Posts tagged HTC
Take that, Apple. HTC believes it has one-upped its competition — including the marquee iPhone 5 – with its latest flagship smartphone. The HTC One features an all-aluminum construction that the company believes will set the phone apart at retail stores. ”This takes premium to the next level,” Scott Croyle, HTC’s design guru, said in an interview. “It feels more premium than anything I’ve felt out in the market.”
Croyle talked about the importance of making a good first impression with consumers, something that has become critical with HTC’s competitors all stepping up their game in regards to the quality of their phones. While HTC can’t outspend Apple and Samsung Electronics on the marketing front, the company can at least try to compete on the store shelves. Royle wasn’t shy about comparing the One’s “solid” feel to the competition, although he didn’t mention names.
His focus on the all-metal attributes is a direct shot at the iPhone 5, which similarly uses aluminum but has a top and bottom row on the back that’s constructed of glass, enabling the antenna inside to broadcast and receive signals. The HTC One, however, worked around that by building the antenna into the metal back of the phone, allowing for a more seamless looking device.
Technology companies love their buzzwords, and HTC has one for that process: zero-gap construction. ”You take the parts and join them together so you get that perfect fit and finish we’ve always promised,” Croyle said. He also referenced the cheaper plastic feel of other smartphones, likely a reference to Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S3. While the phone has been a blockbuster hit and is universally well regarded, some have complained about its flimsy feel. HTC has long used metal in its phones, dating back to the Legend, which made its first appearance almost exactly three years ago. While the Legend was constructed out of a unibody aluminum case, the back of the bottom “chin” was plastic to enable the antennas to work.
The HTC One takes the love of aluminum even further. Croyle said it takes roughly 200 minutes to cut and process the front and rear parts of each phone. ”There are multiple panels, but they feel like one part,” he said. While the back of the phone is part of the antenna, Croyle doesn’t foresee any reception issues like the iPhone 4, which used the metal frame around the phone as its antenna, causing some signal issues when held the wrong way. Croyle promised there wouldn’t be an “antennagate” with the One.
The design team sat down a year ago and talked extensively with the engineering team to figure out a concept that would work. After the engineering team brought up the idea of using the back itself as part of the antenna, the teams got to work on several concept models of what would eventually become the One. Croyle touted the One as a big engineering breakthrough.
Croyle hopes the higher quality parts will get people to take another look at HTC, something consumers haven’t done much of in 2012. Despite getting positive reviews for its own One X flagship phone last year, the company failed to sell enough to reverse the slowdown in revenue and profits. Still, Croyle believes people will welcome the unique design. ”The smartphone industry has kind of plateaued in regards to experience,” he said. “Now was the time to look at people and how they use their phones, and focus on where we can provide innovation.”
The good: The beautifully designed HTC Droid DNA features a quad-core processor, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, 4G LTE, a sharp 5-inch screen, an excellent camera, and long battery life.
The bad: The Droid DNA’s large size makes it tricky to fit in tight pockets, and it lacks both an SD card slot and a removable battery.
The bottom line: With quad-core power, 4G LTE, a lovely 5-inch screen, and a stunning design, the $199.99 HTC Droid DNA is currently Verizon’s best Android deal.
The new Droid DNA is the best phone I’ve seen from HTC in a long while, especially on Verizon. With its blazingly swift quad-core processor, and a gorgeous and eye-grabbing 5-inch screen, not to mention a great camera and long battery life, the Droid DNA is an excellent deal at any price. And at $199.99, I feel it’s a better buy than some worthy smartphone competitors, including the Motorola Droid Razr HD and Samsung Galaxy S3.
There are no two ways about it: the HTC Droid DNA is the sexiest-looking smartphone I’ve laid my hands on in quite some time. At a glance, the slab-shaped HTC Droid DNA looks like just about every other Android smartphone on the market. Step closer, though, and the signature Verizon red highlights jump out at you. While the handset is clad in stealth-bomber black, it’s trimmed with red metallic stripes on either side. HTC says it was inspired by Lamborghini supercars when crafting the DNA. As for me, I just think the stripes, which are iridescent and The HTC Droid DNA boasts a big, bright, and colorful 5-inch Super LCD 3 screen.
Measuring 5.6 inches tall by 2.7 inches wide, the device is large, yet thin. At 0.38 inch thick, and a mere 0.16 inch thick at its thinnest point, its profile makes its edges thinner than the Samsung Galaxy S3. Picking up both handsets and placing them side by side, however, they seem to be of equal thickness, or shall I say thinness. This phone is razor-sharp, there’s no doubt about that, and its metal buttons and trim give it a much more premium feel than the Galaxy S3′s plastic parts.
What further enhances the Droid DNA’s waferlike dimensions is how the display’s glass extends to the handset’s edges. This helps the phone disguise the fact that it’s packing a massive 5-inch Super LCD 3 screen. Not only is the display bright, it boasts a sharp 1080p resolution, which HTC claims translates into 440 pixels per inch. Text and details in photos and video looked crisp and colors vibrant.
While it’s not as oversaturated as the Samsung Galaxy3′s AMOLED screen, colors were more accurate but popped less. Even so, watching the HD YouTube trailer for “World War Z” on the Droid DNA was riveting. I could clearly see the virtual burning cityscape of New York, the fear in Brad Pitt’s lined face, and streams of running zombies in terrifying detail. For the record, the undead should never be able to sprint like that. Ever.
HTC does layer its own Sense 4+ interface on top of Android, which definitely changes the look and feel of Google’s stock OS. The lock screen features a digital clock and the date is spelled out in slim characters on top. At the bottom edge of the screen are a virtual ring and four icons for Phone, Mail, Messages, and Camera. Pulling these icons into the ring whisks you directly to their corresponding phone functions.
Of course you can also swipe your finger anywhere across the screen to jump to the home screen. You have five home screens to choose from; you can personalize each with apps and widgets. By default the main screen features HTC’s iconic weather clock widget along with shortcuts for Verizon Voice Mail, Google Play store, and browser. As with Android handsets running 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and later, you can also drop app icons on top of each other to create custom folders. I find it a handy way to cut down on home screen clutter.
Features and apps
As an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean device, the HTC Droid DNA can tackle all the usual smartphone tasks such as GPS, Bluetooth 4.0 (the most recent profile supporting low-power devices), Wi-Fi, and a mobile hot-spot app to share the phone’s 4G LTE connection with other mobile gadgets. Remember, though, that the feature will cost you extra — about $20 on top of your data and voice plans.
The HTC Droid DNA connects to popular Google services, too, such as Gmail, Google Plus, Maps, and Navigation. HTC has placed some of its own software on the DNA. A Music app combines the Amazon MP3 player and music storefront, Slacker Internet radio app, and phone-based tracks in one location.
Other apps on the handset include an assortment of free and paid software, services, and games, such as Amazon Kindle, Reign of Amira, Zappos, and the Amex Serve mobile payment solution. Sadly, Verizon flooded the Droid DNA with a helping of its bloatware, too, like My Verizon Mobile, NFL Mobile, Verizon Tones, and VZ Navigator.
A butterfly flaps its wings in one place, and a storm erupts on the other side of the world. But if you’re currently getting rained on, don’t blame the HTC Butterfly. The Butterfly is a new version of the HTC J Butterfly on sale in Japan, and known as the Droid DNA in the US. It sports a 5-inch 1080p high-definition screen, and underneath that is a quad-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor with a whopping 2GB of RAM.
Also on board is an 8-megapixel camera with 16GB of storage for your music and movies, snaps and apps. Word on the street is that this Butterfly won’t flap its wings here in the UK, but it’s been added to HTC’s global website so fingers crossed. We’re expecting big things from HTC in the next year, including an all-conquering flagship phone in the shape of the rumoured HTC M7 and a 6-inch phone to rival the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
HTC burst onto the scene just a few short years to produce what were the definitive Android phones in the early days of Google’s software for mobile phones and tablets. But as HTC and others made Android successful, it was Samsung that took the lead with the phenomenally popular Galaxy range. After leading the way at first, HTC has been left behind — even the excellent HTC One X and its ilk failed to capture the public imagination in the same way as theiPhone and Samsung Galaxy S3.
Next week in the city of Barcelona will again play host to the world’s biggest telecommunications expo, Mobile World Congress (MWC), and, as you’d expect, What will they bring you all the latest news and announcements from the biggest players in the mobile space.
So, what can we or do you expect in 2012? This year’s show is already off to an unusual start, with mobile heavyweight Samsung deciding against making a keynote presentation for its products, and LG spilling the beans early on what many think will be the company’s big releases. Interestingly, this might be the year that some of the newer names in smartphones make the biggest noise, with Huawei and ZTE queueing up new handsets and tablets for the event.
Renowned as much for its leaks as it is for its great products, HTC’s last month has been rife with speculation about what it has up its sleeve for MWC. From what we have heard thus far, HTC has at least two big phones to launch, plus an updated version of its Sense UI — now up to version 4.0.
The rumoured HTC One X
HTC One X (previously known as Endeavour, Edge, Zeta)
Hotly tipped to be one of the world’s first quad-core smartphones, the One X is also a break in the HTC tradition of only using Qualcomm processors, this time turning to Nvidia’s 1.5GHz Tegra 3. HTC will plant this tech behind a 4.7-inch HD-resolution display, an 8-megapixel camera and the new version of the Sense UI. Early reports suggest that the One X will ship with 32GB of internal storage, but that HTC won’t include a microSD card slot to expand this memory in the future.
HTC One S
As the less-exciting letter S might suggest, the One S is the baby brother of this duo, running a dual-core 1.5GHz processor and packing a qHD-resolution 4.3-inch AMOLED screen. In fact, if the rumours are true, then the Ville should look and feel a lot like the HTC Sensation XE, but with newer software and a nicer display.
What we’d like to see
Although the latest rumours we’ve heard suggest that HTC will launch a music-streaming service, we’d prefer the company to focus on gaming and its investment in OnLive. A quick scan of the local music-streaming landscape suggests a pretty packed marketplace, but streaming games remains untouched. If HTC plans on delivering a quad-core phone, it’d be nice for it to put those cores to work on a task that requires the processing power available.
As we mentioned earlier, Samsung has decided not to hold a keynote event as MWC, and will instead announce its flagship smartphone for the year (which many are already calling the Galaxy S III) at a private conference at a later date. This doesn’t mean that Samsung is missing out on MWC altogether, though.
Galaxy Note 10.1
Like the answer to an elementary mathematical equation, Samsung’s latest tablet looks to be one part Galaxy Tab 10.1 and one part Galaxy Note. Samsung will reportedly improve on its success with the 10.1 last year by adding a stylus and a range of stylus-friendly apps. It is also releasing an SDK for developers to get in on the act of making apps for its S Pen input device.
We also heard earlier that Samsung would pip Apple to the post and reveal a tablet with a Retina-like display, sporting a resolution of (approximately) 2048×1536 pixels, but we’re not sure whether this titbit applies to the Note 10.1, or whether Samsung has a second tablet to unveil.
This week, Samsung officially announced the Galaxy Mini 2 and the Galaxy Ace 2. If history is anything to go by, then these won’t be the only low- to mid-tier Galaxy-branded smartphones on display at the Samsung booth.
What we’d like to see
Samsung’s phones and tablets were a bit light on connectivity features in 2011, relying on the Apple model of offering a single, all-purpose port and charging extra for important adapters for TV-out and memory expansion. We’d like Samsung to follow the lead of the computer manufacturers, especially when it comes to tablets. The more ports, the merrier.
With its Ericsson partnership behind it, this could be Sony’s year to really stand out of the pack. All it needs is the hardware; as much as we loved last year’s Xperia range, especially its software, you would not describe the hardware as being on the bleeding edge.
The Xperia family
You’ll remember that Sony announced the Xperia S at CES in Las Vegas earlier in the year, and we expect the S to be matched by a couple more bearing the Xperia brand. The Xperia U is the hot tip — a smaller version of the S in design, with a 3.5-inch screen — but what’s most interesting about the Xperia U is that it might be the first phone to run on the Ericsson-designed NovaThor processor.
What we’d like to see
Now that Sony is out on its own, we want it to own hardware the way it does in the gaming space. The newly released PS Vita handheld console is everything we want in a smartphone, but designed for a different purpose. We can only imagine how successful a Sony-branded smartphone with a 5-inch OLED display and a quad-core processor could be.
LG has all but ruined the fun for us, beating out our predictions deadline with official announcements for six new handsets before MWC. If you visit the LG booth at MWC this year, expect to find the new 5-inch Optimus Vu smartphone tablet, a trio of Optimus L phones (the L3, L5 and L7) and two new models with 3D displays: the Optimus 3D Max and the Optimus 3D Cube.
The LG Optimus 3D Cube is one of the six phones LG has announced in the weeks leading up to MWC.
But let’s not forget that LG is planning a keynote event for the night before MWC officially kicks off, so you can be sure that the Korean tech giant has one or two rabbits to pull out of its hat.
HTC won’t be the only manufacturer with a quad-core beast at MWC, if the rumours are to be believed. The X3 (or Optimus X3) should be every bit the showstopper that we expect the HTC One X to be, with a 4.7-inch HD display, an 8-megapixel camera and 16GB of storage. We’ve also heard that LG intends to include a whopping 2000mAh battery in the X3, which should hopefully keep you connected for more than the typical single day that phones can manage these days.
What we’d like to see
LG seems to be getting left behind while the other major players create rich content offerings to support their portable devices. Sony, for example, has the Entertainment Unlimited platform, with music streaming and video rentals, plus PlayStation Certification for gamers. LG needs to think about similar value-adding services for its range before it is left too far behind.
Unlike much of its competition, we’re actually more excited about Motorola’s software than we are about hardware rumours. Last year, the Webtop concept blew us away, even though it failed to live up to its original promise. This year, we hope that things are different.
Motorola’s two unique offerings come in the form of its software offerings across its range. Whether you buy a Moto phone or tablet, you should get a standard docking connection and access to both Webtop and MotoCast.
Webtop is the software that Motorola developed to simulate a desktop-computer experience when your device is docked in a compatible accessory. Webtop gives keyboard and mouse functionality and a full desktop web-browsing experience. We’d love to see this concept taken farther, with more functionality and an SDK for developers to build apps specifically for Webtop.
MotoCast may not seem very exciting on the surface, but it could prove to be a real game changer. MotoCast is both a server you install on a PC or Mac and an app on your phone or tablet that streams media and files between the two devices. As long as you have an internet connection, you really needn’t have your music stored locally on your smartphone. Now that this service is established, there is a lot of room for growth. Imagine if Motorola started streaming games over the service, or gave you the option to subscribe to a remote server loaded with content rather than your own PC. MWC might reveal the next big thing in the evolution of this great software.
Nokia will be hoping to make a triumphant return to MWC this year, after having nothing new to show at last year’s event. There have been suggestions that Nokia will announce as many as six new handsets at the show, including new high-end Windows Phones and what is being dubbed as its last Symbian handset.
Nokia N808 PureView
Whether or not this is Nokia’s last roll of the dice on the Symbian platform is yet to be seen, but what we are confident of is that this should be Nokia’s best camera phone to date. Earlier rumours suggested that the PureView would include “Nokia’s largest image sensor ever”, so we’re guessing that we’ll see a 16-megapixel camera in this bad boy. Matched with the latest improvements to the Symbian platform, the PureView could be the sleeper hit that no one expected from Nokia in 2012.
There’s also a good chance that we’ll see a couple of new Lumia-branded handsets announced by Nokia at MWC, as well. There are suggestions that Nokia will unveil a 4G Lumia 900 for parts of the world outside the US, and a cheaper Lumia 610 for the prepaid market.
A new report claims HTC devices will receive PlayStation certification first. That doesn’t exactly mean the Vita should be worried, though. The Sony PlayStation mobile gaming empire could expand its borders to HTC gadgets next. That’s right, if a Pocket-lint report pans out, you’ll be able to play PlayStation-branded game titles on on HTC smartphones and tablets soon. My instant reaction to this nugget of potential news was joy and giddiness. Perhaps I’ll be finally be able to enjoy a few PSP breaks during my daytime commute. Then cold hard reality set in when I realized PlayStation certified doesn’t mean PSP certified.
Remember the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play? That was a device full of promise, billed to graft the fun of PlayStation gaming onto the power of Android–who could forget that creepy Super Bowl commercial. Sadly the fictitious operation went wrong, and unfortunate mobile gamers lured into buying the Xperia Play soon learned that while games on the phone look flashy, they weren’t the hot PSP titles they craved. Of course it makes sense that Sony wouldn’t sprinkle its real magic on other manufacturers’ phones, or even its own. You see cannibalism is taboo in marketing circles, too.