Video: Hands-on with the HTC One -
Now that the HTC One has been official unveiled, there’s only two questions left to be answered. Will the device live up to all the hype and will it help HTC get back on its feet? Yes, we truly feel the HTC One has hit the mark and test a new standard in the smartphone industry. The HTC One’s specs are better than what we initially expected and it’s clear that HTC will be spending a lot of time focusing the its One device rather than pushing a family of new phones in 2012. HTC will certainly have other devices coming to market in the next few months, but we’ve been assured that the company will be zeroing in on the HTC One like never before.
Like many of HTC’s previous devices, the HTC One’s shell is constructed out of aluminum While it’s not a uni-body design, HTC has focused on using multiple aluminum panels which help integrate the device’s different radios without having to build in sections of plastic or rubber for radio signals to escape the device. At its thickest point, the HTC One measures 9.3mm, but the back side of the HTC One tapers off to a mere 4mm similar to the HTC 8X. The HTC One is roughly the same size as the HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE from last year, but it feels much smaller in the hand.
HTC Sense 5 is dramatically departure from previous versions of HTC Sense. The software feels a lot less bloated and the graphical elements are cleaner. HTC has done away with skeuomorphism throughout the UI, making buttons and tabs nearly as simplistic as Google’s stock UI. We’re sure some people will still claim they will stay away from the HTC One because of HTC’s custom software, but we definitely user you all to try it before you come to your own conclusion. One of the main features in HTC Sense 5 is the new Binkfeed. If you have multiple social media accounts and news feeds that you follow, BlinkFeed may be the perfect new feature for you. HTC Blinkfeed is able to aggregate news and feed information from 1,400 different sources, organizing them all in one place. Users can filter through different sources manually or look at the entire feed all at once. BlinkFeed pulls in high resolution images with each story to make sure you don’t miss any of the visual elements which you’d get from a dedicated app or site.
The camera experience on the HTC One is complete different that what we’ve ever experienced in the past. Yes, you can still take regular pictures or video, but HTC’s new Ultrapixels sensor array helps reduce grain and improve image quality by allowing the phone to capture 300% more light than a traditional smartphone image sensor. We were able to test out the camera on the HTC One in a very low-light environment and came away with a smile. Compared to the HTC One S, the HTC One’s image quality is simply phenomenal. The graininess in the images is greatly reduces and the shutter speed feels like it’s at least twice as fast. Naturally, we’ll have to wait for a review unit to compare images side by side, but we’re already sold on HTC new Ultrapixels technology.
The HTC One may have a fancy, new imaging chip, but HTC’s software engineers have taken things to a whole new level with HTC Zoe – a completely different approach to images and video. HTC Zoe captured three second videos at full resolution and allows you to merge them into 30 second clips to create highlight reels of an event, a trip to the beach or a simple day at home with the kids. HTC Zoe adds in professional transitions between clips and background music. If you don’t like the final result, just hit the remix button and Zoe will take another crack at it. HTC Zoe may sound like a gimmick, but we were fairly impressed with the results when we gave it a try. Currently, there are only a few song options available, but the software is so easy to use that we wouldn’t be surprised if we were to see new Android camera apps hit the Google Play store in the coming months with many of the same features.
The audio experience on the HTC One is unlike anything we’re even experienced. The device is equipped with amplifier enhanced front-facing speaker speakers. Though the event center was extremely loud, it was clear that front-facing speakers is much better than having speakers on the back of the device if you’re looking to enjoy some music of a Netflix video.
Overall, the HTC One is more impressive than we had imagined. Its clear that HTC has put a lot of focus on it, but the device’s success is still questionable. The HTC One should be able to compete head-to-head with whatever Samsung and Apple put out this year, but we honestly think it all comes down to marketing and carrier support. If HTC can focus in on the HTC One’s marketing campaign and get consumers excited about the device, the HTC One could help the company gain back significant market share in the smartphone sector and give its competitors something to worry about.
What are your thoughts on the HTC One? Does the HTC One live up to your expectations?