Taiwan’s HTC Corporation on Sunday used the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to announce its new flagship phone, the HTC One M9, as well as to tell the world that it was banking on virtual reality going mass by giving a sneak peak of its HTC Vive headset being developed in collaboration with Valve. The company also announced a top-end smartband called the HTC Grip meant primarily for the US market.
The HTC One M9 is a premium phone that come with jewellery grade dual-metallic unibody design. The phone will be powered by a top of the line octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage.
First look video of HTC One M9:
Unlike the earlier M8, the phone will not have a dual camera at the rear and will instead sport a 20MP camera with a larger sensor and sapphire lens. The 4MP Ultra Pixel camera might interest selfie addicts. The phone will also be the first to feature the HTC Sense 7 user interfaced based on Android 5.0 Lollipop and will give users a lot of curated options in everything from content to apps.
HTC chairperson Cher Wang said the phone challenges the expectation of the mobile industry and offers more than what is the standard these days by using premium raw materials. However, she wants to create a bigger legacy for herself and her company through the HTC Vive.
First look video of HTC Grip:
The company is confident that by the end of the year it will have the first mass use version of a virtuality device, which will change the way we consume content. Wang’s vision is for the technology to be used for much more than gaming, by making its way to education and healthcare sectors.
HTC Vive will use Valve’s Steam VR tracking and input technologies to offer the “most immersive experience of any VR package”. It will introduce a full room scale 360 degree solution with tracked controllers that will let users walk around and explore virtual space and inspect objects from all angles. The headset features high quality graphics, 90 frames per second video and high audio fidelity.
Like Wang, HTC Ceo Peter Chou is confident that Vive will be able to do to the VR industry what the first smartphones from HTC did for the telecom industry. “Vive creates an exciting opportunity for all developers and content creators, to help us bring virtual reality into the mainstream with an end-to-end solution that completely redefines how we entertain ourselves, communicate with each other, learn and, eventually, how we become more productive,” Wang said. However, the device is not expected to be available for consumers before the end of 2015.
HTC has also teamed up with US brand Under Armour to offer a top-of-the-line smart band aimed at athletes. Priced at $199, the band will offer GPS for tracking workouts but will work only with Under Armour’s comprehensive data tracking app Record. HTC is unlikely to bring the band to countries like India, however the launch makes clear the company’s intention to branch out into a new sector, in all probability under the Re brand. The company had launced its HTC Re camera in late 2014.
Specs of HTC One M9:
Display: 5.0 inch, Full HD 1080p
Android 5.0 (Lollipop) with HTC Sense 7
Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core CPU (4 x 2GHz + 4 x 1.5GHz) 64-bit processing
32GB internal storage (up to 128Gb expandable)
2G/3G/4G- Nano SIM
HTC BoomSound with Dolby Audio
20MP rear camera with Sapphire cover lens (4K recording supported)
HTC UltraPixel front camera