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Summary:

HTC announced 3 new smartphones to carry both the Android and Windows Mobile platforms into the new year. The Legend and Desire are new Android phones, while the HD mini is the company’s latest Windows Mobile offering. The phones will be released outside the U.S. initially.

HTC Desire

HTC is making many of the best smartphones on the market today, covering both the Android and Windows Mobile platforms. Today they are announcing three new handsets that push the envelope on both platforms. I had the pleasure of sitting down with HTC before the Mobile World Congress, and they were kind enough to give me the scoop on the three new phones. The Legend and Desire are new Android phones, while the HD mini is running Windows Mobile 6.5.3.

 

HTC Legend

The Legend is the successor to the popular Hero phone, and HTC borrowed a page from Apple for its construction. The Legend is built using aluminum unibody construction, making the phone extremely durable yet light in the hand. There is no trackball on the phone, instead there is an optical “joystick” for moving around on the screen. The Legend comes with a 3.2-inch AMOLED screen and a beefier processor (600 MHz) than the Hero. It will also ship with an updated version of the HTC Sense interface which has improvements to make working with the interface simpler. There is also a new Friend Stream app from HTC that is part of the new Sense version which integrates Facebook, Twitter and Flickr into one display.

HTC Desire

The Desire picks up where the Nexus One leaves off. The Nexus One is made for Google by HTC, and the Desire is basically HTC’s own version of the Nexus One. Think of it as a Nexus One with the Sense interface (the new version), and you’ll have the Desire. It uses the same fast Snapdragon processor and the same screen as the Nexus One, but HTC has updated the body casing slightly. The Desire also has an optical joystick, which sits just under the 3.7-inch AMOLED screen. The Desire will ship with Flash support in the browser, which should make a lot of folks happy. The new version of the Sense interface will also ship on the Desire, and in addition to the updates already mentioned there are new HTC apps for both phones. The Mail widget now has a list view, and there is an agenda view on the Calendar widget. The home screen weather widget now displays full screen, too.

HD mini

While Microsoft may be cutting the legs out from under Windows Mobile 6.5.3 by announcing Windows Phone 7, HTC is not through with the older WinMo version yet. The HD mini takes much of the function of HTC’s larger HD2, and cuts everything down to size for those who like smaller phones. This phone is about the same size as the HTC Touch, and has a 3.2-inch screen. Everything on the larger HD2 is on the HD mini, but the processor is not as snappy (600 MHz).

All three of these phones should be available in the March/ April timeframe in Europe and Asia. HTC does not have an agreement with a carrier to bring them to the U.S. yet.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

The App Developer’s Guide to Choosing a Mobile Platform

  1. Desire seems to be an ideal choice. It’s interesting that Vodafone UK went for Nexus One instead of Desire (like Magic instead of Hero). Clearly, Google did not intend Nexus One for mass market. Desire version seems to be more attactive and so far Orange and T-Mobile UK are two UK based operators to provide this machine. Might move back to T-Mobile from Vodafone this summer.

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  2. What happened to the HTC Supersonic?

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  3. No news on the successor to the TP2 either. I’m so close to getting one, yet I know as soon as I do there will be a replacement model announced. Not cool.

    If these 3 models are the only new toys HTC is releasing this year, maybe 2011 is the year we’ll see Windows Phone 7 hardware take off.

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    1. I suspect Window Phone 7 threw a monkey wrench in refreshed models of older OS versions. I also believe that HTC will have many more models this year other than just these 3 announced.

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      1. HTC Supersonic FTW.

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  4. I never really looked too much into HTC’s Android Sense UI, as I was more than pleased with WinMo’s. But I checked out the videos of the upgrades on Engadget and was very impressed. I’d definitely choose it over WM7 any day. I’m going to become one of those annoying guys that sees an HTC WinMo phone and thinks “I wish it ran Android.” I hope HTC decides to put out a Touch Pro 3 that runs Android instead of WinMo.

    I’m done with WinMo. Can’t wait to ditch my 3 month old Touch Pro2. It was all about HTC for me, and Microsoft kicking HTC to the curb is unforgivable.

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  5. Biggest benefits of the Desire over the NexusOne:
    1. Hardware buttons rather than (reportedly rather wonky) software “buttons”
    2. Optical trackball, which won’t fail like the physical ball (ask any blackberry owner [except 9700] about failing trackballs or trackballs that just plain fall out)

    Would love to buy a Desire to use here in the US. Checked the radio specs on HTC’s web page, though, and there are no US 3G bands (no ATT, no Tmobile-US) in the Desire…just Euro and Asian 3G bands. Bummer!

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  6. Waiting for HTC TOUCH PRO3 or a new model of the TP2. Better come out around when the SAMSUNG EPIC comes out. Profane Samsung Epic I would get the touch pro2 before owning a samsung. Htc better come out with a new TP PDA it will be badass for real!

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