HTC has made its first launch of 2014 with the HTC Desire 816, and in the process HTC has mentioned software updates beyond Sense 5.5.

The new handset boosts the Desire range of mid-range devices, offering a 5.5-inch display with 1280 x 720 pixels, a 1.6GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 1.5GB of RAM and 4G LTE connectivity.

The Desire 816 launches with Sense 5.5, bringing with it features like the BlinkFeed social and news aggregator.

There's a 13-megapixel camera on the rear as well as a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, along with HTC's cool Zoe camera function and automatically created highlight videos that we so enjoy on the HTC One.

HTC says that the Desire 816 will be launching in China from March running HTC Sense 5.5, before going on to say it will be updated to the latest version of Sense on global launch in April.

Whether that means we're going to see an updated version of HTC Sense 6.0 at the 25 March launch of the new HTC One, we can't be sure, but here's hoping.

The HTC Desire 816 design picks up some cues from the flagship HTC One family, with the Desire 816 offering twin front-facing speakers with HTC's BoomSound, ensuring they will sound good.

There will be 8GB of internal storage with the option of expanding via microSD.

"The HTC Desire 816 marks the beginning of an exciting new era for the mid-tier," said Peter Chou, HTC's chief exec.

"Incomparably beautiful to look at and hold with the technology and software to match, the HTC Desire 816 challenges everything that people expect from lower cost smartphones. It is bringing genuine choice to the category by delivering stunning design and high-end performance at unbelievable value."

There's no word on pricing yet, so we're not sure just how good value it will be but it will launch in China in March and globally from April.