The HTC Desire 510 is a first for Android, packing a 64-bit chip. It comes in a budget-minded package, however, as the rest of the phone's specs are firmly mid-range.
The HTC Desire 510 uses the quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor. It also comes with a 4.7-inch, 854x480 screen, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage. The Desire 510 includes a MicroSD card slot, VGA front-facing camera with a rather paltry 5MP rear shooter. Unlike other recent budget phones to get announced, however, it does support LTE connectivity.
The phone will come to "select carriers" in the US, though no launch date is set. Parts of Europe and Asia will also see the phone when it goes on sale.
Apple made a splash when it introduced the iPhone 5S as the first smartphone to go 64-bit. While some analysts questioned how much benefit there would be to such chips when Apple announced the 5S, the industry is charging full speed ahead in this direction. Just being 64-bit doesn't make a chip faster, but some other changes to the ARM architecture that come along with the 64-bit chips should be of benefit. Regardless, the Snapdragon 410 is a budget chip, and isn't going to outpace the best 32-bit chips on the market today.
Google announced this year that Android L, the upcoming version of Android, will support 64-bit processors. While the Desire 510 is the first, expect more to come, especially once device makers get more experience building for Android L.
The HTC Desire 510 is a sign of another positive trend for the Android ecosystem: phones with good quality in the budget category. LG recently announced multiple L Series phones and the G Stylus phablet, which launch with Android KitKat, follow the design of the flagship G3, and have sufficient specifications for good performance.
When Android launched KitKat, one of the stated goals was to ensure it could run well on a diverse range of devices. If this continues to materialize, the much ballyhooed fragmentation should have minimal impact on the typical smartphone owner.