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Summary:

Android phone giant HTC today unveiled two new phones and the next generation of the Sense interface that aims to bring the phone to the living room with DLNA support. The new phones add wireless streaming to the big screen, turning the phones into lifestyle devices.

HTC Desire Z

Android phone giant HTC today unveiled two new phones and the next generation of the Sense interface, aiming to bring the phone to the living room with DLNA support. The Desire HD and Desire Z (otherwise known as the G2) both run the new Sense software that implements DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) standards for streaming video to televisions, wirelessly. The new phones offer 720p HD video recording and editing, so adding wireless streaming to the big screen fits into HTC’s aim to turn its phones into lifestyle devices.

DLNA support is not just restricted to video streaming, as the HTC implementation will allow exchanging any content among phones and computers that are DLNA-ready. This opens up the ability to share media content with any capable device in the home. Those familiar with DLNA will admit it can be hard to get working properly, but once it works, it’s easy to use.

The new phones from HTC are bringing the Android handset to the next level. The Desire HD is the next generation EVO with a similar 4.3-inch screen. The camera has been bumped up to 8 MP, and HSPA+ (14.4 Mbps) connectivity has been added that can tap into high-speed networks. The Desire Z is the European version of the G2, with a sliding QWERTY keyboard and the next-generation Snapdragon processor. Both phones will be available in Europe and Asia, with release in the U.S. to follow.

HTC’s Sense software is installed on its entire Android phone line, and creates a distinctive look and feel that sets HTC phones apart from the crowd. The new version of Sense adds a host of new features, including advanced mapping capability, as well as improving boot time. HTC claims the new Sense focuses on making it easier for customers to interact with personal data, not just view it. The DLNA support opens up scenarios taking advantage of streaming both data and media in the home. Recording HD video with the new Sense phones and watching it on the living room TV should be popular. The smartphone can replace camcorders for many customers in this scenario.

HTC also announced the upcoming launch of the htcsense.com web site that will bring additional features to customers. Owners will be able to back up phone data to the web, and remotely wipe the memory of lost or stolen phones.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d): 4G: State of the Union

  1. “The camera has been bumped up to 8 MP”

    EVO already has 8MP! :)

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    1. Yes, I was referring to the HD2 which was the predecessor to both the EVO and the new phone. Hard to keep up with all of these great HTC phones. :)

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  2. Any sense of whether this new version of Sense is going to be easier/faster for them to upgrade as Android gets new releases?

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  3. This is looking like a very nice update.

    I’ve been considering various upgrade uptions for my iPhone 3G which is at last looking a little long in the tooth, at least for what I need and I’ve been pondering a switch to android.

    Being outside the USA, most of the recent phones like the EVO are not available and I was seriously considering the viability of the Original Desire as it’s been a year since it was introduced and so was due for a refresh.

    Overall the Desire HD looks great. However the only thingthats missing that I was looking for was the front facing camera with video chatting coming to the android in the near future, especially after seeing what Apples done with the iPhone 4.

    Will have to see how the reviews pan out as the only similar phone rit now, the Samsung Galaxy S has had quiet a few complaints and lacks the HTC sense UI.

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  4. i see some pretty upset EVO buyers who were expecting to have the latest/greatest phone for at least a little longer.

    these phone updates are coming way too fast.

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  5. Will the new sense
    be available for the EVO 4G as an upgrade?

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  6. Those familiar with DLNA will admit it can be hard to get working properly, but once it works, it’s easy to use.

    The problem really is that it is not built in / bundled into either Windows or OSX. Windows has a DLNA server which does not work properly.

    This necessitates 3P software which is often not free.

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    1. Using DLNA is super easy to use with Windows 7. I always had issues on XP and Vista, but that’s no longer the case. With a fairly decent router, Win7 machine, and DLNA enabled device the experience is very smooth.

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  7. What about a full QWERTY keyboard mounted on the phone you can touch type on?

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  8. HTC is definitely moving in the right direction for building a brand. More on that in a moment.

    As far as the camera pixel count goes, the sensor resolution of the HD already exceeds the capabilities of the optics except for really well lit static scenes. So unless the “speed” of the sensor or the optics has been vastly improved, I think all that can be said is that 8 MP is a bigger number, not necessarily a better one.

    As for HTC’s brand, I’d like help in understanding the lack of information concerning WP7, which will be available in Europe in the not too distant future, at the same presentation. The reason this is relevant here is a rumor that HTC would like to put Sense on their WP7 phones as well and that the lack of details was due to ongoing negotiations with Microsoft.

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