HTC’s new Desire 22 Pro is a surprise release from the Taiwanese phone maker that is billed as the perfect companion for your metaverse journey, but there’s more to it than just the latest buzzwords.
The company’s newest device comes with some curious selling points. HTC calls it the “ideal companion for Vive Flow” (the company’s VR “glasses”), intended to serve as a gateway to immersive experiences, and “Viverse” – the company’s own set of metaverse-focused apps. from HTC.
Blockchain-based features are also plentiful in the Desire 22 Pro. It comes with something called Vive Wallet, so you can keep any NFT you own in check and monitor the performance of your cryptocurrencies, while Vivese Market lets you buy things in the metaverse.
In fact, it’s unclear what metaverse-related benefits this latest HTC Desire has over any other smartphone and it’s very possible that the company is just piggybacking on those terms that currently dominate the tech zeitgeist.
Because of these features, it looks like HTC is really targeting the kind of pro-Blockchain users who own cryptocurrencies or NFTs, have an interest in the metaverse, and wait for the latest Web3 announcements.
But considering how divisive these new internet trends are proving, these features can also put off certain users; some people have concerns about the potential environmental impact of blockchain, as well as the surprising instability of cryptocurrency, and a device that contributes to or focuses on these endeavors would be best avoided.
To take that stance would be doing the Desire 22 Pro a disservice, because behind this buzzword-filled cell phone is actually a tempting cheap phone.
Analysis: The specs aren’t bad
If we had heard about the HTC Desire 22 Pro without words like ‘Viverse’, ‘cryptowallet’ and ‘Blockchain’, we would actually consider it a pretty competitive phone that spans the budget to mid-range gap.
It costs £399 (roughly $490 or AU$700, although it’s only available to pre-order in very specific countries right now), and for that money you get a good handful of specs.
There’s a 6.6-inch FHD+ 120Hz display, three rear cameras (including a 64MP main sensor), 8GB of RAM paired with 128GB of storage, a 4,520mAh battery – the phone has wireless charging; which is something you don’t really see on devices at this price point.
It’s not a perfect mid-range offering, however, with the Snapdragon 695G chipset potentially leading to a slower user experience than equivalent rivals. Also, given that HTC isn’t exactly a smartphone powerhouse anymore, it’s unclear how many, if any, Android OS updates users can expect.
Still, a phone with these specs and at this price point would normally be something we would hesitantly recommend, but if there is, the addition of Viverse and Blockchain branding thrown over the spot makes the sale that much more difficult. Maybe this doesn’t make our list of the best phones after all.