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Unannounced device also starting to appear in retailer inventory systems

As we count down the days to HTC's Feb. 19 announcement event, the rumors surrounding its upcoming "M7" handset are starting to intensify. The latest details to appear come from UK tech blog Pocket-Lint, which claims to have knowledge of some unique technology at work in the phone's rear camera.

Earlier rumors had suggested the device would pack a 13-megapixel camera, but Pocket-Lint, citing "sources familiar with the matter," says that's not quite true. Instead, it reports that the M7 camera will feature a 4.3 "ultrapixel" sensor consisting of three 4.3-megapixel sensor layers, one for each primary color, which combine to form a single image. So while technically a total of 13 megapixels will be captured, the end result will be a much sharper 4.3-megapixel image.

It's a technique similar to what's used in Nokia's 808 Pureview phone, with its whopping 41-megapixel rear camera. That device can use similar trickery to produce sharper 8-megapixel images. But HTC's method, it's said, is unique in that it uses a multi-layered sensor rather than larger, single-layer setup. That's apparently where the "ultrapixel" branding comes in -- effectively, it's a 4.3-megapixel camera, but the use of multiple layers means it should be far superior to standard sensors of this size.

In other M7 news, the device has appeared in inventory systems over at Carphone Warehouse in the UK, and Vodafone in Germany. The two separate leaks seem to confirm that the M7 will initially ship in black and silver versions. As for the final marketing name, we're still not convinced that "M7" is anything other than a codename, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens at HTC's launch events in London and NYC on Feb. 19.

Source: Pocket-Lint (2), PhoneArena