Android HTC Desire HD, Desire Z, Sense Portal Unveiled
HTC introduced two new Google Android smartphones, the HTC Desire HD and HTC Desire Z, both geared for the European and Asian markets.
The company also revamped its Sense user interface and launched HTCSense.com, a portal that lets users control the Sense UI on their Android smartphones.
HTC is best known among mobile phone watchers in the United States as the hardware maker who helped put Android on the map two years ago with the first device based on Google's fledgling OS, the T-Mobile G1.
Since the G1, the phone maker has pumped out one popular Android phone after another, including the myTouch 3G, Aria, Desire, Hero, Droid Incredible and the HTC Evo 4G.
To wit, HTC's Desire HD appears to be a version of the Evo 4G, which impressed consumers with its 4.3-inch display. The Desire HD also sports a 4.3-inch LCD screen for viewing all manner of multimedia content.
The Desire HD is powered by a new chip, a 1GHz Qualcomm 8255 Snapdragon processor. The device includes an 8-megapixel camera with dual-flash and enables 720p HD video recording.
The HTC Desire Z sports a "pop hinge" that opens to reveal a QWERTY keyboard. This device, which uses the new 800 MHz Qualcomm 7230 processor, also includes 720p HD video recording and a 5-megapixel camera with automatic flash.
HTC said it will begin selling the Desire HD and Desire Z through mobile operators and retailers in Europe and Asia in October 2010. The HTC Desire Z will ship in North America later this year.
See pictures of the devices here.
HTC also upgraded its popular Sense UI, which helps users aggregate social network contacts and organize widgets and apps on several customizable homescreens.
For example, the new Sense camera UI will let users people record HD videos or edit images with "fun camera effects." HTC Sense also sports an improved electronic reader that lets users highlight, annotate and search for definitions or translate unfamiliar terms.
Accompanying the new UI is HTCSense.com, which lets users manage their phone apps from their HTC phone or their personal computer.
Users can locate a missing phone by triggering the handset to ring loudly, or flag its location on a map. Users can remotely lock and wipe data on lost or stolen handsets, send a message to the phone to arrange its return or forward calls and texts to another device.
For users tired of waiting in lines at retail stores to get a phone configured, the HTCSense.com portal also allows users to set up a new HTC phone or access contacts, text messages and call history from a PC browser.
HTCSense.com could be a nice differentiator for the phone maker as it seeks to compete with rivals Motorola and Samsung, the other two leading makers of Android smartphones. However, given Android's rise in 2010, all three phone makers look to be beneficiaries of a growing hunger for Android handsets.