On June 22, HTC launched their first metaverse smartphone, the Desire 22 Pro. The phone was introduced with the promise of metaverse-focus features.
The Desire 22 Pro is all set to support the Viverse ecosystem(1).
It will allow the users to connect with the metaverse communities and explore them. The Desire 22 is compatible with the Vive Flow VR headset (2). It is a pair of glasses that pair up with the smartphone to let you interact with VR content, it functions can like a personal cinema.
The phone is said to be a perfect companion to their new product Vive flow VR headset. But the point of this particular headset is that it is designed to work with any Android phone out there. It has become increasingly difficult for the users to understand what new feature the new metaverse phone could offer when used with the headset since they can have the same features with any other device (3).
As the phone promises metaverse features, it also offers NFT functionalities. The phone supposedly has a digital wallet that could manage crypto assets, it also has free NFTs to offer (4). However, the problem arose from the fact that these features that were mentioned on the Taiwanese site of the company, were not present on the UK site.
Right now, only two countries have been confirmed for the availability of the phone. These countries are Taiwan and US.
Now let us look at the specs (5) of the Desire 22 Pro to understand how much the phone has to offer to its users.
The Desire 22 Pro’s Specs
The phone’s s specs are mid-range and the design of the phone is very generic(6)
- It has a 6.6-inch screen display
- 1080X2412 pixel resolution
- A refresh rate of 120 Hz
- 32 Megapixel selfie camera at the hole-punch in the top left corner
- Three rear cameras: 64-megapixel main camera, 5- megapixel depth sensor, and a 13-megapixel ultrawide camera.
- Powered by Snapdragon 695 processor
- 8GB of RAM
- 128 GB of Storage
- 4,520mAH battery
- The phone can support 15W wireless charging and reverse wireless charging
- It runs on Android 12 with an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance
- It is available in two color choices: Black and Gold.
What can the phone do?
The HTC Desire 22 Pro will help its users in managing their Metaverse content, NFTs, and cryptocurrency (6).
The Viverse app can enable users to create their own virtual space. They could even buy NFTs in a virtual marketplace. The built-in Crypto wallet can support assets based on Ethereum and Polygon. The device is compatible with HTC’s Vive Flow VR headset, which will allow the users to wirelessly mirror content to the headset.
The Vive manager will allow the users to manage their VR hardware. It is supposed to open a new immersive experience (7). The Desire 22 pro is specifically designed to work with metaverse platforms and manage NFTs and crypto.
The phone comes with the Vive controller app to control the VR headset, but the fact is that we can install the app on any android phone supporting miracast.
HTC has also launched the Vive ART NFT store (8), the Desire 22 Pro has a built-in wallet called Vive wallet, that the users can use to purchase the NFTs. The problem is the fact that not many people are impressed by the artwork.
How much does it cost?
The price for the HTC’s Desire 22 Pro begins around 404 US dollars, since the price (9) is not too expensive, many believed it had the potential to reach more people. The phone is confirmed to be available in both Taiwan and US.
Interested buyers also have the option to pre-order the phone. It is most likely to start shipping from July 1 from Taiwan. The UK buyers have the option to pre-order the phone for £300.
The shipping for the UK buyers would begin from 1 August.
As the phone is promised to optimize the use of the Vive Flow VR Headset, those buyers who are interested to buy a set of both the phone and the VR headset would get a discount price of $791 in Taiwan. For the Uk buyers, the set would cost about £763.
The buyers would also get HTC TWS earbuds and a phone case, but this offer is only limited to those who order the phone before 31 July.
Desire 22 Pro: A Hit or Miss?
The Phone was launched on 28 June 2022, and since then many have already vocalized their opinion about the phone. The phone has mid-range specs, the only thing that could distract the users from these issues could be its metaverse features. The phone has been called ‘underwhelming’(10) with only a ‘hint of metaverse capabilities’(11).
The most disappointing aspect is the fact that the company failed to distinguish it from any other generic android phone that is compatible with VR technologies. They don’t give much about its capabilities except its compatibility with their newly launched VR headset.
The company has been accused of just attempting to ride on the coattail of the new buzzwords like metaverse, NFTs, and cryptocurrencies. The HTC Desire 22 Pro is supposed to be a follow-up to their Desire 21 Pro(12).
It was pointed out that the phone itself doesn’t seem to have many VR features, just a fainted hint of them. The phone functions as a controller to the VR headset, it can display the phone’s screen in the VR environment hence providing the users with an experience of their own theatre.
Many have been disappointed by the mid-range spec of the phone. They have also been let down buy by the fact that the phone has been advertised as having Metaverse features and NFT functionalities.
But the phone seemed to have failed to deliver because it cannot deliver on the promises it had made. The company has been teasing the phone with promises of great features, but it fails because of its mid-range specs and its inability to distinguish it from any other Android phone except for its metaverse features.