HTC unveils its new flagship, the One

By , Feb 19, 2013

Earlier this morning, Taiwanese handset maker HTC at a high-profile media event in London introduced its latest flagship handset, the One. In terms of speeds and feeds, this Android LTE device seems a winner: it sports a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor with 2GB of RAM, has front-facing speakers complete with a dedicated amplifier that play Beats Audio and boasts a 4.7-inch 1080p display coated with Gorilla Glass 2.

Encased in an Apple-like aluminum-clad chassis, the phone is bound to turn heads with its sleek appearance measuring 0.37 inches thick and weighing in at 143 grams. On the software front, the One runs HTC’s Sense 5 UI layer on top of Google’s latest Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean operating system.

And borrowing from Windows Phone, there’s a new feature called Blink Feed, basically a glorified Flipboard-like aggregator that turns your home screen into an endless stream of social updates, email messages and news articles. More tidbits and a few press shots right after the break…

The One’s display files as the densest smartphone display on the market today. At 468 pixels per inch, it easily bests the iPhone 5’s 326ppi and the BlackBerry Z10’s 356ppi display.

In terms of content, the One comes preloaded with ESPN’s app that streams content to the user’s Blink Feed as news happens. All told, HTC signed up a cool 1,400 content partners, including the AOL properties (Huffington Post, Moviefone, Engadget, TechCrunch and more), the Associated Press and ESPN.

HTC One (lifestyle 002)

A media release bills Blink Feed as “a bold new experience that transforms the home screen into a single live stream of personally relevant information such as social updates, entertainment and lifestyle updates, news and photos with immersive images so that people no longer need to go to separate applications to find out what’s happening.”

There’s also an all-new cloud music player which streams lyrics.

HTC One Blink Feed
The new Blink Feed on the HTC One.

For the One, HTC engineers have developed a custom, much-improved eight-megapixel back camera with f/2.0 aperture lens. Proclaiming the megapixel race over, HTC said the camera is all about “UltraPixels”, which basically a fancy buzz word for a similar technology first seen on Nokia’s PureView handset.

HTC One (lifestyle 003)

HTC says these ultrapixels gather 300 percent more light than traditional sensors for an improved low-light performance, but with an important distinction: the tech limits the maximum photo size to four megapixels, regardless of the actual camera resolution.

Akin to Samsung’s Galaxy S III, a new Zoe feature captures five frames before and another fifteen images after hitting the shutter button, letting the user choose the best shot between a set of twenty photos. You can also record three-second video clips alongside the photos and create stop-motion animation from the stills.

Other features of the back camera include enhanced 360-degree panorama, time sequencing and object removal. The front-facing camera has also received love with such new features as ultra-wide angles and 1080p capture for some crisp video conferencing.

HTC One (lifestyle 001)

Moreover, HTC’s multi-axis optical image stabilization taps gyro and accelerometer sensors to ensure smooth video and is available on both cameras.

The Verge has a nice table comparing how the One stacks up against competition, including Apple’s iPhone 5. As for the design, the handset’s body is all aluminum using a design they call zero gap. Like the iPhone, the One’s aluminum body doubles as the antenna for radios (potentially opening door to some unpleasant signal attenuation).

HTC One (aluminum design)

Apple and HTC recently signed a ten-year licensing deal and though the terms of the settlement remained confidential, the deal obviously includes Apple-like design cues.

One of the more interesting perks of the One is the IR emitter at the top. With a little help from the Sense TV app, the IR emitter turns your One into a control remote for a TV set, with the app providing interactive programs guides from many of the biggest broadcasters.

HTC One (four-up)

The phone also packs in a 2300 mAh battery, NFC, GPS and GLONASS, Bluetooth 4.0, LTE and even the speedy 802.11ac Wi-Fi networking.

The One will be available in black and silver varieties, each with either 32 or 64 gigabytes of onboard storage. It’s due to ship initially late-March via AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile in the United States (notably absent: Verizon Wireless), in addition to O2, Vodafone, Three and EE in the United Kingdom and Rogers, Bell and Telus in Canada and Australia.

Here’s a hands-on video by The Verge.

All told, the One will be available through 185 mobile operators in over 80 regions. HTC said it will offer a $100 trade-in credit towards the One. The company is now accepting pre-orders through its web site.

What’s your first impression of this phone?

Do you view it as a device potentially replacing your iPhone 5?

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  • jordandev

    I wish this site would go back to focusing more on news actually related to Apple or iOS…

    • CollegiateLad

      The obligatory response to this is… “We are keeping ‘tabs’ on the competition.”

    • http://twitter.com/sivkai Siv

      It’s very simple, if the non-Apple stories do not interest you, do not read them. How hard is that?

      However, it must be said, there is no such thing as a non-Apple story. What happens in the HTC HQ may very well impact what Apple does with their iPhone (and vice versa).

      A final point, if iDB covered purely Apple stories, they would be churning about 1 article a day, if that.

      • jordandev

        I don’t want to know everything that could possible be related to Apple or mobile tech in general like Android or HTC or how the weather is going to affect Apple stock prices (I made that one up).

        There would be more than 1 article a day? There has been 5 or 6 articles today already on jailbreak app updates and Apple news.

        Having sites that focus on great in depth content in specific areas (such as this one with great in depth jailbreak app information, which it used to focus much more exclusively on) is much better than every site posting everything so my RSS feeds get filled up with useless crap I try to ignore.

        It was a suggestion so that they don’t lose readership from users who are interested in unique, in depth content and tired of the same recycled content every tech blog posts. But I guess posting everything related to anything brings readership brings pageviews brings ad money brings continued content.

        Anyways, rant over. I enjoy a lot of the articles

      • http://twitter.com/sivkai Siv

        What about my earlier point; if the article doesn’t interest you, don’t read it? No one is forcing you to read this.

      • http://www.facebook.com/kenrick88 Kenrick Fernandes

        i love what IDB does and i dont have time to go to other tech sites. Stop crying. If you dont like dont open ..

      • Mcsquared

        #FirstWorldProblems?

    • tommycullum

      I appreciate this article. It is relevant because competition, which HTC is to Apple, will undoubtedly influence the evolution of the iPhone and iOS.

  • CollegiateLad

    Looks nice. Will anyone care? I dunno. A lot of folks will be holding out for Samsung’s and Apple’s offerings.

    • Ernie Marin

      HTC operates on Android so I can’t do anything unless it decides to go solo and create it’s own OS, BlackBerry is on it’s last leg, and Apple has expanded so much, soon the iphone would be new company mascot, probably making the new TV to come out their new flagship product. And Google just can’t survive until it creates something other that Android, even Bing is getting more hits than Google.com, they need to expand or prepare to sell out to either Microsoft or Apple.

      • Mcsquared

        no.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    that is a fantastic looking phone and it is a the SG3 and SG4 killer… but the iphone 5 will still hold the top spot with consumers..lol is i was getting android it would be this one for sure…

    • http://twitter.com/MCaudebec Maxim∑

      Yeah if I ever would get an Android Phone I would go with HTC over Samsung

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    only sad part about this phone is that it runs crappy android which always suuuucks,… and then they threw in the “we will updated to the latest android version later”…loloolo yeah right

    • http://twitter.com/sivkai Siv

      Android is improving. Where it “sucks” is in the app department but even that’s slowly being worked upon.

      • NoBrainer

        and the ugly interface which scared me when i had a Galaxy S3. Hardware design though has been super.

      • http://twitter.com/sivkai Siv

        That’s not the Android interface, that’s the Samsung interface. If you want to see pure Android experience, just look at the Nexus 4.

        That’s how Android is meant to be.

      • NoBrainer

        Oh you totally owned me. Of coure you’re right. Forgot that for a moment.

    • Kurt

      ios sucks. its the 3rd best mobile OS.

  • http://twitter.com/MCaudebec Maxim∑

    Looks like they got inspiration from the iPhone 5’s design.

    • NoBrainer

      You mean iPhone 5 and Blackberry Z10

    • http://twitter.com/0omph Michi

      For me this looks like something new.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ishaan993 Ishan Vadwala

    actually it’s a 4 megapixel camera

    • Guest

      4.1 my dear. lol

    • Guest

      4.1 ultrapixel

    • malsna

      4.1 ultra-pixel not megapixel

  • NoBrainer

    That thing is such a fail!! Ha only 4.1 Megapixels!

    And for all you down thumbers. I know that megapixels arent everything, but that doesnt mean they are irrelevant. The bigger the pixels are the more light they can gather. But also the less pixels will fit into a single sensor. The less pixels are in a sensor the less you will likely be able to zoom into a picture. And haveing ony 4 Megapixels mean you will in about a year not be able to put your images as a Wallpaper on your Desktop because the Resolutions are increasing. Best example is the Retina Macbook Pro. It has 5 Megapixels. Try to put an image of the 4.1 Megapixels camera in fullscreen mode on your mac or zoom in. Right you can’t.

    • CollegiateLad

      The 4.1 pixels is irrelevant if it takes beautiful pictures. Of course, I don’t know if it does or not…

      • NoBrainer

        No it’s not. I agree when you say that megapixels is not everything but sayong they are irrelevant is absolutely wrong. Try to take an image with this 4.1 Megapixel camera and put it onto you Retina Macbook which has 5 Megapixels and see what happens exactly it pixelates. You are not even able to zoom in to see somethig closer when you need it to. Furthermore i am well aware of what is good and whats not when it comes to photography and sensors. This one is simply marketing. Might be good for little casual shots but not more.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000122495675 Ali Aledany

        ultra-pixels >.<

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000122495675 Ali Aledany

      lol ultra-pixels not megapixels, ultra is better than mega pixels

      • Hyr3m

        “megapixel” is like “megabyte” it means millions just like tera means billion or kilo means thousand.

        By putting less cells on a sensor of equal size they’re allowed to make them bigger, hence their “ultrapixels” just means that each “pixel cell” on the sensor is bigger and therefore captures more light.

        Shitty old digital cameras had bigger pixel cells in the past but the “megapixel race” forced everyone to miniaturize and therefore increase their efficiency… So using bigger pixels now allows for a lot more light… and with f/2.0 this will mean shorter exposure so less blur. I’d rather have a sharp 4MP picture than a blurry 8MP one… (Although I’d rather store the pics on a microSD or put all my media content on the microSD and leave the phone storage to pictures and apps)

        Bottom line if you want to be precise, it’s 4.1 mega-ultrapixels (which is ridiculous, so just keep it technical and forget this “ultrapixel” marketing-made-up word).

      • NoBrainer

        Thank you, couldn’t have explaibed this UltraPixel Fake marketing better. Hope everybody who thinks that this camera has 4 million Megapixwls now sees that Ultra in this cas only stands for the size of the pixels.

      • Hyr3m

        I’m not sure he thought that ultra-pixels meant “millions of megapixels”. I think he just thought (in a very non-technically-aware way) that ultra was better than mega…

        Funny thing is 4.1 ultrapixels would be 4 very big pixels… a bit like an iconic Andy Warhol painting (without the faces obviously, you don’t really have detail within a pixel).

        It’s still 4.1 millions of pixels -> megapixels…

        But I like the idea behind their camera and even if I like a sharp 4mp picture better than a blurry 8mp one; the lack of microSD card is the deal-breaker. This phone is simply not worth it for a heavy user like me. I’ll stick with shrinking down a few too-blurry-to-use 10mp pictures… My near-100 gigs of storage on my S3 can certainly take the heat ^^

      • NoBrainer

        And you are even into Art! I start liking you more and more.

        And of cours i would also rather pick a 4 Mp camera with better quality output than a 8 Mp blurrycam ha. But i think nowadays 4 Megapixels is simply to less. I would have liked to see a 8 Mp camera with bigger pixels in that thing than pumping the camera up to 13 Mp like other brands (Sony) do.

      • Hyr3m

        The fact that I know about it doesn’t mean I’m into Andy Warhol’s art :P I’m a bit oldschool in that sense… not much into modern art and my opinion about contemporary art is that it’s just a joke meant for hipsters to ridicule themselves (even more than they already do).

        I was comparing a sharp 4MP vs a blurry 8MP. I’ll keep my average 10MP (with proper storage extension capabilities) over any of those two and with microSD available I’d actually rather have that 13MP Sony one. (although that HTC’s f/2.0 is really something to drool over)

      • NoBrainer

        God HTC got what they wanted with you. A little dumb consumer thinking that UltraPixels mean that their Camera has 4 Million Megapixels. Their marketink absolutetly worked here…

  • sambuzzlight

    wow I’m actually jealous it looks beautiful! even though it looks similar to the iphone 5

  • http://twitter.com/DavidBarajasJr David Barajas

    Nice looking smartphone. I more than likely will get one to replace my iPhone 5.

  • http://twitter.com/sivkai Siv

    Looks pretty decent but I think the Xperia Z still remains on top.

  • http://twitter.com/0omph Michi

    pretty cool

  • http://www.eraser.org B. Braun

    Nice Phone, probably an competitor to the iPhone. Personally for me it’s too big, maybe they build a 4 inch one with 1280*720, that would be my choice.

  • Ernie Marin

    Guy-Hi, is the HTC One here?
    HTC One- yeah i’m here.
    Guy-you’ve been served.
    HTC One-by who
    Guy-Apple.

  • Ernie Marin

    The sad part is that is still operates Android, i think HTC should go solo and start creating it’s own OS, after all their hardware is very awesome compared to other phones, I think they could be a real competition for Apple.

  • Mohammed Sahib

    Nice looking phone, but it does not seem to have a single genuine idea. And the front is inspired by iPhone’s 5 back!

  • Tom

    1.7 ghz quad core thats pretty fast comparing to iphone 5 1.2 dual core

    • Joonyaboy

      How do you know how fast it is?

      • Tom

        Says on post

      • Joonyaboy

        lol….that doesn’t mean it’s faster. Completely different OS and hardware. iPhone 5 is faster in tests than many phones with higher processors.

      • Tom

        Android a little slower cuz has way more features

  • Joonyaboy

    MUCH nicer than the Samsung phones, but not enough to steal me away from iP5

    • Kurt

      what’s wrong with you people???

  • Tom

    Android doesnt really suck android has alot of features like overclock download torrents live chat u can see hot girl cams who wouldnt want that iphone os u cant even view world video chat rooms on android u can

    • Mark Erridge

      Nice….you’re really selling android here :P

  • Jerry

    I’ve always been 110% iPhone only but this phone looks NICE holy sh*t. I really hope Apple steps it up because the competition is heating things up.

  • http://twitter.com/Antonio14_ Antonio Latte

    Video by the verge, that’s bad idownloadblog, that’s bad…

  • http://www.facebook.com/Nasser1510 Nasser Cedeño

    nah Come on Guys.. Thay Are Copying The Blackberry Z10..the Same DIsign :/

    • Mark Erridge

      I seriously doubt that they threw this design together in a few weeks after the Z10 launched.

      Coincidence, nothing more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001288278217 Christian Mejía

    It looks really nice might consider getting it when my contract ends

  • Hyr3m

    That’s fucking ridiculous; there’s still no microSD! They don’t learn do they? Still no USB3 either? Dafuq is wrong with them? I would’ve gotten a One X last year if they’d given it a microSD slot instead of getting an S3. Now I’ll skip this one too…
    Samsung’s phones might not look as good as HTC’s but at least they have the decency of allowing for fucking memory upgrades!

  • Uriah Romero

    I am looking forward to trying the UltraPixel camera on the HTC One. I also can’t wait to try watching a movie on the full HD display. I stream my favorite live and recorded shows a lot while I’m on my way home from work at DISH, just to keep myself busy. I can do this with the DISH Anywhere app on my phone, and it would be awesome to watch them on a 1080p display.