With HTC’s release of its 2013 flagship model just last week, all eyes were on the Taiwanese company at the Fira Gran Via this morning.
We managed to get a demo of the HTC One, where it emerged that the device is not only HTC’s best smartphone yet, but potentially the best smartphone that’s currently in the market. Admittedly, that’s a bold statement to make, but once you’ve seen all of the features that HTC has piled into the One, you will undoubtedly be in agreement.
As all the reports have shown, the HTC One is the first Android to feature a live home screen, which, we found out, means far more than simply having your favourite images and a weather report moving in real time on your screen. In fact, the flagship device has been designed around BlinkFeed entirely, with the aim to make your phone work for you.
You no longer have to simultaneously open up your preferred news app, followed by Facebook, then your weather app first thing in the morning. Simply glance at the live home screen on the One, and all you need to know is right there, without you having to open up a single application.
What’s really great is that you can customise exactly what shows up on your home screen in accordance with your own tastes and interests. For example, the device offers over 1,400 news publications for you to choose from, and within that you can select a specific topic of interest. If you love football, but hate tennis, simply tell the One that you only want football news to appear on your BlinkFeed; it means that you no longer have to scroll through tens of news stories that don’t even interest you.
Testing out HTC One’s BoomSound technology is something that you really need to see to believe. Or hear, in this case. But take my word for it, the sound quality is like nothing I’ve ever experienced from a mobile phone. The device is equipped with two amplifiers; one for the phone jack and the other for the One’s dual frontal stereo speakers. We were shown how well the One dealt with music with the help of an Ellie Goulding track, which we could hear clearly as anything, especially over the din of the other exhibitors in the room. What makes the One even cooler is the fact that the device can display any song’s lyrics while you are listening to your favourite tune. As long as the phone can pick up the song’s track ID, you’re essentially carrying round a karaoke machine in your back pocket.
Now onto the best part: HTC Zoe is the name given to the One’s incredible camera. Not only does the device’s lens let in more than 300 per cent more light than the HTC One X, which makes the phone perform outstandingly in low light situations, but it’s really the phone’s one of a kind editing suite which makes HTC Zoe perhaps the best camera attached to a smartphone.
Each time you press the shutter to take a photograph, the HTC One automatically takes 20 still images, as well as a three second video with sound. This basically means that your image gallery is as alive as your home screen. Not only that, the HTC One automatically turns all of the photos from an album into a 30 second cinematic video which succinctly sums up your holiday or day out, for example.
Because the device’s camera automatically takes a 3 second video each time you take a photograph, it allows you to activate the phone’s Group Retouch function, which essentially scrolls through the video to find the best shot of a certain person. Everyone but you not smiling in a photo? Simply select your face and scroll through the video to find a still shot where you are bearing a grin, then add that into the photo instead. You can even create a sequence shot, which displays each movement in, say, a backflip, in one artistic image. Finally, if you’ve taken a perfect photo which is ruined by a passing car, or a tourist with an unusually large camera around their neck, simply remove it using the Object Remove function. The One automatically selects the object that it thinks you want to get rid of, and with one swipe of a finger, the offending object is gone.
With all of that on top of the usual filter options you’d expect from a new release, you can really see why a hundred of the three hundred changes that have gone into the device manifest in HTC Zoe.
Written by Charlotte Kertrestel