HTC One

Next-generation hardware meets bold software changes as HTC forges ahead after a tumultuous 2012

Take a seat, folks. This is going to take a little explaining. HTC today at simultaneous events in London and New York once again rebooted itself. Yes, it did so a year ago at Mobile World Congress with the launch of the HTC One line. Only what was to be a singular brand built with low-, mid-range and high-end phones (the HTC One V, One S and One X) was diluted into any number of variants in any number of markets. It was business as usual, and HTC paid the price for it financially in a 2012 that saw Samsung bring more chips to the table than anyone while playing the same winning hands over and over with the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2.

Also: HTC One specs; hands-on with the HTC One

Something had to change. Of that there should be no disagreement. And so today we have the HTC One, which until today has been going by its nom de plume, M7. HTC has taken its 2012 sigil -- which never really worked as an overarching brand name for multiple devices -- and recast it, literally and figuratively, in a single body. One phone. One vision. And, as we said at the outset, a good bit of explaining is required.

On one hand, HTC is continuing down the trail it's walked (or blazed, company execs will remind you) for years. Custom software. Powerful hardware. And in a more recent discovery for HTC, quality audio and optics. All of these things continue with the HTC One. But they're going to require letting go some of the old ways of thinking about smartphones in general, and with the Android experience in particular. You'll know your way around the HTC One just fine, but there's also a lot more to explore.

What follows is a preview of things to come. We've got the usual initial hands-on posts and, later, our full review. But consider this your guide. A roadmap to what's new, what excites us -- and what concerns us -- in the HTC One.

The HTC One (M7)

What to look for from the hardware

HTC One

The HTC One is born from a single block of aluminum with a 4.7-inch Super LCD 3 display on top and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor and Adreno 320 GPU tucked inside. On paper, Qualcomm boasts a 40 percent improvement over the Snapdragon S4 Pro, which powered much of 2012's fleet.

The design follows that of the HTC 8X and the Droid DNA, with the battery sandwiched between the display and circuit board, allowing thinner edges and that teardrop shape.

It’s got a 2,300 mAh embedded battery. No more camera hump. (In fact, it's recessed ever so slightly.) And, yes, a new two-button scheme down at the bottom -- back and home, flanking the HTC logo (which doesn't actually do anything). That’s going to be the cause of much gnashing of teeth, but you can still get to the task-switcher by double-tapping the home key, and load Google Now by long-pressing it.

 

As for audio, the HTC One has dual front stereo speakers (no more flipping your phone face-down on a desk) and they’re extremely loud and clear, something HTC puts down to its larger speaker chambers. For bass enthusiasts, Beats Audio remains on board as well. And it's all got a name -- "BoomSound."

A new HTC Sense

HTC One

The software side is where things get really interesting.

The HTC One is running Android 4.1.2 and the all new HTC Sense 5, which includes a Flipboard-esque "BlinkFeed" view in addition to a more traditional Android home screen experience, and a revamped app drawer.

Sense 5 has been significantly rebuilt over the previous iteration. It's taken on a more sleek look and feel, with fonts based off Android's "Roboto" standard. You still have app shortcuts on the lock screen, as well as the ability to add notifications along with weather info.

Certainly the biggest change is Blink Feed. The idea is that HTC's giving you a quick way to check on what's happening in the world as well as your world with a host of news feeds as well as hooks into Facebook and Twitter. (No Google+ yet, unfortunately.) While Blink Feed is on the home screen, it's not the only home screen. Swipe over and you get a more traditional view, with the usual app icons and widgets. The iconic clock has been replaced by default, but it's still available if you so choose.

And the app drawer has been redesigned as well. The grid size can be customized, apps can be rearranged and put into folders directly inside the app drawer, and there’s a search button up top. The new Sense 5 home screen dynamic seems centered on hopping between Blink Feed and this new app drawer, and that’s arguably a better fit for “civilian” users who don’t obsess over customizing their devices.

The HTC One camera - a new way of thinking

Introducing 'Ultrapixels'

HTC One

Everybody talks about how "megapixels aren't everything." That's not a new premise, and it's one we've repeated for quite some time. The HTC One sees the introduction of "Ultrapixels." The idea is simple. While the end result is an image with the equivalent size of 4 megapixels -- 4 million (more or less) little dots -- each individual pixel on the sensor is larger in the HTC One -- with things now at 2.0 microns. By comparison, the HTC One X used 1.4-micron pixels. So the HTC One gets more light -- 300 percent more than a standard 8MP sensor, HTC claims -- and that means better images, particularly in low light.

The flip side is that you'll probably end up seeing a lot of "OMG it only has a 4-megapixel camera" statements. That's going to be an uphill battle for HTC, but it's not an insurmountable one.

For those keeping track of camera technologies, the HTC One’s shooter features Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) to help counteract motion blurring. A second-generation HTC ImageChip is included too, speeding up the task of peeling images off the sensor. That allows the phone to record not just HDR photos but HDR videos (a feature you might remember from the Sony Xperia Z.) So theres plenty of imaging tech working away behind the scenes.

Zoes, highlights and other sharing awesomeness

Taking pictures is what's up just one of HTC's sleeves. Presenting your images is about to become a lot more fun. The idea of using short video clips and plucking still images out of them -- so you can be sure to get the perfect shot -- isn't new. Any number of manufacturers has been doing that for some time not. But HTC is taking these little pre- and post- videos -- called "Zoes" (look up Zoetrope if that makes no sense to you) and turning them into little highlight clips. An apt description is the sort of moving pictures you'd see in one of the "Harry Potter" movies. At a technical level, a Zoe is made up of five stills taken before you press the shutter and fifteen afterwards, as well as three seconds of video. That means when you load up the gallery app, you’re presented with an animated tapestry rather than just a grid of static images.

Beyond that, Sense 5 can also string together a series of Zoes into "Highlights," automatically identifying groups of pictures/videos and making 30-second highlight reels, complete with background music and effects.

That's the oversimplified version. We'll have much more later, including on how you'll be able to share all this new stuff. And if you're thinking it's a little gimmicky, you're right. But it's also very cool to see in action.

Much more to come

As we said at the outset, this is merely a primer for what we’re seeing today in London and New York for the HTC One. There’s a lot to wrap our brains around. Proper first looks. Full reviews. Camera tests. The new software. But this much we know -- there are a lot of good things in this 4.7-inch package. And there are a few that we’re not yet sure about.

These are tumultuous times for HTC, financially as well as in terms of its place in the smartphone world. A David-versus-Goliath metaphor is too easy, but it’s also not far off, and it’s still got two giants in Samsung and Apple stomping around. One stone’s probably not going to reshape HTC’s world, and there’s a lot of risk in the HTC One. Rebooted branding. A new way of thinking about camera optics. A new home screen paradigm. And, frankly, hardcore users who can be afraid of change.

It’s a risk. But that’s something, for better or worse, HTC has always embraced.

 

Reader comments

HTC One: Your guide to the 2013 Android reboot

166 Comments

it's 4megapixel camera with bigger pixel :D

tbh, megapixel number is nothing. My 4 years old 5 megapixels poin'n'shoot camera has better photos than any smartphones that have 8 megapixels :D

The problem with cell phone cameras has always been that the CCD (the array of digital "eyes") is significantly smaller than what you'd find in a digital point and shoot, for obvious reason.

It's a common misconception that more megapixels = better image quality. The truth of it is that as the individual pixels on the CCD get smaller, they receive less light, which generally results in the grainy, low-detail images we're all used to with cell phone cameras. I think this is one place where Apple actually got it right, and decided that 5mp was actually a "sweet spot".

What HTC is doing here is to make each "pixel" on the CCD larger, which will allow it to receive more light, and therefore more detail.

To put the size into perspective, when we start talking about 1.4 micron vs 2 microns: a stand of spider silk is about 5 microns across :)

I think HTC's going the correct route to improve camera image quality, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Actually you're not quite correct. The reason people (photogenic photographers) say megapixels is not the most important aspect for cameras is due to the importance of a good image sensor. So far a image sensor of a smartphone cannot compare to a DSLR, Compact, Good Point-and-Shoots because of the size constraints. If a cellphone does not have a good image sensor, than it needs to at least have a good amount of megapixels.

Phone camera's are really nice when you need to capture a moment, without your dslr camera with you. That means the ration in which you press the capture button and your shutter working must be short as possible to instant. In this case you may not have time to compose your pictures, and later find unwanted objects in your photo. That means you need post processing, just simple ones like cropping. In order to keep your photo at a acceptable level it will need a good amount of megapixels from keeping the photo from becoming pixeleated.

So technically megapixel is "something" at it's most basic concept.

You are absolutely correct. As a semi pro photographer I laugh at people that hate on my D100 and D200 DSLRS. They throw the megapixel thing at me and I just walk away. A DSLR sensor is far larger than the puny sensor in a cell phone and does not have the glass to make stunning photos. People are fixated on megapixels when they really have no clue on what all goes into making a stunning picture.

It looks nice, but yea, it definitely needs to live up to the hype, considering they're *still* not backing down on the battery and storage issues. The battery better make it through a solid day of moderate use. No exceptions.

And 32 gigs is fine as long as the price is right. I don't want to pay through the nose for 32 gigs of fixed storage as opposed to being able to pop in one of the many SD cards I have laying around. In other words, if HTC is hell bent on non-removable storage, that's on THEM. Give me a useable amount at the same cost as a smaller amount + the ability to use an SD card.

I'll wholeheartedly agree that megapixels aren't everything, and that a clear, low-noise 4 megapixel image is better than a grainy as hell 8 megapixel one. On the other hand, 4 megapixels *is* a rather small image, and the quality better be remarkable. A so-so image at 4 megapixel is going to be a disaster for them.

And finally, I really wish they'd stop with all the social BS. Social this, social that. These are not end-all, be-all features. I know of no one who actually uses their phones as the lynchpin of their social lives. Social widgets aren't a replacement for good specs and performance, they're a distraction technique for the lack of such.

You must have unusual friends. There's a reason Facebook is the #2 free app in Google Play. The only reason it's not #1 is because Temple Run 2 is "so hot right now." Skype also makes the top 10. People use their phones for social networking.

Hell, even I use Facebook, Twitter (mainly through Carbon), and Google+ on my phone and Nexus 7 more than I do on my laptop.

Exactly. You use Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Do/would you use any of those things through Sense widgets? Probably not.

My point is HTC building social widgets into Sense is of limited to no value, and it's certainly not a replacement for decent performance overall. Before my first HTC phone, I was intrigued by all the Sense features and widgets. When I finally bought one, I quickly found they weren't that useful and I ended up not using a single one. Still loved the phone, but the value of Sense widgets just isn't there.

And I'd just as validly counter your assertion to my "unusual" friends. Perhaps it's because most of the people I deal with, I do so in a work environment/context, and we're all too busy actually making a living to spend our time social networking on our phones. Maybe if I was back in high-school/college things would be different.

"My point is HTC building social widgets into Sense is of limited to no value..."

Sorry, but your useage patterns are not the same as everyone else's. Many people do use their phones in this way, and will take advantage of these features.

There are also plenty of professionals who use social media for work purposes, and who will use these widgets/enhancements. Sales, marketing, recruiting, and news being some of the bigger ones.

"Sorry, but your useage patterns are not the same as everyone else's"

And I'm sorry, but neither are yours. I was giving the example that I, nor anyone I know, use our phones and/or social widgets as the center of our social lives. That's a fact. That doesn't mean no one does, and I never claimed as much. I simply stated that I know of no one who does. Please stop arguing a claim that I never made.

As for your claim of "plenty of professionals" using Sense social widgets for their work, unless you can offer specific numbers, you're doing nothing more than speculating. Can there be? Sure. "Plenty"? I'd find it *highly* unlikely that "plenty" of professionals rely on Sense social widgets in the work. Social media, sure. Sense widgets? I simply can't see it.

But again, my point stands - even for the people who would use them, these are give-away features, highly unlikely to be the deciding factor in someone's purchase of the phone. First, as was said below, the lack of push support in these (or at least previous) widgets is a major negative. And second, the fact that you loose ALL of them as soon as you switch to a 3rd party launcher means they'll be left totally unused for a large number of people.

Will there be people who use them? Sure. But I maintain that they're of limited to no value in comparison to the overall performance and features of the hardware.

I just hope the damn things can be turned off or they will let me substitute something of value to me on those sections of sense 5 devoted to social time wasters.

Undomesticated equines couldn't drag to Facebook.

If HTC built out the infrastructure so that their Friendstream Apps PUSHED Facebook and Twitter data to the device, then it would be of higher value. The issue with these Social Integrations is that they don't update, and that's why most people don't use the widgets. The only benefit of using those widgets is posting to multiple networks at once

While FriendStream/Social Hub were quite useful in 2010 and some of 2011, once Facebook and Twitter got PUSH Notifications into their 1st party apps and Facebook spun off Facebook Messages into a separate app getting feature updates at a relatively fast pace, they became borderline useless.

This is also the reason why I don't use 3rd party FB or Twitter apps. No Push, no use.

That being said, the Facebook for Android app goes apeshit if you install Messenger and often stops giving push notifications for *anything*.

Reason is because people are nosey. I could care less about following anyone or who likes what.

I want my hardware to be great. Prefer that over gimicky facebook/twitter/instagram etc.

If you really want me to know something about what your doing then youll text call me directly.

Based on what I read earlier the price for a 16 gig is 199 and a 32 gig is 299 in line with pricing of the iPhone 5.

4 megapixels is small to today's standards. Maybe you're not use to anything above that. But desktop wallpaper's are not the only use for photos. People print them out at very large sizes like billboards and billboard and presentation boards. Get stuck with a photo bomber that takes 1/4th to 1/2 of your photo, and then crop him out, you're going to be losing a lot of pixels.

Lol what... who would use a phone to take a photo they're going to print out at any reasonable size? No one who wants it to look good, that's for sure.

only issue I see if no Verizon which sucks for me. I have a DNA and I would trade up to this if it is half as good as they say.

Why would you trade up from the DNA, a (in March) four month old phone, for the One if it were on VZW? You'd be willing to pay full, non-upgrade pricing for more storage space, slightly larger battery, better (not sure how much at this point) camera, better external speakers and Sense 5? Doesn't seem like a huge upgrade when you consider the smaller screen and no wireless charging.

Seriously, it really isn't that hard HTC. Take the HTC One (beautiful phone), give us bone stock vanilla Android with the option to use your apps (also the option to delete them), and update it as fast as the Google releases updates. Sold! My S3 was in my hands no longer then 30 minutes before it was rooted and running AOKP. Look at the success of the Nexus 4.

Formula for a successful phone: Killer hardware, Long term support, stock OS, update regularly.

Formula for a unsuccessful phone: Crappy UI Overlays!

As a Nexus 4 owner, I'll easily say that phone is overrated. If it hadn't been for the price I would have passed. The HTC ONE looks to be a fairly decent device thus far. Waiting for the hands on video that is to come before I pass judgement though.

I would respectfully disagree, I went from a Galaxy Nexus to a GS3, love the battery, HATE how heavy the UI feels. Vanilla Android is where its at for me, give me the foundation let me customize it the way I want.

It's funny how we demand a native/basic UI OS for a phone because of how "heavy" a phone's UI feels, just to heavily "customize" it to other people's standards. I think the correct description would be that you just don't like the UI of a phone, and prefer the stock Android UI. That answer is more acceptable then some of the usual reponses.

Yes it is and I definitely realized my mistake afterwards, but that was because Samsung came out and produce one device across all carriers, which proved to be very successful instead of having 4 versions of the same phone. Touchwiz is a very heavy UI which from my experience (people I know etc...), rather then promote easy of use, produces more confusion. I tend to set my friends up with Apex or Nova and they love the way it feels and flows.

even after installing nova(i have) everything else is still tw and dont think it makes it any easier...tw launcher is pretty much the same as stock but only difference is how you make folders otherwise it works pretty much the same. only reason i use nova is because i dislike the icons...imo i think people find tw more appealing and more feature rich than stock and easy to use...what exactly is consfusing cause everything you do in tw for the 1st time has a tutorial.

while i haven't used TW from the beginning, i have helped out a few of my friends with their phones in the last 2 weeks.

one didn't know he had Panorama mode on his phone,
one didn't know he had HDR mode on his camera (and his Wife's EVO LTE)
one didn't know how to add widgets.

wether it is easy or not, is debatable. Fact of the matter is, if people took 2 seeconds to actually figure out how to do things like above, they would be much more happy with overlays and add-ons from the manufacturer.

but until they figure that out, i think google has the right idea. Clean, simple UI with no over the top settings that 90% of the people out there donn't even know what they are, let alone know how to find/use them.

all of the above is why i still think the iPhone is so popular. its just so darn easy to use.

I have to agree with you, in the week I have had the S3, the battery life is waaaay better then the Galaxy Nexus with the extended battery. But there is just so much CRAP with the UI it drives me nuts. I pull down the drop down menu I dont need all my toggles, screen brightness, wifi, and the weather. I just want to see what the damn message alert is.

Everyone is different. I enjoy having my toggles in the drop down so I don't have to take up home screen real estate to have quick access. I also like being able to adjust screen brightness quickly if I need to.

It just isn't too hard for me to shift my eyes down one inch to see the notification. After about 15 seconds I gain a muscle memory in my eye to know exactly where to look to see the notification. The notification bar can be used for so much functionality, and Samsung has realized that.

If everyone hates TW so much, why is Samsung trashing everyone else in sales? I guarantee the vast majority of consumers do not install Nova or root their device to remove TW features. It must be appealing to the masses. If you don't like features, you have the ability to change them. I don't see where the big problem is here.

Well Samsung is trashing everyone largely because of good advertising combined with a good product that is available pretty much everywhere on any carrier.

Touchwhiz, aside from some of it's left over gingerbread-esque borders/menu bars, is not a bad UI. A little bloated, but they compensate for that with 2GB of RAM in the US unlike HTC which decided just to trash running processes instead. Touchwhiz also adds some nice features with SmartStay, swipe to text/call, AllShare support across multiple Samsung devices, and the few other gimmicky (although great for marketing) things that make it stand out.

Personally I think Touchwhiz is the best of the custom UI's. It just needs some refinement these days to better fit the larger higher res displays, because the dialer and notification widgets are way oversized IMO. Prior to moving to AOKP 4.2.2 I would set Nova as the launcher to get the stock launcher without losing the other touchwhiz benefits.

Touchwiz is not heavy, it's just different. If Touchwiz was a OS than we would not have a large problem as we have now. Lot's of people who have experienced stock Android prefer it over Android, but if there was never a stock android would we feel that way? I think the issue we have hear is the fact Samsung does not allow us to disable touchwiz for stock android, there would be much more buyers.

Your statement makes no sense (no pun intended). You rave about the SIII, but it's not stock. The UI is Touchwiz. Does the SIII allow users to remove Touchwiz and have the vanilla Android experience? No! There is no difference between HTC and Samsung phones when it comes to vanilla Android.

If you want a vanilla Android experience, get a Nexus.

There's a huge difference:
Samsung phones are unlocked, without S-ON crap, and have kernel source released at or even before launch.
HTC phones are locked down in every way imaginable and have kernel source delays that probably violate open source requirements.

That's not what I was referring to... I was referring to the statement the poster made about vanilla Android. Also, most phone purchasers are not into rooting and flashing. Nothing wrong with either, but just stating facts.

Most people don't give a shit about stock android. Christ, if you want stock android buy a damn nexus phone. It's really not that hard to understand. You people are becoming as bad as the removable battery and sd slot crowd.

That is not a bright thing to say at all. Perhaps the Nexus 4 is not on the carrier they want. Perhaps they want better speakers. Perhaps they want more than the RIDICULOUSLY small amount of storage on the Nexus 4.

Perhaps some of us want hardware and carrier CHOICE AND VARIETY while still being offered the Nexus OS experience.

This was not a bright comment either. A Nexus 4 can be bought at a low price unlocked, it solves not being provided on a carrier. Two the Nexus 4 isn't the only phone with a good speaker.

At the end where your statement fails to make a case, is that you are hoping for a phone that has everything a person desires. In this world there is no such thing, so that is where sacrifices are made. I don't see why a company has to change so much because a customer base wants something so bad. They customize an OS so they can have a different experience and look. If a person doesn't like something they should leave and find something that fits them more, not complain until they get something.

If you really wan't something than you need to go out and get it yourself. A person wanting all you suggest could go find a phone that has good speakers, more space, micro sd compatible, than root and install a very stock android rom. What about price then? Well we're getting too selfish aren't we trying to get a phone that costs $600 to make for $200 or $100.

the last time i check Samsung sold over 40 million phones with your so call Crappy UI Overlay, so your point fail, whats great about android is that it have so many options and options my friend is very good keeps many people happy like myself.

"give us bone stock vanilla Android with the option to use your apps"

Not to troll, but I see this everywhere and, frankly, it's not going to happen. Not because HTC is run by dicks, but because it's not possible. There's a misconception caused by the use of the word "Skins" to describe software like Sense or TouchWiz or MototBlur, but make no mistake that the changes to Android go *much* deeper than just the launcher. If your request was possible, you could rip the APK's off an HTC phone and drop them on an AOSP build and they would work, but they don't.

This is the same reason the whole "let us turn off sense" request is never going to happen. It's not *just* a launcher or an app. It's a whole different set of framework added to the base Android code. And all their widgets and social integration and HTC apps run off that framework.

All that said, I don't understand why people get so bent out of shape about the manufacturer customized launchers. I had several HTC phones, and I actually liked Sense (for the most part). But I have a Note 2 now. I knew going in that TouchWiz was hideous, so I just slapped Nova on there. Problem solved.

Easily the best looking Android device to date! Once the Galaxy SIV is announced I'll make my choice. However a 1080P LCD3 display has got to be sharper, and crisper than ever!

On a 5" display no less, but I never noticed the 4.7" display of my Nexus 4 to be lacking. I'll be watching the reviews quite carefully as this might be my next phone. I always root for the underdog, and what better way to do so than with my pocketbook. I'll respectfully wait until the Galaxy SIV is announced though, and then compare the 2.

You do realize that your screen name appears at the top of your post, right? You don't actually have to sign it at the end, too. We didn't forget your name after a sentence.

Not a fan of the 2 button system, I was hoping the leaks were wrong and we would get the, what I got used to after 4, was the 3 button. One problem I see with it is the whole menu button being on the bottom of the screen. After an update to the OneX/Evo which used the recent app button as a menu button as well, I don't see that happening, the home button is doing alot. Double tap the home for task switcher? Very Apple of you HTC.

My last 3 phones were HTC, and I was hoping this phone would blow my mind. I'll wait for some more hands-on reviews and what not, but I might be skipping this one.

after owning a galaxy nexus and then a nexus4 and getting used to the three button system, with a multitasking button, HTC screwed that up, choosing to place another logo on the device, instead of the vastly more function multitasking button was clearly a mistake imho.
I don't like double tap and long press alternatives for frequently used functions, multitasking is probably the single most used on screen button on my nexus 4.
I still wish more phone makers would adopt the google on screen buttons, I think their much better than capacitive buttons.

The rest of the phone looks great though.

Customers have spoken, they dont like on screen buttons, they like hardware buttons, in fact phones need MORE not less. Google has that totally wrong and its about time the 2% that buy Nexus phones realise that.

Agreed.

Although I don't need more than the home button to be physical.

Still, onscreen buttons look like poo.

-Suntan

Really? Customers have spoken? How so? The manufacturer's have never given on screen buttons a chance. Only Motorola has really utilized the on screen buttons and while not Galaxy S3 levels of sale, their devices haven't done poorly. The Razr M is probably the best mid/low range phone out there and I see a good number of other Razr's around as well. There limiting factor is the lack of devices on any other carrier other than Verizon and the less refined/too industrial look and feel of the hardware which is not the current trend.

Put on screen buttons on the S3 or Note2 and we would still be talking about how Samsung is still the king of Android phones.

Moving back to the topic of the Article. The One looks nice, but the constant changing button setup from HTC and lack of device parity cross carrier will continue to hold them back. Until they move to a Samsung/Apple model and provide the same device on all carriers for their flagship phones they will be relegated to their second tier status as an Android MFG.

Most people who hate on on-screen buttons haven't even tried them. I was sceptical too, but after about 3 minutes they became the most natural thing in the world. Temporarily going back to a Samsung phone made me realise how horrible the physical home button really is.

As far as HTC One goes, the set-up is really stupid. Any button that has a double-tap function immediately brings in a delay that's very noticeable to anyone used to JB.

Not having a multitasking button was definitely not a mistake or oversight. After owning the One X on at&t I can safely say that HTC doesn't give a rats ass about multitasking.

@calvin35 - Your comment made me laugh so hard, cause for some time now it does seem like HTC doesn't give a rats ass about multitasking. I know the 2 gig of ram will definitely help, but taking away the button that I use more often than I realize is a bummer. Cause not only am I switching apps easily, but also till this day not all apps have the holo-design effect thus having a menu button designated to the app, so I just long press the recent app button and boom problem solved. But now that feature is gone, I'm in a pickle. I am a hardcore HTC fan and would love to get this phone just cause its has new bells and whistles, but that bothered me and I feel like its not worth a major upgrade from this EVOLTE. Immma just wait it out some more

Animated gifs huh... When did we get those? 1996?

So far, front facing speakers was the most notable feature I saw.

-Suntan

PLUS:

+Twice the RAM
+Front stereo speakers
+Better light sensitive camera
+64GB storage option
+Recessed camera
+Not overly huge
+Great case and look
+Fast CPU/GPU

MINUS:

-No inductive charging
-Button changes yet again
-No big change in battery
-No kickstand
-No removable battery
-No SD slot
-No SERVICEABLE BATTERY (The Evo LTE's "non-removable" can be replaced in 5 min)

Things that will potentially ruin it:

*I bet Sense still has no landscape home screen.
*If it is not available on all major carriers.
*If they can't prevent carrier meddling.
*If they don't advertise effectively.

Its the default homescreen. I for one do not use any form of social network so idk how much I will be using it besides for ESPN. Fortunately I read on Engadget that the Blinkfeed homescreen can indeed be turned off.

The button layout is horrible. Why the hell couldn't they stick with the layout of the EVO LTE/One X?

I really don't understand why manufacturers are against using software keys... just copy the AOKP format give use the ability of what to add and size... I am not a fan of double tapping or long pressing

Kind of like how smartphone users preferred hardware QWERTY keyboards, before touchscreen took off.

If you seriously think that's the limit of the usefulness of wireless charging I'm afraid you're extremely short-sighted.

The single biggest complaint about smartphones is battery consumption, and if the Qi standard were to take off that problem would be more or less solved. Every flagship phone that doesn't have Qi built-in stifles the chances of that happening.

Excellent looking phone!
It "could" be my next to be honest. I like that it's on all carriers.
I wish they would have carried the Kickstand from the Evo line over to this phone.
I can't wait to see more on it!

The phone looks good, the design is good (still like the previous one x design better)and the specs are good, but there is a big elephant in the room. How is this going to help htc sell more phones? By all account the one x from last year was the best android phone (minus some software glitch)how did that do? It hardly sold. This is a make/break year for htc and I don't see a way out of it for them either. What can they bring to the table that samsung can't match or surpassed? (not a damn thing). Not software, not hardware, not ecosystem, so what can they do? Android at this point is a commodity software, it's just like the pc business which is the reason why IBM abandoned it, HP tried but failed, and Dell is trying to duck it.

Except that the One X was NOT the best Android phone of last year. The S3 kicked its butt, in sales and ability. The One X was better looking.. but thats it.

Also, the One X was not on every carrier and there were multiple variants to confuse the market. The S3 was so successful because it used the iPhone strategy of one device, one name, all carriers.

+1 to that. The HTC One looks to be "good enough" to be a success. BUT, what HTC needs, as they stated themselves, is good marketing, in a very broad sense. There is no confusion in the market about the Galaxy S3 or the iPhone 4/5 lines. The same phone, is sold worlwide. The HTC One X was a dual-core in the US. When I first learned about that (I have an International One X), I thought that was one of the dumbest ideas ever. And only 16GB of storage? Absurd (it's 32GB in the International).

Beyond the hardware, market awareness worldwide is a must. I know Galaxy S3 features better than those of my HOX. It's not funny. I would have been tempte to get an S3, just for the quality of the Ads.

I really hope HTC spends some real cash this year in the above two areas. They should copy and improve, because that's how you get to quality. If they fail this year too, there might not be another one for them.

There you Phil...like a little kid who got a new toy...please be honest and let us know how the battery truly works on this...that is my only worry...if the battery is great then am trading my one x asap lol

Good looking hardware HTC. But you lost me at Sense 5 (Zoe to be exact). Regardless, I wish you luck

After using the last couple of iterations of Sense(1.0, 2.0, 3.6 and 4.0), it just doesn't appeal to me. Like, at all. In fact, its actually turned me off of the brand. Granted, I'm not a big fan of TouchWiz either, but I'll take it over any iteration of Sense any day of the week at this point.

With a Built in battery....will never buy one

with that, I would have called it an "iOne"

(looks like an old iPhone too)

So they stripped down Sense in order to get Zoe going...?!? I personally liked the old Sense more. It was classier, sophisticated, much better looking, than this minimal design it got now

No sd slot no sell not paying 100 bucks for 32gb more when its around 20 for sd card makes no sense like sense 5 kill that already. owned three HTC phones in the past doesn't look like ill ever buy another they just don't get it do they. I like the look of the phone just to much missing

Phil, please comment on performance when you can and if Sense is that much slower than vanilla android on an S3 or something. If it is fast, wow they might have something besides the button debacle. Wtf? Double tapping? What if I tsp backwards fast to exit out of Astro or Web pages... Geeez. I hope the camera is really revolutionary. I can stomach Sense if the camera is unbelievable in quality.

HTC, what the hell have you done to the OS buttons? Why do all you carriers feel the need to dilute and pervert the stock buttons? They're just buttons. Please for the love of god out of all the manufacturer customizations to Android, just leave the buttons alone. The only thing I hate more than this is Samsung's refusal to get rid of physical hardware buttons.

Love the phone, I question the button layout though. They need to get a layout they like instead of switching it up every year. With the global release though they are definitely on the rot track.

Sounds promising, but I'm not a fan of the design. It's too much along the lines of the iPhone 5 and Blackberry Z10 - I thought one of the best things about HTC was their ability to make an original design... but this one's not doing it for me. I'll be sticking with my Nexus 4.

Even if you were a fan of the design, you should still stick with the Nexus 4. You probably bought the Nexus because of (1) quick updates, (2) low price, or both. This phone full retail will be at least $600, and you're going to hear the usual belly-aching of why it hasn't received the latest version of Android. I say give the Nexus 4 a chance.

Hmm, need a full review before I make a judgement. Cant say im all that interested in the new interface. Seems rather overtly social, with little actual useful information. If you arent obsessed with facebook, Twitter and your own photos, it seems pointless.

Have to say I am interested in the phone. And people can't truly complain about the battery sie when its larger than the N4, with a more efficient proc at this point.

They really should release this phone now!! Before everyone else announces their top of the line phones for 2013. I am gonna wait to see what Motorola/Google and Samsung has for us, maybe even LG.

Have you ever read an announcement-day mini-review of a flagship model in the last couple of years that didn't claim it was "incredible?"

How about waiting until all the vendors announce their yearly updates and then comparing them side-by-side?

-Suntan

How about No?

I haven't read many announcement day reviews when the guy had actually worked with the phone quite extensively 2 weeks before the announcement. So that's more credible.

Besides, it is unclear when the other vendors will actually launch the phones. From the looks of it, the Sony Z won't be a real match and unless Samsung puts more attention to build quality, I won't buy the new phone even if it has an egg shaped supper innovative screen. I've experienced an S3 break like a biscuit when dropped too often.

- L

Impressive phone to say the least (I personally don't like the UI they've gone with nor the soft button layout they have chosen) but it looks like a solid piece of hardware. What I'm noticing is all this focus on power-power-power and higher and higher res screens (to the point where it's not necessary I feel) and new fandangled smartphone cameras. Which is all well and good to sell phones to consumers and push the envelope, but lets hope that the signal and mobile connectivity isn't compromised (or left as a side thought) and still give a decent signal when it's needed....you know to make those elusive things called............phone calls.

Still nice work HTC let's hope this brings you back from the brink :)

I'm liking that solid aluminum body a LOT.

Sense is kind of a non-starter for me, so I'm really interested in whether the bootloader is permanently locked, and whether it'll be popular enough to inspire someone to do an official Cyanogenmod release.

I've loved my HTC Thunderbolt, but it ended up being an orphan - lots of early developer interest, but there never was an "official" Cyanogenmod version. So if I want CM, I'm stuck on Gingerbread.

I'll look at the HTC One, but suspect I'll end up on an SIV.

Verizon probably passed on it because HTC hogged the only spot to put their awful logo on.

Glad to see HTC putting out a good battery and some usable internal storage. Since Google decided to stop the ability to put app info on the sd card, removable memory really isn't useful to me anymore as I don't take many pics or videos and stream my music.

If the s4 or X doesn't have 32gb or more memory ill most likely go to this phone if Verizon decides to carry it.

I like the chance HTC is taking with the software. I think we're at the point where incremental increases in hardware specs (CPU, memory, GPU) are not increasing the user experience as much as they used to. In other words, this year's hardware, from what I can tell, won't make my UI a lot more "zippy" than last year's hardware. My S3 is plenty fast enough for anything I'm running, and that thing is almost a year old. So I think from here on out, it's going to be software and features that are going to differentiate the good phones from the bad phones, at least when it comes to the flagship phones. I think Zoe sounds really cool. Photo software is one area where manufacturers can really differentiate themselves.

I would love to see HTC get back on the Smart phone band wagon. I believe that they do make better quality phones than Apple, Sammy, or LG. At T-Mobile a little over a year ago, they released two outstanding phones on the same day, the SII from Samsung and the HTC Amaze 4g. Both had great displays,excellent spec's, but you only had to hold them at the same time to feel the difference that the HTC brings to the table, excellent build quality. Still rocking my Amaze 4G, still plenty quick with the 42 Mbps radio, still no lag with the excellent 1.5 Ghz dual core. Looking forward to the Quad Core 600 processor and 4.7" screen. Way to go HTC.

Psycho-looser with the lousy photos and crapo sound on the phone you use.
Bitter? Go root yourself. You are so last year!
Is it even possible for you to distinctly hear us now.... Gekko????

All I know is I bought an EVO LTE and HTC sold it knowing it had LTE issues that to my knowledge still aren't fixed. So, they lost me as a customer when I switched to the GS3. I will upgrade to the GS5 most likely next year.

We'll see but I feel like the bump in specs this year isn't going be worth the cost.

On paper, HTC has clearly outperformed themselves and ironed what they suffered from last year, and perfected what was already good. Incredible aluminium design, even better sound with 2 fron speakers, the new camera technology... I'm eager to see the reviews on this particular feature. They have upgraded the battery and while it most likely is not gonna be exceptionally good (with 1080p pixels) it will definitely perform better than the One X. Reports from TheVerge say the new Sense runs extremely smooth and with the new Snapdragon 600 it seems Sammy will face really tough competition this year (at last!)

I don't think Samsung will be able to launch the ultimate smartphone again... it will be good, heck it will be great but I really doubt it will outperform Sony and HTC in terms of Design, Construction, Camera and screen. We'll have to wait and see, March will be one exciting month.

On a Droid DNA, the battery life has been a lot better than any of the initial reviews gave it credit for. I can easily pull off 16 hours of moderate use with no issues at all on LTE all day. I'm hoping to see the same performance, if not better, on this phone.

Design, Construction, Camera, and screen.

On these 4 factors alone, Samsung's GS3 did not beat HTC's One X or One X+ (or arguably the One S) in 2012. HTC One X had a better hardware design (software sucked equally for both of them), better construction, better camera, and better screen. The HTC One X/X+/S lost in hype, special features/gimmicks, and availability.

Having owned many HTC phones, I am able to confidently say that HTC makes amazing phones. And they know they make amazing phones. They couldn't seem to project to major carriers-and therefore users themselves-that they make amazing phones.

With Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T on board in the US-this seems to be a big step in the right direction. Hopefully they can get their shit together and reclaim some of the market share that they previously had in 2010 and early 2011.

The SG3 was not the ultimate smartphone in 2012. Samsung simply out marketed to American Sheeple in particular. Plus in store carrier reps generally tend to have a serious knowledge base deficiency.

HTC should immediately upon launch make the One available to every in store carrier rep for $150 with the trade in of their current smartphone. Only then will the reps gain some appreciation and much needed knowledge.

What I'll be watching closely is hardware and os reliability. 4 in my family, and a good friend are all on our second generation HTC (we all started with either the EVO 4G, or EVO 3D, and all now have the EVO 4G LTE). We've all had to replace our phones at least once (3 or 4 times in a few cases) due to hardware failures. And the EVO 4G LTE has been plagued with bugs that at times render the phone useless (unable to answer phone calls, or to hang up, or in some cases unable to do anything at all without a reset).

My son's fiance has had a Samsung GSIII, and while one phone is not a trend, I do keep my nose in the industry. My sense (no pun intended) is that the Samsung line has been much more reliable.

I love the HTC phones on paper. They're exciting. And, I prefer Sense over TouchWiz (when my phone isn't freezing up). I WANT to like HTC, I really do. But, I've gotten so discouraged of late that right now I expect my next phone to be a Samsung.

This new HTC One sounds exciting. I will keep an open mind. But, between now and when I'm eligible for my next phone, I'll be paying close attention to the real-world experience with this phone and it's reliability.

I love the look of the phone and the quality dual speakers, but I'm not too excited about the 2 button layout and the new home screen. Of course I'll root it as soon as someone over at XDA figures it out so I'm not overly concerned with UI limitations :)

Average specs for a flagship "all bets on one horse" phone ? = fail... for me at least. I'm curious if the device will have better sales than the One X last year.

The HTC One looks nice to me. Specs seem good. Did Phil mention a search button on top? That sounds interesting, albeit some getting used to having a Search button rather than an on screen search bar. Anyhow, the HTC One has some new features and specs some of us like and hate. That's the beauty of innovation and new and improved technology... Always something to look forward too. May not be what each one of us wants, but owning an ANDROID based phone is better than owning a closed source phone like the IPhones.

My first smart phone (technically) was a Palm Treo. My first and only-actual SMART ANDROID phone has been a Droid Charge. Til now it runs decent with videos looking awesome and I am able to stream videos with little to No buffering compared to my friends' newer phones. Personally, I would buy an HTC One if the price is right but, I'd rather purchase a soon to be outdated Nexus 4 since I enjoy a TRUE Android phone. I can't wait to see what the SAMSUNG Galaxy S4 or SIV, however you like, has to offer. I like Samsung's Galaxy series. IMO!

So will this have NO carrier branding!?!? Sorry my Nexus 4, you will sit in my drawer next to my Galaxy Nexus come next month. I love stock Android but you are a overrated phone that just happened to be priced incredibly.

64GB storage - HTC ONE
Great camera - HTC ONE
Build quality - HTC ONE
Screen - Most likely HTC ONE
Real LTE - HTC ONE
Radios - HTC always has better radios than LG

Software - Nexus 4
Updates - Nexus 4
Price - Nexus 4
Nav buttons - Nexus 4

HTC ONE with CM10= Win.

I like how you rate the build quality (not to mention screen) of a phone you've never even seen, and hate on "LG's radios" when both phones have Qualcomm radios - inarguably the best radio manufacturer currently operating.

I understand the top stories section at the top, but when you make a post like this keep popping up to the top for better clicks, it makes it hard to see what new stories have been posted since the last time I loaded the page.

Check out Mobile Geeks Quadrant score for m7 Unreal. check the youtube channel new chip is a beast wipes everything off the planet. UNREAL> q 600

No interchangeable battery No upgradable memory No way i would consider it or recomend it to anyone. Might as well buy icrap as to have a phone that can't change with you, no matter what the internal memory is or the internal battery is.

Well I would be sold if it had a micro-SD card. I have the EVO LTE right now and I am I am use to have an internal battery, but the micro SD card is a must. The EVO LTE is built very solid HTC could have had a micro SD card slot not sure why they decided not to.

The 64GB version will probably be $350 or $400. A 64GB MicroSD card can be had for $43. Get over yourself tough guy!

Please read Android Central's article about the quirks and app software flaws resulting from storage and retrieval of data, apps, even photo and music on ext sd cards related to Google's Android OpSys.

The hardware and software engineers who create these magnificent devices are not stupid. 64 Gb of internal storage is way more than enough for millions of users.

Also for those who wish to become more informed, there are articles explain why integrated battery results in more efficient energy usage. Moreover, all integrated batteries can be replaced although the need to do so thus far hasn't occurred for 99.9999% of the units in use.

This phone could have came out with a cure for cancer yet the only thing many are complaining about is that it doesn't have a removable battery and SD card slot..

What i like the most about this phone is the style and once i get a chance to hold it i know im gonna love the build of it. Samsung phones are great and come with many features but they feel to plastic. The only thing i have ever liked about the Iphone is the build quality and this looks equal to it..

My only concern with this phone is the steel build affecting the radio signal. Reception is my biggest concern Which is why i want to get a htc or motorola phone and no more Samsung phones for me.

Also liked that they didnt go with a bigger size of phone. if all other companies like samsung lg etc. continue making the phone were all gonna end up carrying tablets as our phone.

If I didn't know part of the money I spent will go to apple, I might contemplate buying this. But since HTC is now basically an apple subsidiary, no way. Give me an Xperia Z or, better still, the upcoming SG IV. Anything but apple or HTC.

IMHO, this is One(pun intended) ugly smartphone.

Most HTC smartphones look nice. This new One(pun intended, again) isn't one of them.

In addition, HTC doesn't seem to know how to market new smartphones.

For Pete's sake, they didn't even have any hot models holding the phones for the media!

...

Having front-facing stereo speakers clearly indicates that the designers wanted this
phone to be a media player. If that's the case, why no SD card slot? Even a 64GB
model is not enough for audio and video. Take the Samsung S3 and Note 2 for example,
you can just pay $40 for a 64gb MicroSDXC card. (128GB cards are only a few months
away)

Did the HTC designers/engineers really swallow Google's lame excuse for not having
no SD cards in Google Nexus phones?

I will be looking to upgrade my HTC Rezound on Verizon in July. I guess the HTC One won't be in the running as there will be no version for Verizon. Don't understand that as it will have LTE. Too bad. I really like the all aluminum body and 64GB memory.

Their imager is similar to Foveon which captures each color at the same pixel. I might be wrong, but that is what it sounds like.

Sense UI is unfortunately bloated. Does anyone know how large Sense 5 is? 2 GB will be necessary is it has gotten larger.

The construction of the phone appears to be solid, what we expect from HTC. Let's hope they don't bastardize the line like they did last year giving anyone who wants their own separate version. They hopefully learned that that doesn't work anymore. Samsung stopped after the original Galaxy S, for the most part.

Good luck HTC. I will look at the phone when it arrives assuming that Sense doesn't consume a large chunk of the RAM.

That battery will NEVER last a full day if you actually use your phone as a busy business person. HTC still does not understand what today's power users need / want.

HTC phones are being designed for kids, now.

Lots of jealous samsheep here. Honestly I used to think isheep were bad, but you guys put them to shame. I'll take HTC over those plastic fisher price phones any day.

Both my comments address storage,
1 for those of you 'uninformed' the DNA manages OTG which allows connection of flash/thumb drives so we have all the additional storage we need..

2. I can understand why they are makeing 32/64G versions, I'll be interested to see how the new Photo firmware manages storage with all the shots they are compiling with each photo, x before-- y after and 3 secs video. A day at a party will eat up quite a bit of space, Will this be manual or automated or choice ?

Very excited about this phone. The front face of the phone kinda looks similar to Jiayu3G and BB Z10. Could that be another court battle in the making?

Also, i just realized that naming features of the phone with human-ish names is very appealing. (Siri, Zoe)