HTC is working on a new mid-range device codenamed “Ocean Life,” one industry insider said on Tuesday. The phone will supposedly be powered by the Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm’s power-efficient system-on-chip (SoC) that the San Diego, California-based tech giant announced earlier this year. The same source also put the length of the Ocean Life’s screen diagonal at 5.2 inches, adding that the phone’s display panel will feature a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels, indicating that the Taiwanese original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is still sticking with the conventional 16:9 aspect ratio. The handset is supposedly powered by a 2,600mAh battery that likely isn’t removable, at least if HTC’s recent product design practices are any indication. The back plate of the HTC Ocean should feature a 16-megapixel camera, with its top bezel housing another 16-megapixel module, though the former will likely have a wider aperture and be accompanied by a dual-LED (dual tone) flash unit, the insider suggested.
The HTC Ocean Life will run Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box, enhanced with the company’s proprietary Sense 9.0 software suite, in addition to supporting Bluetooth 5.0. The smartphone should also feature Edge Sense, i.e. have pressure-sensitive case edges that will be able to act like shortcuts. The Taoyuan, Taiwan-based consumer electronics manufacturer debuted this functionality with the HTC U11 and is seemingly content with the initial response from its audience, as it has now apparently decided to expand its availability. The Ocean Life is also said to be bundled with the HTC USonic earphones that shipped with the firm’s latest flagship and were highly praised for their performance.
It’s currently unclear when the upcoming mid-ranger might hit the market but seeing how it’s set to be offered with Android 7.1.1 Nougat, it will likely debut by early fall; Android O is currently in its third developer preview and is scheduled to receive its final one in the coming days, with the operating system expected to hit the stable channel in early August. Devices running Android O out of the box should hence start launching around October and the Ocean Life will presumably beat them to the market before being updated to a new version of Google’s operating system in late 2017 or early 2018. More details about HTC’s next mid-ranger may follow in the coming weeks.