It’s been a few hours now since HTC took the stage in New York City and London, and officially announced their newest flagship device: the One. Earlier today, right before the launch of the event, I was ready to write a piece about how HTC has made some drastic changes in their game plan; that we’re looking at a whole new company, ready to do battle in the mobile industry. Instead, we saw a pretty standard launch, with a smartphone that does indeed warrant any and all attention it might receive leading up to its release date in March.

When it does launch, hopefully the consumer continues that attention for the flagship handset. If not, then it would seem the worst days for HTC aren’t all that far in the distance as some within the company would like to think.

A lot has to happen between now and March, and well into the months after the device’s launch. We have to see marketing. We have to see a huge shift in advertisements for the new One device, and not just from carriers. HTC has to market their new device. HTC has to make commercials like Samsung and Apple, showing off the device, promoting its features, and flaunting its availability on multiple carriers here stateside.

On top of that, we have to see both options of the One, the 32GB or 64GB version, priced to sell. HTC can’t afford to price these devices out of the grasp of the customers they are trying to cater to. To sell to. We’re looking at devices that have shunned the previously standard 16GB of built-in storage and immediately offered up more. Unfortunately, more usually means a higher price tag. That is, unless we’re looking at a shift from all major manufacturers, and 16GB is no longer the sought-after standard. Apple’s recent moves to up the iPad’s available memory to 128GB would suggest they’re going to do the same thing with their iPad lineup, and so it wouldn’t be that far of a stretch to assume that the iPhone will see that kind of transition as well.

Now, if Samsung offers up the Galaxy S IV with the 32GB model being the “lowest” of the bunch, we’re really on the right track.

Let’s just hope that doesn’t mean HTC is planning on selling the 32GB One for $299, and the 64GB model for $399. That just won’t go over well, and it will effectively price the handset right out of the hands of quite a few customers. An argument could be made that the One offers plenty of hardware specifications to warrant that type of price tag, but we’re in 2013. Quad-core processors aren’t so few and far between anymore (at least not in the Android lineup). The 1080p display is still new-ish, but that will change this year as well. 2GB of RAM? Yep, we’re already there, too. Effectively, while the One is indeed a powerhouse of a device, we’re not looking at anything that’s truly revolutionary in the hardware department.

But no surprise there, right?

The truth is, I was going to ask if you were excited to get your hands on HTC’s newest official device, but I think we’ve already covered that by now, even before the phone’s launch. The rumors painted a pretty clear image of the phone the manufacturer announced today, so we didn’t see any curveballs. Especially not to change any pre-existing decisions. The One is a powerful, sleek, and beautiful phone. Does it have anything that really stands out?

HTC thinks BlinkFeed is that thing. And, honestly, probably their UltraPixel camera, too, but we’ll get to that. First, I want to put a little more focus on the software. This is the newest version of Sense UI, and the best way to see the changes is with HTC’s media feed, built right there into the home screen. Just a quick swipe gets you to a quasi-RSS feed, which you can interact with right on the home screen, before digging into a particular story of your choice. HTC says they’ll have 1,400 sources by the time the phone launches, and upwards of 10,000 articles every single day.

Impressive numbers to say the least, and BlinkFeed is definitely a cool feature. But, is an RSS feed the feature that people have really been waiting for? I’m not so sure. Yeah, I think it’s cool, but I’m a news junkie. I read the news more than anything else on my phone, so BlinkFeed seems catered directly to me. And it could be catered to those who are emotionally attached to their social network streams, too, I imagine.

Is it a feature that will sell the phone? That’s the question, isn’t it?

The one stand-out element for HTC in the hardware department is their camera, other than the aesthetic design of the phone. It’s called the UltraPixel camera, and it’s designed to gather 300 percent more light than other smartphone cameras on the market, which should definitely make it stands out to anyone who likes to take photos with their phone.

I didn’t hear a lot about software features, though. Nothing that really stands out. Nothing that even attempts to sweep me off my feet. This tells me that HTC is taking a drastically different approach to their new flagship model than what Samsung is going to do, if we’re listening to rumors. It’s been reported that Samsung will be focusing more on software features, rather than hardware elements, with their newest Galaxy S handset. This makes sense, because while the Galaxy S III was an impressive piece of hardware, Samsung made sure to point out the software features that make the phone really stand out amidst the competition.

Eye tracking software, for example. It was one of the main selling points of the phone for Samsung, and now we’re hearing that the company will be making huge leaps in features compared to the Galaxy S IV’s predecessor. That’s a pretty exciting thing to think about, especially when we’re looking at competitive devices coming to the market here in the United States soon.

March is a busy month. We’ve already got BlackBerry’s Z10 penned to land sometime in March, and now HTC’s One is also landing on store shelves at some point in the month. Reports have it that Samsung could be unveiling the Galaxy S IV In early March, so it’s not entirely impossible to think that they could be hoping to see the phone launch here in the same month. Samsung may be confident in their product, but with the power that the HTC One is packing, and the overall new product and experience that BlackBerry offers, it would make sense for them to want to get their own flagship device out to market as soon as possible.

If you look at the People’s Choice within PhoneDog’s Official Smartphone Rankings, you’ll notice that BlackBerry has surpassed Samsung, something that I was beginning to think wouldn’t ever happen in general. That means people are excited by what BlackBerry has to offer, which will hopefully lead to sales for the Waterloo-based company’s newest handset.

Here’s the thing: the BlackBerry Z10 doesn’t rely on remarkably powerful hardware, either. It’s all about the software. Much like what we’re hearing the Galaxy S IV will focus on. And HTC is putting some effort in their software department, making sure that BlinkFeed changes the way you see your main home screen, but it would seem they’re putting a bigger focus on hardware. Aesthetic changes to Sense, instead of a major overhaul, just reinforce that point.

So here’s my question to you: which will prevail? Are we going to see people go for the hardware-focused device, with its powerful processor, stacked memory, and new industrial look? Or will Samsung be able to win the day with its focus on software, rather than a major upgrade in hardware? More to the point, can BlackBerry make up a lot of ground by not just being the “old guy in the store,” but by also offering up a new user experience unlike Android and iOS? Let me know if hardware beats out software, or if it’s the other way around for you.

Don't forget to VOTE! Each week, PhoneDog Fans vote for their #1 smartphone in the Official Smartphone Rankings. Vote now and contribute to the industry's most relevant weekly ranking charts

Products mentioned in this Article

eBay prices for the HTC M7 (Beta)

Related posts

Comments & discussions  

46 Reactions to this post

"Now that the HTC One is real, it's all about waiting for Samsung to announce the Galaxy S IV. Are you more interested in hardware specs, or software features?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
Thanks for your participation! :)

Bo Abe Vorachack
Bo Abe Vorachack That is a nice looking phone.
Mauricio DeSean Cruz
Mauricio DeSean Cruz Hardware!
Soufiane Jalam
Soufiane Jalam I saw this product on the Dr. Oz show a few days ago and was amazed at the results. Today is my 8th day being on the program and I am 11lbs down!!:) I just want others to know when something works. Good luck to you all! 62 https://www.facebook.com/pages/ruqlhzpooa/417676284984964?sk=app_208195102528120
Josef Ruiz
Josef Ruiz New phones keeps coming out.. Talent Trust - Offshore with a difference
Curtis Owens
Curtis Owens at this point software is much more important
Tiger Panomthonichakul
Tiger Panomthonichakul snap drogon s4 600 is my best choice! but battery cap. @ 2,300mah is a doubt!
Jimmy Pai
Jimmy Pai i prefer the nature ul more than sense 5
BG Michael
BG Michael LG optimus G pro 3,140 Battery Supprt microSEcond Card Slot up to 64GBP. Dual Camera recording ...
Nefty Aguirre
Nefty Aguirre I'll go with the htc One. Because battery life indeed has improved after the one that the htc butterfly used.
Haroon Azeem
Haroon Azeem I will leave the software to Google. I am more interested in hardware. The way a phone looks, build quality, camera quality, battery life and whats important to me right now. Software was improved greatly when ICS was released. I am very happy with Android has to offer me software wise. But now all I am looking for is top notch hardware
Chester Candelaria
Chester Candelaria apple will blow them away with another extra rows of icons (sarcasam)
Shyam Sundar
Shyam Sundar Please, please keep waiting for galaxy 8, iphone 8, and for those who keep complaining about battery I am planning to launch one with a nuclear reactor, just hold your breath for the next 41,387 years. Hahaha!!!!
Andrew Bissel
Andrew Bissel Hardware. Anyone can write software after the phone's released.
Sean McCollum
Sean McCollum Both.
Marlon Milligan
Marlon Milligan The Htc One is fucking beautiful though
Marlon Milligan
Marlon Milligan Both
Eric Magana
Eric Magana Looks like the z10 on the front
Magnus Larsson
Magnus Larsson 50/50
Brandon Vaughn
Brandon Vaughn Wish it come to Verizon!
Radut Gabriel
Radut Gabriel Software feature. .hardware any other phone has...
Jack Byrne
Jack Byrne I would buy this but I dont like the look of BlinkFeed... Therefore Im waiting for the Butterfly to come to Ireland.
William Cofield
William Cofield Always both.
John Jackson
John Jackson Im having to use 2 phones love the hardware of the note 2 but signal sucks so I have a regular phone for business
Michael Franzone
Michael Franzone one x
Daniel Quintero
Daniel Quintero Wasn't there already an HTC one
Cesario Brito Jr.
Cesario Brito Jr. Michael, drugs are bad for you.
Michael Schneider
Michael Schneider apple will blow them all way with its new phone
Sheeraz Sarwar
Sheeraz Sarwar Blackberry z10 with front speakers.....4.7"screen ultrapixel camera...comeon man....
Vlad Valentine McBride
Vlad Valentine McBride Once again, BlackBerry design.
John Resch
John Resch Ill get the new HTC
Razoan Moyen Arnob
Razoan Moyen Arnob a new version of touchwiz would do
Faddy Oraha
Faddy Oraha Software and battery now
LadyFine Nosworthy
LadyFine Nosworthy Software and maybe longer battery life!
Steve Bachman
Steve Bachman Just give me a freaking battery that will last the whole damn day! Thinking that may be too much to ask!
Karthik Shandilya
Karthik Shandilya What can be the possible use of Blink feed is something i find interesting considering that Android has a very sound notification system
David Mann
David Mann Screen and battery. Also it needs to have a Qualcomm chip.
Josh Wolfe
Josh Wolfe Specs, because lets be honest: After using the terrible overlays that these companies put on Android for a small amount of time, the device will have Cyanogenmod put on it.
Kao Saeteurn
Kao Saeteurn no thank you to anything under 3,000mah battery.
Gökhan Ayyildiz
Gökhan Ayyildiz best phone
Marti Ruiz
Marti Ruiz harware. powerful battery
Jean-Claude Devereaux
Jean-Claude Devereaux waiting for note 3!
Saeed Jabbari
Saeed Jabbari htc one camera is imaging for me!
Sharang Karve
Sharang Karve Definitely the software. The hardware does keep getting better, but the software is really what you use. HTC has never disappointed with their Sense UI and I'm anxious to see what they've come up with this time.
Alberto Garcia Flores
Alberto Garcia Flores Both, it's been rumored that the new Galaxy will be announced this coming March 24th I hope it's true, I'm excited though
David 'Providence' Figueroa
David 'Providence' Figueroa Actually Both! Something Innovative that will set the phone apart from the rest.
Mark Belkowski
Mark Belkowski im not looking for a new phone until summer. my note 2 is good enough.

Most popular Videos
Most popular Videos
Most popular Videos

Most popular Reactions
Most popular Reactions
Most popular Reactions

This weeks "People's Choice Rankings" best smartphones
People's Choice Rankings

See all hot devices