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The Taiwanese company’s hoping to make a splash with the HTC One, its highest-profile release in years.
The HTC One
Not the One S, or One X, or even the One X Plus – the plain old One is actually the latest and greatest from HTC, featuring an attractive design, huge screen and a bevy of technical bells and whistles designed to catapult the manufacturer back into prominence.
The first thing you notice about the HTC One, obviously, is how visually arresting it is – the design is sleek, distinctive and impressively thin, tapering to just 4mm at the edges and featuring “zero-gap” construction that integrates the antenna into the aluminum body of the phone.
The 4.7-inch 1080p screen gives the HTC One a pixel density of 468 ppi, eclipsing both the iPhone 5 and, if rumors are to be believed, the Samsung Galaxy S IV. The thin bezel lets HTC cram more pixels into a smaller display, which is great if you’re one of those concerned about size creep.
HTC has revamped its Sense UI to version 5, which it says offers a cleaner look and a total redesign. Sense v5 runs on top of Android 4.1.2.
HTC was eager to trumpet this new suite of media widgets, which are designed to provide a highly customizeable live home screen experience. Whether, as Informa analyst Julian Jest points out, this could have a negative effect on battery life remains to be seen, but it’s still an impressive new capability. The company also boasted about having 1,400 media partners – notably ESPN – signed up at launch.
HTC rubbished the idea that the quality of a smartphone camera is measured in megapixels – while the One’s camera weighs in at just 4MP, the company says each pixel is far more sensitive than those commonly in use elsewhere.
The new camera also has a feature called Zoe, which combines still and video photography into "living galleries." Pretty slick, though I’m having a hard time figuring out when I’d want this instead of one or the other.
HTC hasn’t skimped on the internals here –the One features a 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core, 2GB of RAM and either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage. (Sorry, no SD card slot, it looks like.) The battery is a lithium polymer 2,300mAh unit.
As seen on TV
With a little setup, the HTC One can even act as a remote control for your TV. In other news, I’m rapidly running out of reasons to buy AA batteries.
Carriers, availability, price, etc.
The HTC One will be available beginning in March, on 185 mobile operators in 80 “countries and regions,” which seems an odd way of putting it. No pricing was confirmed, though the company said it would be “competitive.” In the U.S., the One will be sold on every major carrier except for the most major of them all – Verizon.