HTC Desire U

Okay, so HTC clearly didn’t stick to the “hero” strategy announced about a year ago, and continued to segment the company’s phone line-up. In fact, we bet it’s now much harder for people to keep up with all new HTC devices than it was in late 2011.

The hectic branding can’t be of much help either, being impossible to differentiate five One devices and six Desires by the letter or letters attached to the names. Then again, HTC does one thing pretty swell by putting its eggs in so many baskets – it covers all bases and caters to every need.

Need proof? Meet the Desire U, the newest HTC phone to come to light in Taiwan. This fellow has a lot (and we do mean a lot) in common with a bunch of other members of the Desire family, but it does have one or two things that make it special and attractive.

From a design standpoint, there’s very little to individuate the U compared with

" href="">the Desire X, but especially with the V. Just like the V, this new guy measures 9.3 mm in thickness and is really easy on the eyes, with a discreet “chin” and, we think, a plastic/aluminum build combo that ticks both the reliability and sleekness boxes.

HTC Desire U-2

The back is a tad different, with a funky striped pattern surrounding the camera. That’s definitely a bold, love or hate design choice, but on our part it doesn’t look half bad.

Moving on from the design, we’ll find the Desire U’s hardware a bit underwhelming, but not awfully low-end. There’s an unspecified 1 GHz CPU beneath the hood (hopefully the dual-core MSM8225 of the Desire X), coupled with 512 MB of RAM.

The 4-inch display boasts a 800 x 480 pixels resolution that’s awfully familiar for the entire Desire line (including the 4.3-inch SV), while on the software front we must say we’re a bit disappointed to see the dated Android 4.0 ICS.

Other known features include 4 GB of on-board storage, microSD support, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, a 5 MP rear-facing camera, Beats Audio enhancements and a 1,650 mAh battery. All of these replicate Desire V’s specs, so what’s special about the U after all?

Well, if our sources are correct, the phone is ready to start selling in Taiwan for the equivalent of $275 unlocked, which is a lot less than what the Desire V or X go for. Now, are there any chances to see the Desire U going for a similar price outside Asia? Probably not, but one can definitely hope.