HTC Unveils New HTC One Smartphone

PHOTO: The new HTC One smartphone.HTC
The new HTC One smartphone.

HTC unveiled the latest version of its flagship smartphone, the HTC One, at an event in New York City today.

The new HTC One (M8) follows last year's HTC One (M7) and now features a larger display, updated design, software and camera.

Introduced in February 2013, the original HTC One was eye-catching and won major design points for its sleek, aluminum unibody. The latest model keeps the all-metal body and comes with a bigger HD 1080p display, jumping up from 4.7 to 5 inches. The upgrade also makes the phone a little heavier, going from 143 grams to 160 grams. The edges of the phone have been softened and are now curved in the newer model, intended to fit more ergonomically in the palm of your hand. The dual stereo speakers remain front-facing, with one above and one below the display.

The new HTC One runs on the Android operating system Kit Kat. Blinkfeed, the feature that brought news and social media updates to the home screen, is no longer the default setting on the HTC One, replaced by HTC's Sense 6 skin. However, users can access Blinkfeed by swiping to the left from the home screen, and can subscribe to pre-set news feeds or set up feeds for specific interests, such as the latest news of their favorite sports teams. HTC customers will also have the option of setting Blinkfeed as the default home screen.

Motion Launch is a new set of gesture-based commands for the phone, including intuitive actions such as raising the phone to your ear to answer an incoming call or turning the phone over onto its display to immediately silence a call. Users can also double-tap the screen to wake up the device or access the camera by rotating the phone sideways and pressing the volume key.

On the backside of the new HTC One, two camera lenses work together to capture even better shots. The primary camera contains a BSI (backside-illuminated) sensor that improves the camera's ability to capture pictures in low-light settings, an issue with last year's HTC One. Meanwhile, the second lens captures depth information. Selfie-loving photographers will appreciate the upgraded front-facing camera, which has increased from 2.1 to 5.0 megapixels. The camera also boasts the "UFocus" feature, which lets users choose specific areas of a photo to focus or blur after a picture is taken.

The new phone will be available across all the major U.S. carriers for between $199 and $249 with a two-year contract. While it will hit stores on April 10, customers can begin pre-ordering the phone online today at 1 p.m. ET.