HTC might be profitable again, but the path to matching the success it enjoyed in 2010 goes straight through Asia. Its new mid-range handset, the Desire 616, might be just the ticket, powered by an Octo-core processor made by MediaTek.
First launched in China and currently rolling out across Asia and Russia, the five-inch handset is powered by a MediaTek-made processor with eight cores clocked at 1.4GHz and features dual-SIM support. There’s no LTE support, but the device does support HSPA+ connections up to 21Mbps. The screen is a respectable 720 x 1280 pixels. Disappointingly, the device runs Android(s goog) 4.2 JellyBean, which is an out-of-date version of the operating system.
This isn’t the first HTC device with a MediaTek processor — that honor would go to the Desire 310, a low-end device — but it’s yet another sign that HTC is diversifying its product line with mid-range handsets for emerging markets, in addition to the aluminum phones powered by top-tier processors it’s known for in the United States and Europe.
The Desire 616 only comes with 4GB of onboard storage, but includes a card slot that can add up to 32GB of microSD storage. Its battery is also removable. The rear-facing camera is an 8MP shooter that is probably the same module that was included in the HTC One Mini 2.
The Desire 616 will have some of HTC’s unique software features, including its Sense interface and BlinkFeed, which is a social media stream pinned to a home screen.
The Desire 616 isn’t heading to the United States, and whether it is a hit in Asia depends on the price. Based on murmurs from earlier this year, it should cost between $200 and $300 when it goes on sale. If HTC can deliver its high-quality hardware at that price point, it might be just compelling enough to boost its bottom line.