HTC has always been a little off-centered. They’ve made some interesting products, some of them are really good and some not very good. So it didn’t surprise me one bit when they announced this little thing—the HTC RE Camera. It’s a handheld action camera set to rival smartphone cameras and perhaps, even the GoPro. So have they done it? Well, let’s find out.
From the outside, it looks like an inhaler mixed with a periscope found on old World War II submarines. It’s an interesting design, one that truly hides its true size. From photos alone, it appears to be larger and much more bulky. But when I got this shipped over, I was hilariously surprised by how tiny this thing truly is.
Tiny it may be but the specs are not that bad. We’re taking a look at a 16MP Sony CMOS sensor inside of a 146 degrees super wide angle lens with an aperture rated at f/2.8. These specs look good on some photos on paper. Now HTC has also added a microSD card slot on the bottom instead of internal storage. This allows you to put however much storage you want but it does ship with an 8GB microSD card. Also, the battery size is rated at 820 mAh and honestly, I haven’t run this thing yet. It has lasted over an hour and a half of continuous photo and video taking on my trips.
Turning to the back side and you’ll find one big chrome button, which acts as your shutter button but doubles up as your video recorder with one long press. And on the bottom, you’ll find the microUSB port for charging. Underneath the flap is the microSD card slot. One thing you probably didn’t know is the water resistance of the HTC RE. This can withstand taking the plunge but only in 3 feet of water.
Now some of you might be asking “how the heck do you turn this thing on and off?” It actually has an always on mode and it instantly turns on when you touch the grip or when you pick it up and so far, it’s worked every single time.
So that’s the hardware. Now it’s time to talk about the image quality. Its 16MP stills are actually pretty nice. I’m not going to be competing against your DSLR or even phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. But it’s better than HTC’s own devices like the HTC One M8 and even the Desire Eye.
One thing that has proved a little weird is not knowing where the focus is or really the viewpoint of what you’re taking photos of. But you can connect through an application on Android and even on iOS. But for the most part, focus was pretty spot on.
I’m really liking the way photos are coming out of here. Wide angle photography has always been something that looks really cool and this makes photos come out really nice and special, especially if you’re the type of person that takes a million selfies with a million people.
Switching gears to video quality, the 1080p 30 frames per second video is pretty good as well. There is no OIS so all these clips have no stabilization at all. But due to the design, you almost don’t need it. Video quality itself is pretty good and also features the wide angle viewpoint, which is again, pretty darn cool.
So now the question is, whether the HTC RE is a good deal or not. With a normal price tag of $200 is pretty steep, really steep for a 1080p camera that you may or may not even use. Maybe for an avid vlogger on YouTube or maybe you just buy everything HTC. But the problem is, this camera isn’t for everyone. For your normal everyday user, you will be spending the extra money especially in this type of amount for a camera like this. You’ll just use your smartphone. And for those that take vlogging and action cameras seriously, you’ll probably take the plunge and buy a GoPro camera. But if you do find yourself wanting this because it looks cool, I might just wait a bit before I buy it.
Make sure to leave me some comments below on what you think about the HTC RE.