HTC debuted two phones on Wednesday in London that will be sold in the European market, the Desire HD with a large screen, left, and the and the Desire Z, right, with a spring-loaded pop-out physical keyboard. Sandwiched in between is an older HTC-built phone, the Google Nexus One. HTC has plenty of phones, but the company also announced a new Web site, HTCSense.com.
The new HTCSense.com Web site is designed to augment what people can do with their phones. It gives people the "ability to manage, control, and customize their experience from their phone or from their PC," HTC CEO Peter Chou said. This view shows it used to look up a map on a computer then send that information to the phone for use on the road.
The HTCSense.com site lets people place a message on a lost phone that its finder can read--in this case the promise of a reward. It also lets people get the phone to ring so they can find where in the house they misplaced it. And in the worst-case scenario, all the data can be wiped from the phone remotely.
HTC Chief Marketing Officer John Wang showed off the HTCsense.com Web service and updates to the Sense user interface that ships on HTC's phones. He touted Sense's ability to cache maps for faster navigation, sift through in-box clutter, and take photos with effects such as fish-eye lens distortion and sepia-tone coloring.
The HTC Desire Z features a flip-out keyboard. HTC is proud that the thin screen fits into a recessed pocket, making it easier to type both on the screen and on the physical keyboard and making the top row of keys easy to reach without bumping fingertips into the screen.
Unhappily for Nokia, HTC held its event in the same city at the same time as Nokia World, and several press members were removing Nokia press badges as they arrived. Nokia put the best face possible on it by hiring a couple dozen people to stand around the HTC site holding large red balloons touting Nokia's Ovi maps service.