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HTC Outlines Mid-Tier Game Plan

Barcelona, Spain — HTC hopes to fuel its turnaround in part with the launch of the first model in a new-look HTC Desire family, which is designed to strengthen the company’s presence in the mid-tier market.

The LTE-equipped HTC Desire 816 “marks the beginning of an exciting new era for the mid-tier,” said CEO Peter Chou. The phone “challenges everything that people expect from lower cost smartphones,” he claimed. “It is bringing genuine choice to the category by delivering stunning design and high-end performance at unbelievable value.”

The 816 is the “first model in [HTC’s] ambitious 2014 midrange portfolio” that will combine “beautiful design and flagship performance for incredible value,” the company said.

 The phone incorporates design elements of the flagship HTC One series but with a “vibrant, modern color palate and quality materials” that will give the series “its own familiar, yet distinctive flavor,” the company said.

The HTC Desire 816 features LTE, 5.5-inch 720p screen, quad-core 1.6GHz CPU, 1.5GB RAM, up to 8GB embedded memory, dual front speakers, HTC BoomSound audio technologies, and HTC BlinkFeed, which automatically populates a home screen with news and social-media updates with pictures. It incorporates HSPA+42Mbps, LTE, nano SIM, a 2,600 mAh battery, DLNA, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 with AptX technology, a 13-megapixel main camera with BSI sensor, 1080p video capture and an f/2.2 aperture. The front 5-megapixel camera also features 1080p capture and BSI. It also has a wide-angle lens.

The phone will launch first in China in March and will roll out globally in April. U.S. availability will be announced in the coming months, the company said.