HTC’s smartphone business is already in the red, and last year’s COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t favored it. It hasn’t launched a premium flagship yet, at least none under the « U » brand, but it seems to continue to take off with its Desire line of affordable mid-range phones. This year won’t be any different, at least not at the beginning, and HTC’s first smartphone for 2021 is the Desire 21 Pro 5G, which admittedly at least looks like a decent phone.
In terms of specs, the HTC Desire 21 Pro 5G is just right for mid-range 5G phones. That capability is provided by the Snapdragon 690, which until recently was as low as you’d expect for a 5G-enabled Qualcomm chip. There is also 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, which can be expanded with a microSD card.
In terms of appearance, the Desire 21 Pro 5G gives the now common camera bump a unique touch by separating three of the four cameras on the back with a two-tone design. On the front there is a 16-megapixel camera under a hole cutout. The cameras may not meet some people’s expectations, but in the real world it remains to be seen.
Other than affordable 5G, the phone doesn’t have a lot of special or notable features. Sure, some might consider the large 5,000 mAh battery an important feature, as well as the side-mounted fingerprint scanner under the power button. One failure, however, is that it will still ship with Android 10 as of 2019.
The HTC Desire 21 Pro 5G starts in Taiwan for 11,990 TWD, around 430 US dollars. While this is a tempting offer for a mid-range 5G phone, it will face both the OnePlus Nord N10 and the new Samsung Galaxy A32 5G, both of which are more competitive with different specs.