We covered HTC’s 64-bit capable, budget LTE smartphone just a few hours ago and now HTC have announced a number of carriers due to get the handset. In the US, it’s being picked up by Sprint, Cricket, Virgin Mobile USA and Boost Mobile. North of the border in Canada, we know that Fido Mobile, Rogers, Telus, Videotron and Virgin Mobile are taking the new Desire handset. And across the pond, at least O2 in the UK are taking the ‘phone.
A new low end HTC handset might not seem like the kind of handset to get excited about, but the Desire 510 brings two important tricks to the party. The first is that 64-bit capable processor. This isn’t especially relevant with Android Kit Kat but the next version of Android, currently called Android L will provide 64-bit support. Switching to a 64-bit operating system will give devices greater potential performance, which will make for a smoother user experience. The second trick is LTE, which just a couple of years ago was only available on some high end Android models, in many cases a specific version of the device was sold with LTE plus a premium and the normal version came without.
LTE, Long-Term Evolution, is the latest commercially available mobile or cellular network. It has three main advantages over 3G networks. The first is that it is faster both to respond (something network engineers call latency) and data transfer speeds. Depending on the technology, it is currently around ten times quicker. The second is that LTE networks have greater capacity, which means your carrier should be able to provide a better and more consistent service with fewer masts (once the network is built). This should eventually lead to lower costs! And the third reason is that modern LTE modems are much quicker when moving between an idle state and a data transfer state, which for typical users can result in better battery life. 3G HSPA modems can take around thirty seconds to switch state from a high power mode to a low power mode after network activity whereas LTE modems shut down and power up almost instantly. What does this mean for customers? It means a much better Android experience for not much money. Motorola’s original Moto G proved the point that low end Android handsets don’t need to be slow and ugly and it looks like the industry is waking up to this. And that is very good news indeed.