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HTC has officially lifted the lid on a new cut-price Android challenger dubbed the Explorer, aimed at simplifying the smartphone experience for tech neophytes.

Touted as the “perfect handset choice for the first-time smartphone user,” the Explorer features pared-down menus while retaining the social networking smarts and clean look of HTC’s Sense interface.

Powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box, the budget kit is home to a five-megapixel rear-mounted camera, a 3.2-inch HVGA display, a 600MHz processor and comes in at a compact and bijou 102.7mm x 58.5mm x 12.9mm.

htc explorer

Right now, a UK release date isn’t yet set in stone. But Three has confirmed it expects to be offering the handset “soon” at what we anticipate will be a pay as you go price of under £200 or £10-15 on contracts, complete with a free phone.

The announcement of the handset marks a busy time for HTC, with the next three months expected to see the launch of its first-ever Android phones to feature Beats by Dre audio technology, as well as new Windows phones smarties by the latest 7.5 version of Microsoft’s platform.

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