Verizon Launching HTC Desire 526, Desire 626 Smartphones

The HTC Desire 526 has a 4.7-inch qHD display, while the Desire 626 has a 5-inch HD display. Both smartphones feature an 8-megapixel rear camera.

Verizon launching Desire smartphones

Two HTC smartphones, the Desire 526 and the Desire 626, are being unveiled by Verizon Wireless as the mobile carrier continues to expand its offerings of devices at multiple price levels for customers.

The new smartphones, which run on Android 5.1 Lollipop, were announced Aug. 12 by the company as two devices that combine features sought by users with affordable price tags.

The HTC Desire 526, with a 4.7-inch qHD display, a Qualcomm MSM8909, quad-core 1.1GHz processor, 1.5GB of RAM, 8GB of built-in storage (expandable with a micro SC card up to 200GB), a 2000 mAh battery and 4G LTE capabilities, is available immediately at or in Verizon stores for $120 or for $5 per month on a 24-month Verizon purchasing plan. Customers also will be able to obtain the handset on a prepaid phone plan.

The Desire 526 also features an 8-megapixel rear camera that includes 720p video recording, auto-focusing and LED flash, as well as a 2MP front camera for selfies. The handset measures 5.5 inches long, 2.75 inches wide, 0.38 inches thick and weighs 5.5 ounces.

The HTC Desire 626 includes a dual-tone color scheme, a 5-inch HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core 1.2 GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of onboard storage (expandable with a microSD card up to 128GB), a 13MP auto-focus rear camera that features 1080p video recording, a 5MP front camera that also supports 1080p video recording, a 2000 mAh battery and 4G LTE capabilities.

Pricing and availability for the Desire 626 have not yet been announced, but will be unveiled in the coming weeks, according to Verizon.

In addition, both smartphones offer personalization features so that users can customize them with their own styles and preferences. The built-in HTC Themes app lets users change the look and feel of the devices, including color accents and app icons, as well as offering options to create their own themes using photos. Also included is HTC BlinkFeed, a personalized news stream where users can choose the content that is presented to them on the devices.

Both handsets also support Verizon's Advanced Calling capabilities, which provide HD voice quality on phone calls to other compatible phones, while also allowing video calls to be made right from the screen with just a tap.

The new devices can be purchased and used under Verizon's new no-contract cellular data and phone packages, which were announced earlier in August.

Under its new contract-free mobile plans, Verizon said it will offer monthly packages that customers can customize, starting at $20 per smartphone per month plus a choice of four data packages ranging from $30 a month for 1GB of shareable data to $80 a month for 12GB of shareable data. A 3GB shareable data package is $45 a month, while a 6GB package is $60 a month. Unlimited talk and text are included with all of the packages and extra data can be purchased at $15 per GB. Monthly access charges for a tablet or Verizon Jetpack hotspot will be $10 per month.

Verizon will, at least for now, still offer two-year contracts for tablets and for existing customers who are on More Everything plans and want to keep them, a Verizon spokesman told eWEEK.