HTC’s smartphone division is limited with the Metaverse-focused Desire 22 Pro

It hasn’t released a competing flagship device in years, but HTC’s smartphone division isn’t throwing in the towel just yet. Today it announced the HTC Desire 22 Pro, the follow-up to last year’s HTC Desire 21 Pro, and the company’s big effort to capitalize on the so-called metaverse. In the UK, it is listed for £399 and will be shipped on 1 August.

There are a few different aspects to the phone’s Metaverse functionality. To start, it’s designed to be the “perfect companion” for HTC’s recently announced Vive Flow VR headset and is used to access HTC’s Vives on the metaverse. The headset is designed to work with any Android phone, however, it’s not entirely clear what the Desire 22 Pro offers that isn’t available elsewhere.

There’s some NFT functionality in there too, with HTC’s Taiwanese site advertising that the phone includes a digital wallet to manage crypto assets, and comes with a free NFT one. It appears to vary by market, however, as similar language is not present in the marketing materials on its UK site.

Elsewhere, the Desire 22 Pro’s specs are completely mid-range. It has a 6.6-inch 1080p display with a 120Hz refresh rate, and a hole-punch notch on the top left that houses a 32-megapixel selfie camera. On the back are three rear cameras, a 64-megapixel main camera, a 13-megapixel ultrawide, and a 5-megapixel depth sensor.

Internally it is powered by the Snapdragon 695 processor, paired with 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 4,520mAh battery. It supports wireless and reverse wireless charging, runs Android 12, and has an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance. The Desire 22 Pro comes in Black or Gold color options.

The approach is reminiscent of HTC’s previous blockchain-powered smartphone, the Exodus 1, which it released in 2018, and followed the following year with the more affordable Exodus 1S. But neither phone appears to have turned the fortunes of HTC’s smartphone around. The company’s market share reportedly dropped to less than half a percent in 2018, the same year it sold most of its smartphone talent to Google. Nowadays, HTC sells so few smartphones that it doesn’t register on public smartphone market share trackers.

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