During events simultaneously held in New York City and London Tuesday, HTC unveiled its latest phone, the slender HTC One, along with the newest version of the HTC Sense user experience. The upgrades — everything from a new camera and powerful quad-core processor to a Windows Phone-style tile interface — make this quite the desirable handset.
Jason MacKenzie, president of global sales at HTC, handled the unveiling in New York City. He proudly declared that the HTC One "improves every part of the smartphone experience."
The HTC One has a quadcore processor, 2GB of RAM, a stunning 4.7-inch 1080p HD display, and a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera. In the back, the One has what's being dubbed the HTC Zoe camera with Ultra Pixel. (HTC didn't reveal how many megapixels the main camera packs, but we've heard rumors that it's a 13-megapixel monster.)
There are front-facing stereo speakers (which supposedly give significantly clearer sound) and dual-microphones. Those dual-microphones may help you record typically overwhelming sound, such as in a concert hall, and also offer crisper calls.
HTC's design director, Jonah Becker showed off the new HTC Sense — version 5, in case you're wondering. He made it a point to emphasize BlinkFeed, which puts something resembling tiles containing social updates, photos, news and other relevant details onto your homescreen, to keep you up to date on things. (Yes, yes. we've seen features like this before, but in our early look, it appears that HTC implemented it quite nicely.)
HTC also redesigned its music player, which "takes advantage of the cloud" to provide extra info. Lyrics can appear in real time with music, for instance. This seems rather useful — especially if you're a rising karaoke star.
What's truly fantastic about the One is something called HTC Zoe. I accidentally discovered this feature while playing with the One prior to HTC's event. Zoe lets you create "live galleries," by recording three-second snippets of video every time you take a photo. (Yes, this instantly reminded me of Twitter's Vine, but it's significantly lower effort ... since the video snippets are recorded without a user needing to do anything other than take a photo.) The resulting clips are clear and gorgeous, even in dimly lit environments.
I have to say, I am rather impressed with the new HTC One. The phone is slender and light — despite its gigantic display — and its aluminum unibody is gorgeous. Even though I've had qualms about prior variations of HTC Sense, I found the latest version to be snappy and responsive. My initial impressions have me enamored with this Android device — and that's definitely high praise coming from an iPhone fangirl.
T-Mobile and AT&T chimed in to say that they will offer the HTC One. A press release from HTC revealed that Sprint will carry the device as well. (No luck for Verizon customers though? We asked the carrier and received a "no comment." Here's hoping that just means Verizon is still testing the device, and won't confirm until it passes muster.) No details on pricing, but we do know that the HTC One should start shipping in late March. When the time comes, you'll be able to get the One in black or silver, in 32GB or 64GB variations.
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