HTC unveils the Desire 650 - and it's a lot like the Desire 630

In September, HTC unveiled the One A9s, successor to its premium mid-range One A9. Unfortunately, the One A9s offered few improvements compared with its predecessor, and in some ways - including its display and cameras - it was actually inferior to the previous device.

Today, HTC announced a new lower-end handset, and it seems remarkably similar to another device that it revealed nine months ago.

The new Desire 650 follows the Desire 630 that HTC announced at Mobile World Congress in February, with only a few differences between the two devices.

Like the 630, the 650 has 16GB of onboard storage, along with a microSD slot, as well as 2GB of RAM. The front-facing camera seems to be identical too, with a 5MP sensor and f/2.8 aperture. The rear camera of the 650 has the same 13MP resolution, but it now has a wider aperture (f/2.2 vs f/2.4) than the 630; in fact, going by its spec sheet, the 650 now appears to have the same camera as the One A9s.

The 650's 2200mAh battery is unchanged from the 630, and it also supports HTC's BoomSound audio technology, with Hi-Res Audio-certified speakers.

HTC carefully avoided making a specific reference to the exact processor used in the Desire 650; its spec sheet only states that the device has a "Qualcomm Snapdragon, quad-core" CPU. This isn't entirely surprising - HTC recently launched the new high-end '10 evo' (sold in the US as the Bolt) with the less-than-fresh Snapdragon 810 SoC, two months after unveiling the Desire 10 Lifestyle with the Snapdragon 400 SoC, which first appeared in handsets three years ago. Given that the Desire 630 also uses the Snapdragon 400, it seems likely that the 650 will use the same ageing chipset.

There's no obvious improvement on the display front either - the Desire 650 has a 5-inch LCD with HD (1280x720px) resolution, just like the 630. It's also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass, although HTC's decision to promote that feature by showing someone striking the screen with a mallet is perhaps ill-advised.

Don't be fooled into thinking the Desire 650 is a 'rugged' device - despite the rippled 'hand-etched' bodywork on the rear of the handset, which is intended to improve grip, it's not certified for drop protection or water-resistance.

It will ship with Android 6.0 Marshmallow onboard, and it's not yet clear when - or indeed if - HTC intends to update it to Android 7.0 Nougat. HTC's commitment to Android upgrades was somewhat undermined in August when the company broke its promise to update the One A9 within 15 days of Nexus handsets receiving new OS updates. Nougat began rolling out to Google's Nexus devices three months ago, but HTC has indicated that the One A9 is unlikely to be updated until next year. That doesn't bode particularly well for the Desire 650.

So far, the handset has only made an appearance in HTC's home market of Taiwan, and it's uncertain if the company intends to offer it in other parts of the world. Pricing has not yet been announced.

Source: HTC via Android Headlines

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