The all new HTC One (HTC M8) rumor round-up: camera, specs, release date and design pictures
Update: HTC has finally taken the wraps off its new One officially. Read our full HTC One (M8) review here.
The all new HTC One will be unveiled officially on March 25th, but three weeks before that date and just around the Oscars, a drama worth an academy award unveiled. A kid named Roshan Jamkatel got his hands on the new HTC One and posted a full-on 12-minute video preview of the yet unannounced phone, thus breaking an NDA his father (an HTC employee) had signed, but also - breaking a lot of the secrecy around HTC’s next big thing.
Truth be told, there wasn’t all that much secrecy left, as leaked images had already surfaced from all places, revealing the more intense metal design of the new HTC One and its one key feature - a “Duo” camera on its back. There was some, though, as we had seen a lot of still images and a very short video, but nothing like a full-on video preview. Moreover, in the following days, more such short videos surfaced and we even saw a concise walkthrough of HTC's Sense 6.0 user interface.
So what can we say now, what will the new HTC One look like? Read on to find out our recap of all its new features, a look at the “Duo” camera and what it could offer, as well as specs and release date.
“Duo” camera - two cameras on its back
The all new HTC One will be the first phone to feature two cameras on its back. We have actually already seen smartphones with dual rear cameras, but their goal was 3D photography, while the cameras on HTC’s new big thing are said to contribute to improving traditional 2D photography rather than 3D.
The actual process of taking a photograph on the new HTC One actually looks pretty much unchanged - you see a single image through the viewfinder and you tap on a button to capture a picture. The actual benefits of the dual camera become visible once you open a captured image, as you can apply “Duo effects” to the picture. We’d also guess that HTC has bundled in effects like post-capture focusing, a depth map and the possibility to erase objects from an image, but we are yet to see a confirmation about these features. The other changes in the actual shooting process should be in faster focusing and a more pronounced depth of field effect. We have also seen demonstrations showing how the two rear cameras can be used to achieve lossless zoom, but we don’t know whether the camera in the new HTC One will have this feature on board.
The camera interface is also overhauled, and now you can select from six main shooting modes. The regular camera and video modes are what most consumers will use most of the time, but there is also a “Zoe camera”, “Selfie”, “Dual capture” (recording simultaneously on your front and rear cameras), and a “Pan 360” (360-degree panorama) mode.
HTC is also said to still use UltraPixel technology, but in an improved form. That's good news, as we have found the current UltraPixel camera on the HTC One to be sub-par to its peers.
Design: more intense metal
With so many leaked images, it seems clear that the new HTC One will feature a design very similar to the HTC One, with two front-facing speakers and an aluminum unibody, but with an even more intense metal finish, with more pronounced metallic texture.
All new interface: Sense 6.0
The new HTC One is expected to ship with the latest Android 4.4 KitKat on board and a re-imagined Sense user interface on top of that. The new Sense is expected to carry the 6.x version, but it is not a huge change over the current one. The most interesting new feature seems to be the added support for 'Motion Launch gestures' like double-tap to wake the phone's display.
The BlinkFeed news aggregator is still a swipe away (but it’s been improved), and now you can swipe twice to see its contents by category. The overall visuals have not changed much either - you still have a vertically scrolling app drawer, dark backgrounds and a similar aesthetic. The two biggest changes are in the camera app and the settings menu. The camera app now has large, round icons that are easy to tap on, and in settings the icons have also been simplified, getting that trendy, flat styling.
The new and exciting thing under the hood is the added support for expandable storage. The new HTC One should come with a microSD card expansion slot (the current model does not support microSD cards), so you can expand the storage freely.
Official announcement set for March 25th, coming to all carriers
HTC has already set the date for the official unveiling of its next flagship - it’s March 25th, with events simultaneously taking place in New York City and London. The new HTC One has also cleared FCC certification recently, and we have all reasons to believe it will arrive on all four major US carriers - Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile - as well as internationally. With all this information, do you feel ready to break the piggy bank and grab HTC's upcoming new big thing?