HTC One 2014 Rumor Roundup: Taking Our Best Guesses

HTC's next flagship could be bigger, shinier and even more confusingly-named.

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Jared Newman / TIME.com

Samsung isn’t the only company that’s likely to announce a major new Android phone soon. A sequel to last year’s stellar HTC One may also be on the way, with HTC promising to hold a press event in the coming weeks.

So just as we did for Samsung’s Galaxy S5, let’s take stock of all the rumors surrounding HTC’s “M8,” and try to figure out what the 2014 HTC One (One Two, perhaps?) will look like:

Design

The original HTC One is arguably the best-looking Android phone on the market, and HTC isn’t straying far with this year’s model. A product rendering from Mob.hr and supposed images from HTCFamily.ru and NoWhereElse.fr show a rounded aluminum chassis and front-facing speakers.

But take note of this earlier leak from Baidu Tieba: It suggests that HTC will drop the “plastic injection” around the edges of the device in favor of a full aluminum slab. To my eye, it doesn’t look quite as classy as the original One, but it could make repairs a lot easier. (It could also allow for a MicroSD card slot on the side.)

It’s not all good news, though. Those same images–along with more evidence from evleaks–show that the navigation buttons have moved directly onto the screen. That’d be an improvement, except that HTC may still include a big black bar with its logo underneath. The resulting design will be a bit long in the chin.

Best Guess: Similar design to the original, but a full aluminum shell and a longer body.

Display

The rumor mill is in complete agreement on this one. While the original HTC One had a 4.7-inch display, the 2014 version will expand to 5 inches, with the same 1920-by-1080 resolution as before, according to Android Revolution HD, evleaks and AnTuTu benchmarks. (Bloomberg also reported that screen size will expand, but didn’t give specifics.) With navigation buttons moving onto the main display, your fingers will have to cover roughly the same area as before, but those buttons could slide out of view for certain applications, such as full screen video viewing.

Best Guess: 5-inch, 1080p display with on-screen buttons.

Camera

HTC seems likely to reuse its “UltraPixel” camera technology in the next HTC One, but the details are still elusive. While you’d think that HTC would increase the megapixel count in this year’s model, only Android Revolution HD is making that claim. Meanwhile, AnTuTu benchmarks and PhoneArena claim that the 4-megapixel camera will make a return this year. (PhoneArena speculates that a long-term exclusivity deal with optics maker ST Microelectronics may have locked HTC into using the same image sensor.)

Even if that’s true, HTC could still improve the camera in other ways. Leaked images, along with a report by Bloomberg, hint at dual sensors for improved focus, depth of field and overall image quality. The sensors may even allow for Lytro-style focus adjustments after the shot is taken.

Both evleaks and Android Revolution HD believe we’ll see a 2.1-megapixel front camera, similar to last year’s model–a claim that isn’t being refuted elsewhere.

Best Guess: 4-megapixel “UltraPixel” camera with dual-sensors, 2.1-megapixel front camera.

Performance

The big question here is whether HTC will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 chip, as claimed by evleaks and AnTuTu benchmarks, or the still unreleased Snapdragon 805, as claimed by Android Revolution HD. It’s the same debate that the Samsung Galaxy S5 rumor mill is having right now. Given that Snapdragon 805 isn’t coming until mid-year, chances are HTC will go with the older chip.

All the above sources agree, however, that the 2014 HTC One will have 2 GB of RAM, just like last year’s model.

Best Guess: 2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2 GB of RAM

Software

Android 4.4 seems like a given, and version 6.0 of HTC’s Sense overlay will make its debut. Details on Sense 6.0 are scarce, but an image from evleaks shows that the BlinkFeed news ticker will make a comeback. On Twitter, LlabTooFeR claims to have seen the software, and says it’s “cleaner” and “more polished” than the previous version.

Best Guess: Minor improvements over last year’s software, but with the latest version of Android on board.

Release Timing

There’s no word on an exact release date for the 2014 HTC One (a couple of sources, by the way, are claiming that “HTC One+” will be the final name.) But in a recent Reuters report, HTC executives said press event invites will go out in roughly two weeks. Meanwhile, evleaks claims that a late March launch event will happen in New York City. The timing is similar to that of the Galaxy S5, so Android fans will have a tough decision to make when phone shopping this spring.

Best Guess: Announcement in mid-to-late March, release in April

1 comments
cour_jester
cour_jester

It could be called HTC one more.  However I like HTC products rather Nasty Samsung phones...