It's the beginning of December, which means that the end of 2013 is nearly here. We've had some great devices come out this year, with big flagship names like the Samsung Galaxy S4, the HTC One, the Nokia Lumia 1020, the Google Nexus 5, the LG G2 and the iPhone 5s. We've also had some pretty interesting devices pop up on the low end of the spectrum, and are surprisingly competitive for their price, such as the Motorola Moto G and the BLU Life phones. I think it's pretty safe to say that 2013 has been a pretty great year for mobile, but with it drawing a close we can only hope that next year proves to be just as good - or hopefully better - when it comes to the future of mobile tech.
The very first rivalry between phones came much earlier in the year, and it seemed like everybody and their mother was comparing the Samsung Galaxy S4 to the HTC One, as they should have been. Two completely different devices in design, but running under the same operating system with similar specs. I'm inclined to say that it was the biggest rivalry of the year, but perhaps it just seemed that way to me. I know that I was all over the comparisons between these two hot devices. I was especially interested because I planned on making one of them my own sometime soon, as this was the year that I would be getting my upgrade. Unsure of what phone I wanted for a while, I finally narrowed it down to the Galaxy S4 and the One, and in the end I tried both out. The One won me over.
It was hard for me not to fall in love with the device. The HTC One has been described by many tech enthusiasts as being the most beautiful Android device created to date due to its alunimum unibody design, thin profile and slightly curved back. The device is average sized with a 4.7-inch screen, and features a 4-megapixel "UltraPixel" camera on the back - a new type of camera technology that was HTC's attempt at proving to users that megapixels don't mean everything in a camera. The front of the device had a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, dual front-facing BoomSound speakers with Beats Audio, and two capacitive buttons for home and back. This beautiful body of a phone was all wrapped around some really great specs - a Quadcore Snapdragon 600 processor clocked at 1.7 GHz, 2GB of RAM, 32/64GB of memory depending on the model, and a 2300 mAh non-removable battery. Impressive specs, impressive design. It was definitely something that people were interested in, and gave HTC a little bit of spark back in its name that it had managed to lose over the years.
But that was way back in February that we learned about the One. February of 2014 is only a couple of months away, so it doesn't really seem that far-fetched to start thinking about how HTC is going to follow up the One flagship next year. I, for one, really hope they call it the HTC Two. If they don't, well, that's what I would like to call a "missed opportunity".
There isn't a whole lot I would change with the One, but without change the next generation HTC One would fall into the trap that plenty of other smartphone manufacturers are facing today - not enough change equals not enough interest to upgrade to the next device. Many people keep their phones for around a year and a half to two years, so when your two years is up consumers are likely ready for a change if they're looking to upgrade. It would certainly be wise to keep the best assets of the device the same, but there still needs to be certain changes and upgrades that need to be made in order for the phone to truly be considered "next generation". HTC hit it big with the One, and it would be a shame if they blow it after one very good product.
One thing I would definitely change is the amount of megapixels in the UltraPixel camera. The UltraPixel camera and all of the features that HTC included in how the camera works are great, they really are. However, there are certain times where the whole 4-megapixel thing doesn't work out in anybody's favor. For example, zooming in on an object really brings out the pixels in a subject. Zoomed out, the pictures look great. They're directly comparable to other flagship devices who use 8 and even 13-megapixel shooters, but the One has a really hard time making a zoomed-in subject look good. Other than that, I feel like the HTC One's camera is pretty good as it is. Maybe just up the megapixel count a little bit.
Another thing that I wish HTC would bring back is the the little kickstand. With the HTC EVO 4G and the HTC EVO 4G LTE, the little metal kickstand on the back of the device was actually a really big selling point believe it or not. With smartphones getting as big as they are, people like to watch movies directly from them, and they're perfect for traveling media devices. The kickstand was a great feature that allowed users to take advantage of watching movies and videos at a more comfortable angle. Alternatively, if you didn't want the kickstand, you simply didn't use it. The kickstand was a really solid feature, and I think it would be great if they brought that back for the next generation HTC One.
Aside from that, I still have my general blanket statement that a removable battery and an optional microSD card couldn't hurt the device. There has been a time or two where it would have been ten times easier just to do a battery pull. I don't expect these things to be featured in an HTC Two, but a person can dream, can't they?
But I want to hear from you guys now. When it comes to a next gen HTC One, what is it that you want to see that would make you want to go out and buy it? Let's hear some ideas! Share yours with us in the comments below!