the only way to make the most of the bare bones Android and introduce new features that stock software was lacking. In 2009 HTC released the HTC Hero (my first Android phone) running brand new HTC Sense which was the metaphorical springboard to the Android experience we have everywhere today.
However, to the tech-savvy user, an Android skin is, at best, an unnecessary inconvenience. More often, it’s a clunky, not cool, faux fashion statement by manufacturers who are clearly out of touch with user expectations.
Ask any Android fanboy and you’ll usually hear two points of view: Android is better than iOS, and the closer to stock (or AOSP), the better. I’d have to agree, however, this hasn’t always been my mantra. Ever since the first Android skin appeared in the form of HTC Sense, way back in 2009, I was convinced that custom UI was the only way to really enjoy the Android mobile experience. It was something they did really well and made the Android experience easy and fun, without too much bloat.
So what do we get when we buy a device without stock Android? The traditional arguments against skins and manufacturer tweaks are abundant, here are a few:

Skins are generally uglier than Stock Android
They include bloatware or duplicate apps
Your phone’s performance will suffer
Material design is basically nonexistent
Updates come less frequently, if at all
The core Android experience gets confused
Your battery life will suffer

Until the last year or two, I wouldn’t have agreed with many of these points. However watching the rapid growth of Google’s homegrown Pixel line (Successor of Nexus) and comparing them with my 9-year unbroken relationship streak with HTC and HTC sense, I’m seeing less and less evidence to convince me that manufacturer UI is the way to go. Often saying to myself “I’m so heavily invested in the Google infrastructure and software suite, do I even need HTC Sense?” — I find myself being increasingly frustrated by the twists and turns standing between me and useful features, hindering my productivity.
Photo by Hugh Han on Unsplash
In a sea of manufacturers who are all fighting for market share, is there room for segregated UI experiences anymore? I’ve been an HTC user for nearly 10 years, I liked HTC sense and I’ve never considered leaving because I didn’t want to adjust my habits and learn a new UI. I was happy, but as advancements in camera software and design language progress and manufacturer software updates get left behind, not to mention the rapid downturn of HTC’s business. So I’m left here feeling lost and wondering: is it time to change the game?

… Given the choice, how would you like that presented to you? Factory unlocked stock android experience that comes at a premium. Manufacturer Custom UI with slight price also at premium price. Or Locked Carrier UI with unit price reduction.
— Darren Millar (@darrenmillar) November 2, 2018

I have no regrets in admitting I love HTC hardware but I’ve started to fall out of love with the user experience. Simple things that should just work, don’t. Software updates, although still amongst the fastest in the industry, are becoming delayed. Imagine for a minute that all software was created equal (please don’t mention iOS) and the hardware was the variable. If this was the case, users like me might become more adventurous with their hardware choices, knowing the UI was going to be the same whichever road they picked. I’d go as far as saying that I’m scared to move to another manufacturer in case I just can’t become friends with the user experience. In a world of $1000 flagships, who can really afford to be bold enough to flip-flop between brands without the peace of mind of a seamless user experience which is ultimately at the mercy of the software.
However cliché it might sound, I guess the best version of Android is what works best for you, but what do you think? Is it time to adopt a universal Android experience and let the user choose a phone based purely on design and features? I think I’m ready for that future.
 

Here are all the devices that support Qualcomm Quick Charge 4/4+ [Continuously Updated]

It’s definitely hard to keep up with all the different quick charging technologies. Most flagships use Qualcomm Quick Charge, some (like the Pixels) use USB-PD, and a few others use custom tech like OnePlus Dash Charge. Qualcomm Quick Charge 4 is over a year old at this point, but for one reason or another, most devices have stuck with QC 3.0.
Without further ado, here is the list of all the hardware that uses QC 4/4+:
Razer Phone (4+)
ZTE Nubia Z17 (4+)
BQ Aquaris X2 (4+)
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro (4+)
Smartisan R1 (4+)
HTC U12 Plus (4+)
LG G7 ThinQ (4)
CAT S61 (4)
Xiaomi Mi 8 (4+)
Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition (4+)
Xiaomi Mi A2 (4+)
Pocophone F1 (4+)
LG V40 (4)
Razer Phone 2 (4+)
ZTE Axon Pro 9 (4+)
AGM X3 (4+)
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro (4+)
Qiku N7 Pro (4+)
With our latest update, we see more phones from familiar names: LG’s V40, the Razer Phone 2, ZTE’s new Axon Pro 9, the Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro and Mi A2, and the Pocophone F1. Read MoreHere are all the devices that support Qualcomm Quick Charge 4/4+ [Continuously Updated] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

HTC's 'blockchain' phone is up for pre-order, but you have to pay in crypto

Following last year’s bitcoin-led explosion in cryptocurrency value and media exposure, the topic has more or less left the public consciousness at large. Crypto still has its share of die-hard proponents, though, and HTC is going after them directly with the Exodus 1, which you can now pre-order — but only if you’ve got bitcoin or Ether to pony up.

The Exodus 1 was announced in May, although back then, it was just the Exodus — I’m dubious there’ll be an Exodus 2, which seems to be the implication here. Read MoreHTC’s ‘blockchain’ phone is up for pre-order, but you have to pay in crypto was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

10 years of Android: Ten of the most important handsets from the last decade

Ten years ago this week, the first Android phone was announced – the T-Mobile G1. No one could have predicted the massive success that Android would eventually become; the OS now has over two billion active users worldwide.
In honor of Android’s 10th birthday, we’re taking a look at the most important and influential Google-powered phones of the past decade. Every one of these devices redefined Android in some way, by pushing the OS further into the mainstream, introducing design trends, or signaling the start/end of an era. Read More10 years of Android: Ten of the most important handsets from the last decade was written by the awesome team at Android Police.