HTC’s One-series of Androids (and soon to be Windows Phone, too, by the looks of it) may capture the lion’s share of our attention, but we’ve also been keeping abreast with what’s happening with its more affordable Desire lineup. Back in May we reviewed the Desire 816, and just last month we gave the same treatment to the Desire 610. At the time of those reviews, these were models that smartphone users in the States would likely have to import, but that’s all changing, as HTC announces today plans to make both Desire models easily available to US shoppers.
Starting tomorrow, August 12, Virgin Mobile will have the Desire 816 available for about $300 off-contract. If that’s not your cup of tea, HTC will start offering 816 sales directly to US customers through its website, alongside the Desire 610. We’re still not sure what pricing will look like on that end, but the 610 had been going for about $200 – at least, back when it was in stock.
Will US shoppers respond to HTC’s budget offerings? We found both of these Desire models to be generally solid phones, though not without their flaws. Broader availability certainly couldn’t hurt, so we’ll be keeping a watchful eye on HTC’s efforts to court this market.