HTC (2498) unveiled a revamped strategy and a brand new smartphone lineup last year in hopes that it would reverse the slump it had endured since late 2011 when the iPhone 4S put an end to the vendor’s record revenue run. As great as that new One-series smartphone lineup was, HTC simply couldn’t compete with Samsung’s (005930) huge marketing budget and expansive carrier support. Now, HTC is back once again with a new flagship Android phone codenamed “M7” — and reportedly launching as the “HTC One” — and by all accounts it looks like this will be HTC’s most exciting smartphone yet. But will it be enough to divert attention from Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S IV, which will reportedly be unveiled on March 14th? Our live coverage of HTC’s press conference follows below.
UPDATE: Be sure to check out our HTC One preview!
That’s it! Our preview already ran — link is above — but we’ll have some more impressions and hands-on photos for you shortly! Thanks for tuning in!
It’ll come in silver or black, with 32GB or 64GB of memory. There’s also a trade-in program for people who pre-register. At least $100 toward your One if you trade in your current phone.
In North America, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile will carry the phone in the U.S. No word on Verizon.
“A bold new smartphone for a new era.” The One will launch on 185 carriers in 80 regions around the world beginning in late March.
HTC Americas president Mike Woodward is now on stage. “This is the best phone ever made.”
The edges of the phone taper to less than 4mm and the Gorilla Glass flows over the edges of the face — very slick.
The design really is outstanding though. “This really is a breakthrough phone.”
Video time: HTC used “an electrochemical etching process” that creates a “nanomatrix structure.” Ok.
The HTC One integrates the antenna with the aluminum so there no longer needs to be plastic areas for the antenna. It’s all metal and “zero-gap.”
“It has a super premium feel like no other phone you’ve ever used.”
Now he’s talking about the phone’s design. “The most beautiful phone ever made.”
“All new experiences powered by an Ultrapixel camera and HTC Zoe.”
“Now I just use my camera, knowing there’s a story my phone will create for me.”
The highlight movies also add effects and set your movies to music automatically. You can then “remix” them to change the arrangement and music, etc.
It also creates highlight videos automatically that combine videos and still images into one reel. Very cool.
“HTC Zoe” is being unveiled today as well. It automatically captures HD photos and HD videos simultaneously. It creates a “living gallery” that combines static photos and short videos.
It lets in way more light than standard smartphone camera sensors and it has HDR (and video HDR) tech to make photos even cleaner, even in low light.
“The era of the megapixel is over.” HTC developed its own custom tech called “Ultrapixel.”
Image quality isn’t just about megapixels, of course, and HTC’s new One is going to prove it.
There are new gestures to control things like switching between front and rear cameras. More importantly though, HTC says it has completely reinvented the smartphone camera.
The phone also sports a brand new, completely rethought camera experience.
On to TV: The HTC One has an integrated Ir sensor so it can be used as a universal remote to control all of your home entertainment devices.
“HTC One combines all of these things to give you an unprecedented audio experience.”
It’s more than just noise cancellation — ever phone does noise cancellation. When you’re making a call, the phone monitors sounds around you and dynamically changes the call volume as needed.
On the content creation side of the equation, the HTC One has two mics with dual membranes to produce” clear, undistorted high-quality audio.”
HTC also has an all new music player to compliment BoomSound. Integrated lyrics are a nice added feature.
The phone has two front-facing stereo speakers. “Why front-facing stereo speakers? Because we hear in stereo, not mono.”
Now on to sound. Last year was Beats Audio and the HTC One builds on that with “BoomSound.” Yes, “BoomSound.”
You can also drill down to specific content sources like Facebook to see everything from your friends in one stream.
When you first set up BlinkFeed, you pick the social networks and news sources you want. This way you have complete control over the topics and content in your feed.
HTC design director Jonah Becker is now on to talk about the hardware and software.
Ok Mackenzie is back on now. “I can’t wait for you to get your hands on BlinkFeed.”
BlinkFeed takes the ESPN brand and makes it “even more borderless.”
ESPN loves the fact that sports fans are taking advantage of new technologies to get their sports news. BlinkFeed is the next step for sports fans.
ESPN’s president is now on stage to pitch promote BlinkFeed content.
He’s highlighting ESPN as one of HTC’s leading BlinkFeed partners.
There are more than 1,400 content partners right out of the gate.
“HTC BlinkFeed” is HTC’s new “live” home screen that is constantly updated in real time with images, posts and more from your social networks. It also delivers news from AP, MTV and more.
“No matter your age, we all rely on our smartphone and we live off the constant flow of content.” People consumed 1 trillion pieces of content on smartphones in 2012.
HTC is also unveiling “The new HTC Sense” with a complete visual redesign that’s clean and modern.
The sound quality is better than any smartphone on the market and the camera is so good you won’t believe the images were captured on a smartphone.
“The new HTC One improves every part of the smartphone experience.”
We’re watching a video now — the new One definitely has one of the sleekest smartphone designs we’ve ever seen.
And here it is: “The new HTC One”
HTC’s new flagship phone is a bold step forward, not just an incremental update with a specs bump.
“People are looking for new ways to both relive and share their personal stories.” HTC saw an opportunity to innovate in this important space.
“HTC has been on an amazing ride the past few years.” Last year alone, HTC launched multiple Hero phones.
Jason Machenzie, HTC’s president is now on stage to kick things off.
Announcer is back… Here we go!
Announcer just came on: “The event in New York is running in sync with London and London is running behind.” Thanks, London.
Lots of familiar faces in the crowd and it’s standing room only right now.
Aaaaand it’s looping for the 147th time. Please make it stop.
And they’re playing the same 30-second song clip on loop right now, so getting things started would be much appreciated.
Alright… a few people just came in the back door so we might finally be able to get this show on the road.
The announcer just said they’re “just waiting for the last people to arrive” and then things will get started.
The show should kick off soon though. Doors are closed and the house is packed.
Ok — we’re inside and seated but it looks like HTC is running a bit behind.