At an event in London today, HTC announced two new devices aimed at complimenting the user experience of the company’s smartphones, the HTC Mini+ and the HTC Fetch.
Featuring the same design aesthetic as its latest devices, the HTC Mini+ allows users to almost replicate all of their HTC One mini’s functions from a separate handset that is actually connected via Bluetooth to their device. Effectively, the HTC Mini+ is a feature phone that has TV remote control functionality, the ability to track email and text alerts from another HTC device, and act as a remote control for users who already have the company’s HTC Media Link HD set-top box.
Users will be able to pair the device to their HTC device using its built-in NFC or Near Field Communications chip. In addition to acting as a miniature phone, the HTC Mini+ can also act as a wireless presenter for slide shows made from Microsoft’s PowerPoint application. The HTC Mini+ doesn’t have an exact release date or price yet, but HTC did confirm that users can expect it to launch sometime this winter according to The Verge.
HTC’s site now lists the HTC Mini+ as only being compatible with the HTC One mini, HTC Butterfly S, HTC Desire 200 and the HTC Desire 500, indicating that users will need Android 4.2 for the device to work.
Like the HTC Mini+, the HTC Fetch will use NFC and Bluetooth, however instead of acting a supplemental phone replacement, Fetch will help users find their lost HTC smartphone. When paired with a HTC device, pressing the Fetch’s button will automatically trigger a device’s ringtone for up to 15 meters. The device can also be set up to alert a user when they’ve strayed too far away from their smartphone.
The HTC Fetch can also act as a remote camera shutter button. HTC says that one battery will last around 6 months. While the HTC Fetch isn’t available to buy just yet, it’s already available for pe-order from Clove for around $39.99. The device is only compatible with the HTC One mini and the HTC Butterfly S, right now.
With two new first-party accessories, HTC finally seems poised to take on one of the Samsung Galaxy S4’s biggest advantagees, the wealth of first-party accessories. While iPhone users have access to wealth of third-party accessories, Android users are mostly left at the mercy of their device’s manufacturers, many of which simply don’t offer compelling devices that enhance user’s experience.