HTC’s bizarre Android hardware strategy has culminated in a tablet no one asked for

The former lighthouse of smartphone innovation has been releasing some strange devices lately

HTC may mostly be out of the Android business. It instead focuses mostly on its virtual reality hardware and establishing the metaverse-like “Viveverse” surrounding it. HTC is still releasing a new Android device every once in a while, be it last year’s Desire 21 Pro or last month’s Desire 22 Pro. Now, the company has another device. It’s a tablet called the HTC A101, and it’s running Android 11 in 2022.

The HTC A101 looks rather lackluster, coming with chunky bezels around the display and an overall bland design. Things aren’t exactly breathtaking on the inside, either. It comes with an Unisoc SCT618 processor paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, expandable via microSD. The display is a 10.1-inch Full HD LCD panel, accompanied by a 5MP front-facing camera in the bezel. On the back, you can find a 16MP primary camera paired with a 2MP secondary. One of the key additions here is probably a 3.5mm headphone jack, though that’s still more widely available on tablets than on phones in general. Connectivity-wise, the HTC A101 has Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi ac on board, as well as LTE via a nano SIM slot. The battery has a capacity of 7,000mAh.

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As Google is working hard on improving its Android interface for tablets and other big screen devices with recent releases like Android 12L and Android 13, HTC has inexplicably decided to ship the A101 with 2020’s Android 11. While it’s possible that the company has added some tablet -focused enhancements of its own, it still seems like an unnecessarily missed opportunity.

In contrast to the Desire 22 Pro, the A101 also isn’t pitched as any kind of metaverse device to speak of, with the Viveverse branding left completely unmentioned on the product page. In HTC’s current crypto and metaverse focused lineup, the A101 seems like a weird standout that doesn’t really offer any value to either customers nor HTC’s portfolio.

The tablet has only been announced for Africa and, curiously enough, Russia, where it is sold as the A100 rather than the A101 but looks to be otherwise identical. The African pricing hasn’t been revealed yet, but in Russia, the A100 costs 20,990 rubles, which is roughly $350. You’re probably much better off with one of the numerous other great options in the Android tablet market.

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