It’s been a while since anyone has seen HTC quite this excited about a product launch. The company’s social network accounts have been steady teasing and hinting at today’s press conference, which we now know is the HTC One.
HTC’s joint UK and US press event today offered their best foot forward in a clear demonstration of their earlier announced decision to release what they called “Hero” phones. The long speculated HTC M7, which was even heard during an HTC New Years event being shouted by the CEO himself, has taken the role of Flagship as HTC moves into 2013. HTC has continued their focus on branding their phones as “Lifestyle” devices that place emphasis on interacting with the work around the users. The pre-show video clips were a rotating collage of people from all walks of life, filled with colors and smiles. The HTC M9 is now the HTC One, and it’s clear that the company is looking to continue the feel of this phone being the center of your lifestyle.
HTC came out of the gate taking swings at the smartphone ecosystem, focusing on the small hardware and software iterations that have plagued the ecosystem as a whole. HTC promises that the One is different, with an all new hardware design, Camera, and new ways to use the Operating System. HTC is all about unique experienced, including an IR blaster for controlling your home entertainment center.
HTC’s reliance on BeatsAudio over the last few years hasn’t been a great experience, though it has continuously impreved right up to the Droid DNA. The One’s front facing stereo speakers are designed to stop the need to cup your smartphone when you listen to anything with the external speakers. HTC’s One is also packing a pair of high quality microphones, with the promise that you could even record music from a live concert without the terrible result that is so familiar from a smartphone.
HTC is no stranger to focusing on the camera, and with the HTC One there’s a good reason to. The front facing camera on the One is eye catching, soaking up a lot of real estate on the front of the phone. The One continues their wide angle FFC, positioned in the top right corner for ease of use in both portrait and landscape. The rear camera features what HTC is calling an Ultrapixel, offering the ability to absorb 300% more light, as well as HDR video. The new camera technology is unique to the One, and includes an all new software package to take advantage of this technology called HTC Zoe.
HTC Sense is brand new as well, going into Android and changing the UI completely from previous version of the Sense variant. The desktop UI replaces space previously used for apps and widgets, replacing them with a customize-able feed of news, entertainment, and social networking. The new “Blink Feed” focuses heavily on soaking up the whole desktop with snapshots from all kinds of content providers. Most of the launcher items like the app dock and notifications all ring true of Android as we know it, but the desktop feed is now completely HTC controlled.
HTC’s hardware construction is nearly 100% aluminum, using a design they call zero gap. The surface of the phone acts as the antenna for radios, allowing the phone to make calls without the potential for human interference. Like the Droid DNA, the front of the phone features Gorilla Glass curved all the way to the edges of the design, with micro-drilled holes for the speakers. The front of the phone is emblazoned with HTC’s logo on either side of the
The One will be launching globally, in their largest rollout ever. The phone starts shipping at the end of March on AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile in the US. The phone will be available in 32GB and 64GB variants of a white-ish silver or black. The One will also be available in Best Buy locations around the US on launch day. HTC had dubbed this phone the best phone ever, but keep an eye out for our hands on to make sure!