HTC to put a 64-bit processor in a midrange Desire smartphone


64-bit processors are slowly but surely making their way into the Android ecosystem, but right now, they’re being saved for the latest and greatest flagships. HTC looks like it could be planning to buck that trend with a midrange Desire smartphone powered by Qualcomm’s 64-bit Snapdragon 410 processor.

Codenamed the HTC A11 internally, the new handset is en route to Sprint, according to reliable tipster @UpLeaks — and it’s quite possibly the least exciting Desire handset this year. Its 4.7-inch display is expected to come with a disappointing FWVGA (480×854) resolution, it won’t have BoomSound, and its rear-facing camera is only a 5-megapixel affair.

But when it comes to power, the A11 could have something special under the hood — a 64-bit quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor, combined with Adreno 306 graphics.

Announced last December, the Snapdragon 410 is Qualcomm’s first 64-bit processor. It’s capable of speeds up to 1.4GHz per all four cores, and it supports worldwide 4G LTE bands — as well as Bluetooth 4.0. The Snapdragon 410 is also compatible with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology, and it can record 1080p video — though the A11’s 5-megapixel camera is unlikely to allow that.

A 64-bit chip seems a strange edition to a device that’s so meager in almost every other way, but it will almost certainly make the A11’s Sense 6 operating system buttery smooth, and allow users to play games that may not have been able to play on other midrange devices.

It’s unclear at this point how much the A11 will cost, when it will be available, or what its retail name will be.