Today, HTC unveiled it’s worst kept secret: The HTC One® or the M7 as it was referred to prior to it’s launch. I know, I know. Aren’t there other HTC phones with the One name? There sure are but we’ll have to get past the semantics to check out how this phone is poised to be the only device you’ll need in 2013. And why some of you might just dismiss it entirely.
The HTC One® is a sleek, downright sexy looking phone. It’s akin to the HTC One S and since I own one I’m going to be using that as a reference point. Makes things easier to understand if we have something to compare it to. So, let’s see how it fairs.
My first reaction was that the HTC One® felt more solid than the HTC One S and a little heftier The screen was definitely larger but still felt comfortable to hold and navigate with one hand. The HTC One®‘s 4.7″ screen is made of Gorilla Glass 2 features a quad-core Qualcomm® Snapdragon 1.7GHz processor running Jelly Bean (Android 4.1.2). There is no expandable battery, which is slowly becoming the norm, as well as no expandable memory slot but will be available in 32 and 64GB versions. It might be best to check out HTC’s website to see if the HTC One® will be available for your specific provider.
The folks over at Slashgear were even able to benchmark the HTC One®. See the results below.
The HTC One®‘s most touted feature was the BlinkFeed. With 1,400 content providers available, you can easily customize a constantly streaming feed of social media and news content. It wasn’t too intuitive to change the content. To be honest, I was expecting to be able to swipe content in and out of the feed but I wasn’t able to. No matter how much I tried. So, in order to edit the content in your BlinkFeed, you have to manually go into the “Edit” panel and select your desired content. Not too bad but I thought since it was tile like that I would be able to swipe content since everything Android tends to work that way. The only downfall is that this nifty BlinkFeed feature is enabled by default and will auto-refresh the feed every hour on normal data settings or every 15 minutes if you have your phone connected to WiFi. With data constantly being fed to the feed, you’ll have to make sure that your data plan is up to par. It’s the only thing I really worry about with any streaming feed feature. It’s not just the BlinkFeed.
The Zoe™ feature, another extremely touted feature during the event, seems pretty promising as well. I’m still pretty unsure what it actually does other than take videos and photos simultaneously for twenty seconds or so it does happen to have some pretty awesome editing features. Since it’s taking photos and videos simultaneously, it’s able to more intelligently edit your photos without the need of Photoshop. Which is amazing! In one demo, I was able to easily edit out two people that in a photo that I didn’t want in there. Granted, I didn’t take the original photo since everyone was a moving target in the venue, I was able to easily manipulate a friend’s face after snapping a Zoe™. You could do all the usual stuff like auto enhance, anti-shine, and random other effects but you can also take other photos and create like a stop motion effect. And like I said in my Samsung GALAXY Camera review, it’s pretty damn convenient to be able to do all your editing on one device. The HTC One® does just that.
But all the neat tricks with the camera doesn’t stop there. Both the front and rear facing cameras are now HD and now with just a swipe you can easily switch between the two. And taking continuous shots is as easy as holding down the shutter button and waiting for the clicks. In low light, the HTC One® performed pretty well but not to the extend of what was shown during the presentation. However, it was able to make out my face in the a dimly lit presentation room.
The sound seems the same to me, even though having a front facing speaker does make a slight difference when listening to any video or audio without headphones on. Its uncertain if the sound quality is better for recorded video since the demo area was a bevy of activity. However, HTC One® features two microphones that measure the ambient noise around to to ensure better call and sound quality. Again, couldn’t really make phone calls so I can’t tell if calls are enhanced or not. But if you own any HTC device, you are already familiar with the Beats Audio Enhancer and you can’t really complain about the overall sound quality of any HTC device that has this feature. I was able to listen to a video in a designed sound booth area which, I guess, was pretty descent given the location and the excited chatter emanating all around us.
Overall, I can’t help but be excited for the HTC One® even though it might be awhile until I get my upgrade but for anyone on T-Mobile, you might be able to rejoice. It’s been awhile since an awesome phone has been available for this carrier. The small upgrades to the overall HTC Sense and even having Zoe™ which might be too gimmicky for some, seems promising. I can only expect that the battery life will be up to par as well as the photo quality.
I think that’s pretty much it for now. These are just my initial reactions after playing around with the phone this morning then chatting with a few folks.
Feel free to check out the photos that were taken during the event today on our Facebook page.