HTC One – what is it?
The HTC One is the new flagship phone in HTC’s range – its answer to the iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the rivals that are bound to launch at next week’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show.
With a 4.7-inch screen that’s sharper than the iPhone’s, some clever (sounding) new camera tech and a revamped interface, HTC hopes to wrestle back the hearts and minds of Android fans everywhere from the near-dominant Samsung.
Is it successful? Read our first impressions to find out.
HTC One – what are the key features?
- It’s seriously fast
It’s the first phone to use a brand-new processor that’s bound to find its way into many of the latest phones this year. The upshot, unsurprisingly, is that it’s an exceedingly fast phone – faster even than the current top-of-the-range smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S3. How it will compare with the latest phones from rivals, however, remains to be seen.
- Social news updates in Sense 5.0
Sense is HTC’s unique interface that’s been on most HTC phones for a long time, and it’s been completely revamped for the HTC One. The most eye-catching new feature is called Blink Feed. Rather like Windows Phone’s Live Tiles, it draws in news from over 1,500 sources so you can read the stories, Facebook and Twitter updates that are relevant to you, whenever is most convenient. If you’re after the stock Android experience, however, you’ve come to the wrong place.
- It has fewer megapixels…but that’s a good thing!
At least, that’s what HTC claims. HTC has done away with megapixels as a measure for cameras, instead coining the term ‘ultrapixels’. So… while in megapixels the HTC One only has a lowly-sounding 4MP camera, its larger ‘ultrapixels’ will (so says HTC) improve brightness and sharpness, especially in tricky low-light photos, compared to rivals with loftier sounding numbers.
Which? expert first impressions – is it the real deal?
The HTC One’s launch was a strange old event. The presentation consisted purely of hyperbolic statements like ‘from smart to alive’, followed by a barrage of specs. Like a TV ad, it has was big on bombast and short on substance.
The reason for all this is obvious – HTC has a great new phone on its hands but it needs to show it’s dramatically different to the one you already own and its rivals.
I’m not convinced it is, yet.
Despite several pleasing innovations, like the Blink Feed and the ‘ultrapixel’ camera – the camera could be the tipping point between greatness and mere ‘goodness’ – HTC has mainly assimilated all the great specs and features from other popular smartphones into one well-designed package. For instance, like the iPhone the HTC One’s antenna is integrated into its alluring aluminium casing.
All the same, on first impressions the HTC One is a very impressive Android smartphone. It may even be the best Android phone available when it launches in March. But until the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4 (due in March) show their hands, it’s hard to know exactly how impressive.
If you want to know the answer, I recommend you tune into our coverage of the MWC 2013 trade show next week, where we’ll be previewing what the likes of LG, Sony and Samsung have to show this year.