HTC smartphones have been adding interesting camera-based features for a few years now. There was the switch to UltraPixels with the HTC One M7 and then the addition of the Duo Camera depth sensor for the HTC One M8. It makes sense then, that the Taiwanese company would look to capitalize on the popularity of the selfie.
Other companies are already moving in this direction; Sony and Samsung introduced the Xperia C3 and Galaxy Grand Prime respectively this year, each with a front-facing 5MP camera while Huawei has an 8MP selfie snapper on the Ascend P7.
But the latest evidence points to a new upper mid-range phone from HTC with a front-facing 13MP camera named either the HTC Desire Eye or HTC One M8 Eye – although the former is currently looking like the favorite.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? HTC’s new selfie-focused smartphone
- When is it out? If announced this month, possibly mid-November
- What will it cost? Between the One M8 and One Mini 2
HTC Desire Eye release date and price
HTC hasn’t made any public comments yet about the existence of the HTC Desire Eye. However, the company has a planned press event in New York on Wednesday, October 8.
The invitations sent out for the event give the headline "Double Exposure" with a promo image of a couple posing for a selfie using the HTC One M8.
Should HTC officially reveal the Desire Eye on October 8, then it suggests that we could see a release date set for mid-November. It’s unlikely that HTC will want to miss out on the selfie-central Christmas holidays after all.
If HTC’s new phone is indeed the Desire Eye then it will sit beneath the One series of phones when it comes to the company’s pricing structure. However, given some of the specs we’re seeing, it will likely cost more than the £299 (around $480, AU$550) HTC Desire 816.
And yet, many places now list the original HTC One (M7) at around the £300 mark as well. This is a pretty good indicator that the Desire Eye will likely be priced around this point.
If, as previous rumors suggested, the company reveals a new One device called the HTC One M8 Eye, then the price will probably be somewhat steeper.
HTC Desire Eye cameras
The big news about the HTC Desire Eye is the inclusion of a front-facing 13MP camera. So far, it’s not clear whether the camera will feature the M8′s Duo depth sensor but leaked pictures make it seem unlikely.
What we have heard though is that the Desire Eye will have a front-facing LED flash – something clearly visible on leaked images from the likes of @upleaks. Additionally, there’s talk of a f2.0 wide angle lens being employed for the front snapper.
Camera fans will also be pleased to note what looks like a dedicated shutter button on the right hand side of the handset.
The rear-facing camera could well be the same 13MP offering we had in the HTC Desire 816, giving us 1080p video and the usual Android bells and whistles. What’s not clear is whether HTC’s flagship camera features like Zoe and the Duo depth sensor will make the grade.
HTC Desire Eye display
The HTC Desire Eye could be launching with a 5.2-inch Full HD display, meaning it would out-muscle the 4.7-inch Full HD display on last year’s HTC One.
Bringing a Full HD display to the Desire range seems like the logical next step for HTC. The Desire 816 used a 1,280 x 720 panel with a 267 ppi that couldn’t compete with a 1080p display. Given that the Desire Eye or HTC One M8 Eye will be, above all else, a camera phone, there seems a need for a full high definition screen.
The rumors have been quiet on which OS the Desire Eye or HTC One M8 Eye will run, but we’ll be expecting Android KitKat out of the box with HTC’s Sense 6 overlay in place. This will mean that, like other HTC devices, the Eye will boast the news-aggregating HTC BlinkFeed.
HTC Desire Eye specifications
Although the HTC Desire Eye is rumored to be a mid-level handset, early indicators have pointed to some impressive specs that, depending on the price, could make the phone a really attractive proposition.
The HTC Desire Eye could feature a quad-core 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, backed by 2GB of RAM and with 32GB of native storage. That’s the same internal specification as HTC’s current flagship, the HTC One M8.
However, the Eye is believed to have a 2400mAh battery while the M8 has a 2600mAh one – although the Eye’s is apparently removable. What’s more, the new phone could come with an IPX7 limited waterproof rating.
Although specifications are similar to HTC’s flagship, the design language of the chassis is very much of the Desire family. Judging from the photos, HTC has gone with a plastic or polycarbonate casing rather than the mined aluminum used for the HTC One M7 and M8.
So far, we’ve seen two different color options leaked – red/white and light blue/dark blue. Whether or not HTC has more in the pipeline remains to be seen.
Despite the amount of leaks peppering the internet in the lead up to the event, HTC has refrained from offering any more official clues on what we might see.
- HTC is also reportedly building a Google Nexus 9 tablet