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There’s a lot of hubbub going on about all the new phones popping up lately, and although several have sparked my interest the HTC One is the new “Apple” of my eye, if you will (hurr hurr hurr - okay, that was a tasteless joke). With a 4.7 inch 1080p HD display, you’d think “Okay, what makes this device any different than anything else coming out this year?” That’s where we have to scratch below the surface to get to the juicy details of the soon-to-be released HTC One.

Before we get down to all the good stuff on the inside of the device, the actual hardware, I have to admit, is one of the most pleasing designs I’ve ever seen from HTC. I wasn’t terribly amused with the HTC EVO 4G LTE (for Sprint) and I think it had to do with the red colored trim that the device features in both the black and the white variants. While I enjoy having different color options for a phone, having a non-neutral colored trim on all variants limits the use of other funky colors that I might want to use on a protective case. Teal blue or purple with red, in my opinion, just doesn’t look that good together; but stand-alone would be very viable colors that I would choose to decorate my device with. The hardware is made out of aluminum which gives it a more solid feel than phones that opt to use cheaper and lighter materials, which is something I’ve always liked about my iPhone (the solid, heavy feeling – although it’s just a feeling, the glass itself is very unnerving). The device is described as being thin but feeling good with a little weight in the hand, and also comfortable to hold. While I haven’t experienced this myself, it’s good to know that others who have already like the way it feels. Plus, no funky-colored detail. It looks like it will come in a white/silver combination or an all black decor from what the pictures show, and that’s a design I can dig.

Now we can venture in to what makes the HTC One stand out from the rest. It has a very nice 1.7 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 CPU, 2 GB of RAM, 2,300 mAh battery and it will come with either 32 GB or 64 GB of internal memory. The device will come out of the box with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and will be the first HTC device to feature Sense 5. The introduction of Sense 5 also brings a new feature from HTC called Blink Feed.

Blink what?

Blink Feed. On the HTC One, Sense 5 starts out by using just two homescreens. The first homescreen will be your traditional run-of-the-mill Android homescreen where you can customize it with widgets, apps, and folders. Your second homescreen will feature Blink Feed, which is a social media hub that provides you with social news and content at a glance. A “personal live stream straight to your home screen” as HTC puts it. Visually, Blink Feed is reminiscent of Windows Phone Live Tiles, with a little less “simplicity” and more “busy” going on. Strangely enough, I like it. Perhaps it’s because it looks so much like “Android Meets Windows Phone”, to which I’ve been debating between after my upgrade is available, but the very idea is something that I can get on board with. I enjoy knowing what’s going on as it happens as much as the next person, so having it available as soon as I unlock my screen instead of flipping from app to app sounds very appealing to me.

Now to the camera. The front-facing camera on the HTC one is reported to have a 2.1 megapixel camera. Sounds decent enough, which means the rear camera will probably have something along 8-13 megapixels right? Wrong. The HTC One actually features a 4 megapixel camera, also dubbed “UltraPixel Camera” due to the additional features the camera offers for quality photos. That’s not a typo, folks. Not 40, and not 14; just 4. At a glance, that might cause a lot of people to be turned off from considering this device right now. I can’t blame them – we’ve been taught (and shown) that the higher the megapixel the better the image. With HTC having a more than terrible year in 2012, and with the HTC One being one of their most anticipated devices of 2013, why would they risk so much by incorporating a measly 4-megapixel camera with a fancy name into their device?

HTC acknowledges the risk they’re taking with such a decision, which hopefully means that whatever tricks they have up their sleeve to create beautiful imaging actually works. Without the device being in my hands I can’t say for sure whether the methods will work, but HTC has already laid out why they made such a decision in the first place.

 

 

First of all, to have a camera with more megapixels you need the sensor to support it. More megapixels equals bigger sensor, and bigger sensor means bigger lens, and bigger lens means bigger phone. Take for example the Nokia 808 PureView, which had a pretty decent-sized hunchback protruding from the back-end of the already bulky device. It was necessary to support the 41-megapixel sensor inside the device. HTC realizes that thin is in, so taking the necessary measures to ensure the phone stays thin included not giving the camera too many megapixels. However, we’ve seen plenty of thin devices that feature 8-megapixel cameras, so what’s the deal? HTC does have a second reasoning behind the decision, and that reason is lighting.

Basically, in the imaging world, more megapixels equal more signal-noise ratio. The noise in these photos kind of overbear the amount of light that is received in photos if other components of the camera don’t match up, so HTC opted for a lower megapixel to help improve the lighting. As I said before, we’ve been brought up with these smartphones under the impression that higher megapixels mean better photos, and so far, from what I can see, that’s held mostly true. I’ll just have to wait and see how the explanation actually holds up. One of the things that recently sparked my interest in the Nokia Lumia 920 is its ability to take quality pictures in low-lit environments, so perhaps that aspect is more important that I originally thought it was. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little wary on how good the pictures will actually turn out though.

Other notable features of the HTC One include the dual front-facing speakers on the device and of course HTC Zoe, which is supposed to kind of revolutionize how we view our photo gallery and incorporate snippets of recordings in there and in a sense bring the gallery “to life”.  

Overall, I am really excited about the HTC One. As long as they can prove that higher megapixels isn’t always what makes an image crisp and clear, I have a good feeling that this device will become one of my favorites this year. Will it be the One phone to rule them all (another bad joke, apparently I’m just full of them today) or will HTC have to do more to sway the consumers away from phones like the Galaxy S IV and the iPhone? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!


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61 Reactions to this post

"What are some of your initial thoughts on the HTC One?"


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Anonymous It's really nice and I was actually thinking of selling my Note 2 for it but ....uh yeah I stopped being silly and stayed with my Note 2. Still I like the phone and if they came out with that red one it would be really nice.
Marlon Milligan Looks epic imo
Kocia Grzmocia It's the most beautiful phone to date. But the battery life+camera could be better
Thomas Boehnlein Absolutely amazing hardware. It screams build quality. I think it puts Apple's work to shame. And Samsung really needs to rethink their plastic spastastic approach to devices. Incredibly happy with every aspect of the phone. HTC is back!
Fares Garcia Nice phone!
Michal Polak I'm the iPhone user and I'm not about to switch, but I must say I like the looks of this HTC… and it's been a freakingly long time since the last HTC model that I really liked the design of.
Jared Dore Looks great, hope it meets the hype!
James Matthews I want the Windows Phone 8 version.
Loc Phan Best looking/build quality phone. Can't wait till I get my hand One of them.
Jennifer Craft Looks really nice on the outside, I give HTC kudos for that. It still doesn't beat the ability of my Note 2.
Juwon Donte Hell I give them credit for actually trying instead of throwing in a bunch of cheap plastic and gimmicks like Samsung
Nick Guerrero G I have owned a few HTC phone and they all have the same problem as for screens? My girl has the galaxy s3 and the screen is beautiful don't know where you got dim from? Before the one x all HTC phone screen where dim. You can have sense" and all the problems that they still have. I'll take Samsung, smooth, fast, beautiful screen, beautiful fast camrea, don't have to wait for carrier for update, and most of all I don't have to carry a charger around every where I go like I have to do with htc,if I'm going to spend money I want my money's worth. Btw samsung will always be a few steps ahead of HTC like the have always been. I will wait for the s4.
Michael Kergosien Jr Yeah. Non removable battery? So what. But no micro SD slot???! Why?!
Eskias McDaniels Non removable battery is ok but I do miss having a microSD card slot
Rob Melone I'll be switching from Samsung Skyrocket to HTC One or NExus 4 later this year. I am getting tired of my screen always freezing up on the last two Samsung phones I have owned...
Josef Sakac Nexus 4
Louis Agresti I would take the One in a heartbeat over any cheap plastic toys Samsung makes,there display and build quality are even the same class as the DNA or the one.
Michael Gavina It's the one phone I want.
Jordan Williams Would be better with stock android.
Anthony Tsolakis Would have loved if there was a camera button, a LED notification light on the back, something better than this 4 ultrapixel gimmick, that third android button, and a slightly bigger screen . . .
Jerry Sander That I won't be able to get one because of Verizon.
Luis Robles Figueroa One word... awesome!
Michael A. Lococo Nice hardware - CRAP OS! HTC USA spends too much time in #TheGreenTrashCan Time for a great Windows Phone
Demeko Thomas I like it! I think they really think they made a phone everyone would love
Tabib Rehman samsung's screens are dim and dull looking? You must be blind lol
Cesario Brito Jr. Keith, how is it prehistoric tech? You sound like isheep. Sorry I like battery life dude.
Jason Geiger Looks like an improvement over the Dna except screen size, but that might be a bonus for some.
Christopher Williams If the bootloader is unlocked and I can load CM10 this phone will be a beast!
Chris Roberts Rather keep my big and beautiful 5.5 inch Note 2 ;)
Jamie Crane I think sounds and looks good phone
Kennii PrIv LeGu Kalonji the phone looks awesome, I will be getting it. I'm not sure i like blinkfeed either but this is android, it won't be that long till there's an official way to disable it or a developer way. ppl complaining about removable batteries? in 2013? LOL! just get a portable and pluggable battery charger sheesh, at least you won't need to by a different one for every phone you buy like you have to with batteries. htc's screens are breath taking, samsung's screens are dim and dull looking, that's a major factor when buying a phone that is 90% screen... and the sound test videos i watched on the stereo speakers? they sound really loud and rich. HTC did a great job this time in bringing actual useful stuff instead of gimmicks like samsung.
George Gallegos I like it and the fact that you can switch to a traditional android home screen of you don't like the live tiles. I think I need to see it in person to make my final judgement though.
Keith Allen Kueber battery life and needs to come to verizon.
Sam Rick Sexy!
Syedul Islam I want a htc one not "I want an htc one" **
Tabib Rehman I love it but battery life puts me off
Keith UnCool Nicholson Removable batteries are prehistoric tech, stop living in the past
Fabian Toti well now when the GS4 will be to US HTC have to make HTC two and HTC three so on and so forth. Can HTC please make a phone that you can remove the f $@#$@# battery.
Nick Guerrero G I want an android phone not a Windows/iPhone. I have the one x, not really a big improvement, it still lags, battery sucks, it reboots a lot only good thing on that phone is the camera and the fact that the at&t one x users was promised the jelly bean update and never got it, I'm done with HTC. Samsung a lot faster, they don't lie, I don't have to wait for the carrier to update.. now that's my money's worth!
Rob C McGrady If $299 no contract I'm in
Teejay Crooks Was gonna wait for the s4 but am hearing a rumor about it not using it using Qualcomm instead exynos
Carl Dale one x +
Carl Dale I want the one+ THANKS :)
Jesse Ling Its no big deal.
Thea Koeuth Id be interested. ..lik htc better than samsung's phones
Kyle Cordiano It looks nice.
Alan Holmes Nice to see an android phone with high end materials. Blink sense can't be turned off which sucks. I'm worried that 2300mah battery won't be enough. Screen looks like its going to be amazing. Nice that it has a 64gb option.S4 is next....
Trieu Tran From the videos I've seen, it looks like there are some delays here and there. Not sure if it's just me or the phone does have some lags.
Justin White meh bring on the GS IV
Sohraab Kahlon first words after seeing it " effin beautiful"
Eric Dodds Looks gorgeous
John Resch I want it..
Barry McMullen Reception?
Sean Reece Me want
Talha Rehman What's the price of it?
Giovanni Vito Capone Ui looks laggy.. if it is, it would really be a disappointment.
Nick Guerrero G Yes, I'm going to wait for the galaxy s4
Gunel Shirinova When we can use sense 5 ?
Rogelio Esquivel battery life




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