Manufacturer unveils mid-range phone and ‘point-of-view’ camera
HTC has launched a new mid-range handset which slots in at the “top-end” of the price segment which it claims is comparably specced to the One (M8).
The phone also has a 5.2 inch screen, a quad-core Snapdragon processor, 2GB RAM, 2400 mAh battery and 16GB of in-built storage.
The HTC Desire Eye is the latest in a series of phones launched with an increased emphasis on “selfies”, featuring a 13MP dual LED camera on both the front and rear cameras.
Director of commercialisation product management Graham Wheeler said that while the handset was “obviously brilliant” for selfies there were a number of other camera innovations.
The camera also includes software that lets users to take simultaneous pictures with both cameras, an instant ‘beautification’ mode, as well as face-merging, allowing people top move stuff around.
It also has over-the-top video calling software which allows for facial tracking and recognition when making video calls.
“It is pretty much bang on spec for this price segment,” he said. “It really is everything that we’d expect from a HTC phone but in the top of affordable range.”
Pricing details will be made available by each operator with Wheeler admitting that HTC’s focus was not on the prepay sector, adding: “This is a contract handset comparable to the HTC One (M8).”
The handset, which will be available in blue and white, with blue being the “lead marketing colour” for Europe. The handset will launch in November in the UK.
The Taiwenese manufacturer also announced a handheld ‘point-of-view’ camera which will launch before Christmas.
Retailing at around £169, it features a 16MP camera and HD video recording with the firm claiming it will combat the “decline of the point and shoot camera”. The cylindrical device is turned on as soon as it comes into contact with someones hand and is operated by a single button for camera recording and a further one for video recording.
The camera also features a wide-angle viewing mode which will drop the resolution to 13MP. It has a 600mAh battery which allows for one hour and 40 minutes of continuous video recording.
It does not have a viewfinder but a companion app, available for both Android and iOS, allows for pairing with a smartphone which can be used to frame shots.
The device will be marketed as the RE camera in an effort to make it appeal beyond HTC’s core audience. “We wanted to change the market and offer something new,” said director of commercialisation product management Graham Wheeler. “That’s what our engineer looked at, we studied what people do with cameras and want. This is not a smartphone accessory, just to be very clear with you. This is , for want of a better word, it is the first point and shoot camera. There is nothing more complicated about it.”
Photography social network
The firm also announced the first release from its software offshoot, HTC Creative Labs. Zoe, is a social networking photography application that will be released later this year for Android and iOS devices. HTC has coined the term ‘creatography’ to describe the application.
It will allow users to mesh together different photos of the same event and create one timeline for them. For example, different angles of the same event will be grouped together and create one main ‘Zoe’ which can be shared out on social media.
“It allows you to share that social experience and say I’ve got a better picture of that moment or the app will split screen the same moment from different angles so you get that multi-perspective,” said Wheeler.