HTC’s next flagship device will feature a design similar to the existing One smartphone, according to reports, extending what was a well-received design for another year.
The device, which is apparently codenamed “M8”, is said to feature a similar aluminium body to its predecessor, which gives the device a premium feel that has been described as lacking from Samsung’s polycarbonate-bodied Galaxy S range.
The speculation is that the device will see its navigation buttons (back, home and running apps) move to the bottom of the screen, rather than being on a dedicated bar below. While this is in line with the current Android 4.4 implementation, it will also enable HTC to shrink the bezel around the device screen.
The device will also see an update to HTC’s Sense user interface.
What are purported to be “leaked” images of the device also show a second hole on the back cover, which has been suggested either to be for a second imaging lens, or for a fingerprint sensor – HTC has included such a reader on its One Max phablet.
Other commonly mooted specifications include a 5-inch screen, 2.3GHz quadcore Qualcomm SnapDragon processor, and an updated “ultrapixel” integrated camera.
And it is also unclear what the device will be called. Following the model of Samsung and Sony would give HTC a device called One 2, which certainly lacks finesse. Adding another letter is another option, although a number of these – One S, One V and One X – have already been used.
Bloomberg last month suggested it may keep the One name, although if its design is also similar to the previous model, HTC may struggle educating customers on the difference between the two.
But the real challenge for HTC will be in creating momentum for its new flagship. With Samsung’s Galaxy S5 likely to debut in the same timeframe, and Sony also set to update its high-end line, the company may struggle to gain traction against its deeper-pocketed rivals, regardless of the quality of the product.
Indeed, some reports suggest M8 will debut in March 2014 at a dedicated event, after the launch of flagship devices from rivals. While this does not necessarily mean it will reach customers later than its challengers, it does mean that it will be fighting for space in operator portfolios and retail stores against similarly capable smartphones.