HTC’s hook-up with Dr Dre will see the Hip-Hop auteur’s ace sonic tech incorporated in a slew of the company’s smartphones, as the phone-maker looks to differentiate its handsets from rival Android kits.
That means that you’ll get ace headphones bundled with the phones that make those itty, bitty Apple cans look weedier than a heavy night on the chronic. Not only that. Beats by Dre phones will also come with a special sound profile courtesy of the good Doctor so you can listen to the likes of Still Dre as he originally intended.
Sounds good, no? Agreed. But we can’t help feeling that HTC might’ve done a bit more with its Dre collabo to really leverage its potential. Here’s the things we’d like to see on future Beats handsets.
1 New album pre-loaded
Dr Dre’s last artist album was 1999’s confusingly titled 2001. In the meantime, we’ve gone to war twice. We’ve had the first-ever black president. And even the similarly workshy Kevin Shields of MBV has crawled out of his cave to put some new music out.
Given his glacial pace of working, perhaps it’s asking too much for Dre's new LP, supposedly due out this year, to be bundled with handsets. But surely we could have had a new track at the very least?
2 Ringtone by Dre
Even a new track is asking too much, you say? Well how about an exclusive 30-second ringtone?
That’s not just us talking out of self-interest. It’d be great for HTC’s promotion of the phone, too. After all, what would show off/advertise HTC's phones' juddering bass capabilities better than a Dr Dre-penned 'tone to be heard by all and sundry every time they ring?
3 A design that reflects the Beats ethos
With its red accents, muted matt black case and rounded edges, the Sensation XE looks fairly sharp. As does the super minimal Vigor/Incredible S. But they’re also not a million miles away from every other high-end Android phone out there.
Imagine if HTC had let a designer from a Hip-Hop background loose on its Beats efforts? Sure, they might divide opinion. But it could also result in smartphones that look like nothing else around.
What’s more, if they got it right, those handsets could destroy the iPhone’s long-held hegemony on cool among teens. That’s something HTC and the Android platform as a whole could benefit from in a huge way.
4 A Dre app pre-installed
The man born Andre Romelle Young isn't shy of exploiting a commercial opportunity. The hook-up with HTC is worth a cool $300 million alone for the company he set up with record mogul Jimmy Iovine, for starters.
If I was in HTC's shoes, I'd at least want an app for that outlay. Something along the lines of that David Bowie 'Space Oddity' iPhone offering that gave users the constituent parts of said song and the tools to make up their own mixes would've been ace.