The latest smartphone from a not-dead-yet HTC is the Desire 22 Pro, a strictly mid-range device that is said to be a companion for its Vive VR glasses and comes with a free cat NFT stored in the local wallet. HTC has been teasing its very own metaverse phone for a while now, apparently trying to cash in on the crypto and NFT boom that has gone spectacularly bust in the past few months.
But the Taiwanese company apparently has long-term plans for the VIVERSE, its own catchphrase for the idea of a metaverse built on the foundation of VIVE XR gear. HTC launched the VIVE Flow VR Glasses late last year, and they are going to play a role in its VIVERSE ambitions that are tied to the company’s latest smartphone.
Say hello to the HTC Desire 22 Pro, a phone with mid-range specs and generic design with a garish pattern on the rear panel. The phone is powered by the Snapdragon 695 chipset, and features a 4,520mAh battery with 18W fast charging and surprisingly, wireless charging too. It offers a 6.6-inch FHD+ (1,080 x 2,412 pixels) display with a 120Hz refresh rate and hole-punch cutout in the corner housing the selfie camera. Over at the back is a triple lens array headlined by a 64-megapixel main snapper, sitting alongside a 13-megapixel camera for ultra-wide photography, and a 5-megapixel depth camera. Selfie and video calling responsibilities have been deputed to a beefy 32-megapixel sensor.
The phone’s key selling points are its VIVERSE tricks. The Vive app allows users to pair the Desire 22 Pro with the Vive Flow VR glasses. When connected to the wearable, users can stream content from their phone’s screen to the VR glasses. HTC claims that the VR glasses will let users stream Netflix, Hulu, and Disney as if they are watching content on a 300-inch screen. However, the company hasn’t outlined the compatibility for the kind of apps that can be streamed from the Desire 22 Pro to the Vive Flow VR glasses via HDCP stream. The VIVERSE tool is where users can access their NFTs and other digital assets. Talking about NFTs, each buyer will get one depicting a Renaissance cat as a freebie.
It also leads users to the VIVE market, which is where they can spend their cryptocurrency tokens that are linked to the Ethereum blockchain and Polygon. HTC is making tall claims about the 3D-fueled metaverse capabilities of its mid-range phone which comes with an IP67-rated build. The phone will be up for grabs in HTC’s home market starting next month, but there is no official word on international availability. Going by the previous smartphone launches from HTC, it is unlikely that the phone will ever grace the U. S. market. HTC is asking roughly $400 for it’s metaverse-loving phone, while a limited edition bundle that includes the VIVE Flow VR glasses will cost slightly more than twice the standalone phone package.
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Author: Nadeem Sarwar