HTC is launching its Desire 22 Pro smartphone, which emphasizes VR and AR integration centering around HTC’s own Vive ecosystem and the open-source metaverse platform it calls the Viverse. The Desire 22 Pro’s preloaded Viverse app lets users access and manage NFTs and cryptocurrencies and other metaverse content. In February HTC announced the Viverse, where people can attend meetings or concerts, build avatars and play games. Optimized for HTC’s 5G products and Vive VR devices, users can join the Viverse from any phone, tablet, PC or VR headset.
The Desire 22 Pro comes loaded with a crypto wallet for Ethereum and Polygon-based digital assets. The new phone has HDCP 2.2 connectivity, enabling users to wirelessly mirror content fron the phone to compatible VR headsets.
It is “compatible with the company’s $499 Vive Flow VR headset and can be paired with the device if users want to explore experiences, watch movies and TV or even just access their apps in virtual reality,” Engadget writes. The Desire 22 Pro also lets users visit metaverse worlds without VR devices using browsers.
Specs include a 6.6-inch display featuring 1,080 x 2,412 pixel resolution and a refresh rate of 120Hz. Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 695 5G chip, the phone comes with 8GB of RAM and storage capacity of 128GB. A 4,520 mAh battery offers Qi reverse wireless charging.
Decrypt describes three cameras: “in the Desire 22 Pro’s case, you get a 64-megapixel main camera (f/1.79), a 13-megapixel ultrawide lens (f/2.4), and a 5-megapixel depth-sensing camera (f/2.4), along with a 32-megapixel front-facing camera (f/2.0) for selfies. For video shooting, there’s also image stabilization, night mode, and 120fps slow-motion capture.”
The Desire 22 Pro has been met with some cynicism. “HTC hasn’t released a competitive flagship device in years, but HTC’s smartphone division isn’t throwing in the towel just yet,” writes The Verge, calling the follow-up to 2021’s HTC Desire 21 Pro “the company’s big attempt at capitalizing on the so-called metaverse.”
Decrypt, on the other hand, credits HTC as “an early adopter of crypto technology,” noting that “as long ago as 2018, it produced the Exodus 1 smartphone with a built-in crypto hardware wallet and the ability to run a full Bitcoin node.” Rival Samsung has been including security for storing crypto private keys on its smartphones “for some time now,” Decrypt notes.
Prices for the Desire 22 Pro begin at $404, according to Engadget, which says the phone is “available for pre-order and will start shipping on July 1st in the company’s home country of Taiwan.”