Last year, HTC – once a titan amongst smartphone makers – decided to focus on two models: the One X super-performance model and the One S for the value-minded customer. HTC had been criticized for having far too many offerings and confusing the hell out of the average buyer. The One series still ended up branching a few variants and carrier-specific models, but keeping it simple(r) wasn’t enough to save the company’s profit. Today, they unveiled the latest HTC One, only one design, with specs that seem to run right down the middle of expectations of a modern phone, perhaps even better. Their biggest problem? Samsung is rumored to unveil their Galaxy S 4 next month, which will proceed to conquer the world, leaving HTC’s cute little offering in the dust.
Now, I’m not bashing HTC’s new One, I think it’s actually a pretty phenomenal phone. It has a quad-core 1.7GHz processor that will make your Vertu shake. At 4.7″, it has a screen that’s probably on the top end of sizes for me, or at least that’s what I noticed with my Galaxy Nexus. Oh, that display is also 1080p, for those paying attention at home. The camera is actually limited to 4MP for a specific reason: its larger pixels can absorb more light, allowing for better low-light footage. Hopefully. The phone looks beautiful in brushed aluminum, comes in 32GB and 64GB storage capacities, all the standard sensors and gyroscopes, Beats Audio (snore), and their usual proprietary software tweaks that are best left for the marketing departments.
When HTC was at its peak, Samsung was still wandering in the desert with “gems” like the Instinct for Sprint. It wasn’t until they embraced Android and released their original Galaxy S phones across every possible carrier that they quickly became the world’s largest phone manufacturer. HTC had a few hits, but it seems that in failing to come up with a unified branding system (the EVO for Sprint, the Droid Incredible for Verizon, so on) they simply got lost in their own forest. Each new Galaxy S that Samsung unveils breaks scads of records worldwide and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, even as Apple’s iPhone hits its peak marketshare.
Still, with my upgrade not up until August, the One might even have been an attractive option had Verizon not passed on it, perhaps in favor of its own recent variant, the Droid DNA.