HTC Launches New Flagship Smartphone, the HTC One M8

HTC introduced to public its new flagship smartphone.

HTC unveiled One M8 at an event in New York City on Tuesday. Photo: Kimber Jakes/Flickr

The tech company has finally unveiled its long expected new flagship smartphone named HTC One M8.

The new device features practically the same design as the last year’s model, but it also has a number of upgrades. The screen size increased up to 5 inches from 4.7, and the just unveiled phone also includes a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor running Android 4.4 “KitKat” along with 2GB of RAM. Storage can be 16 or 32GB, but owners can augment that with a microSD card.

HTC One M8 still sports a metal exterior, but the company changed the design so the edges are metal as well. As a result, the sides of the phone have softer curves.

“We didn’t want to do something incremental,” Scott Croyle, HTC’s senior vice president of design, told reporters. “We actually wanted to take a big leap forward. We wanted to make it super-awesome to hold in your hand.”

One of the major upgrated in the new model is definitely Duo Camera. On the back of the HTC One M8 are two cameras, one of which can capture depth information. This can allow users to perform various software tricks after taking a photo, including a refocus effect that can blur parts of the image.

“The Duo Camera relies on HTC’s “UltraPIxel” concept, which eschews a high megapixel count for larger pixels on the sensor that can capture more light,” Mashable reports.

“The result is a 4.1-megapixel camera that takes excellent photos. The front-facing camera has been upgraded as well, to 5 megapixels,” the tech blog adds.

The display resolution still preserves its full HD (1,920 x 1,080), and the screen well responds to gestures even when dormant. Sliding a finger up the screen will unlock the phone, and sliding to right will launch the phone into one of its trademark features: BlinkFeed.

BlinkFeed, which debuted on the last year’s model, includes several sources — from social networks to news sites to upcoming calendar events — into a single ever-scrolling feed on the home screen.

“With the M8, BlinkFeed is getting both more content, including feeds from Foursquare and Fitbit, but also an SDK so developers can design apps that can send data into the feed,” Mashable explains.

HTC, which has been struggling financially even though last year’s One phones were well-received, has a lot riding on its new flagship phone. But this time it will lead a larger product portfolio for 2014.

“We’re not struggling because the One didn’t do well,” Croyle says. “It actually did extremely well — it’s our bestselling product ever. But we did not have products in the midrange and low end. So there’s a little bit of uncertainty when customers walk into a store and only see one HTC product and they see eight Samsungs.”

The new HTC One is expected to enter markets on Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET, and it will be available in silver, gun metal and gold finishes.

The firm is also ready to provide its customers a gray case for $49.99 with a perforated front that interacts with the screen, displaying basic information like the time and alerts even while closed.

Although the M8 goes on sale Tuesday, it won’t physically be in stores until April 10.

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