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UK gears up for European release of HTC Desire 500

The HTC Desire 500 is boarding a jet plane and heading west, with the company announcing the handset will be officially available to European consumers this month.

A company press release announced that the mid-range model would land at retailers in August, with dual SIM support and NFC to come to select markets only.

“The Desire range has become renowned for bringing a premium mobile experience to the mass market," commented Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corporation. "This particular model, the Desire 500, is no different. It is perfect for people who are always-on-the-go, it enables powerful multitasking and live-streaming of important and interesting information, and it boasts an excellent camera and that bring your important moments to life."

The Desire 500 features a 1.2GHz quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM, a 4.3in LCD screen, and 4GB internal memory that can be expanded up to 64GB by using the microSD slot.

It comes with an 8-megapixel back camera, 1.6-megapixel one on the front and will be shipped in two colours – lacquer black and glacier blue.

The smartphone runs on Google’s Android OS and there are grumblings about HTC’s Blinkfeed being included. The app, very similar to Flipboard, takes news from sources including AOL, ESPN, MTV, The Financial Times and Reuters, and delivers them to the phone’s home screen.

Unfortunately Blinkfeed cannot be turned off or removed from the device, and there’s no option to add other news sources to the selection.

Video Highlights, meanwhile, takes stills and videos from one event or a day’s shooting and organises them into a 30-second show-reel with added music that corresponds to one of six themes.

Prices and a solid UK release date for the Desire 500 are yet to be released, with the company only stating it will be “available with mobile operators and major retailers in select markets from August 2013."

HTC’s next release is likely to be the full HD HTC One Max, with the word on the street indicating that it’ll be unveiled at IFA 2013 in Berlin and go head-to-head with the similarly sized Samsung Galaxy Note 3.