HTC, so far the leading manufacturer when it comes to pushing out Android-based mobiles, has announced the launch of a "mass market" phone running the OS, the HTC Tattoo.

With the claim of bringing "broad personalisation to the masses", the new phone gets "HTC Sense", a twist on the user interface that claims to integrate communications and applications including voice calls, emails, texts, photos and status updates into one consolidated view.

Said to be small and compact, HTC will offer "unique covers" so that phone's look can be personalised too.

With the Google bits you'd expect (Google Maps, search and Google Mail) as far as hardware features go all HTC is revealing at this stage is a 3.2-megapixel autofocus camera, 3.5mm stereo headset jack and expandable microSD memory.

The HTC Tattoo will be available in Europe first at the beginning of October (free on contract in the UK), and will roll out in markets around the world in the following months.

UPDATE: Spec sheet has now arrived. You're looking at a 528 MHz Qualcomm MSM7225 processor, 512MB ROM, 256MB RAM, 2.8-inch touchscreen with 240 x 320 QVGA resolution, HSDPA, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, Wi-Fi and microSD card slot. Measurements are 106 x 55.2 x 14mm.