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One HTC: the new HTC smartphone star

HTC has lifted the veil Tuesday on the future spearhead of its Android range, embodied by the HTC One terminal 4.7 inches (12 cm), and over-equipped with a new version of the overlay software house, the terminal evidenced by the boss of HTC renewed ambitions shape the segment of high-end smartphones.

While the world of mobility to seeing you at the end of the week for the annual event in the industry, the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, HTC has chosen to cut the grass under the feet of its competitors by unveiling proactively its new flagship. Presented a world exclusive in two simultaneous events in London and New York (and leaked varied from a few weeks), the newcomer is called HTC One, and is intended, according to Peter Chou, CEO of the Taiwanese firm, a terminal whether uncompromising design, features, interface, or the ability to gain access to premium content.

HTC One adopts a 4.7-inch display screen 1920 x 1080 pixels and comes with Android Jelly Bean (4.1.2), topped by a new evolution of the overlay software house, HTC Sense 5.0. "Your home screen is transformed into a true personal news feed," says the boss of design at HTC. This newsfeed (called BlinkFeed) composed of vignettes reflecting the latest updates from news flow makes great in the picture, with the ability to quickly view an interesting element, a simple swipe on the side. Each application is capable of delivering consistent updates, the user can choose which in turn are the sources he wants to see from the home screen. However, this interface can be abandoned in favor of traditional offices and Android widgets.

In terms of hardware, HTC uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon S600 announced earlier this year, with 2 GB of RAM and 32 or 64GB of stochage (no microSD slot). The body of the apparatus, slightly domed, is machined from aluminum. The thickness exceeding 9 mm in its most protruding (9.4 mm exactly), but the edges very thin, on the order of 4 mm, make pleasant grip. While on the Android trend is all "no button" on the front, HTC holds two buttons (back, home, bordering the HTC logo) that increase is the surface of the device. Compared to an equivalent diagonal Nexus 4, HTC One turns out to be slightly larger in height, although its finesse compensates. It embeds a 2300 mAh battery, and weighs 143 grams. The phone, which uses micro-SIM cards, is finally compatible NFC, 4G and Glonass, in addition to the traditional GPS.

Regarding the photo, HTC takes the opposite of the current trend, which means 13 megapixel sensors. "The focus on the amount of pixels is irrelevant," proclaims HTC, who prefer to focus on the integration of a sensor called "Ultrapixel" supposed to capture three times more light than conventional sensor, due to photosites are larger than what is usually done. HTC does not communicate clearly, for the moment, the resolution of the sensor (1/3 "), which delivers default 4 megapixel images, the sharpness is expected to increase as long as the noise is reduced due to the sensor the pixels enlarged. We also note an opening f/2.0, with a minimum focal length 28 mm (35 mm actual).

HTC launches at this level a feature called HTC Zoe, who can actually automatically capture a few seconds of video to trigger each photo. The sequences thus obtained can then be easily assembled within a tunnel, to form a small film without particular assembly. The sensor on the front meanwhile offers 2.1 megapixel with 1080p video recording and a large angle to 88 degrees.

Its side, HTC always relies on the assets of the Beats brand, and adds the new One device intended to improve the quality of restitution. BoomSound called, it relies on the integration of two real loudspeakers within the unit. The music application is also changing, with new dynamic animation options screen during playback.

The phone also has a noise cancellation system based on the integration of two microphones. According to HTC, the interest is primarily in conversations, in order to eliminate the noise, but also for video recording. Multmedia side, HTC has provided an infrared transmitter, coupled with a dedicated application, Sense TV, with which it is possible to control a TV or media player.

Among other arguments, HTC relies on partnerships related to the content, the most significant in terms of image is probably the one with AOL. Tim Armstrong, CEO of the giant American Net, said he was delighted with the opportunity to facilitate access to various sites and portals on the Taiwanese mobile. Find relevant media and place, by default, within the HTC Sense interface and applications dedicated to the news.

The launch will take place in some 80 countries in early March, with pre-orders that will open today. In London, One HTC is today on display in a shop in Oxford Street Vodafone, HTC changed ephemeral store. The retail price of the bare terminal is fixed at 650 euros, but the HTC One should, as always with HTC, be widely referenced by operators who offer probably offers subsidized.

Verdict hot? Quickly took over Tuesday, HTC One leaves a great first impression. Large screen, good reactivity, high-end features, the prerequisites for a smartphone in the air at the beginning of 2013 are here. The overlay HTC Sense 5.0 changes the default interface well with Android, but with some good ideas, like news feeds reminiscent Windows Phone 8, menus readable, and some interesting additions to the standard functions of a smartphone, mode as Zoe dedicated to video capture. The sensor Ultrapixel leaves more cautious, especially because of its low apparent resolution, but it is still too early to say that the difference is significant with a smartphone already gifted in low light, whether for better or worse.

The design seems to us meanwhile particularly successful, despite a relatively large surface area for a screen of 4.7 inches. End, pleasant to handle, One HTC inspire respect because of its aluminum body, which we also ensure that it is not a problem of reception (remember the iPhone 4 ...) since the antenna is rightly been integrated. At first glance, the Taiwanese sign promising a terminal there, which is now waiting to see if it contains not a crippling defect. Appointment in a few days to test the depth and the final verdict.
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