HTC One is launched

Just the One phone this time around
Darren Allan

February 19, 2013

HTC has unveiled its new flagship handset, simply called the One, a premium smartphone which it hopes will put it back in the game against the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S3 (and soon-to-be S4) and the iPhone.

HTC called last year’s models the One X, S, and V, with three different variations, but the company is putting all its eggs in one basket this time round. That said, it’s an impressive looking basket.

Top of the billing is an ample 4.7 inch 1080p display, which offers a resolution of 468 pixels per inch, blowing the iPhone out of the water (though there are more of these full HD, 5 inch or so size handsets coming). Rich and natural colours are promised, but this thing will certainly be super-sharp (even if 1080p is something of a case of overkill on a just under 5 inch screen).

The CPU is a 1.7GHz quad-core, there’s 2GB of RAM on board, and storage options are 32GB or 64GB (sadly there’s no microSD slot for expansion).

The phone is 9mm thick, so not the thinnest, but still reasonably svelte – although the design is something of a head-turner due to a full aluminium unibody, an impressive feat of engineering.

LTE is on board as you would expect, along with the latest version of Jelly Bean. There’s also a 2-megapixel front camera, with some special trickery packed into the main camera, which is a 4-ultrapixel affair.

Ultrapixel? Well, it’s essentially a 4-megapixel camera, but with a “breakthrough sensor with UltraPixels” that is apparently capable of gathering three times as much light as a traditional smartphone camera.

Basically, low light shots should be a hell of a lot better – and as this is a definite weak spot for the smartphone camera, the tech will be impressive if it lives up to HTC’s billing.

HTC BoomSound is another innovation. HTC phones are famous for their Beats-driven audio quality, and BoomSound means front-facing stereo speakers with a dedicated amplifier. That should deliver some relatively impressive sonics for a handset.

This well-specced, good looking phone could be good enough to help turn HTC’s fortunes around. Perhaps the biggest negative is the Galaxy S4 on the horizon, which could take much of the interest away from this model before too long.

We’re keenly awaiting the reviews and evaluation of the “Ultrapixel” camera and BoomSound speakers, to see how much they really deliver.


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