Maybe it was because of the excitement generated by the return of the Motorola razr
, this time as a foldable smartphone that runs on Android. But the head of HTC Creative Labs, Drew Bamford, disseminated a tweet this morning
asking one question, "Which classic HTC phone would you like to see us bring back with today's technology?" Unfortunately, this might just be a hypothetical question. If so, that would be too bad.
HTC might have hit its creative peak with the HTC One (M8)
, released in 2014. Arguably the most popular HTC phone ever made, the device was ahead of its time. The One (M8) featured an aluminum casing and was equipped with a dual-camera setup in the back. The second camera was a depth sensor that allowed users to change the focus after a photo was processed. For many, this was their first experience with the bokeh blur that most phones can now produce. A very underrated HTC phone was 2012's DROID DNA
. A Verizon exclusive, this was the very first smartphone to feature an FHD (1080 x 1920) resolution. Both of these models might receive nods from HTC fans answering Bamford's question.
HTC has nothing to lose and everything to gain by bringing back one of its classic models
Some of HTC's Windows Mobile phones might also receive votes including the HTC HD2
, first released overseas ten years ago this month. The phone had a large (for its time) 4.3-inch 480 x 800 WVGA display. 2008's HTC Touch Pro
and Touch Diamond
also have some fans as well. Don't forget that HTC produced some of the most innovative and iconic handsets under contract like the T-Mobile G1
(the very first Android phone in the U.S.), the Nexus One
and the Windows Mobile-powered Sony Ericsson Xperia X1
After the HTC One (M8), HTC started to lose its way. Small batteries, disappointing cameras and the lack of exciting features prevented the company from challenging Samsung and Apple in the U.S. And the company also had a problem promoting its phones. It signed Robert Downey Jr. to a $12 million contract and then produced a couple of bizarre ads starring the actor
. It followed with ads starring actor Gary Oldman
that did nothing to promote its phones.
In June 2015, HTC co-founder Cher Wang got HTC fans' hopes up by teasing a "hero device." But no hero was subsequently announced. And in September 2017, Google purchased half of HTC's design and research team
including those who worked on the Pixel handset, for $1.1 billion. The purchase also gave Google non-exclusive licenses to smartphone-related intellectual property belonging to HTC.
Most HTC fans would love to see a modern version of the HTC One (M8)
It is hard to say what could be done to turn around HTC's moribund smartphone unit. Focusing on cryptocurrencies is not a solution and the company continues to swim in red ink. Most of those responding to Bamford on Twitter said that HTC should bring back a modern version of the HTC One (M7)
or One (M8). We would go with the latter model although it would have to have a larger QHD+ display, much bigger battery, a quad-camera setup (Wide, ultra-wide, telephoto and Time of Flight depth sensor) and an IP68 ingress protection rating. And HTC, if you're listening, don't paint yourself in a corner by making a promise about Android updates that you can't keep.
A revised HTC One (M7) or One (M8) could be just what the manufacturer needs. Just the other day it unveiled the Desire 19s, an entry-level handset
that is not going to help turnaround the company. Perhaps nothing can at this stage. But HTC has nothing to lose and everything to gain by making a 2020 version of the One (M8).