HTC made a big splash with reviewers and Android fans last year with the HTC One, but sales were sluggish. Can they keep quality and increase numbers in 2014?
The HTC One received high marks on just about any scale it was measured by, from its innovative aluminum unibody design, to the lauded-yet-controversial 4 mega-pixel “ultra pixel” camera innovation, to the boom-sound speakers producing the loudest and highest quality sound available on a smartphone. Unfortunately, the phone did not live up to the buzz in sales numbers, so many eyes are on the much rumored—yet unannounced—HTC One sequel codenamed the “M8.”
Last year’s model was announced at a special event shortly before Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, but with this year’s MWC fast approaching and no events officially announced, many (such as Twitter leaker @evleaks) are postulating that the device may be announced at the actual conference this time around, which may be a welcome change of pace for many as most bigger manufacturers have begun to opt for their own separate device launch events, removing much of the actual news surrounding conferences such as MWC.
The “M8” is rumored to sport a 5” 1080p display, which is .3 inches larger than its predecessor, but loses about 28 pixels per inch, which may be a drawback for some as last year’s One was praised for its crisp display, although the difference may only be noticeable to the keener eye.
Other hardware improvements include a 2.26 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor and 3GB of ram, which are both a good step up and consistent with newer phones of this tier. The camera is the area from which most will desire improvement. While the 4MP “ultra-pixel” camera produced great color and performed very well in low light, many people didn’t consider the loss in resolution worth it.
The software will likely be the HTC Sense 6.0 manufacturer skin on top of Android 4.4 KitKat with on screen navigation software buttons (a first for HTC), finally ditching the capacitive buttons below the screen (likely accounting for the .3 inches in screen growth).
All signs point to another quality device from HTC, but what remains to be seen is how sales will stack up against the brand recognition and marketing of Samsung and Apple, both of which vastly outsold HTC in the last cycle.
We’ll keep you posted once we know more.