HTC RE hands-on

There’s no denying that HTC loves to think about cameras, especially when they’re the ones to popularize the “Ultrapixel” camera. One can argue that there needs to be more improvement in that area alone, but in recent times, they’ve been outfitting their phones with respectable sized cameras that can compete on the same level as its rivals. Interesting, though, they’re doing something strangely out of the blue with the upcoming RE, a REMARKABLE little camera as they have it marketed as.

When you think about action cameras, you probably don’t think about HTC per se. Instead, names like Go Pro come to mind, as they’ve become the leader in the action camera space. It seems, however, that HTC wants to have a piece of the pie as well – so that’s exactly where the RE comes into place. Visually, it’s an odd looking thing that doesn’t look like any other action camera on the market. Rather, HTC’s reputation of producing solid industrial designs is present with the RE. In fact, it kind of reminds of a periscope – or one of those asthma inhalers.

Constructed from a single piece of glossy plastic, the design is unique looking – that’s for sure! However, we have to say, grasping the RE in our hand pretty much eliminates the notion of shooting vertical videos, which is a common problem when some people capture videos with their smartphones. On one end, there’s a 16-megapixel 1/2.3” CMOS sensor, which features a wide-angle 146-degree f/2.8 aperture lens. Meanwhile, on the other end, there’s a standard sized tripod mount, microUSB port used to charge its battery/data connectivity, and a flap that covers its microSD card slot (it comes included with an 8GB card).

In being a true action camera, the RE by itself has an IP57 rating for dust and water resistance, so taking it with you in the pool won’t damage it. Unlike out smartphones, we don’t have to be too concerned if we accidentally drop the RE, since it’s pretty durable on its own. Along the top edge, we have a dedicated button where our thumb rests on for snapping photos with a single press – or initiating video recording with a long press. Towards the inside part of the RE, there’s another flush button that’s used to initiate slow motion capture. Yes, there’s a microphone nearby the main shutter key, but in our time using it, we sometimes have a habit of covering it.

Simply holding the RE takes it out of its standby mode, so we’re fairly able to snap content quickly. However, due to its lack of a screen of some sort, we’re capturing content without exactly knowing how it’s being framed – and that’s one thing that can become somewhat annoying. To be fair, though, it can be paired via Bluetooth to an Android smartphone, where the RE app acts as a viewfinder and remote shutter. Also, it’s used to view and transfer content wirelessly too – as well as to fine tune certain settings.

Now, we managed to take the RE for a spin throughout New York City for a couple of days, and honestly, we’re a little bit disappointed by the results. Of course, we have to mention that we’re dealing with a pre-production model here, but the distracting part is that most low lighting shots are prone to blurring – the camera itself seems to have a longer exposure, so it’s more prone to that. As for video quality, it’s also disappointing because of the flat looking and grainy results. Between now and its tentative release sometime in late October, we surely hope they can somehow improve the quality. Oh yeah, we have to mention that you’ll need to fork over $200 to pick up the RE. Is it a little excessive? Maybe, depending on your situation, especially when some smartphones deliver better results at the moment.



1. marbog

Posts: 14; Member since: Oct 01, 2014

what a sh. t :)) ugly...

2. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

With f/2.8 i expected that.

21. lalalaman

Posts: 638; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

i think htc went for a GoPro alternative....heck htc wants it name in a camera market

23. chocolaking

Posts: 495; Member since: May 22, 2012

This place is got more trolls than Mordor.

3. DillWeed

Posts: 150; Member since: Mar 14, 2014

"Sued to view"?

4. DillWeed

Posts: 150; Member since: Mar 14, 2014

"Sued to view"? Used to view, I'm guessing. There's so many grammar errors and typos on this site.

5. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Have you read the posters on this site? I have to decipher nearly a 3rd of the post due to poor grammer.

9. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

posts* (In both places it would appear.) grammar* There, fixed it for you. I mean, if you want to be the Grammar Police and all... Unless, were you were being ironic? Sometimes it's hard to tell on the internet.

6. ericsorensen

Posts: 53; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Not having a viewfinder is a huge fail. For that price, I would have expected stereo mics built in, too.

10. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

I was working on the assumption you could use the phone/tablet as a view finder. This way, if you're taking a video, say, over a building ledge or over a cliff face (possibly even underwater if the RE has the certification), you're not putting your device in imminent danger.

15. guidoconrad

Posts: 26; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

Your phone doubles as a viewfinder

7. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

That looks hideious. HTC should stick with phones not action type cameras. leave that to GoPro

8. terabyteRouser

Posts: 457; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

its not an action camera. its a ultra portable camera, that easily syncs to your phone.

13. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

If that's the case it makes it even worse, because there is no point in buying this camera. The camera is not able to provide better quality than some flagships or useful features like optical zoom for example.

19. ivanprskalo

Posts: 124; Member since: Dec 09, 2010

I have to disagree Neo. I looks interesting, maybe not in this color, but design also looks apealing and useful in the same time.

11. Af1rPA

Posts: 712; Member since: Jun 12, 2014

Great for taking creep shots. I wonder if the lens is scratch proof.

12. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

The camera quality is quite poor, a Gopro costs about the same and looks better than this.

14. aryanfr1

Posts: 125; Member since: Jan 24, 2013

Wow HTC came with an HTC asthmatic inhaler design. Lol

20. ivanprskalo

Posts: 124; Member since: Dec 09, 2010

no, it's a pipe, tobaco or weed pipe..

16. hameed1989

Posts: 47; Member since: Aug 29, 2012

GoPro is much better then this!

17. ABC_123

Posts: 49; Member since: Jul 11, 2014

QX10 is much better

18. android_hitman unregistered

omg! so many haters, If Apple would've released a similar crap everyone would piss themselves because of the excitement and call it innovation! geez

22. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2266; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

pics better than the M8 REAR CAM.

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