HTC (2498) unveiled its “First” smartphone at Facebook’s (FB) press event in California on Thursday. The mid-range handset, which will be exclusively available from AT&T on April 12th for $99, sports mediocre specs and comes preloaded with Facebook Home, a new software suite for Android smartphones. According to developer and HTC insider LlabTooFeR, the company may release the HTC First to other carriers without the special Facebook Home integration. The Home-less handset, codenamed M4, is reportedly equipped with a 4.3-inch 720p HD display, a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor and an “Ultrapixel” rear camera. The device also includes 16GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM and Sense 5 atop Android 4.2.2, rather than the Facebook Home skin. Earlier rumors suggested that the M4 would launch sometime this spring.
We just had a chance to dive into Facebook’s (FB) new “Home” software suite on the HTC First, and came away with some good early impressions. Press weren’t allowed actual hands-on time, but instead treated to a demo from a friendly Facebook employee. As such, we weren’t able to push Home much beyond the facade of persistent status updates, floating timeline images and Chat Heads. That said, we think that’s the point of Home: It’s a software layer that hides the bulk of the functions on of your Android phone behind a wall of Facebook content and services. More →
HTC’s (2498) new HTC One smartphone is one of the most stunning handsets ever to hit the market and it is now finally available for preorder in the United States. AT&T (T) on Thursday became the first U.S. carrier to begin taking preorders for the upcoming flagship HTC handset, which is set to hit store shelves on April 19th. Sprint (S) will then follow AT&T’s lead and make the HTC One available for preorder beginning on April 5th ahead of the same April 19th launch date. The HTC One features a 4.7-inch HD Super LCD3 display, a 1.7GHz quad-core processor, up to 64GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, a 4-megapixel “Ultrapixel” camera and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Links to AT&T and Sprint’s respective preorder pages can be found below.
As Facebook’s (FB) upcoming press conference draws near, a render of one of the first smartphones expected to feature Facebook’s new enhanced Android software has leaked. “Evleaks,” who is known to publish authentic photos of unreleased handsets before they are announced, posted an image of the “HTC First” from his Twitter account on Tuesday afternoon with no additional details. The new HTC (2498) handset is expected to be unveiled during Facebook’s press conference on Thursday, where the company will showcase its new “Facebook Home” software that replaces several stock Android apps with new apps tied into Facebook’s services. Earlier reports suggest that the HTC First is a mid-range handset with a 4.3-inch 720p display, a dual-core Snapdragon processor, a 5-megapixel camera and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. The leaked image can be seen below. More →
AT&T (T) on Tuesday announced that it will launch the HTC One on April 19th and pricing will start at $199.99. The carrier will sell two different versions of HTC’s (2498) new flagship smartphone, a 32GB version for $199.99 and a 64 GB model that will cost $299.99 with a two-year contract, and preorder availability will begin on April 4th. Key specs include a quad-core 1.7GHz processor, a 4.7-inch full HD display, 2GB of RAM and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. BGR reviewed the HTC One earlier this week and said it was the best Android smartphone we’ve ever tested. AT&T’s full press release follows below. More →
The past year hasn’t been a pleasant one for Taiwanese handset maker HTC (2498), which despite producing critically acclaimed smartphones continues to struggle against the competition. Consumers have turned toward devices from Apple (AAPL), Samsung (005930) and LG (066570), among others in recent months, forcing HTC to make changes to its marketing strategy. The company’s flagship HTC One smartphone will compete directly with Samsung’s Galaxy S4 when both devices launch towards the end of the month. In an effort to win back consumers, HTC will be offering goodies to early adopters of its latest flagship smartphone. More →
It has been over year since HTC (2498) has released a tablet, however a new report suggests the struggling company is preparing to take on the iPad once more. According to NPD DisplaySearch, HTC will reportedly debut a new tablet later this year, FocusTaiwan reported. The slate is expected to be equipped with a 10.1-inch full HD 1080p display and run Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows 8 operating system. The research firm believes mass production began in the first quarter of this year and the tablet could be announced in the coming months. HTC previously released the 7-inch HTC Flyer in February 2011 and the 10.1-inch HTC Jetstream tablet in September 2011, both of which ran the Android operating system. The company has not unveiled a new tablet since then, however.
Customers eagerly awaiting the arrival of the HTC One in the United States may not have to wait much longer. According to a leaked document published by Engadget, the company’s latest flagship smartphone will reportedly be available for preorder on April 5th from AT&T (T). The carrier will offer the HTC One in a 32GB model option for $249.99 with a new two-year agreement and an exclusive 64GB model for $299.99. The smartphone is equipped with a 4.7-inch full HD 1080p display, a quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor and a 4.3-”ultrapixel” rear camera. HTC (2498) previously confirmed that the handset would be released at the end of the month. BGR recently reviewed the HTC One and called it the best Android smartphone in the world.
The HTC One (2498) smartphone comes at an important time. As good, thoughtful and purposeful as HTC’s products are, the company hasn’t been doing as well as it used to. Samsung’s (005930) been on a roll, and Apple (AAPL) is Apple. The latest flagship smartphone from HTC is the One, and it is a complete reset. It features a beautiful aluminum case, much lighter HTC Sense interface, and a load of innovative features that aren’t available on other smartphones. It’s a bag of tricks in a magician’s hat. So how does the HTC One stack up against the latest and greatest from the company’s competitors? Read on to learn more. More →
Facebook (FB) on Thursday sent out invitations for a press event that promised to show off the company’s “new home on Android,” which naturally led to fresh speculation about the company’s intention to produce its own Facebook-centric smartphone. Unnamed sources have told 9t5Google that Facebook plans to show off its own modified version of the Android operating system, a move that’s similar to the way Amazon (AMZN) has heavily modified Android for its own Kindle Fire HD tablets. 9to5Google’s sources also indicate that Facebook is working with HTC (2498) to produce a smartphone based on Facebook’s modified Android that will be sold “as a lifestyle brand, not specifically for its hardware or software.” More →
HTC’s (2498) J Butterfly, known locally on Verizon as the DROID DNA, has been a hot seller for the company since it debuted last fall in Asia and North America. The smartphone has experienced impressive sales in Japan, even surpassing Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 5 on KDDI’s network in early December, and the company has struggled to keep up with consumer demand. According to Focus Taiwan, Benjamin Ho, HTC’s chief marketing officer, revealed that the company is now planning to release a second-generation Butterfly to capitalize on the smartphone’s success. Earlier rumors suggested that Verizon was preparing a DROID DNA sequel, known as the DROID DNA Plus, although it featured the exact same specs as the HTC One. The executive did not give a timeframe for the second-generation Butterfly smartphone.
Sprint (S) does not offer any Windows Phone 8 devices, however a new report suggests that the carrier will launch two Windows-powered smartphones in the coming months. According to The Verge, the carrier will start offering the HTC (2498) Tiara and Samsung (005930) Ativ S this summer. The unannounced Tiara smartphone is rumored to be a mid-range handset with a 4.3-inch WVGA Super LCD2 display, while the Ativ S offers a 4.8-inch 720p display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, NFC and an 8-megapixel rear camera. Both devices are expected to be available at Sprint stores in May or June.
Poor HTC can’t win: HTC One preorders hit all time high as its launch slips to overlap with Galaxy S4
Focus Taiwan News Channel has confirmed the authenticity of an internal HTC (2498) email where the company brags about the remarkably strong preorder status of its new HTC One flagship phone. HTC’s Jason Mackenzie wrote that “we are seeing our strongest initial response for any smartphone we’ve ever designed with several hundred thousand people in the U.S. pre-registering to purchase the new HTC One.” More →