01/04/2014 - HTC Releases HTC One M8
Led by CEO Peter Chou, HTC has developed a reputation for making phones that are just as visually appealing as they are functional. The company's latest flagship device, the One (M8), is another in a long lineup of beautifully crafted smartphones, and we had a chance to sit down with Chou to discuss the handset and some of the process behind how it came to be. "Our challenge was how do we break through from M7 to M8?" Chou told us. "I decided last year that I'm going to spend most of my time in product to help break through. Make it premium, like watches or jewelry. We want to stand out."
Chou was definitely deeply invested in the success of the M8, and was directly involved in its development -- he lost 5kg testing out the Fitbit integration, and even spent several weeks walking around with an M8-shaped block of wood in his pocket. "I tried to simulate when I take it out, how it feels when I put it on my ear, and when I talk." In other words, Chou wanted to see it through the lens of any other consumer. During this process, he provided feedback to his design team on which areas needed to be tweaked. "We were working back and forth on fine-tuning it; 'I don't like this curve, I want it to be more natural in the hands, I want this completely metal, completely pure.'"
While most people would be happy to have a new HTC One (M8) to play with, our friends at iFixit aren't "most people," and they're back doing what they do best: reducing gadgets to component confetti. Having said the necessary prayers and got to work, iFixit was delighted to find screws holding the main body together -- an omen of repairability, perhaps? The situation quickly "turned ugly," as a mass of tape and copper shielding had to be removed, only to expose a glue-fixed motherboard. Other components and the battery were found to be glued just as liberally, and having finally reached the display, iFixit accidentally cut the digitizer cable, essentially breaking it. It'll probably be of no surprise, given the narrative, that the new HTC One scored a measly two out of ten on the repairability scale, due to teardown difficulty and risk of damage. It's an improvement, at least, over the old HTC One's score -- iFixit didn't have the super-secret tool, mind -- but it's probably best you keep your M8 out of trouble all the same.
The HTC One was one of our favorite smartphones of 2013. It featured a gorgeous industrial design, a fantastic display, great camera and top-of-the-line performance. HTC poured its heart into it, as evidenced by nearly every aspect of the device. The phone exceeded nearly all of our expectations, but that also left a big problem: We now expect history to repeat itself. After all, if the original One was such a great device, its successor should, in theory, be even better, right?
Of course it should be. But does this year's version of the One have what it takes? On paper, the answer is yes: It has a larger screen, offers two curious-looking rear camera sensors, boasts an improved version of HTC's Sense UI and features a chassis with even more metal. It appears, then, that there's a lot to love here, but it's difficult to take our breath away twice in a row. Here's what impressed -- and what didn't.
We all knew it was coming, and after a lengthy list of leaks, the new HTC One is finally official. This time of year is known for its gaggle of new handsets, so we've lined up the latest offerings so you can see for yourself how they stack up. Flagships from Samsung, Sony and LG are all here to see which mobile device will nab an edge on paper. Want to compare these to your current daily driver? Mosey on over to our comparison tool to do just that. Otherwise, head past the break for our neatly compiled list of specs and form your own analysis of the lot.
25/03/2014 - The new HTC One vs. the 2013 model: what's changed?
If you're still attached to last year's HTC One, you may be wondering just how the new model compares. What's new? Well, we've compiled spec sheets on both the 2013 and 2014 models just past the break for an easy side-by-side comparison. There's plenty to consider including increases in battery size, screen real estate, external storage and, of course, that newfangled Duo Camera. Take a peek after the jump for the full rundown.
25/03/2014 - Live from the HTC One event in New York City!
The time has finally come to see what the hullabaloo is all about -- this year's version of the HTC One is going to be announced here very soon, and we'll be bringing all of the big news to you live from New York City! Stay tuned as we get this liveblog rolling just before 11AM ET.
Given the extensive number of leaks we've seen of HTC's next-generation flagship smartphone, we wouldn't blame you if you thought that the latest and greatest out of Taiwan was already official and being sold in stores. Truth is, it's not -- but it's going to be announced in a little over 24 hours. The company is unveiling the all new HTC One in a big way: a livestreamed event taking place in both New York City and London at the same time. We'll be liveblogging the launch on the US side, and hope that you can join us as CEO Peter Chou finally reveals everything we want to know about the device codenamed the M8!
Given the vast number of leaks about HTC's all new One, its upcoming flagship launching March 25th, it's almost surprising that it was this long before we saw a retail unit sold on eBay. But hey, it's finally happened, although we must say we're a bit puzzled as to why the sale only netted $500. Naturally, the final retail price will be a bit higher than that. Regardless of price, the fact that it comes in its packaging is more important because it has most of the specs listed on it.
10/03/2014 - HTC's next One leaks again in all-angle photo shoot
HTC's upcoming successor to the One, codenamed M8, has been a leaky ship while sailing to its March 25th launch. But the latest set of photos from a Chinese Weibo site leave nothing to the imagination, showing a possible China Mobile retail model from nearly all angles. Of interest are the speaker grills, which seem to be coated with a clear layer of material, possibly for protection. The leaker also said that the M8 used a lot of new CNC process tech, resulting in a very tight build on the handset. Otherwise, the gallery confirms details we've already seen and several pics with an HTC One Max show the relative size. To cap it off, @evleaks has shown a possible snappy-looking LED smart cover for the M8. That mimics others we've seen (like on the Alcatel OneTouch Hero), by showing the weather, time and other real-time info. Head after the break to see that image, or for an all-around view of the (alleged) M8, check the gallery below. %Gallery-slideshow183765%
[Image credit: TD Beta]
Via: GSM Arena
If you're going to clone one of 2014's hottest Android flagships, you might as well clone others, right? Goophone certainly thinks so. It just launched the Goophone M8, a smartphone that bears an uncanny resemblance to the all new (and still-unannounced) HTC One. Not that the similarities are much more than skin deep, mind you. Goophone's attempt at keepin' it real fake uses capacitive keys instead of the new One's on-screen buttons, and we doubt that the middling (if octa-core) processor, 1GB of RAM and 3G data speeds will have HTC breaking a sweat. It only costs $230 to get Goophone's knock-off, though. And hey, it comes in gold -- if you're only looking for an ostentatious design, you might as well save some cash.
Via: Unwired View
Leaked images and videos of the HTC One's successor are a dime a dozen, so we've already seen every possible nook and cranny of the device. Why, then, are we reporting on the latest find by @evleaks? It gives us the closest and clearest look of HTC's rumored dual-lens camera setup so far, which is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing features on the phone. It features a smaller lens just above HTC's standard lens and dual-LED flash, but the purpose of is still a complete mystery. Plenty of theories exist, and we reported on the most likely possibilities demoed at Mobile World Congress last week. Ideas include the ability to cleanly magnify distant subjects without using digital zoom, enhancing low-light performance (which was an area HTC focused on with the One), quicker autofocus and the ability to change a picture's depth of field. Whether or not these particular benefits show up, it's hard to dispute that a parallel-lens setup is indeed coming to HTC's new flagship smartphone.
27/02/2014 - Mobile World Congress 2014: HTC Keeps Its Pace
We've seen reports that HTC would be keeping the name from 2013's popular handset for its 2014 flagship, and today the outfit posted a BoomSound video teaser that seems to confirm the moniker. Taking a page out of Apple's playbook, the "all new HTC One" is referenced several times in the latter half of the promo. Of course, what we're led to believe in the upcoming device remains cloaked in blurred pixels and spoken details are bleeped out. It's worth noting that the company's PR has LOL'd at the notion of name consistency on Twitter, but we'll know for sure next month when the new model is expected to be announced.
Source: HTC (YouTube)
HTC seems to understand that it needs to do something to get its products into more hands. That's the sentiment that exec Jason MacKenzie expressed to us today after the company's Desire press event. Said MacKenzie, "You can expect to see more devices in the US that reach out to more market segments." Among these new devices, he tells us, is the new Desire 816 announced at today's show. Such a move shows that while the HTC One was one of our favorite devices of the year, it simply wasn't enough to make a significant enough impact in market share; by offering phones at a variety of price points, HTC believes that more people will take notice of its products as they hang out on store shelves. And if the company can keep up its ability to make tempting handsets with good build quality and low enough prices to compete, it likely will have a much larger impact in the US than anything Robert Downey Jr. can have.
HTC hasn't forgotten about Windows Phone after all. The company's been pretty silent on any sort of collaboration with Microsoft for a long time, but the North American product team spoke up today on Reddit. When asked if HTC is done with Windows Phone, the team stated: "we're working with Microsoft on the Blue update on Windows Phone 8X and will continue to take new products into consideration." Indeed, it appears that the 8X -- which will be nearly a year and a half old in April, when the Blue update is rumored to launch -- will get the latest and greatest version of Windows Phone after all, and perhaps we may even see new hardware down the road. Sadly there's no word on what will happen to the 8S, which launched around the same time, so we'll have to wait and see. As a sidenote, it's also rare to hear companies directly confirm the existence of upcoming updates, but let's face it: It's not as if it's really that big a secret these days anyway.
We hope you're ready for a rather interesting month for smartphones. Judging from the teasers, announcements and leaks, nearly all the major mobile players have something big to show in Barcelona next week. What you're looking at above is HTC's own next big thing, a new flagship smartphone that's doing the rumor rounds under the codename of M8. Looks familiar, right? However, there's already some notable changes, including an increase to three Android buttons, which are all now part of the screen. Having said that, according to mob.hr's leak, a bar with HTC branding means the screen will still takes up the same proportion of the phone's surface. Thankfully, the M8 appears to be made of metal just like last year's One, with the same micro-drilled holes for the speakers. According to this leak, expect a flip-top cover to go along with it too -- presumably with peep-holes for both of those rear-facing cameras.
Nokia and HTC have officially put all this patent litigation nonsense behind them. The two have settled their disputes, signed an agreement to license each others technology, and even decided to explore further opportunities to collaborate. The details are confidential, as they usually are in these circumstances, and the reasoning behind the move are not entirely clear... not that we're complaining. It could be that Nokia and HTC have realized there are competitors out there with deeper pockets and better stocked patent arsenals, and this alliance is simply to protect themselves against other aggressors. Or, it could be that Nokia is trying to get all its legal ducks in a row ahead of the impending Microsoft acquisition. Whatever the impetus, we're just glad that this is one less intellectual property rivalry we'll have to cover.
Nokia's recent legal victory over HTC, which imposed a sales ban on the latter's One Mini in the UK, has ended up being quite short-lived. We've just learned from HTC that the Court of Appeals has suspended the injunction against the stunted smartphone, which also allows the firm to resume imports of the rest of the One family. The case is far from being closed, however, as HTC intends to "aggressively appeal the [patent] validity decision" that led to the One Mini ban, and could yet impact its bigger brethren. Furthermore, to avoid future courtroom dates, HTC says it'll be engaging with its "chip suppliers on alternative solutions." It's almost certainly not the last we'll hear from this ongoing skirmish, but however many haymakers Nokia throws, HTC just keeps bouncing back. Full statement from HTC after the break.
Poor HTC. As if it didn't already have enough to deal with, the troubled manufacturer now has to meddle with the original design of the One and other smartphones in order to avoid infringing on a couple of Nokia patents. According to the Wall Street Journal, HTC is currently working with Qualcomm to find a different method of improving reception and transmission within its radio components, following a successful patent suit by Nokia in the US a week ago. If these tweaks don't happen, and if the ITC upholds Nokia's victory when it considers the matter in January, a number of models could potentially be subject to import bans. This has happened before, however, when HTC unwittingly infringed on a Nokia microphone patent and quickly managed to find a workaround, so by now it has become adept at this sort of fire-fighting and says it already has a plan to avoid "business disruption."
Source: Wall Street Journal
30/09/2013 - Refresh Roundup: week of September 23rd, 2013
Your smartphone and / or tablet is just begging for an update. From time to time, these mobile devices are blessed with maintenance refreshes, bug fixes, custom ROMs and anything in between, and so many of them are floating around that it's easy for a sizable chunk to get lost in the mix. To make sure they don't escape without notice, we've gathered every possible update, hack, and other miscellaneous tomfoolery we could find during the last week and crammed them into one convenient roundup. If you find something available for your device, please give us a shout at tips at engadget dawt com and let us know. Enjoy!
HTC America ended its Friday evening on the somber revelation that 20 percent of its workforce would be terminated. In all, roughly 30 employees and contractors were let go from the 150-member division, which stands as the latest sign of the company's financial struggles. A representative acknowledged the layoffs in a prepared statement, calling it "... a decisive action by HTC Corp (US) to streamline and optimize our organization and improve efficiencies after several years of aggressive growth." The news was first announced by The Verge, which obtained a letter from recently appointed division president Jason Mackenzie, who promised to "treat the impacted employees with the respect they deserved and provide them with resources to help bridge them to their next opportunity." We're still looking forward to bigger things ahead from HTC, but in the meantime, you'll find the company's full statement after the break.
Via: The Verge
Back in June, Verizon gave us fair warning that it would start selling the HTC One "later this summer." Well, we're just about halfway through August, and while you can't buy a VZW One just yet, you can at least let Verizon know you're interested. The carrier has added a sign-up page to its website, where eager beavers can put in their e-mail addresses so that they'll be the first to receive more information as it becomes available. Unfortunately, that splash page says nothing about when the device might ship or what it will cost with the usual two-year agreement. So for now, then, this page is really just for the most impatient of HTC fans.
Source: Verizon Wireless