HTC has unveiled the HTC One smartphone, an Android device with a 4.7-inch full HD (1920×1080) display. The phone will be available worldwide beginning in late March. Pricing hasn’t been revealed, but here in the U.S. there will be 32-gigabyte and 64-gigabyte versions. Both models will require a two-year contract from AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile, and the phone will be available in silver or black.
HTC is counting on the phone’s camera, revamped “Sense” interface and dual front speakers to set it apart from other Android handsets. The 1920×1080-resolution screen ought to help, too: I used HTC’s currently-available Droid DNA rather extensively, which sports a 5-inch, 1920×1080 screen that’s downright gorgeous. Stuffing the same resolution into a slightly smaller screen – as is the case with the One — ups the pixels-per-inch count to 468. I only had a few minutes of hands-on time with the HTC One but I can tell you that, in person, the screen looks as great as the Droid DNA’s.
Under the hood, there’s a 1.7-GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, two gigabytes of RAM, and a 2300mAh battery – all packaged together using, as HTC refers to it, a “zero-gap aluminum unibody” construction.
During a press event in New York, HTC President Jason MacKenzie touted the revamped Sense interface, a modified version of the Android operating system, emphasizing the company’s new BlinkFeed feature. BlinkFeed is a Windows Phone-like representation of visual tiles that pull in content from various providers (the company says it has 1400 partners already) such as ESPN, Facebook, Twitter and other popular services.
The company also continues to leverage its partnership with Beats Audio, Dr. Dre’s high-end speaker and headphone company. The HTC One sports two front-firing stereo speakers and Beats Audio amplification in a feature called BoomSound. The phone also uses two dual-membrane microphones for high-quality audio recording and promises improved audio for phone calls. To round out the entertainment features, the HTC One sports an infrared port and leverages a function called SenseTV to turn the smartphone into a web-connected remote control for your TV.
HTC is also shying away from using the term “megapixels” to describe the image quality of the phone’s built-in camera, instead describing the size of the sensor used to capture photos. The company is now referring to the One’s camera as an “UltraPixel” camera, which HTC says gathers 300% more light than traditional smartphone camera sensors. The company rolled out a feature called HTC Zoe, which can capture photos and video at the same time, and can turn captured content into an automatically edited highlight reel on the fly.
Here’s a video demo of some of the One’s features: