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HTC One: Thanks, but no thanks

Let me be the first to make something perfectly clear before I dive into things, I had it out for this phone from the very first time I saw the leaked pictures. This thing looked everything like an iPhone 5 and I resented it along with the quiet geniuses over at HTC because of that! Apple should no longer be the measuring stick for anyone, they’ve got more than enough problems of their own, now is the time for everyone else’s innovations to shine through, or in HTC’s case…. not!

iPhone 5 carbon copy antics aside, the HTC boats a terrible name! Sure, HTC One X has a ring to it, but HTC One, sounds like it already existed. Don’t think I have a leg to stand on? Consider this, I’ve met more than a few people with the HTC One X, that in itself is a nice device, but when asked what phone they own, they all seem to say “HTC One…” They never say the X, mainly because they didn’t need too, I knew exactly what they were talking about. Now then, what kind of confusing is HTC now going to introduce to consumer-ville by calling this thing virtually the same device they released a few months back?

Moving right along, my sticking points to the side, this is a beautiful device in its own right. Without comparing apples to apples, its all aluminum uni-body structure is one to behold, especially when looking at the back of the device! I can only imagine this thing being a joy to handle in black. It weights in at 143 grams and is only .37 inches thin! Nice!

Hardware wise, its an animal for sure! Sporting the latest and greatest 1.7GHz quad core snapdragon 600 processor (the first of its kind,) 2GB of RAM and a 32 and 64GB flavor, this is as cutting edge as cutting edge can get right now. Oh, and its display, 4.7 inches of 1080p Super LCD 3 goodness with a 468dpi rating covered by Gorilla Glass 2.

And the camera? HTC decided to give some special attention to the camera on the HTC One, they even went to far as to brand it “UltraPixel.” What does that mean? It’s a 4MP Camera with some improved sensors, images stabilization and a whole lot of trickery to get them known in the low light photography game. Worried about that 4MP? Don’t be, anyone who is into photography will tell you, the megapixel count doesn’t always account for great images, but, HTC hasn’t been brave enough to release any image samples taken with the HTC One, so I am a bit worried this thing could be an under performance. Still, I am sure they know what they are doing, I hope, for their sake! Also, HTC added some flair called “Zoe,” which is pretty much a video compilation of images taken at any given time. Even though nice, Zoe videos need to be converted through HTC’s web service in order to be sent to other devices, not the best implantation, but it could be worse.

Further HTC pizazz include a social and new feed widget called BlinkFeed. I struggle to call this thing a widget because it seems to be a bit more than just that, when the device is unlocked, you are defaulted to the BlinkFeed view. Poor, very poor! If this is HTC’s idea of Social integration, then I can assure you this is as much a fail as the iPhone 5 “not so” knock off they’ve achieved with the design. According to HTC reps at the events, BlinkFeed cannot be disabled, and I highly disagree with forcing it down the users throat every time the device is unlocked.

What I think to be the best feature by far on the HTC One, is Sense TV. The HTC One includes an IR Blaster at the top of the device, although no technological marvel by any means, this is a missing piece in todays technology I sorely missed. Sense TV allows you to learn the channel frequencies from your TV or Set-Top Box, and change the channel at will! You can even get a guide listing and have the thing change the channel or show up in the BlinkFeed when the time comes.

Did you forget about Sense? HTC didn’t, that’s for sure. Good news is, HTC continues the trend they set with the HTC One X (see how that name can be confusing?) Sense is a lot less heavy on the HTC One. From what I’ve seen, I can appreciate the changes they made, BUT! HTC still found a way to throw you a curve ball. Thanks to the fairly useless HTC logo located in the center under the screen, HTC opted to remove the multitasking button found on most recent Android devices. ANNOYING! Now, instead of a dedicated multitasking button, double tapping the home button will bring up a window showing all open programs in a tile mode, yes, they’ve skinned that as well. Its not so much that I don’t like HTC methods of doing this, its just the fact that they insist on changing the standard on how something is done. Note, there really wasn’t a standard for this in the first place, the rabbit hole gets deeper folks.

So what do I have against the HTC One? With all its marvel, beautiful design, innovative camera technologies and even the brilliant (get what I did just there?) Sense TV bit, this phone will NOT pull me away from my newly discovered Nexus 4. I fear this phone is about a year late and a dream short in the android world. Not to mention, it ships with a locked bootloader, a non removable battery and no support SD Card slow, these are things Android users count on when thinking about their next purchase! HTC, I loved you many times over in the past, thank, but no thanks. What I will say, is this looks to be a good direction on HTC’s promise to scale back the number of devices offered.

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