Simultaneously in New York and London, HTC has unleashed the successor to the award-winning HTC One flagship smartphone – surprise surprise, called the HTC One. Better in every way, the HTC One (M8) launches with Gunmetal Gray together with the all-new HTC Sense 6 and familiar high quality metal unibody with a Smart Sensor Hub. The new Duo Camera technology brings some new imaging prowess to the new HTC One, and HTC BoomSound continues to set new standards for audio quality on a smartphone.
“It takes the best smartphone in the world and makes it better in every way,” CEO Peter Chou said on stage in New York City. “The design is so pure and honest.”
God is in the details
HTC has stuck to the design language of the original One retaining its beautiful metal unibody design. HTC says it has improved the manufacturing process while cutting down on the total number of parts in the phone. The highly-durable unibody houses the 5-inch Full HD display, tapering to thinner edges, and is curvier overall compared to its predecessor. It looks stunning, just like the M7.
“We went the extra mile to do this the right way at the hardware level,” HTC CEO Peter Chou said in his keynote.
Its specs have been heavily rumoured and leaked for the past couple of months. And true enough, the new One features a 5-inch, 1080p display (@ 440 ppi) and is powered by the brand new Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. with 2.5Ghz quad-core Krait-class CPUs. The Adreno 330 GPU should give users some impressive graphics performance especially in 3D games. It comes fully integrated with 4G LTE and runs the latest Android 4.4 KitKat.
The all-new HTC Sense 6 has a cleaner, more striking visual style with bold, customisable colour themes. Certain Sense 6 experiences will be available from Google Play in the coming weeks.
The HTC One finally includes a microSD card slot (with support of up to 128GB), an exclusion which was a major deal-breaker for some in last year’s version.
Two eyes are better than one
The rumours of a twin camera set-up was true. More than a mere gimmick, the dual camera set-up is what HTC calls Duo Camera. Duo Camera features the much-lauded HTC UltraPixel module, dual colour flash and Full HD video recording. The Duo Camera is claimed to produce incredible images in all lighting conditions. The front-facing 5MP camera is excellent for high-res selfies!
The new Duo Camera comes integrated with a depth sensor which captures detailed depth information from a scene. It enables some really beautiful and creative effects to be done to images. You need to see this to believe it.
If you’re familiar with the amazing Lytro camera, or Nokia Lumia’s ‘Refocus’ feature, then UFocus on the new HTC One does just that. Capture a photo and alter focus of the image. You can also play with other creative effects like Foregrounder, Seasons animations, Copy & Paste and Dimension Plus.
The camera module is also incredibly quick, with camera autofocus operating at a speed of 300mseconds, producing super sharp images of split-second action. When a flash is required, the intelligent LED Dual Flash automatically selects the right colour tone and light intensity for better balanced images.
In terms of video, the HTC One M8 also has integrated Slow Motion mode which lets you shoot HD slo-mo video then edit the video and selectively slow down the action part that you want.
Zoe in the cloud
In 2014, Zoe will evolve into a cloud-based service. The app will be available for download via Google Play in the summer.
HTC Sense 6 will give the new HTC One ‘sixth sense’ literally. Thanks to built-in motion sensors, you can interact with the phone without turning on the screen. A simple swipe can activate the device. A double tap turns the lock screen on or off. Auto Answer allows you to answer a call by putting the phone to your ear without touching the screen. Neat. But what if it was a crazy ex? Hmm.
The very cool HTC Dot View case
The Dot View case is something quite innovative – a phone case that protects the screen while displaying notifications and interactions in a retro, dot-matrix style. By double-tapping on the case, you can check time, weather, new texts, emails and calls, all without touching or revealing the screen.
Let’s get loud
HTC BoomSound is much improved from the previous iteration, delivering sound that is 25% louder without compromising quality. The new HTC One (M8) has dual frontal stereo speakers with a new amplifier.
Having used the HTC One, I personally like HTC BlinkFeed a lot. Fortunately, HTC has retained this and is now more intuitive, with continues scrolling for fluid browsing. There are over 1000+ content partners currently. Following its popularity with HTC users, HTC plans to make HTC BlinkFeed available to other Android devices soon.
The HTC One (M8) combines its power-saving sensor hub with a preloaded Fitbit app. You can also use the phone with one of Fitbit’s range of trackers to keep yourself fit and healthy. Fitness goals and achievements can be fed to HTC BlinkFeed.
Pricing and availability
The new HTC One (M8) will be available via 230 operators across the globe. The new device will be available globally in Gunmetal Gray and Glacial Silver. It will roll out in the South Asia region in the coming weeks.
Header image source: Stuff