The ultimate HTC One/M7 rumor roundup
Since the begging of December, rumors about the HTC M7 have dominated the headlines on our site. Multiple leaks, insider tips and speculation have helped paint a detailed picture of what the device will offer and what it will look like. With only two days to go before the official unveiling of the phone in New York and London, we thought this would be the perfect time to take a step back and see how all the pieces fit together.
HTC One/M7 name
If you’ve been following our site (or any other technology news site) since December, chances are that you’ve seen the HTC M7 name mentioned at least a half dozen times. The name originated when we covered a story out of China which claimed HTC was planning on releasing a flagship Android phone in the first quarter of 2013.
Since the beginning, the HTC M7 name was assumed to be an internal code name. HTC has always used code names for all of its phones. As time passed, some started to speculate that the device would actually be named the M7. This theory became even more popular when HTC’s CEO, Peter Chou, led an M7 and HTC One cheer during the company’s year-end party a few weeks back. One week later, details about the M7’s name started to change. Multiple reports indicated that HTC would be branding the HTC M7 as the HTC One, simplifying the naming convention which it had put in place in 2012 with the HTC One X, One S and One V. The HTC One name was also confirmed by one of our trusted sources who has spent some quality time with the device.
The final clue we have regarding the HTC One name comes from HTC’s official countdown timer on htc.com. Every 10 seconds, the background of the timer flashes a short teaser video of the device – exactly as the seconds counter hits one.
HTC One specifications
Display: 4.7-inch optically laminated 1080p display (468ppi)
Processor: 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm APQ8064 Snapdragon S4 Pro
Camera (main): 13 megapixel composed of three stacked 4.3 Ultrapixels sensors
Camera (front): 2 megapixels with 1080p video capture
Audio: front-facing stereo speakers with Beats amplifier
Battery: 2,300 mAh
Software: Android 4.1.2 with HTC Sense 5
We all know that a flagship phone is supposed to raise the bar when it comes to internal specs, so it’s shouldn’t be a surprise that the HTC One will be one of the most powerful smartphones on the planet when it launches. Initial rumors claimed the device would feature a 5-inch 1080 display with a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm APQ8064 Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and a 13 megapixel camera.
Several days later, a new rumor claimed that the 1080p screen size was reduced to 4.7-inches, but gained optical lamination and a pixel density of 468ppi (40% higher than the iPhone 5). That rumor also revealed the HTC One would feature 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and an f/2.0 lens to accompany the 13 megapixel sensor with an advanced Cinesensor imaging chip capable of enhanced image quality and enable super slow-motion and HDR video capture. The front-facing camera on the HTC One will be able to capture 2 megapixel images and both will shoot video in full 1080p. The rumors finished things off by claiming that the HTC One would run on Android Jelly Bean with HTC Sense 5 and would come with a 2,300 mAh battery, 802.11ac WiFi (three times higher than today’s 802.11n WLAN standard) and a Beats-designed amplifier for the 3.5mm headphone jack, speakerphone and front-facing stereo speakers.
Stories about the HTC One’s specs died down for nearly two months until Pocket-Lint poster a new rumor about the HTC One’s camera. A trusted source had revealed to them that the 13 megapixel sensor on the HTC One would actually be comprised of three separate 4.3 megapixels sensors which would be layered on top of each other. The new sensor layout, dubbed Ultrapixels, would allow the HTC One to intelligently merge all the data from the three 4.3 megapixel sensors to generate an image which is crisper and clearer. The rumor was given more credence a few days later when HTC posted an infograhpic on its blog which finished with the following phrase:
“HTC kicks off a new sound and camera experience in 2013.”
HTC One design
While HTC has created some distinct looking devices over the years, the company has never settled into a distinctive design language. Yes, many of their devices have similar characteristics, but HTC has gone back and forth between hard edges, rounded corners, plastic, polycarbonate and aluminum with each new device they push out.
The first HTC One/M7 rumor claimed the device would be clad in an aluminum uni-body shell. That information was later confirmed with the first leaked rendering of the HTC One, but then things started getting murky. One of our sources, who claimed to have used a test unit, said the device was actually made of a soft-touch polycarbonate – similar to the HTC Droid DNA. Several days later, photographs and renders of the device started showing up left and right, showing a black HTC One with a polycarbonate shell.
In late January, we got another tip from one of our sources, revealing that the HTC One would be available in in a two-toned silver/white in addition to black. This new information essentially confirmed when Peter Chou showed off the device for a brief moment at HTC’s year-end party. Since then, newly leaked renders have shown off a white and black metal-clad HTC One and HTC has officially joined in on the speculation by tweeting about metals, the periodic table and showing off the February 19th press event date impressed on the block of metal.
Availability and pricing
Europe: March 8th – €649.99
United States: March 22nd – $199 (32GB), $299 (64GB).
We wouldn’t blame you if the HTC One is at the top of your gadget wish list. The phone has an amazing spec sheet, but that’s a moot point if HTC doesn’t launch the phone until late Q2. Fortunately, it looks like the HTC One will make it to market a lot quicker than HTC’s flagship phones have in the past.
Traditionally, HTC’s flagship phones are unveiled at Mobile World Congress in late February and start showing up in Europe in late April. Since day one, rumors claimed the HTC One/M7 would launch in Q1. In order to move up the retail availability dates, HTC has chosen to unveil the HTC One on February 19th on two continents. Two separate sources have revealed that the HTC One will go on sale on March 8th in Europe for €649.99 and March 22nd in the United States for $199 (32GB) and $299 (64GB).
While multiple rumors indicated that the HTC one would launch on Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon, our source claims that Verizon will launch not be releasing the phone at the same time as the other U.S. service providers.
Since most of the information that we’ve shared is based on rumors, we wouldn’t be surprised is a few of the details turn out to be wrong once the HTC One is unveiled in New York and London on February 19th. Even though we know a lot about the HTC One, we have a feeling that HTC still has a few tricks up its sleeve. We know HTC will deliver a device which can stand up to whatever Samsung and Apple have planned for later this year, but we are hoping that they can figure out their branding identity with the HTC One and develop a compelling marketing story to promote it.
Be sure to check back in on Tuesday morning. We’ll be bringing you coverage from the New York event and will share our hand-on experience with the new HTC One.