When HTC first debuted the M7 way back when, one of the standout features was its front-facing speakers. It was one of those features that, while it was obviously pretty marvelous, it was one of those things that everyone couldn’t help but wonder why it had taken so long to land on a flagship device. Sure, they broke up the design a bit, because speakers, but it wasn’t that bad.
The One M8 kept the same design, and, more importantly, kept the front-facing speakers. The same can be said for the M9, for better or worse, but with some slight changes to the technology inside the phone when it came to those speakers. HTC still calls it BoomSound, but there’s no more Beats branding or anything like that. HTC shed that part of its life, and moved forward, which is commendable.
Now, we’re on the cusp of the One M10 making its presence known to the smartphone fans out there. HTC has officially kicked off the teasing thanks to its official Twiter account, showing off a hashtag and a sillhouette of what could be the next flagship smartphone from HTC.
There wasn’t a lot to get excited about with that tease, though. Some folks really like hashtags, but even that might not get you pumped up for whatever HTC is planning on showing off later this year.
More than that, though, there was a leaked image of what is believed to be the One M10, in all of its Blurrycam glory. The image was dark, the details were washed out, but there was one really eye-catching thing about the leak: No dual front-facing speakers. There’s a speaker grille up at the top, or when you talk on the phone, but that distinctive design with the speakers is no longer there.
A lot of people out there were disatisfied with the One M9 because they thought it looked too much like the One M8, and the One M7 before that. So with the One M10 I have no doubt that one of the design decisions going in was pretty simple: Make it look different. I’m sure HTC will use some of the same things, like an all-metal design, or antenna bands, or whatever else. But in the end, HTC more than likely wants the One M10 to look different from its predecessors.
But I’m not sure that I saw anyone complaining about the front-facing speakers. They might not have been the best speakers, but their implementation and placement were still fantastic. While front-facing speakers might not have taken off like digital personal assistants have, or mobile payment options, or what’s looking to be dual-camera systems, they’re still a fantastic idea.
And there’s no universe where HTC should abandon that.
The dual front-facing speakers are a staple of the One series, as well they should be. To be honest, those speakers are one of the reasons the One series has stood out at all, really, while Samsung, LG, Motorola, and other companies have just created some really fantastic devices. HTC giving up these speakers would be like Apple giving up Touch ID at this point, or Samsung completely ditching its proprietary software on Android devices.
I have to agree with my fellow editor Anna here. I genuinely hope that the leaked One M10 we saw earlier this year isn’t the real thing, and that HTC still has every intention of putting those speakers on the front of the phone. Otherwise, HTC better have something else up its sleeve for making the One M10 stand out against a device like LG’s G5.