Print 33 comment(s) - last by fteoath64.. on Feb 28 at 4:21 AM

Aluminum unibody phone is HTC's answer to the iPhone 5

At a pair of special press events in London, UK, and New York City, New York Taiwanese smartphone-maker HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) unveiled its next generation superphone, which it dubs "HTC One".  Falling behind Apple, Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) in the sales and image race, HTC is looking to take a step forward with Se the new smartphone.  

The phone is encased in a slick aluminum unibody, and has a back mic to help remove ambient noise, similar to the iPhone.  The antenna is built into the body.  It weighs 143 g (vs. 133 g for a Galaxy S III), but that weight is partly accounted for by a beefier 2300 mAh battery, which should improve battery life.  It is 9.3 millimeters thick (vs. 8.6mm for the Galaxy S III or 7.6 mm for the iPhone 5).

Building on HTC's accoustic differentiation, the new 4.7-inch  smartphone packs BoomSound -- dual stereo speakers.  It features a powerful quad-core 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 600 series processor from Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM) and 2 GB of DDR2 DRAM.  And there's a gorgeous 1920x1080 pixel (1080p) display.  Memory stacks up with 32 and 64 GB base capacities -- but no microSD, by the looks of it.  Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and 802.11n standards are all supported.

The camera sensor is relatively large 1/3-inch (bigger than the iPhone 5's sensor).  HTC pairs its with its second generation ImageChip, which allows taking still frames from video.  The phone uses high dynamic range (HDR) technology to enhance images in diverse lighting conditions.

HTC One 360 view
The HTC One

And there's an infrared blaster that allows the phone to act as a TV remote.  HTC calls its remote software "Sense TV".

The phone packs a new HTC Sense UI skin, built on top of the base Android installation.  The new skin packs a new live tiles app called "BlinkFeed".  The interface looks somewhat like the iOS/Android app Flipboard or the base animated tiles found in Windows Phone.
HTC BlinkFeed
HTC's BlinkFeed

Content partners for blinkfeed include ESPN and the Associated Press.

There's also built-in image editing, similar to BlackBerry, Ltd.'s (TSE:BB) BlackBerry 10 operating system.

The handset will be available in March.  In the U.S. it will be initially be carried by AT&T, Inc. (T), Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) and T-Mobile USA.  It will be also sold at Best Buy Inc. (BBY).  Existing HTC customers can trade in their old phone for $100 USD towards the handset.

HTC will face a tough fight for market share, with iPhone 5 seeing strong sales and with Samsung reportedly prepping the Galaxy S IV for a March 14 launch.

Sources: HTC [1], [2], CNET

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By dice1111 on 2/19/2013 2:56:49 PM , Rating: 5
No SD slot kills this phone for me. I should have the option of upgrading my phone, or offloading my data as I see fit.

I shouldn't be forced into buying a higher capacity phone for $100-200 when the real world cost for a 64GB micro SD card is only $50 (check amazon).

This trend of killing expansion seriously disappoints me.

By splatter85 on 2/19/13, Rating: -1
By woody1 on 2/19/2013 3:55:44 PM , Rating: 5
I use my phone to connect to hotel TVs when I travel, so I sometimes carry a lot videos with me. That means > 32Gb is useful. As far as speed of a microSD card, I've never noticed that the one in my Galaxy S3 is slow at all. I can't think of anything that I use it for that would make it need to be faster.

Bottom line is that eliminating the microSD slot makes the phone more expensive.

By Jeffk464 on 2/19/13, Rating: -1
By Sazabi19 on 2/19/2013 4:14:25 PM , Rating: 3
I like this feature because I can store pictures on it and video and transfer it easy even if the phone gets bricked. All I have to do is remove it and put it into another device that accepts microSD and I'm good to go again. Or transfer files to a buddie's device without the need for a computer or external cable. Unf my Bionic has it in an inconvenient place inside the phone with the battery blocking the slot (have to remove the battery). I don't like unibody phones I can't open up.

By TORN8O on 2/20/2013 10:37:26 AM , Rating: 2
I have the Bionic and I don't need to remove the battery to remove the microSD. Slot sits north of the battery. Guess it depends on how big your fingers are.

By Sazabi19 on 2/21/2013 8:24:32 AM , Rating: 2
I have the extended battery so it covers the exit.

By ChronoReverse on 2/19/2013 4:19:19 PM , Rating: 3
The difference isn't necessarily that much different.

For example, my internal memory has much faster read rates but the write rates are quite close to my Class 4 card (5mb/s vs 6mb/s).

By TakinYourPoints on 2/20/2013 4:43:35 AM , Rating: 2
Its either SD card expansion or a bigger battery, pick one.

The trend for eliminating expansion is only going to continue as phones get thinner and thinner. There are engineering concessions to be made when space continues to get more limited while the demands on performance (CPU/GPU/LTE) increase.

By Mint on 2/20/2013 6:13:32 AM , Rating: 2
You're not going to fit any noticeably bigger battery in the volume of a microSD slot. That's not the reason it's absent.

The real reason limitation is the aluminum unibody and HTC's phone shape (narrow on the sides to make it look/feel thin). There's almost nowhere to put another slot, and if you did, it would add cost and have some reliability issues.

Samsung gets around both issues with a removable cover, which also allows battery swapping, but it has to be a flexible plastic to do that.

By Netscorer on 2/20/2013 12:57:40 PM , Rating: 3
The real irony is that while unibody design may look enticing when you first pick up a phone in the store, the first thing most customers do after purchase is put a protection sleeve on phone. Something about the notion of dropping your substantial investment on the pavement and having no protection does not sit well with most folks.
Hence, unibody design is wasted, yet we lose a fundamentally important ability to swap batteries, add micorSD Card or even swap SIM, if needed.

By fteoath64 on 2/28/2013 4:21:40 AM , Rating: 2
"There's almost nowhere to put another slot, and if you did, it would add cost and have some reliability issues. "

They put the microSIM in a removable tray. They can do the same with MicroSD card. Why not ?. There is plenty of space on the huge phone, space is not the excuse. It is HTC emulating Apple and saying "you do not need Sd card" that is a BAD thing and they still cannot fix it. I am sure about 30% loss sales is significant because may count on MicroSD slot as a mandatory feature. That might be the main reason they do not want an iPhone either.

By zephyrprime on 2/21/2013 12:59:18 PM , Rating: 1
Microsd is not big at all and doesn't add much bulk to the phone. The move to remove expansion is driven entirely to increase profit by forcing people to buy the larger phone.

By GotThumbs on 2/20/2013 8:47:42 AM , Rating: 2

Blame Apple for that. If millions of Apple users are over joyed to be forced to spend $100.00 for an extra 32gig, then other companies see the profit potential as well.

If this trend continues, I won't be owning a new phone ever. Using Page Plus's 1200TNT plan for $30.00 Mo, keeps more of my money in my pocket and does fine for my talk-text-data needs.

Best wishes,

I like the IR blaster...
By fleshconsumed on 2/19/2013 2:21:11 PM , Rating: 3
I like the IR blaster idea, I only wish other manufacturers would do the same. It would be neat to control all of my HTPC functions from my phone instead of having 2-3 remotes or buying "universal" programmable one. However, lack of MicroSD expansion and non-removeable battery are a real bummer. I really hope the rest of the industry doesn't follow the same iPhone build model where they put out slick phones while sacrificing expansion. I'd rather settle for a slighly bulkier phone to have MicroSD/removable battery options.

RE: I like the IR blaster...
By EasyC on 2/19/2013 2:28:49 PM , Rating: 2
2300 MAh is plenty for a phone of this magnitude. My EVO LTE could easily hit 2 days on light-moderate usage.

I think the design is really nice. With more and more manufacturers racing to make the next phablet. HTC has realized that a gigantic phone isn't always the best. Staying true to 4.7" is just what I was hoping for.

RE: I like the IR blaster...
By Jeffk464 on 2/19/2013 2:37:16 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, snapdragon processor are pretty miserly on battery. Depends on the screen to though.

RE: I like the IR blaster...
By Jeffk464 on 2/19/2013 2:38:24 PM , Rating: 2
This is definitely the best looking android phone I've seen.

RE: I like the IR blaster...
By Jeffk464 on 2/19/2013 2:40:33 PM , Rating: 2
I'm an extremely heavy user and my galaxy nexus can burn through its battery very quickly, its my main gripe with it. It is also one of the key features I will be looking for in my next phone. I don't need more processor speed, focus on giving me better battery life.

RE: I like the IR blaster...
By xti on 2/19/2013 3:15:42 PM , Rating: 3
ask for both. no reason we shouldnt be moving towards having power and max battery life in todays world.

RE: I like the IR blaster...
By Jeffk464 on 2/19/2013 4:46:13 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah ok, give me more power so long as it doesn't hurt battery life.

RE: I like the IR blaster...
By Mint on 2/20/2013 1:10:13 PM , Rating: 2
HTC has realized that a gigantic phone isn't always the best
That's not exactly a groundbreaking observation. Every manufacturer knows that.

The reason that they're all trying to put out some big phones is that it's a high margin market that was quite underserved until the Galaxy Note arrived, and even today Samsung pretty much owns the whole market and is making a killing.

4.7" is still pretty big, historically.

RE: I like the IR blaster...
By Reclaimer77 on 2/20/2013 3:50:59 PM , Rating: 2
Then you still need line of sight. What you want is this or something like it, I don't know how I lived so long without...

RE: I like the IR blaster...
By Argon18 on 2/21/2013 5:02:33 PM , Rating: 1
Why is it called a "Blaster"? Who named this, Han Solo?

By integr8d on 2/19/2013 1:14:42 PM , Rating: 5
1/3" camera sensor is *larger* than 1/3.2" for the iphone. Not 'almost as big'.

RE: Measurements
By theapparition on 2/19/2013 3:59:22 PM , Rating: 3
I also like the quip about a noise cancelling mic on the back, similar to the iPhone.

I couldn't remember the last time I used a phone without a noise cancelling mic. Yet Apple shows one commercial, and now people seem to think they invented it.

You can say it has a noise cancelling mic, but by referencing the iPhone, it makes it seem like Apple revolutionized something they didn't.

design illusion
By Nortel on 2/19/13, Rating: 0
RE: design illusion
By xti on 2/19/2013 3:13:31 PM , Rating: 3
phones are moving towards almost full screen/no bezel on one side, thin, and throw in cameras, scratch proof, etc

how much variety can it really have? I mean, most TV's look alike too....

RE: design illusion
By Jeffk464 on 2/19/2013 4:49:59 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, basically its case material and colors.

Taking a look at HTC
By othercents on 2/19/2013 1:07:44 PM , Rating: 2
While I'm waiting for the Samsung 4S to arrive the HTC One looks good. If the camera performs as good as some reviews then this phone will be nice. However I'm unsure why they used the Snapdragon 600 instead of the 800. Adreno 320 isn't as powerful as the 330, but I guess both will do 1080p fine.


No microSD card?
By woody1 on 2/19/2013 1:37:24 PM , Rating: 2
No microSD card seems like a big mistake. A high end phone like this should have one. I guess the solution is to buy the 64Gb model, but that just drives the cost up and makes the phone less competitive.

Great Design
By Flunk on 2/19/2013 4:07:19 PM , Rating: 2
The design on this phone looks great. It's a shame it's not running Windows Phone or I would have to pick one up.

I'm sure HTC will sell a bunch of these.

By rob19478 on 2/26/2013 6:22:38 AM , Rating: 2
What a mistake it has Rounded Corners! Apple definitely want to sue to protect their stolen design

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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