HTC’s smartphone division of old may have mostly moved on to work at Google, but the company still hasn’t given up on creating the occasional smartphone of its own. The formerly immensely successful smartphone manufacturer teased the launch of a metaverse-focused smartphone during MWC 2022 along with its own spin on the whole web 3.0 stuff under the buzzy “Viveverse” branding, and today, this phone has finally arrived. It comes in the form of the entirely underwhelming HTC Desire 22 Pro, a mid-range phone with the faintest hint of metaverse capabilities.
Let’s start with the metaverse "features" the Desire 22 Pro is supposed to carry. According to its UK listing, it’s designed for “immersive experiences in a world where the physical, digital, and virtual interconnect — and with the capacity to run 2D and 3D content on extended reality (XR) device.” This doesn’t tell us much about its capabilities, and you could describe any modern smartphone like this, and that seems to be the running theme with this phone. There is simply nothing special about it.
For what it's worth, there should be some kind of deeper connection between it and HTC’s Vive Flow VR headset, though the company doesn’t specify how it works better than any other compatible Android phone.
The phone is supposedly also good for blockchain technology, with The Verge spotting that it is advertised to come with a digital wallet to manage crypto assets, including a free NFT to start with. It’s possible that this will be limited to certain regions only, though.
6.6-inch 20:9 FHD+ (1080x2412) 120Hz panel
RAM & storage
8GB RAM, 128GB storage
166.3 x 76.9 x 9.4 mm, 205g
64MP + 13MP + 5MP
NFC, Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, USB Type-C
4,520mAh, 18W quick charge, wireless and reverse-wireless charging
IP67 rating, fingerprint sensor
Once we strip away all the buzzwords, nothing special remains. The HTC phone comes with the decidedly mid-range Snapdragon 695, paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The screen is a 6.6-inch FHD+ panel that’s capable of going up to 120Hz, coming with a rather big chin and a 32MP punch-hole selfie camera in the top left corner. It runs Android 12, has an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance, supports wireless and reverse-wireless charging, and it comes in black and gold colorways.
The HTC Desire 22 Pro is the follow-up to last year's Desire 21 Pro (yes, HTC released a phone last year), and it will cost £399 in the UK, available from August 1. There is also an option to save 15% when you purchase it together with the Vive Flow, costing £763 together. Maybe that’s what makes the Desire 22 Pro the perfect companion for the virtual reality headset?