HTC quietly announced a new Android tablet – and no one noticed

HTC, the ever influential Android smartphone maker, has a surprising tablet with its quirky Metaverse-focused Desire 22 Pro. The new A101 is an Android tablet with a 10.1-inch display, entry-level specs, and a design that’s straight out of the middle of the last decade. device we saw androidpolice, appears to have been quietly announced last month – according to the Wayback Machine – and is aimed at the African market. It follows the A100 tablet, which was launched in Russia last year to a similar non-reactionary.

Given that the tablet is marketed entirely to emerging markets, I don’t want to divulge too much information about its specs or design. But it’s still strange to see HTC — literally the maker of the first Android phone and a company Google once assigned to make its Nexus-branded tablet (Nexus 9) — producing such forgettable devices. The A101 even runs Android 12 out of the box as of 2020 instead of Android 12L or the larger-screen Android 11.

Internally, HTC’s tablet is powered by the Unisoc T618 processor, paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which is expandable via microSD. It has a pair of cameras on the rear, the main 16-megapixel camera with a 2-megapixel ultrawide one. There’s a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, 3.5mm headphone jack, 7,000mAh battery, and support for Face Unlock on both models.

Overall, a very strange release from HTC. This is a company that was once going toe-to-toe with the likes of Samsung in the flagship Android market. But now, in 2022, it may quietly reveal a completely ineffective tablet on its website and most of the world will not notice it until a few days later.

Meanwhile, the smartphone design talent that HTC sold to Google in early 2018 has only been going strong over the years. While the Pixel 4 is now considered a misstep, the Pixel 5 was a very capable midrange handset, and the Pixel 6 was a competing flagship (albeit with what appears to be more than its fair share of software bugs). Conversely, it’s becoming harder and harder to tell what the rest of HTC’s smartphone division is working on beyond vague buzzwords like “metaverse.”

UPDATE July 5th, 11:35AM ET: Updated to note that the A101 tablet is new, but the A100 tablet was launched in Russia last year.

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