When it comes to smartphones with large displays, there's a polarizing effect which quickly sends fans into a frenzy. On one side, there are arguments for increased productivity with software additions and a more immersive experience for media consumption. But the other camp draws the line and denounces the idea of such a large device when tablets and PC's are still more complete options if you're looking to "do work."
The latest rumor from Pocket-lint suggests HTC wants to enter the argument. Rumor has it an HTC One variant with a display larger than anything they've ever delivered in a product could be in the cards. While this is a shaky rumor at best offering little to no detail on why HTC would consider it, or how they would market it, I find the whole thing shady and a terrible idea.
For starters, HTC has never been the sort of company to follow a known recipe of delivering something people want. They do their own thing.
Look back at the original EVO 4G on Sprint as an example. It was the first 4G (WiMax) device in the world. It was also a tank which had a build quality unlike anything from Apple, Motorola, and Samsung. HTC made it a point to even offer a kickstand to highlight the media you'd be consuming with those blazing download speeds and luscious 4.3-inch display. And the list goes on.
These additions made the HTC EVO 4G an icon of Android, and it's why the Taiwanese company etched the EVO brand into the wall as one of the most successful of its time. But EVO is gone and yet to be replaced.
So, why wouldn't an HTC One with a large display be a good idea?
HTC markets the One brand on many fronts, but display size is not one of them. BlinkFeed, BoomSound, the UltraPixel camera with HTC Zoe, and its zero-gap construction are what they want you to notice about its flagship. The average consumer and the tech community are just beginning to grasp what HTC offers as compared to Samsung. These are hardware-centric features, but none of them coincide with what the market has come to define as "phablet necessities."
At the present time, Samsung's Galaxy Note line has an expansive set of features which have solidified it as the penultimate large-screened device. If you want a phablet and you've got productivity in mind, it's an easy choice. I wouldn't recommend anything else, but that doesn't mean no other manufacturers should try to gain a foothold in the market in a similar manner. Personally, I think LG is doing a great job with their UI gracing the Optimus G Pro, but it's just not the right time for HTC to get involved in the phablet race.
The phablet genre is all about delivering the most complete product with little to no compromises. It's why they all have large, removable batteries. They have additional note-taking features and software advantages which make use of the extra real estate. Phablets mesh smartphones and tablets and are expected to deliver the best of both world's in a size which can pass as a "phone".
But if HTC were to enter this market, they'd need a significant overhaul on multiple fronts due the term "phablet" etching out a definition of itself in the short two years it's been around.
...and the last thing HTC's developing brand needs is to broaden its target market by shifting focus to revamping hardware and software features when it just concocted a successful recipe.
I think we can all agree HTC Sense 5.0 is not the best software experience available. It's all a matter of opinion. But I think it's nearly unanimous when you put it like this:
HTC Sense 5.0 drives the software experience of HTC's smartphones.
HTC has just recently become a contender for Android smartphone of the year, but phablets are a completely different game, and so is HTC Sense 5.0. It's a polished, fluid, and intuitive interface with BlinkFeed and graceful operation (for the most part). But it's far from offering utilities that Samsung's TouchWiz UX has so easily defined as necessities of jumbo phones. It's also hard to commit to the updates HTC Sense 5.0 would require to add additional functionality when you look back at their track-record for software updates.
HTC has a clear lead in build quality and premiumness. These hardware advantages of HTC are only important if you can let removable batteries and expandable storage take the backseat in your darkest phablet desires. Sure, HTC has a shot at convincing you a phablet with the One's build quality is a wonderful option as compared to LG or Samsung's offerings, but it's just not the right time to get distracted. They do smartphones right now.
Let this not be a reflection of what I want from an HTC One-esque device with a screen in the 5 to 6-inch range. I think it would be a wonderful experience especially if HTC's impeccable build quality and displays are in tow. I just know HTC is capable of great things with the One and think their attack against Samsung's Galaxy S 4 is going pretty well. Build on that, boys.
Yet I'm only one guy in a large world of smartphone fans. Do you believe HTC is in the right state of mind to attack the phablet market with its own HTC One variant? Should they market it with hardware or software features in mind? What recommendations would you give the Taiwanese company? What should they name it? Let's talk this one out in the comments below!