HTC lifted the lid on a new smartphone challenger last night, as it bids to turn around a catastrophic collapse in market share over the last 12 months.
Dubbed the HTC One, the handset is being sold on its social credentials and camera capabilities and represents a change in strategy away from flooding the market with smartphones in favour of focussing on a single so-called hero handset.
At its heart is a revamped version of HTC’s Sense custom skin featuring a rethought user interface dubbed HTC Blinkfeed. Taking its cues from Windows Phone, this is based on live-tiles that update dynamically on the homescreen with breaking news and social updates.
Unlike Windows Phone’s clean, airport-signs-inspired look and feel, the fresh take on Sense offers more scope for users to populate their screen with users’ photos and videos, perhaps filling a void for people put-off by the perceived rigidity of Microsoft’s operating system.
The HTC One is also home to an ‘UltraPixel’ camera that HTC claims produces industry-leading results in low light conditions and “redefines how people capture, relive and share their most precious moments”.
The camera teams with a feature called HTC Zoe that enables user to shoot high-res photos and HD video simultaneously and automatically creates impressionistic mini movies/narratives complete with an apt soundtrack and Instagram-style none-more-hipster filters and Super 80s-esque effects.
And rounding off what HTC will hope are the phone’s USP’s are front-facing speakers with a dedicated amplifier, which combines with Beats Audio and an HD screen to up the phone’s media smarts.
The HTC One’s specs, which perhaps tellingly the press conference barely mentioned, include a 4.7-inch, Full HD (1080p) screen, the latest Jelly Bean iteration of Android out of the box and 4G support.
Would-be buyers can pre-order the handset today on a range of UK carriers, ahead of its official street date in March.