This story has been updated. The company unveiled its new HTC One (M8) on Tuesday in New York. Verizon Wireless will carry the smartphone at its retail stores starting today, while other carriers such as AT&T and Sprint are expected to have it in stores by April 11, the same day that Samsung's Galaxy S5 goes on sale. In Canada, the HTC One will be sold through Telus, Bell and Rogers. The new HTC One will also be available for preorder online at 1 p.m. EDT today on HTC's official website as well as from several carriers.
The all-new HTC One release date has arrived, but one day before the Taiwanese company was set to unveil its 2014 flagship, a couple of retailers jumped the gun by announcing the M8’s specs, features and pricing in promotional literature.
The smartphone most notably will feature new camera technology called selective focus, allowing photos to be focused after they are taken. While the Galaxy S5 will also feature a selective focus feature, it will rely on software to do the trick, whereas the HTC One features two cameras that create a composite image. The HTC One will be able to focus better on objects in the foreground following the snap, soften backgrounds and create image files with a 3D effect, according to unofficial promotional literature.
While HTC chose to go with the “all-new One” moniker, its newest smartphone showcases a lot of twos. The main (rear) camera is lit by dual LEDs, one in white and another in amber, much like the iPhone 5s. The phone will adjust the flash for each shot, with amber tones from the second LED creating more “natural” lighting for skintones, a feature the company calls True Tone.
The HTC One specs a 1080p, 5-inch screen and options for 16-, 32- and 64GB of onboard storage. Reports say the 16GB model will only have 10GB of storage available, but the 2014 model is equipped with expandable storage through the addition of a microSD card. HTC will ship the phone in gray, silver and gold-colored metal bodies, powered by a 2,600 mAh battery and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset with a quad-core CPU clocked at 2.3GHz.
The smartphone reportedly has 2GB of RAM and will feature a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, an upgrade from the 2013 One’s 2.1-megapixel secondary shooter. The HTC One is also larger than the previous HTC flagship, by 0.3-inches in screen size. The 2014 model is also a larger phone, 9mm taller and 2.4mm wider. GSMArena lists the overall dimensions as 146.4 x 70.6 x 9.4mm (5.76 x 2.78 x 0.37).
HTC has loaded the phone with an updated version of the Sense UX for 2014 (version 6.0), running together with the underlying Android OS, version 4.4.2 (KitKat). The 2014 HTC One will also include Motion Launch, which answers phone calls as a user places the phone to their ear, a “double-tap to wake” feature like the LG G2, and a timer on the front-facing camera for better “selfies,” or self-portraits.
Tell us, has HTC improved its latest smartphone enough to make it a buyer's choice? Or will you wait to see what Samsung, Motorola, LG, Sony, Apple and others have in store for 2014?
Follow Reporter Thomas Halleck on Twitter @tommylikey.