HTC has a lot to prove at this year’s Mobile World Congress trade show. The Taiwan-based smartphone vendor had a huge year in 2011, firmly establishing itself as one of the leaders in the smartphone space. Toward the end of the year, however, stiff competition from Apple and Samsung caught up with HTC and the company ended 2011 with a whimper instead of a bang. HTC has promised that change is coming, however, and it looks like the vendor plans to deliver. BGR exclusively revealed details surrounding the mid-range HTC Ville and the high-end HTC Edge/Endeavor last November, and at that time we said both smartphones would be unveiled at Mobile World Congress. Will HTC indeed take the wraps off these two sleek smartphones on stage at today’s event? Does the vendor have any other devices in store at this year’s show? HTC’s press conference is set to kick off at 2:30 p.m. EST / 11:30 a.m. PST (8:30 p.m. local time in Barcelona), so hit the break for all the news as it unfolds.
4:02PM:And that’s it folks! Be sure to check out our hands-on looks at each of HTC’s new One-brand smartphones coming up shortly.
4:00PM:And this is going to be a massive launch for HTC… 144 carriers around the world will carry HTC One smartphones.
3:59PM:Sorry guys, having some technical difficulties. These phones will launch globally in April, with the One X hitting AT&T and the One S hitting T-Mobile here in the U.S. No word on U.S. availability for the One V.
3:50PM:Each of the phones in the One lineup will make use of Corning’s Gorilla glass. The One X is made entirely of polycarbonate like Nokia’s Lumia 800, and the other two phones are made of unibody aluminum.
3:44PM:And now the two other “members of HTC One”. The HTC One S is a “supersexy smartphone”. Their thinnest phone yet. And the HTC One V!
3:42PM:NVDIA Quadcore, with Qualcomm Snapdragon LTE version available. This thing has the requisite 4.7″ HD screen, customized for brighter color and better viewing angles. A white exterior. “A true superphone”.
3:40PM:Annnnd there we have it. The HTC One X has hit the screen. And folks are clapping, Jobs-note style. Well done, Chou
3:39PM:Now we’ve got a video montage of “actual HTC users” experiencing the HTC one. Forgive us, but these “actual users” are way more attractive than most of the HTC customers we’ve seen on the streets of NY…just sayin…
3:38PM:Allllright. Looks like Sense 4 has been summed up pretty well. “Amazing camera and authentic sound”
3:37PM:Sense 4 includes access to worldwide streaming radio, which connects to their new “completely new car experience”. There is a wireless stereo clip accessory that allows streaming to the car system.
3:36PM:Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, and more are all integrated into Sense 4. This is huge. The “Music Hub” includes customizable access to all of these services, and allows you to download and sync offline for Spotify and others. This is cool stuff
3:34PM:Music access has been simplified in Sense 4 and on the HTC One. It doesn’t require a PC connection save for the initial sync. Following that, anything can be synced wirelessly. This INCLUDES iTunes sync. Good on them for this one.
3:33PM:Chou is now talking about the “Authentic Sound” experience. Talking up their partnership with Beats by Dre. Beats has been integrated into Sense 4. This is a ground up thing, allowing processing of all audio that flows through the handset. Internet, mp3, movies, games, etc. All of it is processed by the Beats algorithms.
3:32PM:Alright. Imaging stuff done. Now we’re on to the audio processing side of things. Chou just sang a line of “Hey Jude”. Touching
3:30PM:And HTC MEdia Link allows streaming to any HDMI-equipped TV. No proprietary cable needed. The Sense interface allows one-touch external streaming. This is cool. It also supports mirror mode.
3:29PM:HTC Sense 4 includes an expanded partnership with Dropbox support out of the box. HTC One purchase includes 2 years of a 25GB Dropbox account. Whoa!! Think about how much iCloud costs…ha. Now we know why Dropbox has been beta testing their photo upload chops!
3:28PM:There’s a wall of sample images on the screen now, and the color reproduction is insane. This is some pretty cool stuff.
3:26PM:Simultaneous video and photo is available! This is some innovative stuff, especially in the camera phone space. Generally this sort of feature is reserved for full-sized DSLR shooters. The demo shows how easily this is accomplished, and it looks pretty cool.The video interface has a camera button built right in that snaps Hi-Res shots in the middle of video shooting without interrupting the moving picture. Awesome again!
3:25PM:The flash strength is adaptive and adjustable as well, which is pretty cool. Haven’t seen this yet in a camera phone to the best of our knowledge. Awesome! HDR image correction is built in as well, so they’re claiming that washed-out photos will be a thing of the past. Comparing HDR iages with the iPhone 4S, and the difference is pretty striking. The HTC One looks markedly better than Apple’s offering. Again, we’ll see how it pans out in real world conditions, but the samples are quite promising.
3:22PM:Low light performance has been improved with image sense as well, or so they claim. We have yet to see a camera phone that truly performs well under low light conditions, so we’ll have to see it to believe it. Chou notes, however, that the lens itself is an F/2.0 lens, which is ridiculously fast. Most camera phone lenses only stop down to f/4.0. The lens also collects 44% more pixels than the average camera phone sensor.
3:20PM:The camera autofocuses in 0.2 seconds, which is faster than the blink of an eye. And continuous shooting is improved significantly. No word on how many FPS, but it looks pretty fast
3:19PM:Camera startup time is now 0.7 seconds. That’s insanely fast. Sony was advertising 1 second
3:18PM:He just used “Just Do It” in reference to taking shots…pretty sure that’s been used before…
3:17PM:HTC introduces ImageSense technology, a suite of camera features that improve the lenses, software, UI, etc to provide “perfect shots every time.” Hmmm, we’ll see about that – it’s quite a lofty promise.
3:16PM:Talking now about how integral the camera on a mobile phone is to people’s lives. “45 billion photos uploaded to Facebook just last year”
3:15PM:Latest version of HTC Sense, Sense 4, has been announced now as well. The key areas of innovation are the camera and sound processing ability
3:14PM:“The one phone you will need, the one camera you will need, the one that will allow you to enjoy all of your music” talking about the HTC One
3:13PM:The HTC 1 has been officially announced!
3:13PM:“Your phone is the most personal and intimate device that you own” – Peter Chou, pulling out all the stops! Talking now about the importance of eye catching design
3:12PM:Turns out all of the aforementioned images were personal shots from Peter Chou’s HTC phone. Whoops!!
3:11PM:Lights down, here comes Peter Chou!!
3:09PM:Sony went with Pumped Up Kicks as their entrance music, HTC with…elevator music. Sigh. Still, we should be starting things off pretty soon now
3:08PM:There’s currently a video montage of eggs, bread, subway stops, and ceramic dishes playing on the giant screen behind the stage. Curious choice of imagery
2:54PM:The room is filling up. Just a couple minutes until we get off the ground. Let’s go!
2:41PM:Sony definitely killed HTC in the appetizer game. That said, things in here seem a lot more organized and well structured than the Sony event, so hopefully things will be a bit smoother this time around
2:34PM:We’re inside and getting settled now, but people are still moving in so it will be a few minutes yet. Stay tuned…
2:20PM:Ok guys — we’re making our way through the line now. Since people are still making their way over from the Sony event, HTC’s press conference might start a few minutes late.