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(Pocket-lint) - HTC has been quiet on the smartphone front recently, only really pushing the HTC Exodus - its blockchain phone - but that could be all about to change. HTC has officially announced the HTC U19e.

The U19e is a mid-range device, but hits many of the current buzzwords - it rolls in AI, there are twin front and rear cameras, it uses biometrics for unlocking, has a gaming mode as well as a display that supports HDR10.

HTC U19e key specs

  • 156.5 x 75.9 x 8.0mm, 180g
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, 6GB RAM
  • 3930mAh battery, Quick Charge 4
  • 6-inch, 18:9, 2160 x 1080 pixels

The Snapdragon 710 outlines the U19e as a mid-range phone, slotting into the space under most flagship devices. We've actually seen a lot of strong performers using this sort of hardware. The 710 isn't the latest - there's now the 712 as you'll find in the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE - but it will have enough power to do pretty much everything you want, including gaming at pretty high levels.

There's 128GB storage, but it also supports microSD for expansion. 

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Looking to deliver on the experience, the 6-inch display on the U19e offers HDR10 support, with a note saying that this is designed for YouTube. There's also HTC's famed Boomsound looking to give you a great speaker experience. 

This phone is designed with a premium look - including a couple of interesting colours - a translucent purple and green; it's launching in China and those colours have probably been chosen for that market. There's no word on whether the U19e will be made available in other regions.

U19e cameras

  • 12MP f/1.8 main + 20MP f/2.0 zoom rear
  • 24MP f/2.0 front + 2MP iris unlock

There are a pair of camera on the rear of the U19e. The main camera is 12-megapixel with an f/1.8 aperture, paired with a 20-megapixel f/2.0 2x zoom camera. HTC is keen to emphasise that it offers AI recognition on its camera, so you can get the best results for things like food or low light.

The front camera is 24-megapixels while the second sensor on the front is for the iris unlock function. Both front and back will offer bokeh portrait modes.

The HTC U19e has been announced in Taiwan, HTC's home turf, and the price equates to about £375, which is about what you'd expect to pay for a phone at this level. The Pixel 3a is a little more expensive for lower-grade hardware - although obviously Google's camera is one of the best out there. 

There's no telling if HTC is going to bring this phone to other regions.

Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 7 June 2019.