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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