2 weeks ago, on 19 Feb 2013, HTC announced HTC One as their latest 2013 Android flagship smartphone in concurrent events in New York, USA and London, England. Along with other local tech sites, I was live tweeting the event in London, while viewing the invitation-only live webcast.
I’ve also covered this news on my weekly tech news update video, Heads Up:TECH episode 11 HERE, along with some links.
While I was watching the live stream from the London event, the New York event started first and major tech sites have started breaking the news on the HTC One. Additionally, some major tech sites immediately published their hands-on or first impression review of the HTC One already.
Nevertheless, minutes later, everyone was introduced to the HTC One, along with the impressive list of great improvements and features that HTC included in their 2013 flagship phone.
Everything to know about the HTC One
At the high level, here are the specs overview of the HTC One:-
- 4.7″ Super LCD3 1080p Full HD display (1920 X 1080)(468 ppi)
- 1.7 GHz quad core Snapdragon 600 processor
- 32/64 GB internal storage (no expandable microSD, FREE 25GB Dropbox cloud storage) + 2 GB RAM
- Powered by latest Android Jelly Bean (with new HTC Sense 5)
- 4 megapixel HTC Ultrapixel camera, 2.1 megapixel front facing camera (1080p Full HD front & rear camera video recording)
- 9.3 mm thin, weighing only 143 grams
- 2,300 mAH non-removable battery
- Connectivity : WiFi, HSPA+ / LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, NFC
- Available in White, Black and (maybe) Red colour
For more information and full spec and feature list, check out HTC One product page on their SEA site HERE.
HTC One also includes several amazing new features:-
Full metal unibody build with zero gap construction
HTC said that their full metal unibody design is the first in the mobile space. After 12 years of R&D efforts, the zero gap construction is reminiscent of the older HTC Legend and no doubt feels awesome in your hands. HTC states that it takes approximately 150 minutes to build ONE chassis, when it takes other manufacturers less time to build the entire phone!
Many has commented that the HTC One design is very similar to the iPhone 5. In my personal opinion, the silhouette of the HTC One, iPhone 5 and the Blackberry Z10 are all very much alike. Build quality and construction, however, are very different. While the iPhone 5 is mostly glass and brushed metal back finish, the Blackberry Z10 is plastic and HTC One is metal unibody.
Check the picture below of all 3 devices side by side. What do you think?
Still, I feel the HTC One’s full metal unibody looks absolutely gorgeous. If it’s anything like the older HTC Legend’s build quality, I think HTC has another winner here. I can’t wait to get my hands on the premium feel of the construction of the HTC One.
New HTC Sense 5 with new HTC Blink Feed
HTC Sense 5 is their updated skin / UI (User Interface) that they develop on top of the Android UI. Among all the different UIs from all Android phone manufacturers, I prefer HTC Sense the most. The new improved Sense UI is now cleaner (lots of transparent icons) and lighter (doesn’t slow down your phone).
HTC BlinkFeed is their new “Start” page, of sorts. HTC calls it “Your Live Home Page”, it looks very much like a Windows Phone 8 tile display – which shows you notifications and updates from your messages, emails, social media and news sites to give you a quick glance of what’s new.
Not only has HTC partnered with AOL (and many more) to provide the links to over 1400 news sites, they’ve also opened this new to developers to create their apps notifications to work with BlinkFeed. You can customise the feeds and manage the content on your BlinkFeed, and of course, turn it off, if you don’t like it.
Read about HTC Blink Feed on their blogpost here.
Good news : HTC also announced that their new Sense 5 UI will be available to older HTC phones such as the HTC One series (HTC One X, HTC One S, HTC One V) and the HTC Butterfly.
HTC Ultrapixel Camera and HTC Zoe
HTC is doing something brave on the camera front. Other than the improved camera software, they’e starting a major consume education exercise that bigger megapixels don’t necessary mean better pictures.
Read the blogpost from HTC Blog >> Breaking the Megapixel Myth
During the launch, HTC shared some sample images of their newly announced Ultrapixel camera versus other competition in the market.
Although the new Ultrapixel camera is (reportedly) only 4 megapixels, HTC has shown that their improved camera technology takes better pictures than other big megapixel cameras in other competitors’ phones.
Read this (somewhat technical) article, which would make more sense for fellow photographers, SlashGear 101: HTC UltraPixel Camera Technology explaining HTC’s Ultrapixel camera and the technology behind it.
HTC Zoe is a new feature alongside the new Ultrapixel camera, that basically allows you to stitch photos and videos together to create a 30 seconds HD movie clip complete with effects and background sound, for you to share via YouTube, Facebook or HTC Zoe Share site (which recently just went live).
HTC BoomSound and Sense Voice
You obviously know that most HTC smartphones comes with their integrated beats Audio Technology. This time round, HTC has improved their audio quality some more. The new HTC BoomSound gives you sharper, louder and richer audio with stereo speakers at the top and bottom front of the device, with built in amplifier.
HTC Sense Voice also improves your call quality, with dual built in microphones that detects your ambient noise to boost your in-call volumes. This means that when you’re in a loud place, like in a party, club, etc – the phone automatically adjusts the caller’s volume so you don’t have to pinch your ears and huddle in the corner to hear your call properly.
HTC Sense TV with IR Blaster
The power button at the top of the HTC One doubles as an IR blaster. Yes, that’s an infrared port just like on your TV remote control. You can now connect the HTC One to your TV which would then allow you to browse through channels, access program guides and even control your TV volume, straight from your phone!
More about HTC One
If you’d like to read more about the HTC One and the great list of features announced, do check out some of these links below from the major tech sites:-
- The Verge : HTC One announced: a 4.7-inch, 1080p Android flagship with an ‘UltraPixel’ camera
- TechRadar : HTC One: What you need to know
- TheNextWeb : One impressive flagship phone, but enough for a comeback? A look at the new HTC One
For your viewing pleasure, here’s a full gallery of images of the HTC One for you to feast your eyes on (Click to enlarge):-
HTC also announced some accessories for their HTC One flagship. Check out this SlashGear article rundown of all the accessories here.
What Major Tech Sites Have To Say About The HTC One
And now, links galore!!!
Major tech news blogs and sites have had a chance to get their hands-on and first impressions of the HTC One, either at the launch parties or at the recent Mobile World Congress (MWC 2013) last week. Here’s what they have to say about the HTC One flagship Android superphone.
At 468ppi, HTC One is one of the most pixel-dense displays we have ever seen.
– The Verge : HTC One: hands-on with HTC’s phone to rule them all
This is a phone that wows the second it hits the hand.
From a design and hardware position, the One is the best HTC we’ve seen in a long time.
What matters now is thoughtfulness and execution, and at a glance, HTC One is right on the money.
HTC has done a bang-up job in terms of industrial design.
– TechCrunch : Hands On With HTC’s Would-Be Savior, The HTC One
We walked away tremendously impressed with what the HTC One has to offer.
Just in case you’re wondering how the HTC One will compare to the other phones in the market, check out these useful links:-
- SlashGear : HTC One vs HTC One X vs One X+
- Engadget : HTC One vs One X, One X+: what’s changed? (Spec sheet comparison)
- TechRadar : HTC One vs Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Sony Xperia Z vs iPhone 5
- The Verge : How does the HTC One stack up against the competition? (Spec sheet comparison)
- CNet Asia : HTC One vs. iPhone 5 camera shootout
Pricing and Availability
HTC has indicated that the HTC One will start to go on sale in March 2013 onwards across 185 mobile operators in 80 countries.
It is March now, but chances are we’ll start seeing the phone go on sale in UK and Europe first before it hits Malaysia, likely in April 2013. The Recommended Retail Price (RRP), pre-orders and/or mobile operator plans in Malaysia is yet unknown at the moment.
Are you as excited as I am to get your hands on the HTC One?
Personally, I have found my next phone. I will likely be the first in line to get myself the HTC One. I can’t wait.