Early this morning, HTC finally stepped up and unveiled their lineup at Mobile World Congress. As expected, HTC delivered five new Android powered handsets and their first Android tablet. Devices like the HTC Desire S, HTC Incredible S, and the HTC Wildfire S may look a bit familiar since we’ve seen leaked images, video, and specs on all three handsets over the past few months, but this was the first time that we’ve gotten a clear look at the HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa, HTC’s “social phones” with a dedicated Facebook button.
HTC Flyer – the first Android tablet from HTC
While it’s exciting to see HTC refresh their lineup, the real star of HTC press event was the HTC Flyer Android Tablet. The HTC Flyer runs on Android 2.4 and is powered by a 1.5 GHz single-core processor and features a 7-inch display, 5 megapixel camera, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, 1GB of RAM, and 32 GB of internal storage. The HTC Flyer will be launching in Q2 with Android 2.4 (still being called Gingerbread) but will be updated to Honeycomb several months after launch.
The HTC Flyer also features a redesigned HTC Sense UI and the new HTC Scribe Technology which allows the Flyer to be used with a capacitive pen for taking notes, drawing, or even writing on a web page or photo.
HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa – the first social phones from HTC
The HTC ChaCha and Salsa are the first two social phones from HTC with a dedicated Facebook button on the front of the devices. The contextually-aware Facebook button can be used to check in, share photos, update your status, share web links, and even the music you are listening to.
The HTC ChaCha is reminiscent of the HTC Snap from a few years back and features a four row QWERTY keyboard on the front, and a 2.6-inch display. The HTC Salsa features a slightly larger 3.4-inch display, and they both are loaded up with a 5 megapixel camera on the back, and a VGA camera on the front, 600 MHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, 512 MB ROM, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, and Wi-Fi. Both devices will launch with Android 2.3.3 and will be available in mid Q2.
HTC Desire S, HTC Incredible S, and HTC Wildfire S – just another rehash
The HTC Desire S, HTC Incredible S, and HTC Wildfire S should probably be considered more as product refinements rather than entirely new devices. The three handsets take a lot of cues from the originals which launched last year with a few improvements thrown in here and there.
The HTC Desire S will be running on Android 2.4 and will features a 3.7-inch display, but its been given an upgraded aluminum unibody case, 1GHz 8255 Snapdragon processor, 8 megapixel camera, and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera. The HTC Incredible S is currently running on Android 2.2 and is sticking to its rugged industrial design but does feature a few upgrades with a new 4-inch display, 1GHz 8255 Snapdragon processor, 8 megapixel rear camera, and a 1.3 megapixel camera on the front. The HTC Wildfire S the smallest handset ever produced by HTC and rounds out the bottom of the pile with a 3.2-inch display, 600 MHz processor, and 5 megapixel camera.
Overall, HTC’s new lineup is a small step ahead of what they unveiled last year, but certainly not what many were expecting. We still don’t see the appeal of having a phone with a dedicated Facebook button and the new devices seem to be a rehash or even inferior to the HTC Desire HD or the Desire Z which were unveiled last fall. The HTC Flyer is certainly not in the same class as the Motorola XOOM, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, or the LG Optimus Pad, but we certainly do see that it has some potential to succeed.
Our questions to you: are any of HTC’s new devices a must-have for the first half of 2011?