HTC launches first UK smartphone in almost two years

Jasper Hart
August 13, 2020

HTC is not a name we’ve heard a lot of recently, but it’s just launched its first smartphone in the UK for almost two years.

The mid-range Desire 20 Pro is currently available through HTC’s website for £269 in Onyx Black. HTC announced the device for release in Taiwan back in June alongside the U20 5G device. There are currently no plans to launch the U20 5G in the UK.

Running Android 10 on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 chipset, it comes with 6GM RAM and 128GB storage. According to its official specifications, it has a microSD slot that can take an SDXC card, allowing up to 2TB extra storage.

It has a 6.5-inch screen and a 5,000mAh battery, and comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The camera is a rear quad display, with a 48MP main lens, 8MP ultra-wide lens, 2MP macros sensor and 2MP depth sensor. It shoots 4K at 30fps. The front camera is a 25MP wide lens.

Where has HTC been?

It’s not been a great decade for HTC. While it’s responsible for lots of smartphone innovations around cameras, 3G and 4G, it never had the same marketing heft as Apple and Samsung. After steadily losing market share to those two giants, and selling part of its smartphone division to Google, it got further lost in the scrum of challengers that has grown in the past five years or so.

The Desire 20 Pro is HTC’s first new device since the U12 Life, and the first since it suspended sales of all of its smartphones in the UK last August following a patent infringement dispute with IPCom.

On the strength of this launch, the Desire 20 Pro doesn’t look like it will turn the Taiwanese company’s fortunes around. It’s a solid phone, and is packing some decent specs in the battery, screen and camera departments, but the lack of marketing, a single sales avenue, and some polished competition mean it’s already at a disadvantage.

Currently, the Desire 20 Pro is the only smartphone available to buy in the UK through HTC’s website, with all other devices listed as “unavailable in the UK”.

However, the firm’s blockchain-centric devices are available for sale either in euros or cryptocurrency.

HTC has also launched the device in other European territories. It is available through the manufacturer’s website in Spain, Italy and France, and has launched with local retailers and operators in the Netherlands and Poland.

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