As Expected, HTC Unveils Its New Flagship Phone, the HTC One
And you thought all the smartphone fun was going to happen at Mobile World Congress.
Today, at a event in New York City (with a concurrent event in London), Taiwanese handset maker HTC unveiled its new flagship phone, the HTC One.
As rumored, the aluminum-backed, Android-based phone is running on a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor. It has a 4.7-inch 1080 display coated with Gorilla Glass, and front-facing speakers that play Beats Audio. It comes with an NFC chip, although currently there are no pre-installed apps that are utilizing the technology.
The phone was also displaying a new version of the user interface known as HTC Sense. It includes something called “Blink Feed,” which transforms the home screen into a constant feed of social updates, emails and news, as well as ESPN content through a partnership with ESPN.
And much emphasis was placed on the phone’s “UltraPixel” camera — which, the company said, means the megapixels are bigger. As HTC pointed out, the megapixel count on a camera doesn’t matter; it’s the size of the pixels.
In addition to “ghost” HDR and burst-shot modes, the HTC One is meant to capture better pictures in low light, and comes with a built-in video-editing solution, dubbed “Zoe.”
The LTE-enabled HTC One will begin shipping in late March; price has not yet been announced. The company has named AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile as its U.S. carrier partners.
The phone comes in silver or black, with 32 gigabytes or 64GB of storage.
HTC president Jason Mackenzie says HTC saw a “massive opportunity” to bring excitement back to smartphones and bring HTC’s offerings to another level. “This is not just another set of incremental improvements,” he said.
As my AllThingsD colleague Ina Fried wrote this morning, the launch of the One comes at a particularly tough time for the company, which found fast success on the back of Android, but just as quickly lost ground to other rivals in the high-end smartphone market, particularly Samsung.
According to Gartner Research, HTC’s share of the global smartphone market slipped to 4.7 percent last year from 9.1 percent in 2011 — even falling below flailing RIM (now, BlackBerry), which had 5 percent of handset market share last year. Samsung, meanwhile, soared from 18.7 percent of the market to 30.3 percent during the same time frame, topping both Apple and Nokia.