If the leaks are true, I stand by The All New One's designAnna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Leaks and rumors are the glue that hold this industry together, as we only have so many actual releases going on during any given year. Sometimes you'll have just a few days or weeks between flagship releases, and other times you'll have months between them. For the times where we have to wait months, rumors and leaks fill that incessant void we have to seek out new smartphone information. Most of the time, you're lucky if you find a somewhat blurry photo a month or two before a rumored release. Other times, you might find a small section of a device where people can analyze camera specs, button placements, or material the phone is made out. And sometimes, but very rarely, you just might get the whole shebang. When it comes to The All New HTC One, it would seem as if we already have the whole shebang.
I've always been pretty cautious when it comes to taking rumors to heart. It always seemed like a good idea to seem a bit reserved about rumors and leaks, because all they are at that point is "news" reported by phoned00d649 on those forums you like to visit. Are they interesting? Yes! But I have always felt that it should just be taken with a grain of salt, because nothing says "I know all you need to know about this great flagship phone" like an entire album full of blurry, overexposed photos. The All New HTC One, though, came with a lot more than that. In fact, the first real big leak that I took much notice to was the video that was supposedly showing off the phone in its entirety on a YouTube video - serial numbers and all.
At this point I'm taking a risk by buying into everything, because it would seem like all of the leaks and rumors that spilled out into the media even after that first huge leak just confirmed that what we were looking at really was the real deal.
So assuming that all of those leaks are true, what are the thoughts on it?
My initial reaction is only basing the phone on looks alone - I won't believe in specs until officially announced (although this new leak seems convincing as well), but it isn't too far-fetched to believe that the hardware and design that have been shown off is HTC's successing design to the original One. On the one hand, I feel like it looks way too similar to the original One - something that really bugged me about the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy S III. The thing is, it doesn't bug me with the HTC One at all if it turns out that's what it really looks like, and I think that's because I just really liked the design of the HTC One in the first place.
The aluminum unibody design of the original HTC One is actually the first thing that even made me pay attention to HTC again. I thought, "Hey, that's a really nice looking phone. I want to know more about that phone." It wasn't just the unibody design that intrigued me, though; I was super impressed with the front-facing speakers and the slenderness of the phone. Although the screen was 4.7", a far cry from the 3.5" iPhone 4S that I had grown accustomed to, I found that the HTC One didn't fit too awkwardly in the hand because of how far the screen stretched length-wise. All of those things seemed to make the perfect phone, and I still love the HTC One even today.
I suppose this is probably what the Galaxy S4 must have been like to people who liked the Galaxy S III. I didn't like the Galaxy S III, so I didn't like the design of the Galaxy S4. At the time I made a pretty big deal about the designs being too similar, but if I don't get mad about The All New HTC One looking so similar to the original then I guess I really have no grounds for making that an argument.
That doesn't mean everybody feels that way, though. In the end, I do think that if The New HTC One had a more radical design overhaul that it would probably garner more interest and attention - I think that was part of the magic last year, because the One's design was so radically different from other Androids. People that might have been holding out last year to see how HTC continued this year might be expecting more out of the next gen HTC One's design. At the same time, the HTC One was widely praised for its design choices, and it might seem a little premature to change the design this early on if it still sells well.
It's a tough call for me, and in the end I suppose personal preference makes me think that if the leaked images and videos are true that I wouldn't really mind - I probably won't be buying one because I'm perfectly happy with the first generation still (unless it has some really great features), so perhaps that's why I'm so lenient about it. However, when it comes to generation sales I do think that more changes could have been made to actually make The All New HTC One deserving of its name. When it comes to design, it's more like "The New But Similar HTC One".
Readers, what are your thoughts so far about The All New HTC One leaks when it comes to design? Do you think HTC did the right thing by keeping a similar design, or do you think they should have made more significant changes to it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Images via @evleaks, Phone Arena