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HTC is going hard on marketing, but is the One enough to make HTC relevant again?

HTC is going hard on marketing, but is the One enough to make HTC relevant again?
From everything we've seen and heard, the HTC One could very well be the new gold standard in the mobile world, at least as far as the tech elite are concerned. Everything about the device is top quality, but as always, it's all in the execution that determines success. More specifically, it doesn't always matter if you have the best device if you can't market it properly and excite customers. So, we have to ask the question: is the One enough to make HTC relevant again?

Obviously, the spec sheet of the HTC One looks amazing - 4.7-inch 1080p full HD screen with 468ppi, aluminum unibody, 9.3mm thin, 143 grams, 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, 2GB RAM, stereo front speakers, HDR microphone, 4G LTE, a 2,300mAh battery, and of course the HTC UltraPixel Camera. The trouble is that spec sheets don't tell the whole story

Yes, the new Snapdragon 600 crushed the benchmarks that we saw, but we still don't know how many apps are optimized enough to make the processor noticeably faster than the competition in real life usage. The demo images we've seen from the HTC UltraPixel Camera look amazing, but then again so do most demo shots. As always, real world tests will tell the whole story. The real story starts when the device gets into the hands of the users. And, the process of getting your device into the hands of the users falls into 3 parts. First: get people into the store with your marketing campaign.HTC is going hard with its new advertising campaign, but we're not sure it's the right way to go. 

HTC is going hard on marketing, but is the One enough to make HTC relevant again?

There has been a lot of talk about HTC's 2.0 marketing campaign, and new CMO John Wang. The idea of the "Marketing 2.0" push at HTC was said to be in making "holistic marketing and mass-market brand outreach." As you can see with the new ad for the HTC One, it seems like Wang is going more for a passive-aggressive direction with the marketing. The text of the ad isn't so bad, but going with the headline "Everything your phone isn't" is a pretty bold claim. And, it's one that doesn't hold up too well until you get to the stereo speakers. The iPhone has a sleek aluminum unibody, and any Windows Phone or Android device can stream all of your favorite content to a certain extent. But, that brings us to the second way you make your device a winner: design.

Even if the text of the ad isn't the best, the phone itself looks very interesting, which could be enough to get users interested. And, as we learned with our hands-on, the HTC One is designed beautifully. It looks gorgeous, and feels great in the hand. It's the kind of device that you want to touch when you see it, so that helps a lot in getting it into the hands of users. At least, it gets the device into the hands of people already in the store. Once the device is in the users' hands, we get to the last piece of the puzzle: UI. 

HTC put in a lot of good work with the Sense UI. Some will say that the Sense 5.0 UI is borrowing heavily from Windows Phone, but the truth is that plenty of products have been moving to a graphically intensive tile arrangement for content: Windows Phone/Windows 8, Flipboard, Google+/Google Currents, Pulse, even the PhoneArena website and other news sites like The Verge. It's a pretty simple idea: you need something that conveys information and works well on touchscreens, and a graphically intensive tile layout is one of the best ways to do that. The one trouble with Sense 5.0 is that it is quite a departure from established Android UI design. 

HTC obviously needed something different, because what it had been doing wasn't working, but to remove all widgets and anything that users typically associate with Android in favor of the new BlinkFeed. Whatever the reason you may choose to explain Samsung's dominance of the Android market, the TouchWiz UI never strays too far from stock Android. HTC is taking a big risk in pushing this much of a UI change. It looks good, and it could very well work. At the very least, we're hoping that it doesn't add any more time to Android updates than a standard UI would. 

Conclusion

HTC is kind of going for broke with the HTC One. The company has steadily been losing ground in the smartphone race, so it has to be aggressive in order to make up ground. The company has abandoned the low-end market, and has been focusing on the high-end, but it still hasn't been able to make a dent in the market control Samsung and Apple have. We thought that the HTC One X last year was a pretty solid entry, but it didn't really make any waves. The new HTC One looks even better than the One X, and has the added benefits of coming to three of the four major US carriers, which the One X couldn't say, as well as having a possible headstart on the Samsung Galaxy S4. Getting on Verizon would give the One the best shot possible to generate some buzz and sales before the next flagship Galaxy hits the market, so we'll have to see if that works out. As is, the HTC One has the design and specs to be a success, but we need to see more from this new "Marketing 2.0" strategy before we get too optimistic.

80 Comments
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posted on 19 Feb 2013, 20:47 4

1. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


First of all, I think that BlinkFeed is a crap and even worse that there is no way how to turn off that crap...

Second, I don't like that "Live Gallery"...

CPU is beast!

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 20:53 33

3. Hunt3rj2 (Posts: 396; Member since: 11 Nov 2011)


BlinkFeed can be turned off, I don't know what you've been reading.

Live Gallery only deals with Zoe functionality. If you don't like it, just turn it off.

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 20:58 9

8. AnTuTu (Posts: 1580; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)


@PhoneArenaUser: Please go and do some research before being a 1st person to post crap.

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 21:07 8

12. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


And I think that you talk crap and you should go and do some research!

Engadget:
"Now, BlinkFeed. This is simply a Flipboard-like tile interface that sits permanently on the main home page."

CNET:
"Worse, the HTC reps I spoke to confirmed that there's no way to shut BlinkFeed off entirely."

TechCrunch:
"For better or worse, there’s no way to turn the feature off..."

So who is now talking crap?

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 21:00 2

10. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


"BlinkFeed can be turned off, I don't know what you've been reading."

Somewhere I read that and also just watched video from MobileGeeks and reviewer says the same that there is no way how to turn it off.

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 21:08 22

13. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2707; Member since: 26 May 2011)


I would assume that just like any Android device, the easiest way to get rid of it is to install an alternative launcher.

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 21:13 3

14. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


I know, but still sad that there is no way how to do that by default. :(

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 21:45 4

19. ngo2dd (Posts: 896; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)


You can disable the program like any thing on android. The tile will still but there. It just will be blank. Please quote the rest of engadget please, like how it can be disabled

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 22:00

22. Aeires (unregistered)


Why would you want a disabled tile? If you can disable it, you should be able to remove it.

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 22:37 1

28. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


It really isn't a disable option, you just uncheck all the options of things to be in your feed. I don't think anyone would want to do that though, the social networking options could be useful. Though, I agree, they should give the option for it to be removed.

posted on 20 Feb 2013, 07:14

59. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


It is not the same as disabling.

posted on 20 Feb 2013, 11:12 5

64. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2707; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Why is it such a problem that you can't disable it? First, you say you don't like it, but you've never actually used it, so that opinion doesn't hold much weight. Second, there are plenty of other high-end Android devices to choose from. If you don't like what HTC did, don't buy it. It's quite simple. And, as I said before, if you really have to buy the One and you still don't like BlinkFeed, then just install Nova Launcher, and you're good to go.

This is the way Android works. If you don't like what Samsung/HTC/Sony does, you don't buy it, but no manufacturer isn't going to make it easy to get rid of their UI. Of course, that's why Nexus exists.

posted on 20 Feb 2013, 15:52

72. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


"First, you say you don't like it, but you've never actually used it, so that opinion doesn't hold much weight."

Yes, that's true I never actually used it and I don't know what is the feeling of using BlinkFeed. But you know what, I even don't want to try it because I already know that I don't need it, I just don't feel a need for it! And I believe that there is more people who don't want it and I'm also sure that there will be people who will try it and do not want it anymore, so why HTC just didn't leave the facility to turn it off by default for those who don't want it? Is it so hard? Also if I have never used something, that doesn't mean that I can't have subjective opinion about that, right?

"Second, there are plenty of other high-end Android devices to choose from."

Yes, I agree. At the moment I'm interested in Sony Xperia Z and HTC One and that's why I'm counting pros and cons in my mind about these two devices. And since this article is about HTC One I'm expressing my opinion about it and not about any other device.

"If you don't like what HTC did, don't buy it. It's quite simple."

Yes, it is simple. But not so simple when you actually like it but hate bloatware inside of it.

"And, as I said before, if you really have to buy the One and you still don't like BlinkFeed, then just install Nova Launcher, and you're good to go."

Yes, I consider about doing that.

posted on 20 Feb 2013, 18:51 2

75. AnTuTu (Posts: 1580; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)


After reading all of your comments above what I can do is :- hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahaahah

posted on 20 Feb 2013, 19:07

76. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


I understand you because now you feel butthurt because you already made fool of yourself in comment #8 and now you just don't have anything reasonable to say. ;)

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 20:55 15

6. AnTuTu (Posts: 1580; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)


Question: HTC is going hard on marketing, but is the One enough to make HTC relevant again?

Answer: OFCOURSE YES.

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 21:42

18. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


"...but is the One enough to make HTC relevant again?"

Not if your toy isn't available to ~50% of the cellular subscribers in the U.S.

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 22:34 4

27. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


Since when did AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile make up less than 50% of the cellular subscribers in the U.S?

posted on 20 Feb 2013, 00:03

43. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


My bad. Typing too fast and after 2 minutes, no editing ability. VZW has a little over 20% (21%?) of the cellular subscribers in the U.S. The point still applies - there are 67 million subscribers who are being ignored.

posted on 20 Feb 2013, 01:14

50. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


I'm still wondering why Verizon passed on the One. Is it because the DNA is still in their spotlight, or is it because HTC didn't let Verizon change it to how they wanted?

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 20:52 5

2. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)


I really love HTC new design but i can't live with out having a SD MICRO card slot.

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 20:54 1

4. Hunt3rj2 (Posts: 396; Member since: 11 Nov 2011)


I heard rumors that Sprint might have microSD because they do not have SIM slot.

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 20:55

7. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Even 64GB + USB On-The-Go (if HTC One supports it) ? :)

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 23:07

32. b1acktiger (Posts: 223; Member since: 19 May 2012)


Jelly bean running One X, One S and One X+ supports USB OTG, why Wouldn't htc one supports ?

posted on 20 Feb 2013, 07:15 2

60. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Then it is even better. 64GB + USB On-The-Go and there is no need for SD card. :)

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 20:58 6

9. lyndon420 (Posts: 4962; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Just curious...but are you frequently swapping out sdcards? Since getting my One X I've learned to live without an sdcard...especially with Box and Dropbox at my side.

posted on 20 Feb 2013, 01:11

49. blingblingthing (Posts: 570; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)


Great point. Personally, I don't really need more that 16gb unless you plan to have all your music and videos on your phone.

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 21:25 3

15. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


Solution: Wait for Samsung's beast.

posted on 20 Feb 2013, 13:26

70. androiddownsouth (Posts: 598; Member since: 02 May 2012)


Inspector, do you really need more than 64GB of storage? What exactly are you doing that you can't live below that number???

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 20:54 4

5. lyndon420 (Posts: 4962; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


I'm confident this will bring htc above water again.

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