NEW YORK/LONDON — The “all new” HTC One could be the most leaked phone since the iPhone 4, but no leaks are necessary anymore. The Taiwanese manufacturer took the wraps off its latest flagship at simultaneous events in New York and London. The phone has the same aluminum unibody construction as last year’s model, but with more pronounced curves and metal this time around. That accounts for the fact that 90 percent of the phone’s body is made up of aluminum, compared with 70 percent on the 2013 HTC One. That also accounts for the fact that the phone is half an ounce heavier at 160 grams. The 2014 HTC One has a 5-inch 1080p S-LCD3 display, which is protected by a sheet of Gorilla Glass 3.
Internally, you’re looking at a 2.3GHz processor in Europe and the U.S., while China and other parts of Asia will be seeing a slightly faster 2.5Ghz processor and 2GB of RAM. As far as storage goes, you can configure the device with 16GB or 32GB of storage. But if you feel the need to expand at some point, there’s a microSD card slot on board to add up to 128GB more space. Plus, Google is throwing in 50GB of Google Drive storage for two years. A sizable 2,600mAh battery keeps the whole show running with an estimated 20 hours of talk time or, 40 days of standby time with the new Extreme power saving mode, which disables all but a few basic apps. And on board as well are the expected set of radios and sensors, including Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band 802.11ac WiFi, AWS compatibility, LTE, NFC, an accelerometer, gyroscope and barometer.
The two gamechanging features from last year’s model make a return here: BoomSound and the rear-facing UltraPixel camera. Starting with BoomSound, the front-facing speakers are connected to a dedicated amplifier and a more powerful DSP chip. They’re also seated deeper in the phone’s chassis, which ideally would lead to richer, louder audio with better-defined low-end sound. The UltraPixel shooter around back is the same 4-megapixel backside-illuminated camera as last year, but there’s a new imaging processor attached and HTC has ditched the optical image stabilization. But, it’s also added a depth sensor in what’s being called a Duo Camera array, which allows the One to perform tricks in post-production like blurring backgrounds or changing the focus point.
At its core, the One is running Android 4.4 KitKat with Sense 6.0 on top, which includes BlinkFeed and a heavy focus on themes. Several of its primary UI elements have been given subtle redesigns to give it a modern and open look. Perhaps more exciting news for developers is that BlinkFeed has opened up to developers, allowing them to push information into the service. For example, a service like Foursquare can send you lunch recommendations or Fitbit can send you the number of steps you’ve walked for a specific day. In another interesting move, the company has also broken several proprietary apps free of its firmware like Zoe, which will be making it on the Google Play Store soon.
Motion Launch is a pretty significant feature, which will listen to prompts to launch particular apps or actions when the phone senses movement. For example, swiping right on the screen will take you straight to BlinkFeed. The Dot View case extends those features by allowing you to tap the case twice to receive notifications, no phone display required.
The One will be available on all major US carriers in gray, silver and gold now. Verizon will be selling it online and in-store now, while AT&T and Sprint will be selling it online-only now but in-store starting April 11th for the following prices:
- 16GB- $199
- 32GB- $249
- No contract- $649
A Google Play Edition of this advice will be available for $699. T-Mobile will start selling the new One in stores and online starting on April 11th as well for $0 upfront, with 24 monthly payments of $26.50.