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Last Monday we got out first look at the HTC Ville, an upcoming handset that we're expecting to see unveiled at Mobile World Congress in a few weeks. Today four new photos of the phone have appeared over on Chinese forum ePrice, giving us a closer, clearer look at the currently unannounced device.

Judging by the icon placement, location, date, time and background, it looks like these images come from the same original source as last week's leaked video. However, unlike the video, these are of (reasonably) decent quality, showing off the chassis of the phone and HTC Sense 4.0's redesigned, geometric stylings.

Today's photos seem to confirm that version 4.0 will give HTC Sense it's biggest visual overhaul yet. The classic Sense dock is gone, replaced with ICS-style icons. And the iconic clock widget had undergone a few changes too, with more clean lines and less translucency. The lockscreen, however, seems to be more or less unchanged from Sense 3.x -- you've still got the familiar metal ring and four shortcuts. And in terms of industrial design, it's clear we're looking at a pretty thin device, with what seems to be slightly raised areas at the top and bottom of the back panel.

As with any unofficial leak, things can, and likely will change as the unveiling and eventual release approaches. We've got our fingers crossed for more HTC Ville goodness at MWC later this month. You'll find two more photos after the jump.

Source: ePrice; via: Phandroid

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There are 54 comments

aleis says:

Sense is becoming sooo boring!
HTC needs to just go stock with very minimal customization's. maybe the clock...but that's it!

dswatson83 says:

Thank God for golauncher and others. I love some of the apps on my EVO though like the flashlight, clocks, timers...stuff like that. A 3rd party launcher w/sense apps is a great team. The stock look in that picture is horrible

ScottJ says: your opinion. I think it looks good. Of course, I returned a Sensation because I hated Sense 3.0 on it. It was just too over the top with animations and unnecessary graphical flourish that added nothing to the usability of the device.

icebike says:

Say what you will about Sense, I like the phone. The styling and size reminds me of my Nexus One.

I could probably live with Sense.

I have to agree with Mr. Aleis boring definately

bplewis24 says:

I don't know how boring it is, but the "b"-word I would use to describe it is more and more "bloated."

I'm set with my phone for the next 1.5 years or so, but if I weren't, I would probably be steering clear of any HTC devices, especially if the bootloaders are locked.

ScottJ says:

HTC committed to allowing unlocking of bootloaders last year and has followed through. Someone hasn't been paying attention.

angermeans says:

Galaxy Nexus

Floss82 says:

They need to slim it down for sure and change their app icons

Slimmer is not always better. For some people (like me) it's very uncomfortable using or just holding phones like the Galaxy S2 precisely because they're so thin. Phones like this Ville on the other hand, are more comfortable to use because they have a round back-side which perfectly fits in your hand.

superlinkx says:

WTF? This is ICS, but the launcher looks like a dressed up version of gingerbread! I think HTC needs to look at less OS breaking customizations. Sense was great, even when my Evo first came out, but ever since Gingerbread, I've preferred stock much more. ICS is absolutely amazing stock, so I don't see how much good Sense will really be. Most likely, it will be more trouble than its worth. As long as HTC makes it easy to unlock though, I'll definitely remain a customer.

What's really different about it?

ameadows252 says:

Featuring icons straight from the future of 1999.

It looks like ICS combined the espresso/Mytouch sense

NorCalStorm says:

Another slab format with HTC sense. There starting to look like RIM with all their Blackberrys

ScottJ says:

Yeah. How dare they provide the devices the market wants. They should make an octagonal device, just to be different.

Lee_R3D says:

I can see why it's been compared to the Desire in shape. From the look of the home screen, I don't like the way Sense 4.0 looks so far. Give me that lockscreen and stock ICS.

ShiftyBob#WN says:

Still better than TouchWiz!

jsmuli2 says:

as long as those 4 icons on the dock are customizable, I might not mind Sense 4.0 much. The animations and widgets are growing on me on my Rezound.

hmmm says:

Why don't they stick with stock? It takes virtually no development time/money and people like it. Updates would be much faster as well which would make people happy and cut down on cost. Just the fact no other manufacturer does it (other than the nexus phone) would differentiate them so they wouldn't "get lost in the crowd". I would buy one if it was stock even though I don;t care for the design as much.

TheHefta says:

No BeatsAudio? Odd. Looking forward to ICS and Sense v4.

ScottJ says:

Beats is a gimmick made to trick fools.

You know that Beats Audio is pretty much just an equalizer that raises some frequencies when you plug in Beats headphones, right?

Jayshmay says:

I actually think Touch Wiz isa whole lot less intrusive than Sense

ameadows252 says:

I'll second that.

pDoG says:

im sure there is beats in there, thats almost a guarantee.

for the people complaining about a black slab, how else would you want the phone to look? im not sure what you could add to it to make it any different. take a look at moto's droid line, and samsungs galaxy line. they all have the same design. think about it, if they added color or something out of the ordinary people would give it hell about that too. i personally like the designs of HTC phones compared to the hard plastic of samsung. the matte finish is a nice touch imo.

StuRoid says:

Been so bored of HTC hardware and Sense for the last year. Everything looks the same with only tiny tweaks. Not to mention this uni-body thing they are going with and putting ridiculously small batteries in them that can't really be upgraded to larger sizes. I think they have honestly run out of ideas and need something that is new and radical to shake things up.

nodforce says:

Manufacturers should release their phones as stock. During activation and what not, there should be an option to download sense, motoblur, touchwiz, etc depending on the manufacturer

Gekko says:

HTC thinks they know best. the market will decide. vote with your wallet.

personally i'm upgrading my launch day EVO 4G to a G-Nex as soon as it's available on Sprint. why? i don't like bloat, Sense, bulk, delayed OS updates, and tired dated designs.

i have no interest in gimmicks like Sense, Beats, or 3D.

bye Chou.

rizzay1 says:

HTC needs to leave sense behind with gingerbread and come out with stock ics

JeffDenver says:


I bought a Rezound in SPITE of Sense, not because of it. The hardware is that good.

Gekko says:

once again HTC proves that they are tone deaf and fails to listen to customers. they just reported another shitty quarter after stubbornly spitting out bulky EVO-variants ad nauseum. they promised "something special" and that they will focus on quality rather than quantity in 2012.

but if this is the best HTC has to offer for 2012 they are doomed!

do you hear me Chou???


Fumetsu says:

You have to realize that "we" are not HTC's customer, the carriers are. The carriers do not want a bunch of stock Android phones, they want differentiation and custom frameworks so they can market them to different customer segments.

HTC phones have typically had a lot of developer support so the option for non-Sense skins are typically available and they seem committed to making unlockable bootloaders available if the end user is aware of the risks involved.

I think its a little early to be passing judgement on the Ville and the direction of HTC in 2012 based on two blurry screencaps of a phone before it has been officially announced. I think it would be more prudent to take a "wait and see" approach before jumping to conclusions.

Gekko says:

the market and investors have spoken. they don't like it.

carriers like what SELLS.

you say wait and see? yes and then it will be too late - if it's not already.

Fumetsu says:

The market and investors aren't going to suddenly buy into HTC if they release a bunch of stock Android phones and neither will the carriers.

The reason they took the hit in the market was not because they released phones with Sense, it was because they had increased competition not only from Android OEMs (primarily Samsung) but the iPhone 4S as well and a poor economy.

They have committed to focusing on higher quality, higher end products in 2012 and will be announcing new products at MWC. My "wait and see" comment was meant to say we should wait and see what the actual products will bring at MWC rather than jump to conclusions about HTC's demise and Sense being lackluster based on two blurry pics. HTC is still a very innovative company and have a chance to bring some compelling devices to market. HTC is Sense - they are not going to release phones with stock Android. Neither is Samsung (except for the Nexus) and neither is Motorola. The Android world would be boring if they did. As maligned as they are, frameworks like Touchwiz, Sense, and Motoblur do bring some features to Android that are a value add.

Gekko says:

Sense is not my primary criticism - so stop beating that horse. my primary criticism is lackluster tired dated boring clunky derivative weak hardware masked by cheap gimmicks.

i'm not waiting around for HTC to play catch up. i'm switching from my launch day EVO 4G to the G-Nex as soon as Sprint gets it. and i'm not the only one.

I like HTC and Sense. I just wish they would bump up the screen size and specs like Samsung has.

I don't care about sense or boring.... come back with the kickstand!!!

cirrob says:

You know I bounced back and forth between the gs2 and the amaze. the gs2 had me on its build quality (yes I know htc is supposed to be the king there but I really felt the galaxy was a better build.) but it was sense that pulled me back to the amaze. I've never had a single issue with sense and the features that it brings to the table make it less bloated for me since I don't have to download and run a ton of third party apps to make my phone do what sense already does out of the box. people gripe about sense but I just don't see it. I even try to reproduce the problems I read about but am unable to. I'm beginning to think its now the cool thing to bash sense sight unseen.

s14tat says:

The problem with sense is that its is very resource heavy. If you look at the task manager and see how much free ram you have, Sense 3.0 and higher takes up so much space you would be lucky to have 300 megs of ram free on the phone. It really does slow the phone down noticeably based on how choppy the thing moves. On touchwiz based phones like the epic 4g touch, you usually have 600 megs of ram free. Big difference.

bigcatman says:

Having the Rezound as my first smartphone, and then switching to the GNex..I don't feel like I could go back to skins. If the skins actually incorporated the designs of ICS instead of, what appears to be, nothing more than GB, I would consider it. I really don't want to buy an OEM phone just to put a launcher on it. I'm really hoping that Moto makes Blur look at least a little like ICS. From the leaked RAZR build, it certainly looks like it.

HTC needs to get with the program.

mr nruz says:

thats it just a redesigned launcher and roboto on the clock widget

and no not better than touchwiz. maybe 3.0 but not 4.0

bama4life916 says:

Oh well its simple if you don't like a product do not purchase it,you can't make a smartphone to satisfy everyone......that's why we have so many options ......purchase the one that best fit your needs. You cannot find a phone that everyone likes.

bama4life916 says:

Just get an iPhone its as close to perfect as ur gonna get.........hahahahahahaha!!!!!!!

JeffDenver says:

If your idea of perfection is having a nanny tell you what you can do 24/7, then yeah, I agree.

kitchin says:

touchwiz 4.0 is the best skin out there besides native ics, which I absolutely adore. Still a fan of my SGSIIE4GT and touchwiz, I stay on roms with it as the launcher, just different color schemes. Works great

ODAAT says:

People who dismiss Beats probably don't have it on their phone. Believe me, it makes a difference. Looking forward to Sense 4 on my Sensation XE anyway. If I don't like it I can always put on a different ROM, what with my phone being fully rooted and all. People need to lighten up. I like Sense. It looks great and runs smoothly.

JeffDenver says:

The one feature I would like to see in Sense is an "off" button.

(And dont give me that crap about "OMG it is integrated you cant just turn it off!!1!1!). Because I know that is bullshit. You can end all those stupid processes polluting my RAM and can get rid your your launcher, and Lock screen ect...


HTC has now reached the point where sense is looking less goof than vanilla Android. They should focus on their old core-competences. Good hardware (nowadys severely lacking, not specwise but in form of low level components) and software, that uses what's good and stuffs the holes of the given OS where necessary. They tried to blow up HTC Sense to some kind of ecosystem which means, that it exists for the reason of existing. That won't work cause people buy android, since they can easily switch formfactors and manufacturers but still get the same OS, experience and Apps to run. Sense lost when it started to prevent that. HTC makes top notch widgets, productivity apps and they did top notch hardware back in the day. They should stick to that and let ICS shine, where it shines - and there is a lot, that get's now covered with tons and tons of heavy weight Sensenes... That's the way to go, if HTC want's to keep up with Samsung.

qweqweqwe123 says:

Sense 3 on my Sensation looks better. I dont want this upgrade.

evobb100 says:

I love HTC Phone with special camera like Org EVO and quad core Waw I can't wait on Sprint this May

Crispy says:

So, does everyone still think Sense is the best oem skin? Are the monstrosities known as Touchwiz and Motoblur that much worse?

dkotoric says:

no I would take Touchwiz over Sense any time. However I can't decide whats worse Motoblur or Sense. Sense seems faster but completely destroys the look and feel of stock android while Motoblur looks more like stock but for some unknown reason always lags.

gale7273 says:

as long as it has the compact keyboard...its gonna be htc for me!!! I refuse to get a phone that doesn't have the compact keyboard, just so much easier and faster to text with!!!