HTC's first 5G smartphone is the mid-range U20

The HTC U20 5G will still be manufactured in-house.

Andy Yang/Engadget

It’s been a surprisingly busy day for HTC. Following the Vive XR Suite announcement, the company stuck to its promise and unveiled its first 5G phone, the U20, at its Taipei event. On top of that, HTC also pushed out its slightly more affordable Desire 20 Pro, thus completing the annual update cycle from last year’s U19e and Desire 19+.

HTC U20 5G

Compared to other flagship smartphones, the U20 5G may disappoint some with its Snapdragon 765G chipset, especially given its ambitious NT$18,990 price (about US$640) when pre-orders open on July 1st. The only upside here is that this is Qualcomm’s first chipset with integrated 5G modem, which in theory should translate to better power and thermal management. You’ll find the same chip inside the LG Velvet, which is heading to Europe and the US soon.

The 6.8-inch FHD+ display is an LCD instead of the more dynamic AMOLED panel, hence the rear fingerprint reader instead of an optical version. This is likely a cost-down measure, but at least HTC finally got rid of the forehead by adding a punch hole for the 32-megapixel front camera. If we want to nitpick, there’s still a noticeable amount of chin below the screen.

The rest of the specs are relatively standard for a mid-range phone: 8GB RAM, 256GB storage, dual nano SIM slots, microSD expansion (up to 2TB), 5,000mAh battery, NFC and a quad-camera module on the back (48-megapixel main, 8-megapixel ultra-wide, 2-megapixel macro and 2-megapixel bokeh). These are all packaged into either a quartz green or crystal white body, and to be honest, we’ve seen better designs from the once mobile giant.

One interesting thing about the U20 5G is that it will still be manufactured in-house in Taoyuan, Taiwan, thus quashing earlier rumours of HTC abandoning all of its production lines. Still, the phone looks rather generic in today’s market.

HTC Desire 20 Pro

The Desire 20 Pro, not made in Taiwan, is a 4G phone powered by the lesser Snapdragon 665 platform. It features a smaller 6.5-inch LCD with a 25-megapixel punch-hold front camera, but the same FHD+ resolution remains. With the exception of the lesser 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, the remaining specs are literally identical to the U20’s. This model will be launching in Taiwan on June 18th for NT$8,990 or about US$300, with color options including crystal black and clear blue.

While the few remaining hardcore fans may welcome these new HTC phones (especially its first-ever 5G handset), there’s no word on whether they will make it out of Taiwan. Sources previously told Engadget that this dual-phone launch was purely a Taiwanese initiative, so chances are slim for an international rollout. Which is probably for the best given how these designs are clearly yelling “me too.”

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