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HTC working on a flagship phone with AR and VR built right in

HTC Vive Pro 2 front
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich)

What you need to know

  • HTC is working on its first flagship smartphone in years, according to HTC's Vice President, Charles Huang.
  • The company recently announced its own metaverse, coined Viverse.
  • This flagship smartphone is said to incorporate Viverse into its apps in some form.

It's been a good number of years since we've seen a flagship smartphone from HTC, but it looks the company is back in the flagship business. What's more, this smartphone looks to incorporate HTC's own vision of the metaverse — dubbed Viverse — which is named after the company's HTC Vive VR division.

Charles Huang, vice president of HTC, told Digitimes (opens in new tab) (via GSMArena (opens in new tab)) that the company was working on a phone that will integrate certain "metaverse" functions. At MWC this year, HTC announced the Viverse, a collection of technologies that is incorporated into a wider metaverse concept and includes many open standards.

While it's not clear how HTC would incorporate Viverse into a new high-end Android phone, building AR and VR capabilities — collectively known as XR — into a smartphone is something that was more commonly done a few years ago. With the advent of successful standalone VR headsets like the Meta Quest 2 (opens in new tab), it's entirely possible that HTC could try to challenge Meta by using its own all-in-one solution by putting the smartphone back at the heart of the tech.

HTC Viverse ecosystem

(Image credit: HTC)

HTC was unwilling to comment further on details for this potential flagship phone, which Digitimes says could appear as soon as next month, but the official Viveverse announcement could clue us in on how HTC could once again make one of the best Android phones.

Viverse is a collection of apps and open technologies that HTC hopes will fit well into the wider metaverse conversation. The company is utilizing OpenXR (opens in new tab) to better integrate with XR hardware and services, and is even working with VRM models to ensure that players can import and use their existing virtual avatars within Viverse instead of having to build yet another avatar.

Since Viverse is designed to be a cohesive metaverse that can be accessed from multiple types of devices, having a smartphone that'll tap right into it natively could help HTC's adoption rates. Whether that means another blockchain phone (opens in new tab) or something else entirely, it's exciting to see the possibility of HTC jumping back into the premium smartphone space once again.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu