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Smartphone manufacturer HTC announced today at Mobile World Congress the latest phone in its repertoire of consumer handsets, the HTC Desire 816. Additionally, the company is launching a new way for its users to assist in scientific research with a new program it’s calling Power to Give.

First, the HTC Desire 816 is the latest in the “best value, mid tier” smartphone lineup from the company, and hosts a bevy of features that make it a potentially great option for a wide swath of users. It’s powered by a quad-core, 1.6GHz processor, has 4G LTE support, a 5.5-inch high-definition screen, as well as dual cameras: a 13MP camera on the rear, and a 5MP camera facing you.

This allows you to, as HTC puts it, make the “world’s best selfie,” if you’re into that sort of thing. But these days, who isn’t’? After all, you’re all beautiful.

Availability details of the device, including price and release date for American territories were not released, but “will be announced in the coming months.”

droidpower

On the other side of today’s announcements was HTC’s new Power to Give program, which “uses mobile innovation to drive social change through the world’s largest volunteer computing initiative.” When you cut through all the fat and ambitious word use, it essentially means you’ll be able to dedicate your unused processing power to research being done in medicine, science, or environmentalism.

Put simply, it means that your phone can do more than just sit idly while not in use — it can be used to further cancer research or treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.

To participate, all you need to do is download the free app from the Google Play store. You can choose where you want your horsepower allocated, and how much. From the outset, the only phones applicable for the program are the HTC One, HTC One Max, HTC One Mini, HTC Butterfly, and the HTC Butterfly S.

HTC plans to make the app “more widely available to other Android smartphone owners in the coming six months.” Whether this applies to phones outside of the HTC family, remains to be seen, but it’s good to see the program will become less limited over time.

“We want to make it possible for anyone to dedicate their unused smartphone processing power to contribute to projects that have the potential to change the world,” said HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang.

So… are you willing to give up some of your processing power to further scientific, environmental, and medical discovery? Or are you content running 67 instances of Flappy Bird instead? Let us know in the comments.

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