Yesterday in New York HTC took the wraps off of their latest and greatest phone, the HTC One. As you can see in the pic above this is one heck of a phone that not just looks great but has some really interesting features too.
The One will be available in March on AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint, but before that time comes let’s get to what’s new here and why it matters to you.
In terms of specs the One has everything you would expect in a superphone: a powerful quad-core 1.7 GHZ Snapdragon processor with 2 GB of RAM (so everything runs fast and never freezes or lags), 2 megapixel front camera for HD video chats, thin aluminum unibody design, the latest version of Android– 4.2 Jelly Bean, and 4G LTE support. Those are all expected, but the HTC One is much more than that. Here are some of the features that are more unique and actually really cool and definitely set it apart from the iPhone, Galaxy S III and today’s other top phones.
- 4.7 inch 1080p full HD screen with aluminum unibody design– A full HD screen is something you’d expect on top phones (such as Sony’s new Xperia Z as well as HTC’s Droid DNA for Verizon which launched last year), but what makes the One’s screen unique is this– it has a pixel density of 468 ppi (or pixels per inch). By comparison, the iPhone 5’s Retina Display has 326 ppi, while the Galaxy S III screen has 306 ppi. The One has over 140 more pixels per inch than those phones, and those screens are already pretty great. In short, this phone will make pretty much everything and anything look incredible
- UltraPixel Camera– This is HTC’s new back camera for the One. Unlike other cameras which pack as many megapixels into the sensor as they can, HTC has taken a different approach. Having a decent amount megapixels is only one part of taking good photos and videos, things like the size of the pixels and the size of the sensor play just as large of a role. With the One, HTC decided to go with a 4 megapixel back camera, but made the sensor and size of each pixel larger instead of cramming in as many pixels as they could. This extra space will allow the camera to capture more light and therefore HTC claims, produce better looking pictures and videos than those phones with 8+ megapixel cameras.
- HTC Zoe– The UltraPixel camera is just one part of HTC’s new camera, the other piece is their new Zoe software. With Zoe, the One will capture a few seconds of HD video as well as a few still images, all with one press of the shutter button. You can then slide through the pictures to find the best one (like what BlackBerry did with TimeShift in BlackBerry 10) or let the Zoe create a little 30 second video combining your footage– complete with music, effects and transitions– that you can share to Facebook.
- HTC BoomSound– Last year HTC began putting Beats Audio into their phones to improve the sound quality with headphones. This year HTC went after the speakers, looking to fix the very common problem phones have of using small speakers that are hidden in the back. One the One HTC moved the speakers to the front of the phone right above and below the screen. By not being blocked, these stereo speakers should make for a louder, clearer sound and a better experience whether you’re watching videos, playing games or listening to music.
- HTC BlinkFeed– Re-doing the sound, camera and screen weren’t enough for HTC, they also re-did their traditional Sense home screen, creating BlinkFeed. BlinkFeed will pull in feeds– from websites like ESPN and MTV or the latest Facebook and Twitter updates from your friends– and put them right on the home screen so you can see whats happening without having to go into multiple apps.
Oh, and if all this wasn’t enough HTC also went and put an infrared sensor into the power button, allowing you to set up the One to be a universal remote to control your TV using a new TV app.
I briefly saw the One and I gotta say, it looks to live up to the hype. It felt great to hold, the screen looks fantastic and things like BoomSound, UltraPixel and Zoe worked as promised. Again, it was only very briefly but that time was enough for me to recommend waiting a month if you’re looking for a new phone (of course with rumors that Samsung also will be announcing the Galaxy S IV next month, waiting is a good idea anyway).
The One will be available sometime next month on AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile with pricing expected to be around $200 with a new 2 year contract.