Nokia: a big inspiration for HTC's new flagship
The much anticipated HTC One has been launched today by HTC during a simultaneous event in New York and London - HTC may have thought the event too big for the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, or maybe it's the other way around, I don't know.
I didn't have time to see the HTC event covered live, but luckily the coverage is still available at the Verge, so I've learned a lot from that and from the press release I received.
From what I've read I understand it's quite an interesting new Android device - if you like Android - with a new user interface, called New Sense and an new way of staying connected with anything you want to follow, called HTC Blinkfeed.
And I've learned that Nokia has been a big inspiration for HTC's new flagship. The conceptual resemblances are stunning, to say the least. Let me name a few.
To begin with, as far as the design is concerned, "micro drilled speaker holes, curved Gorilla Glass, a tapered back that fits in the palm of your hand" sounds pretty Nokia Lumia 920 to me.
Also, The Verge notes that "this is now the second time in less than a year that a phone maker has promised dramatically better low light images."
HTC realises that with "Ultrapixel" technology, quoting the New York Times that "the myth that the more megapixels a camera has, the better the pictures is a big fat lie." Guess HTC forgot it put a 16MP sensor in the HTC Titan II recently, but hey - also companies can change their mind.
So now for HTC it's not about the number of pixels anymore, but about the size of the Ultrapixel that can capture the incoming light, the f/2.0 aperture of the lens, and - believe it or not - Optical Image Stabilisation - yes, they borrowed that, too.
By the way: the HTC One "only" has a 4MP sensor (with bigger pixels, that is), and I'm really looking forward to compare it to a few other smartphones (you know which).
Another striking resemblance is how another "new technique" - HTC Zoe - will offer the possibility to capture not just shots with all this, but pictures that are actually alive for three seconds, to enhance your memory. And that looks a lot like the Cinemagraph concept I'd say.
As I learn from The Verge: "HTC says HTC Zoe gives the most flexibility after the shot — you can scrub through it and grab stills, eliminate blinking people, kinda like the BlackBerry Z10's camera". Well, that has been done with Cinemagraph on the new Nokia Lumia devices a lot earlier.
In addition to improved sound output (HTC BoomSound - something I'm sure people will love to hate in public places), I read in The Verge's coverage that "HTC has also improved the capture with "HDR sound recording." Two mics, with membranes to record undistorted audio" - and that reminds us all of Rich Recording in the Nokia 808 PureView, doesn't it?
So is it all just "blatantly copied"? Nah, I don't think so - it's just (a lot of) concepts HTC "borrowed" from Nokia and realized in its own way. The only thing that irritates me is that - and that's something HTC borrowed from Apple - it pretends to have thought of it all by itself. And it chose to ridicule the company that really invented just about all of this on its official blog.
Credit where credit is due, I'd say - but hey, it's a war out there. A war of ecosystems even. Credit is for wimps. By the way: I borrowed the shot in this post from The Verge.