One of the first smartphone announcements we hear from IFA in Berlin this week comes from HTC. HTC announced the new Desire 300 and 601 with Vivid Blue HTC One Mini and One devices coming later in Q4 2013. They are also expanding their accessory lineup with the BoomBass Bluetooth-enabled subwoofer.
I understand that HTC wants to have devices across the pricing spectrum, but it seems that the One and One Mini pretty much cover that and I don't quite understand the need for more devices that get away from the One brand. HTC has done a bit better with Android updates on the One and One Mini and needs to continue to focus on regular updates and support while launching advanced One products.
The HTC Desire 601 looks to fit in between the HTC One and One Mini with a 4.5 inch qHD display, 5 megapixel camera that supports HTC Zoes and Video Highlights, BlinkFeed, and HTC BoomSound speakers. Full specifications include:
It is interesting to see the Desire 601 goes with a standard 5 megapixel camera rather than the previous UltraPixel models seen in the HTC One and One Mini.
The Desire 300 is an entry level Android device with specs that appear to really limit any ability to install third party apps and I am at a loss as to who in the world would purchase this device. It does have a removable battery, but memory that will likely have it frustrating owners in no time. Full specifications include:
I doubt we will see the Desire 300, and maybe Desire 601, in the US since devices with these low specs won't appeal to anyone when you can get One Mini for $100 on contract. Is there really a market for low cost non-subsidized phones in the US? The Nexus 4 was appealing because of its ability to have the latest Android OS, but HTC doesn't have the best record for launching with the latest OS and keeping devices updated.
HTC's front facing stereo BoomSound speakers are nice to have when showing off videos you captured or watching YouTube with family and friends. That said, most people tend to use headphones when listening to music on their phones or watching videos during their commute. HTC is going to launch a Bluetooth-enabled subwoofer with a dedicated amplifier that is designed to improve the BoomSound experience.
I think one of the most challenging aspects of this BoomBass accessory is going to be helping people understand why such a device is needed. HTC has done a decent job promoting the HTC One, but they haven't seen much success with their accessories like the HTC Media Link HD and HTC Bluetooth StereoClip.
I like what Motorola is doing with the custom Moto X options at Moto Maker and would love to have some options for customizing the color of my HTC One. HTC will soon be bringing attractive Vivid Blue HTC One and One Mini devices to various markets. We don't know what carrier(s) will get these and what the price will be, but as a fan of the HTC One it may be tough not to pick up a blue one.