Some might look on HTC’s announcement of its next flagship phone the One M9 as a bit of a let down, but in reality it’s an evolution for the company not a revolution which they’ve launched alongside another couple of products which are sure to get some attention here in Barcelona.
More on the new HTC One shortly, needless to say it is remarkably similar in looks to the 2014 flagship the One M8 with some strategic improvements with the end-user in mind.
This wearable fitness tracker joins one of the busiest market segments in terms of growth and competition. The HTC Grip features a 1.8” inch 32 x 160 PMOLED mono flexible display with capacitive touch screen and HTC are pushing hard a new partnership with fitness brand Under Armour’s which sees the Grip pair and sync with their “UA Record” fitness data network.
The Grip will be available in the States in the coming months, with global availability yet to be confirmed.
Joining Samsung and LG, HTC’s attempt at Virtual Reality is akin to the original Oculus Rift which is a headset for a gaming PC, with HTC partnering up with Valve to create a solid gaming experience.
With Valve behind the “Steam” game download service, you can see a strong link there which could drive success for this headset.
Unlike the Samsung Gear VR and LG VR for G3 the Vive does not require a HTC phone, however it does require a PC for the content.
Game developers will be able to get a development version of the Vive in the coming months, with a consumer edition due by the end of 2015.
HTC One M9
The hero among these three is no doubt the HTC One M9. Following the design and review success of the original One (M7) and last year’s M8, the M9 is really a simple progression for this handset.
Last year’s “duo” camera is gone, replaced by a stronger focus on the individual front and back cameras.
The main rear camera features a 20 megapixel resolution, and can shoot video in 4K, while in this world of selfies, the front camera packs HTC’s “Ultrapixel” resolution and can shoot video in Full HD (1080).
Out front those front-facing speakers continue to be the real jewel in the crown for this smartphone, the best in class sound experience is enhanced with 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound “Simulation” which even if it’s a slight improvement just puts this phone another mile ahead of any other for non-headphone/Bluetooth Speaker connected music listening.
While many have criticised HTC (Already) for this relatively “mild” improvement to their flagship phone, I think we should all remember that in fact almost all phones are alike to the average user, and what people get with the HTC one is the strong and quality-feel that comes from the unibody construction.
I for one can’t imagine too many ways in which HTC could do much better, it’s a great phone, let down only perhaps by the fact that HTC just doesn’t have the global brand appeal of the Samsung and Apples of this world.
According to HTC “The HTC One M9 will be available globally in dual-tone silver and rose gold, single-tone gunmetal grey, single-tone gold and dual-tone gold and pink in from mid-March.”
Trevor travelled to Barcelona as a guest of the Ford Motor Company