The HTC One unveiled: New UI, new camera, new audio!

HTC pulled the curtains up on their newest flagship smartphone—the HTC One. The device sports a newly designed user interface and home screen, a power-packed display, improved audio and imaging performance, and the ability to become a TV remote.

The design of HTC One seems pretty sleek: it is only 9.3mm thin, has curved edges, and comes in silver, black and red (in Southeast Asia). Chugging along inside the One X is a quad-core Snapdragon 600 chip, clocked at 1.7GHz. It also has 2GB RAM and other 32GB or 64GB of internal storage.

HTC’s newest flagship phone hosts Android 4.2 Jelly Bean as its OS as well as a 4.7-inch Gorilla Glass-protected Full HD screen with a resolution of 468ppi. It’s interesting to note that the resolution of this device tops that of the iPhone 5, which packs a screen resolution of 326ppi, as well as HTC’s own Butterfly, which boasts of 440ppi.

HTC possibly increased the resolution of the screen so that users can better appreciate its new user interface (UI), Sense 5—or as HTC calls it, the “New Sense.” Bundled in this upgrade is the new BlinkFeed home screen, which won’t seem as strange and unfamiliar to those who have seen the Metro UI and Flipboard. Basically, BlinkFeed shows you updates from your feed and social networks in tiles, which means when you get a new Like on Facebook or your friend posts a photo of you, you’ll be able to see it and access it directly on the home screen. If you’re not really digging BlinkFeed, don’t turn your back on the HTC One just yet—users still have the option to revert to the traditional home screen.

One of the other highlights during the launch of the device apart from the new UI is the camera. HTC fashioned a new sensor that can capture three times more light than other shooters found in smartphones. This is due to the sensor’s enlarged pixels—HTC calls them UltraPixels—which enhances the camera’s performance particularly in low-light settings. The catch is that the resolution of the photos you take using the UltraPixel Camera is limited to only 4.0MP. Additionally, the UltraPixel Camera features optical image stabilization (OIS).

A new shooting mode in the One called HTC Zoe allows users to shoot HD videos while capturing stills at the same time. Upon pressing the shutter button, the camera takes up to 20 stills—five frames before you actually press the button, and 15 after you do—and a 3-second HD video.

To match the performance of the display and the camera, HTC also threw in a powerful set of cans into the One. Two stereo speakers, found on top and at the bottom of the screen. The sound is enhanced by Beats Audio (as always), but HTC decided to christen these smartphone-mounted stereo speakers with a new name: BoomSound.

Aside from the speaker upgrade, HTC throws in a new microphone in the One as well. Billed as Sense Voice, the HTC One’s dual built-in microphones can detect loud ambient noise and will then increase the level of the in-call voice to compensate, thereby enhancing audibleness and clarity when taking calls in a noisy environment.

Sense TV is also a new nugget that HTC introduced during the launch. This allows the HTC One to serve as a remote control for your smart TV, allowing users to surf and select channels using the device. The power/lock button doubles as an infrared (IR) emitter.

Connectivity options in the HTC One include Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G, Bluetooth 4.0, and NFC.

HTC claims that the One will be available globally beginning March.