The HTC U19e & Desire 19+ are the brand's latest overpriced devices
This year has been a pretty quiet one for HTC’s smartphone business so far, but during a press conference earlier today the Taiwan-based company took to the stage to announce two new devices – the HTC U19e and HTC Desire 19+.
The HTC U19e – not a Galaxy S10e competitor
Following in the footsteps of last year’s flagship, the HTC U19e is equipped with a large 6-inch display featuring an 18:9 aspect ratio. It’s surrounded by the same large, symmetrical bezels above and below but, due to the smartphone’s lower cost, the resolution of the panel has been downgraded to 2160 x 1080p.
Looking at the rear of the smartphone, HTC has opted for the common vertical dual-camera setup positioned in the top corner. According to the company, there’s a primary 12-megapixel snapper paired with a 20-megapixel sensor that seems to enhance portrait photos and a dual-tone LED flash. The setup supports 4K video recording, automatic HDR, and a variety of unspecified AI enhancements. Regarding the selfie snappers that sit up front, there’s a 20-megapixel camera accompanied by a 2-megapixel sensor that allows for Iris Recognition Unlock.
Despite the HTC U19e’s name – the ‘e’ would suggest a Galaxy S10e rival – the device is actually a mid-range offering. It’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 710 paired with a respectable 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, the latter of which is expandable via a microSD card slot. Completing the entire setup is Android 9 Pie paired with HTC’s custom overlay, a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and a 3,930mAh battery with support for quick charging. There’s also a built-in ‘Game Assistant’ that can boost performance when playing games and limit distractions.
The Desire 19+, HTC's first notched smartphone
Representing a first for HTC, the Desire 19+ features a large display paired with a waterdrop notch. The panel measures in at 6.2-inches and offers a resolution of 1520 x 720p, but this time it isn’t accompanied by two front-facing cameras. Instead, HTC has opted for a single 16-megapixel snapper that supports Face Unlock.
Over on the rear, the Desire 19+ adopts a new triple-camera setup comprised of a main 13-megapixel sensor, an 8-megapixel camera coupled with a wide-angle lens, and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. There’s also a fingerprint scanner towards the center of the rear panel.
HTC’s latest mid-range device is equipped with MediaTek’s Helio P35 which is slightly more powerful than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 630. The chip is paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage which, once again, is expandable via microSD cards. If this isn’t sufficient, a separate model with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage will also be available to purchase. Like the HTC U19e, the Desire 19+ ships with Android 9 Pie and HTC’s Sense UI pre-installed. It features a 3,850mAh battery and doesn’t support fast charging.
HTC U19e and Desire 19+ price and release date
The HTC U19e will be available to purchase on June 12th in both Modest Green and Extraordinary Purple. Sales will be limited to Taiwan and there's no word on an international launch. Prices don't typically translate directly, but the smartphone has been priced at TWD 14,900 ($475 or €420) locally, pretty high considering the specs HTC has included. For reference, the Pixel 3a can be purchased for around TWD 14,500 ($461 or €410) and the flagship Xiaomi Mi 9 costs TWD 13,999 ($446 or €394).
Regarding the HTC Desire 19+, this smartphone is priced just as highly. The 4/64GB model is set to cost TWD 9,990 ($318 or €280) while the 6/128GB variant will retail at TWD 10,990 ($350 or €310). Regardless of the chosen storage option, consumers will be able to buy the device in either Star Can Blue or Jasmine White. The smartphone will be available at some point in July and will once again be limited to Taiwan initially. It's unclear if HTC has plans to launch it globally.