Don't get too excited yet, however; details still loom

HTC overnight on its Facebook page publicly confirmed what it first told us some weeks ago (and that we've largely expected anyway) -- that some current phones will receive updates that contain some features of Sense 5, which will make its debut in the coming weeks on the new HTC One.

Devices specifically mentioned were the HTC One X, One X+ and One S -- from the original "HTC One" line of 2012 -- as well as the HTC Butterfly, which was the first 1080p display phone that emerged late in the year.


Wrote HTC:

HTC will be offering upgrades to some of its existing devices in the next few months, including global variants of HTC One X, One X+, One S and the HTC Butterfly. Also, note that some features enabled by the new HTC One hardware will not be available in the software updates.

That second sentence is the key, however. Not all Sense 5 features will be added to current devices. That's hardly a new phenomenon -- HTC's been working updates like that for a few generations now. It's a balance between previous-generation hardware and next-generation software.

More: The HTC One forums

So we don't yet know what Sense 5 features could make their way to older devices. The HTC One X, One X+ and One S have half the RAM as the HTC Butterfly, for example. And none of those phones has the newer Snapdragon 600 processor that's in the HTC One. Same goes for the updated ImageSense processor.


If we had to wager a guess, it's entirely possible that some of photo features found in Sense 5 in the HTC One will be off the table. That goes back to the difference in Snapdragon processor versions as well as HTC's image processor. Presumably the new homescreen layout -- with BlinkFeed allowing for quick "snacking" of news and social streams -- wouldn't present as many technical challenges.

And then there's the usual mess of upgrading phones in the United States, where everything and everything has to go through the operator. It's possible they might not want to undergo the time and expense of such a major update. We hope that's not the case, but stranger things have happened. Plus, we're still waiting on the AT&T HTC One X to get its first, long-awaited  update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, to say nothing about a major feature update.

Also: Read our complete HTC One preview

Also note that the Droid DNA -- essentially Verizon's version of the HTC Butterfly -- isn't specifically mentioned. Nor is any other specific U.S. version.

Updates to current phones that will bring Sense 5-like features aren't that much of a surprise. But until we get more details -- there's a lot missing here, still -- we're not going to break out the champagne just yet.

Source: Facebook


Reader comments

HTC confirms some current devices will get Sense 5, or at least parts of it


since the one x/x+/s is getting sense 5, does this mean there is some hope that the evo lte is going to get it too? or did htc secretly kill the evo lte so they can be ready for the new htc one?

EVO LTE is a "global variant" of the One X. Plus, Sprint gave the EVO Jelly Bean before AT&T gave the One X Jelly Bean, so that's a good sign.

I think the term "global variant" refers to international versions that get updates directly from HTC, and are not dependent on carriers to push them.

Sprint is hardly global. They have their hands full being regional. Being national is for them still a dream, and global isn't even on their radar.

Oh please, that's just ridiculous. Sprint is a national carrier. Their coverage may be bad in some rural areas, but most people in most areas of the U.S. get coverage without roaming. There is a difference between slow coverage and no coverage, you know.

Contrast that with networks like C Spire, which mainly operates in the South. I'm pretty sure their customers roam a whole lot more while traveling than those of Sprint.

The international versions are still sold locked on many networks if you buy them subsidised but however still require operators to push them. But European operators are much more friendly towards updates, and generally approve them within a week.

Icebike, WTF are you blabbing about? Sprint most certainly is a national carrier. They have almost the same coverage as Verizon and AT&T.

As for the Evo LTE, I don't know why HTC would mention all the One X's and not the Evo LTE, but there is a good chance the Evo LTE will fall into those models getting the updates. Personally, I would be more interested in the newer version of Jellybean than some of the Sense stuff. However, I know that HTC ties it all together.

They have the same coverage as Verizon because they ROAM on Verizon.
They are very cagy about never telling you just how much of the coverage is theirs as opposed to Verizons.

But my main point is that Sprint does not use anything that is remotely like an international edition of a HOX, or any other carriers phones.

This story is about Global phones, not carrier specific phones.

Xfactor (i think is the name) released a Bootloader unlock for the One XL variant, and so there's tons of JB roms available now :) I've got JellyBam and its running 4.2.2. Pretty slick.

I figured this would be question number 1!

Sprint has been really great with updates! I wouldn't be surprised if we have it pretty quick once it's released.

I really don't understand how the EVO aka EVOLUTION just EVOlved into oblivion -_- It is so frustrating that HTC does not finish what it starts. Then they wonder why they aren't making any money. They re-made the "one" like 4 times lol. The one, Then One BETA, The One.2 BETA and The One.3 BETA.

Guess the EVO is going to get the HTC Sense-less Update, the lock screen and nothing else bwahahahaha.

I think the EVO 4G LTE can handle it.
(I would hope so)

Although the allure of this NEW hardware gave me a Phoner...

Sounds like the Droid DNA will not be getting it. I think I might return it now on top of unable to root since update. HTC you have been letting me down. I wanted to stay with you guys..

To HTC, the DNA IS the Butterfly. (They refer to it as such offline) It WILL get it. Now, when will Verizon allow you to have it, that's the real story.

If they want to sell some phones they should make an announcement that as an option you can get a vanilla stock version of Android on their phones through htcdev or something. I'd consider buying an HTC device again if they did that, even with their hardware issues.

Seeing that the writer should provide some definition of the subject they are covering; this article fails. The phones may be getting Sense 5. I suppose everyone in Android world are experts or geeks so actually mentioning what Sense 5 is would dumb down the article too much. Even the review and blogs on ios are mostly written so that more people can get a complete message in an article but the writing here seems to target a small scope of in the know people.

What the heck needs to be dumbed down in Apple land that Apple hasn't already done for you?

That's like suggesting pre-cooked meals should also be pre-digested.


Maybe he wants to avoid all that messy eating business all together and jump straight to the anal retention stage, in which case the feculent products from Apple would be right up his alley.

There is this thing called Google, check it out. In the time it took you to write that you could have been well informed.

Maybe you would know if you read the HTC One preview; there's a whole section on Sense 5 and how it's different from Sense 4.x. Still lost? Read the intro here ( I'm sure the AC writers will begin work on a similar guide as soon as they get their review unit(s).

Normally people will be a whole lot nicer to you if you simply adjust your tone. If you had said, "Noob question: What's HTC Sense?" people would have gladly explained that Sense is the collection of proprietary modifications HTC makes to Android to differentiate their phones from those of their competitors. Other Android manufacturers do similar things; for example, TouchWiz and Emotion UI are Sense's counterparts from Samsung and Huawei, respectively. Historically, Sense has been something if a resource hog, causing HTC phones to lag sometimes, even on the "lag-free" Jelly Bean (the latest version of Android). While some people enjoy the added functionality of Sense, others find the performance to be unacceptably lacking. I fall somewhere in the middle, and YMMV. Lots of readers on this site prefer "vanilla" Android (i.e. as Google makes it, without added modifications) to manufacturer "skins." This version of Android can be most easily obtained by buying a Nexus device instead of a manufacturer- or carrier-branded device.

What?!? If you don't know what Sense is, it is your responsibility to go and find the information.

If you're suggestion is taken, every article here will be 10,000 words long. Sorry, but I don't agree with you at all.

Think about this for a minute. HTC is saying that some handsets hardware cannot handle Sense 5. If that's the case, then they are basically admitting that Sense is a resource hog.

And on top of that, if the new version of Sense cannot be used on older hardware then it would make sense that they're basically saying the newer version of Sense uses even more resources and is a bigger hog that previous versions of Sense

This is the exact reason that shake they should not included on their phones

Different phones have different processors and cameras. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with Sense being a "resource hog".

Seriously.. I almost can't believe that my One X STILL doesnt even have 4.1. Its incredible, since I've been using 4.1 since July when I got my Nexus 7. Of course, this isn't HTCs fault, but AT&T is really horrendously slow

Ok seriously stop blaming HTC it's not HTC fault, HTC didn't go hey we're going to release the one X on at&t and we're going to give Sprint some other version, sprints the one who changed the one x to their liking, htc is focusing on the phones they made the one X/X+/S, now of Sprint wants to work with HTC to get us that sense 4++ (5-) whatever they call it great if not blame Sprint not HTC :-)

ever since Verizon sent this new update out my phone sucks it's very unstable they need to get their act together we can't even root our phone now and then they wonder why people root thelr phones if I don't get the update HTC can kiss my ass I'll go back to Apple