HTC One.

It's been quite a morning here in New York, and after weeks of leaks, anticipation and rumors, the HTC One is officially official. In case you're waking up late, we're talking about a design overhaul here, complete with metal chassis, 4.7-inch 1080p display, and Sense 5.0. The highlights here aren't so much the specs-- though the Snapdragon 600 chip and 2GB of RAM are nothing to sneeze at-- as they are the features HTC has built from the ground up, including the Ultrapixel camera complete with "Zoe", Sense 5's new BlinkFeed homescreen experience, and BoomSound. Hit the break for our initial impressions.

In hand, the HTC One feels exactly as it should: sturdy, sleek, and light as a feather. Its design borrows from HTC's own DNA and 8X as well as the iPhone's diamond-cut edges and aluminum finish. It's simply stunning, and is by and large the most beautiful device HTC has ever created. That 4.7-inch display utilizes HTC's tried and true LCD3 technology and manages to pack a whopping 1920x1080 pixels for a downright eye-popping PPI. It's one of the brightest displays I've ever seen, and matches the DNA's "wow" factor in terms of saturation, color reproduction and viewing angles. This display seems just a hair brighter and more vibrant than the DNA, so it's entirely possible that HTC made some last-minute tweaks to perfect it's technology. And for those who were hoping for a 5-inch (or larger) screen size, I can say with confidence that HTC has struck a balance between size and usability.

HTC One.

But again, the specs here only tell half the story: what HTC is really proud of here are the hand-crafted elements of Sense 5 that really make the One stand out. One such element is BlinkFeed, a total redesign of the Sense homescreen experience. Think of it as an amalgam of Windows' LiveTiles and Android's widgets-- HTC says that the experience will maximize the 30-second intervals that pop up throughout your day in which you look to your phone for content. Your homescreen will update regularly with the live feeds you choose, and HTC already has over 100 content partners including AP, MTV, and ESPN. As an ESPN executive explained at today's unveiling, this is just one more way for his company provide content beyond the traditional borders.

Another main differentiator for the HTC One is BoomSound, a set of dual stereo speakers located on the front of the smartphone. Paired with the internal Beats driver, HTC says that the experience will completely change the way you think of sound on your smartphone. Even in this morning's crowded venue, the speakers produce clear and vivid sound without a hint of distortion. It's not going to replace your home surround sound system, but this is a remarkable step in the right direction, and just the latest piece in HTC's stellar track history in mobile audio technology.

HTC One.

The true highlight of the HTC One, without much doubt, is the "Ultrapixel" camera. HTC stressed today that gone are the days of megapixels, something the manufacturer called a "sales myth." Cut to ultrapixels-- four million pixels stuffed onto the One's sensor. They're able to take in 300% more light than the typical 8 megapixel camera. Paired with HTC's ImageSense chip, this may just be the best low-light performer on the market today. To compliment the hardware, HTC has thrown in some goodies on the software side, including the HTC Zoe, a seamless blend of images and video to give you a tapestry of the content you just shot. Sense can string these Zoes into "highlights" complete with filters, sound clips, and transitions all automatically-- dare I call it a "Vine" created independently by Sense? As you'll see in our hands-on video, these features truly do change the way you think of your smartphone camera, regardless of how often or enthusiastically you'll use them.

This is finally a phone from HTC worth waiting for, a perfect blend of exciting software innovation and striking hardware design. It'll face still competition from Samsung, Motorola, and Apple in the coming year, but HTC knows that, and has created a device with the guts to compete. We'll dig much deeper into Sense 5 and the HTC One in the coming weeks, and according to HTC, you'll be able to grab your own by the end of March. 

 

Reader comments

HTC One hands-on

87 Comments

I can't say it enough, but I REALLY love the looks of this phone. Easily my personal favorite for best looking Android device ever.

Looks sweet! Not loving the power button placement though and why does HTC need to gunk up my notification tray with an "enable power saving mode" toggle? They did that on the One X + and I hated it.

I've gotten used to it on my EVO LTE, but it sure would be nice if we could turn it off and remove from the tray completely.

What's with all of the leaping over padded walls in the background??

Tech event entertainment. So weird...

I'm at the event too and have had some hands on - really digging the Blink Feed, HTC really reimagined the different elements of things. The lyrics feature of the music app is pretty fun. The low light photo results look pretty fine, and while I couldn't really put video through its paces, I am very excited about the improvements in its sound recording. The phone feels VERY premium and ergonomics are great, really easy and light to hold. So happy it's coming to Tmobile... I Want - badly!

I would love to run this on T-Mobile as well.

I'm assuming off contract pricing to be $600-650 for the 32GB, and 64GB to run around $100 more. Hopefully those details drop soon.

This phone seems impressive but I am not as convinced after seeing a photo that ABC posted as a "sample shot". Despite them boosting about the awesome camera as well, the shot had a LOT of noise in a fairly low lit room and it didn't seem that much different than any smartphone I've seen. (and low lighting is something I am especially interested in". I even compared my current epic 4g touch against my brothers evo lte and mine took better low light pictures (less noise and better color) This phone itself is probably the nicest android phone I have seen, and I am very impressed! I just want to see some photos from the camera. So far nokia has me pretty impressed as well as the iphone as far as cameras go.

love the looks of the phone but sense blows, also as a HTC DNA owner I do feel a slight downgrade considering I have a 5 inch screen on the DNA.

Downgrade? Lol. Screen sizes is a preference not something for a spec sheet, but if you want to play the screen game this has a Much higher PPI, that your DNA. And this has better internals than your DNA with the Snapdragon 600.

Looks nice, don't like the way BB10 and HTC One try to hide the big bezel with the black backed glass... I might have missed it but I assume no MicroSD or removable battery. Also didn't see anything about wireless charging. Nothing here to win me over. Looking forward to Samsung's announcement of the SG4!

If the SC4 is another plastic phone then you might just get wireless charging.

The charging port placed on the bottom rather than the side will inconvenience me more for easy portability use for navigation in car or simply using supported in hand while connected to charging. This, the external focus and shoot duel stage camera button, and kickstand will keep me satisfied with the awesome stylish aluminum unibody HTC EVO LTE longer than what I want from this extraordinary new HTC One. With this appropriate brand / model unification to compete with the plastic touchwiz to win over hearts and minds of the vast global market, I doubt yet still hope for the outstanding new hardware and Sense features in.a Sprint HTC EVO derivative as I illustrated at the beginning of this post.

I am seriously thinking of selling my note 2 and buying this phone on tmobile and drop my slow sprint connection. This is one sweet looking phone. 2gb of ram, beats, htc sense which I have always liked and amazing screen. The sad thing is, that if samsung had made their gs3 and note 2 some type of metal case also I would not even look twice at this phone. But metal phones just take more of a beating and in most situations wont need a case to cover the sleekness of the phone.

So how many normal android homescreens are there? Also, does anybody else think it's confusing/annoying how the app drawer is laid out? Going back to Gingerbread vertical scroll and all that space at the top for the weather widget thing? huh?

Vertical scroll is used for a set of unified functions wheres horizontal slides are different functions.Therefore, going back to vertical slide for the app drawer makes sense. These software engineers are not making foolish arbitrary choices.

So...where's the recent apps switcher? Long-press of the back button?

Edit: Ah, double tap the home button. iOS converts should feel right at home (single press for home, double press for multitasking, long press for search). I guess I should have read the preview first.

Also, is the fact that they didn't talk about battery life at all (based on the live blog) when every phone company knows that's something we all care about, a bad sign?

Hardware looks really nice. But 2 major issues here, the lockscreen button, there is no way can turn it off with my index finger or thumb on the right hand. Second, 2x tap to get to now, home or long press for search? Not going to work for anyone. It needs 3 buttons.

And then is SENSE so few app icons, hideous icons. Why earth do they think they can make a better app than flipboard? This looks like a good looking failure to me, I was really looking forward to this!

well honestly i dont see any much innovation in this phone, it looks like a combo of iphone5 n z10, in software dept. it looks a combo of android n windows, Same quad core. the only thing to be blown away by r the built quality of phone, camera n that sound system.. other than that i feel its a disappointment. ppl will buy it on the moto of good looks n brilliant screen, but personally i still feel feature wise note2 is much bettern than this.

Your opinion counts, but not everyone wants a phone as large as the Note II. I don't, and that's why there are many other Android options.

ya sure i understand that.. well its my opinion that if u r not lookin for a good quality built phone n want feature rich phone then first note2 n then S3 r my selection. but u r entitled to have ur own pick man.

Can't lie the phone looks sexy as most HTC devices but the Sense software is just not as stock android as I want but should be fun to play with on Sense 5 any who...if they do better marketing and all carriers gets it at the same time.very quickly they could be back in the game ...good luck HTC....will definitely play with it when it lands on T-Mobile

The phone looks amazing, but that new version of sense looks hideous in the photos. Hopefully it's better in person.

Meh... My wife has an EVO 4G LTE... there isn't anything with this phone that would make her want to upgrade. I have a Note 2, and there is absolutely nothing on this new HTC phone that makes me feel inferior.....at all. Quite Honestly, Phil doesn't seem too excited with it either.

Eh, it remains to be seen. At this point, most of the following are safe to assume compared to the Note 2:

-One has a MUCH faster processor
-One has a MUCH better screen
-One has a better camera (remains to be seen, but I'm certainly intrigued)
-One has MUCH better build quality and design (no hands on, but I'd bet the house that this is true)

The Note II is a different class of device entirely - the bigger screen and pen ensure that. But in terms of the nitty gritty - screen quality, camera and speed - it will lose out big time to the One. And that's only natural; it's a generation ahead. If you like your bigger screen, removable battery and SD card, go ahead and keep em. At least with Android, the choice is yours.

The biggest and most important factor to the everday user will be Sense 5 and how it stacks up against Touchwiz. That's personal preference for sure.

The Htc One is not the Galaxy Note 2 never will be. Compare the Htc One to the Htc Dna, Galaxy S3, Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, Razr Maxx Hd, One X+, Htc Evo 4g Lte, Lg Nexus 4, Lg Optimus G, these are normal smartphones. The Galaxy Note 2 is on a level entirely on it's own the only thing that can and will compare is the upcoming Galaxy Note 3 and Lg Optimus G pro. This Htc One is a joke compared to the Note 2 let's not get it twisted software and features solution alone as well as the Spen, pop up browser, and multi Window feature simply pisses all over this Htc One. We won't even discuss 64gb sdxc card expansion as well as the industry leading battery life achieved by the Galaxy Note 2. Pretty sure battery life between the Galaxy Note 2 and Htc One won't be no comparison either. If you own the Galaxy Note 2 be proud all these handsets arriving to market in the next 90 days are all trying their hardest to catch up to Samsung and the Galaxy Note 2 generally.

"The Htc One is not the Galaxy Note 2 never will be." What was your first clue? The different names of the devices in question, or the different names of the manufacturers who make them?
"Compare the Htc One to the Htc Dna, Galaxy S3, Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, Razr Maxx Hd, One X+, Htc Evo 4g Lte, Lg Nexus 4, Lg Optimus G" Why? Because you say so? You do realize you're trying to compare what is quite literally last year's phones, with this years new flagship phone? You might as well be comparing a laptop from 2 years ago, to a laptop released just yesterday. Idiot.
"The Galaxy Note 2 is on a level entirely on it's own" Love Divine stated as much. Why do you feel the need to bolster a viewpoint on which you both agree? Try some of that reading and comprehension. It'll help in situations like this.
"This Htc One is a joke compared to the Note 2" And yet, with the exception of screen size and a dinky little stylus, the HTC One has the same or better specs than the Note 2. What a joke indeed.
"We won't even discuss 64gb sdxc card expansion" No smartphone uses "sdxc" cards. Smartphones use Micro SD cards. Completely different in size and form factor. Get it right, or shut up.

Different purposes true.

Yet a lot of recent Note buyers who want the features and convenience of the new HTC One are posting their intention of returning their recently acquired phablets prior to expiration of their evaluation period with the intent of acquiring the new HTC One based on what it features.

BTW clearzero is referring to richardyarrell's post.

With the exception of Apple, all of these companies have no concept of photography. They all keep making cameras that are TOO WIDE to be used in making acceptable portraits, and most shots taken end up distorted. Of course, the advantage is greater depth of field where auto focus isn't as difficult to achieve.

It's unbelievable to me that no other company other than Apple (and possibly Nokia) seems to want to compete. They need to hire actual photographers to help design their photo experience. Adding more gee-whiz gizmos isn't the answer.

I completely agree. Problem is that Apple work in the opposite direction of most other OEM's. Apple thinks about the end user experience first and then figures out how to make that happen with hardware. Just about every other OEM on the planet thinks about how they can push the specs forward first and then trys to shoehorn those specs into a user experience.

Sense is going in a totally wrog direction for me.

Stock android looks ten times better and from the short clip is better laid out to.

That's an awfully awkward place to put the power button. To turn it on with one hand, you can't support the bottom of the phone, so it seems like you would be at risk of dropping it rather easily. I don't care what other features it has and how nice they are. If I have to use two hands to turn the phone on, I'm not interested.

I have to agree with most of the comments about the looks. It's a very sharp, clean looking phone. HTC has always been really good at hardware design and this does not disappoint.

The non-removable battery does concern me, but not a deal killer until we see some real world testing. As as for Sense, I would really love for HTC to strip Sense down as much a they can to almost a stock experience.

1080p screen, quad core processor, 2gb of RAM, 32gb of memory seems all good to me. The camera, honestly I could really care less. I'm not a photo buff so again not a deal breaker.

Curious to see what this will be priced at? Especially with the S4 right around the corner.

Look wise, it's what iphone5 should have been. Bet you if iphone5 looked like this with 4.7" screen, it would have sold like crazy. However, I'm intrigued by the "new" htc. So much so that I might give this a second look before I buy a Note 3 or whatever version is on the market at the time of purchase.

The iPhone 5 is the best selling phone ...EVER? That said I don't see how 4.7" is a look? Certainly a spec but never a look. Might explain why Apple doesn't really care about 4.7. They seem to be doing OK without 4.7"

I do agree that this phone looks really good though. Clearly the first phone to be anywhere near iPhone quality of build.

I suppose this is really going to come down to the camera, isn't it?

Kudos to HTC for having the cojones to point out that photosites and sensor size are way more important than megapixels. I was really hoping for a Foveon-style color filter, but this is a huge step in the right direction.

Now we just get to hope they put halfway decent glass on it... and wait to see what the Nexus 5 brings.

I would have like it to have the optical track button as a Home button right where the HTC logo is located. You can scroll on it, you can press on it (single, double press, and press&hold). For large screen phone where you are only using a single hand, it would good to be able to reach--with the scroller--icons or other action UIs on the screen where the thumb can't reach.

I have the original Note, I love it. However, I hate its capacitive buttons: I always unexpectedly exit my game when I glide my finger in the bottom area of the screen during a game.

I really like this phone but coming from T989 with aokp 4.2.2 i really hate sense... in my opinion is uglier every year...

The North Face thanks you for the free advertising in the video :P...

I tend to get HTC phones about six months after they debut when they tend to be cheaper. But somehow hope this one doesn't get dumped on the market later...

I would love to get this phone. Looks great to me, but I don't like HTC. They probably won't upgrade this phone. They only updated my Evo 3d once even though their have been 3 updates to android since this phone came out. Unless they can get their act together with updates I won't ever buy HTC.

They have been great with my EVO 4G LTE. I've gotten about 3 updates since I've gotten it. I'm sure they will be fine with upgrades, especially since they are only launching a single device worldwide they can focus on releasing updates for just 1 phone.

Have used htc phones for quite some time and have for the most part enjoyed them. Switch to galaxy note 2 and couldn't be happier and not switching any time soon. Does look like a great phone but too late. They dropped the ball on how they treated the evo.

This phone looks like an HTC concept phone pic that was circulating over the internet way before the EVO 4G LTE

When I look at the front of the phone I think of a iPhone 5 or Blackbery Z10. Then I look at the back and see the curved back and fall in love with it like most andoid phones. I don't like flat backs on a phone. The S3 has a fairly flat back. I wish it was shaped more like the gray/silver bezel, and that is exactly how it will be shaped when I purchase Samsung's Extended Battery.

Yea, definitely gettnig this phone for my bday next month...buying it outright, so no contract either. selling my GS3 and getting rid of htis crappy touchwiz BS and going back home to Sense...was gonna leave Sprint and goto verizon, but since they arent getting it, looks like its ATT for me...definitely a good comeback for HTC after they dropped the ball on the Evo LTE and One X and One X+ phones, easily the best smart PHONES from last year....the day that Iphones and Galaxy's are revered as, "arent really all that great"...(personal opinion of course)...will be the greatest day of my life...

This is really truly amazing phone..the most sexy phone I've ever see..all they need now is a good marketing team.

This is fine and good, but I'm not holding my breath because i guarantee every review in a month is gonna complain and complain and complain about battery life. AKA Samsung wins yet again.

Hmmm, I am usually an HTC fan, but this doesn't impress me. I don't really like the hardware, especially the rounded back. How could they not utilize the space for the HTC logo as an input button? The software doesn't look very impressive to me either. I feel bad for HTC, I really wanted to like this phone.