HTC today unveiled its new flagship smartphone, the HTC One. The device had become just about the worst-kept secret in the mobile industry after a series of recent leaks, but it does represent the next step in the Taiwanese manufacturer’s acclaimed but commercially underwhelming One line of smartphones.
As announced during HTC’s dual-continent event in New York and London, the One is called just that; so no “X,” “S,” “SV,” or any other designation here. The aluminum unibody phone comes equipped with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and a 4.7-inch, 1080p, Super LCD 3, Gorilla Glass 2 display that’s good for a 468 ppi. That’s a lot, for the record, although it may border on overkill.
With a weight of 143 grams, the One doesn’t sound too heavy either. It’s in the middle of the road when it comes to thickness, though, as it comes in at 5.4 x 2.7 x 0.37 inches.
If most of those specs didn’t give it away, HTC’s recent financial struggles haven’t caused it to back down whatsoever when it comes to making the One a “premium” model phone. If anything, the company is trying to up the ante a bit by packing as many features as it can in here.
Like the just revealed LG Optimus G Pro, the HTC One runs on Qualcomm’s newly announced, quad-core, 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 600 CPU, and comes with 2GB of RAM. It can come with either 32GB or 64GB of storage, although there’s no way to expand either of those options through a microSD card.
4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and all forms of Wi-Fi are all supported. The One’s battery stands at 2300 mAh as well, and there’s even an IR sensor built into the phone’s power button which allows it to double as a TV remote. That latter feature works with a new HTC Sense TV app, which provides program guides for select TV networks.
Dual stereo speakers sit on the front of the One’s display, as does 2.1 megapixel front-facing camera that is said to be capable of shooting 1080p video.
HTC says that it is shaking things up with the One’s rear-facing camera as well. The phone comes with a custom-built shooter that HTC dubs the “UltraPixel Camera.” Marketing terms aside, the tech limits the One’s photos to just 4 megapixels, but the pixels themselves are enlarged to supposedly make the shots much better in low-light conditions.
The camera also comes with an HDR video mode and new tech called HTC Zoe, which can let users shoot three second snippets of video and captures multiple rapid-fire images before and after a picture is taken. Zoe seems somewhat similar to the camera features found in the BlackBerry Z10, but sounds like a neat bonus feature nonetheless.
So the One sounds pretty high-powered when it comes to specs. But the phone will also run on HTC’s newest Sense 5 interface, which itself gives the One a variety of new features.
The core of those is something HTC is calling the “BlinkFeed,” which turns the One’s home screen into a Flipboard-style media stream that aggregates social media, photos, news and general information from a variety of partners (like ESPN, MTV, and others) in one place. Other features, like “HTC BoomSound” for improved audio quality, and “HTC Sense Voice” for boosted call sound and quality, are being touted as well.
HTC is clearly taking their newest flagship seriously, delving even deeper into the premium smartphone market and stuffing as many new tech and UI features as it can into the device. Whether or not it’ll be enough to sway users away from mobile behemoths like Apple and Samsung is still very much up in the air, but the One, for now, does sound like it’ll at least have the horsepower to compete with any phone coming out in the near future.
The HTC One will be available worldwide sometime in the latter half of March, and will be available in the U.S. on Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T in either silver or black. No Verizon support here. Expect specific pricing details to be revealed sometime soon.