Are HTC's Mobile World Congress annoucements disappointing?

Taylor Martin
 from  Concord, NC
| February 16, 2011

Mobile World Congress is in full swing but will be drawing to a close tomorrow afternoon. We've had the pleasure of seeing several anticipated devices up close and have had plenty of announcements. Many of these have unexpectedly come from HTC. Over the last couple of years, HTC has given birth to some of the most impressive Android and Windows handsets to date. Their latest batch, however, is a bit lackluster.

Not too long ago, I wrote of the rut that HTC has found themselves in. It appears as if they have simply given up on pushing the limits of the tech world and that they just revisit the same ideas over and over. Take the ThunderBolt for instance. They built the hype up for this device for months. When it was finally announced, we learned that it wasn't anything new. It was simply a rehash EVO 4G set to run on Verizon's LTE network. While the Incredible S and Desire S are the two most impressive phones of HTC's recent announcements, they're nothing we haven't already seen.

I'll admit, their hardware is exquisite and I love their phones, but I've just grown bored with their lack of new designs and dated specs (in comparison). They do, of course, throw a few different styles into the mix like the G2 and EVO Shift. In their new bunch though, the only device that is even remotely different – a style that I've been longing for – appears to be a low-end or mid-range Android device. Lower-end devices are important in the smartphone world, too. Not everyone is willing to pay $200 or more for a new smartphone. But I'm sure some of us would love to see a high-end device from HTC with a different form factor.

Don't get me wrong, all of the phones HTC announced are likely to be great devices. HTC has never let me down and they've got the device making business down to an art. I've owned roughly ten different HTC handsets to date and every one of them has been great. But it's hard to get excited over a few rehashes and a couple mid-range devices.

More important than looks though, is whats under the hood. Manufacturers like Motorola, LG, and Samsung have been hard at work cramming some impressive specifications into their phones. Touting specs like dual-core processors, 1080p HD video recording, 2MP front-facing cameras, 3D displays, and more, the competitions' specifications are easily surpassing the those of HTC's phones.

The one innovative piece of tech that HTC has added is something that many of us probably couldn't care less about. We've heard about deeper Facebook integration for some time now, and all I've heard from readers is negative feedback. The Facebook button being context-aware is a cool concept, but I'm not so sure it's going to gain a lot of traction. If it were a “share” button instead of being tied to a single network, it would probably be more welcomed.

It's sad to watch one of my favorite manufacturers start to slip. In the fast paced mobile world we live in, releasing “new” phones with last year's specs is a dangerous game to play. Other manufacturers are speeding ahead building up impressive spec sheets and I don't think HTC's popular, high-quality hardware or a Facebook button will be enough to fend off the onslaught of dual-core phones and qHD displays; the results from our latest poll should be a testament to that. Is it just me, or are you guys unimpressed with HTC's 2011 announcements, too?