HTC has unveiled a new smartphone with a 13MP front-facing camera aimed at those who enjoy taking 'selfie' photos. Enterprise buyers may see a more practical use for the camera by offering the ability to make high-quality video calls.
The device has a large 5.2in screen and is powered by a Snapdragon 801 processor and has dimensions of 151.7x73.8x8.5 mm. It weighs 154g and has 2GB of Ram. Storage is expandable with an SD card slot up to 128GB.
The phone will be available in the UK from early November exclusively on Three. No pricing has yet been announced but, given the specifications, it is likely to be in the £400-£500 range.
Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, said that HTC had beaten rivals to the punch with the quality front-facing camera, and others may copy it next year.
“It’s a smart move by HTC to introduce the Desire Eye given the consumer frenzy around selfie pictures. Rivals will watch closely to see whether it is a capability that appeals to consumers,” he said.
“If it gets a positive reception you can almost guarantee Samsung and others will take a similar approach in 2015.”
HTC also unveiled a new camera product that sees it widening its hardware portfolio. The RE camera aims to take on the likes of GoPro and has a 16MP lens capable of recording in full 1080p HD. It can be controlled through a smartphone, which can act as the view finder.
The RE will be available from EE and Three from early November. EE has set pricing for the device at £169.
Wood from CCS said that HTC's move to broaden its hardware portfolio underlined how tough the company is finding the phone market, but he questioned whether the camera market would prove any better.
"It is going to require a colossal marketing investment and aggressive pricing to extend the HTC brand and create awareness for the RE camera versus well established rivals such as GoPro," he said.
Australian government to require technology and communications companies to provide access to messages
New bill avoids demanding 'backdoors' in encryption, but includes measures to compel companies to provide access to encrypted communications
Indonesian overclocker Ivan Cupa (with the aid of a lot of liquid nitrogen) achieves record overclock on AMD's latest Threadripper
Ssupermassive black hole is so big it corresponds to four per cent of the galaxy's total mass
Imminent attack will target a single bank with cloned cards used to fraudulently withdraw millions over one weekend