I'm Buying an HTC One for the Wrong Reasons. And I Don't Care!
I'll admit I'm not a very intense phone user. So until this morning my aging HTC Desire was everything I needed in a smartphone. Or so I thought. It worked reliably, felt good in the hand, had a simple but elegant interface. But now I can't wait to dump it. What's changed, you ask? Well, this morning I had the misfortune to stumble across HTC's new flagship phone, the One. And now I can't stop thinking about it. So you can chalk me up as just another digital sucker, dazzled by the latest gadget.
Those marketing devils at HTC really know how to turn the knife, beginning with the classic "Everything Your Phone Isn't," which immediately makes you begin to question your current state of satisfaction. The One doesn't just add a few features. No, it provides "everything" that your current phone is lacking. I had no idea what that might encompass but as soon as I saw the One's thin aluminum body, that alone was enough to make me immediately see the relatively thick, black casing of my Desire in a new way. And not a positive one.
But aethestics alone are never enough for me to upgrade. You'd know that if you could see some of the old, dusty junk that I keep alive years beyond what the manufacturers had in mind. For example, I still happily use a circa-2007 laptop running Vista. The damn thing won't die, so what can I do? But this was different. Take the dual frontal stereo speakers. I had never pondered the benefit of such a setup but now I could only look with contempt at the tiny excuse for a speaker on my current phone. Then there's that new version 5 of HTC's Android skin, Sense. I've always liked the simplicity of the Desire's interface but the new Sense seduces, thanks in part to the addition of BlinkFeed, which apparently displays feeds from social networks, news and the other usual suspects on the home screen (I'm still using Sense version 3. Why was I not informed?). Then there's double my current RAM, a faster processor, newer Android, updated Bluetooth (admittedly, I don't have any Bluetooth devices but maybe I should? What am I missing?), a bigger screen, higher resolution, and so on. Hard to resist that tidal wave of functionality.
But what really got my attention was the One's truly fresh take on what a phone camera should be. Bravely turning its back on the megapixel march of doom, the One instead employs a sensor constructed with UltraPixels, which apparently can capture up to twice as much light as your garden-variety pixel. Couple that with a large aperture and you have a camera that performs well in low-light situations, which is where I typically seem to shoot. What's even niftier is that each time you click, you automatically also create a full 1080p movie that begins before you clicked, since the camera is always recording and deleting video. The result being that each shot in the so-called Living Gallery then becomes a series of organized shots that you can poke through to pick the best version.
Well, that was the clincher. I suppose I'll be upgrading to the HTC One for all the wrong reasons. But when Desire fades, you have to move on.
Founding Editor, Graphics.com