Maybe HTC can play it safe with the All New One

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: March 5, 2014

We're just a few days into March, barely into 2014 in general, but we've already seen plenty of big phone releases. Many companies have already shown their hand for the first part of the year; many of them have already shown their heavy hitters for the whole year. But while it's already been busy, it's only going to get busier, with some of the largest companies out there just waiting to show what they've been working on.

HTC is one of those companies. No matter what kind of predicament the company may be in, and what the future may hold for them as a whole, right now, as it stands, the M8, or All New One, or One Up, or One 2 (punch!) is one of the most talked about devices that has yet to be unveiled. People are anticipating its launch, just like we were with the original One. This time around, though, it's different.

It's different because the One exists. The device that, for all intents and purposes, changed the way people looked at Android-based devices. No longer was it just about plastic. The all aluminum handset was the piece of hardware Android fans were waiting for in a lot of ways, and now people are expecting HTC to have another hit on their hands. HTC has to figure out a way to change the All New One, but also make it strike all the right chords with consumers that its predecessor did.

Is it possible? Sure. Apple's done it, even with iterative devices. Oh, and Samsung's making a habit of it now, too. This year, perhaps unlike any other year before it, people are expecting the same thing from LG and Motorola. Personally, though, with how much I loved the original One, I can't help but feel I'm giving a lot more attention to the upcoming sequel.

It can't be helped, though. With each new leak of the All New One, I get a little bit more excited. And wary.

The original One was a powerhouse, yes, but it was almost immediately trumped by other high-end phones that launched in the same year. Timing plays a huge role, and being early in the year can mean other handsets that get launched later show off better specifications. However, there's no doubt in my mind that while the original One may not have had the best specs, it offered exactly what it needed to to stand out: the 1080p HD display; the 32GB of storage to start; the fast processor and plenty of RAM. The One wasn't a slouch, by any means, and that's something that HTC needs to try to carry over to the next model.

However, I think I'm sort of settling into this whole "not every year needs to have a huge update" train of thought. Apple's been doing it for years, so we've grown accustomed to that way of thinking for iOS-based devices. Samsung is apparently following the same idea, and there's a chance that the next LG-branded handset could be more evolutionary than revolutionary. That's not a bad thing, and it isn't a bad thing for HTC, either.

Launching an iterative All New One could put the focus on the build quality of the device, which is what HTC should want if it has as good quality as the original. It could also let HTC focus on features, software tweaks, and also how the All New One will coincide with other HTC devices reportedly launching this year. Like their smartwatch.

Ultimately, as long as the All New One has features that stand out, a build quality that trumps the competition, and has a price point that's competitive (or better than competitive), I don't think it will have a problem. And it should be a success for HTC.

Fingers crossed, anyway.

My question to you is whether or not you think HTC will be okay if they "play it safe" with the All New One. We know changes are coming, but do they need to be big, eye-popping changes, or can they be more subtle for HTC to pick up success with the upcoming handset? Let me know what you think.