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HTC looks to One to regain smartphone crown


HTC One

Troubled smartphone maker HTC today announced its anticipated new flagship device - HTC One – as it attempts to regain momentum after a lacklustre 2012.

The headline feature of the device is a revamped Sense user interface, with a new BlinkFeed feature, which the company said “aggregates the freshest content from the most relevant and interesting sources”. HTC has partnered with more than 1,400 partners to deliver content, alongside information from social networks.

Looking something like a cross between Microsoft’s Windows Phone live tiles and the Flipboard app, the interface is certainly different from the Android norm – which may not prove appealing to all users. According to some reports, a more standard format will also be supported.

Speaking at the launch event in London, Peter Chou, the company’s CEO, said: “HTC has always been bold, and we’ve never been afraid to take risks.”

Also included on the device is an “UltraPixel Camera”, supported by an imaging app called – somewhat esoterically – HTC Zoe. The software “gives people the ability to shoot high-res photos that come to life in three second snippets”.

The company said the camera has a “best-in-class f/2.0 aperture lens”, and that the UltraPixels “gather 300 percent more light than traditional smartphone sensors”.

HTC One also features front-facing stereo speakers with a dedicated amplifier and Beats Audio integration.

Other specifications include a 4.7-inch full HD (1080p) screen, Android Jelly Bean, and a 1.7GHz quadcore processor.

With availability slated for March 2013, HTC said the device will be its “biggest launch ever”, supported by more than 185 operators and retailers in more than 80 markets. The spec sheet lists both WCDMA and CDMA versions, with LTE support.

The device will prove vital for the company to regain its credentials in the smartphone space, after a 2012 which saw it paling in comparison to rivals such as Samsung and Apple.

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