Wednesday, 5 March 2014


#HTC #ONE #HTCONE #ONE-UPPED #Desire610 #Desire816

Good evening, Synapse Circuit Readers! How are you tonight? I hope that all is well with you and yours! 2014 has gotten off to a tremendous start where mobile devices are concerned. As predicted – not that you need to consult an oracle – just about every manufacturer are releasing strong products this year. Apple looks well out of the picture and will be pushed out to the fringe. The real battle is between the Android players. Despite a devastating $100M loss in Q3 of 2013 HTC are on the comeback trail!

I reckon the problem with HTC is that they haven’t been paying close attention to the market demands in terms of their forgettable budget handsets. I know that I was offered on of their handset on a contract and turned it down upon the specs! Uh-uh! Not me! By now I think even the most Luddite technophobe must realize that the budget Android has been a no go from the get go: Not enough RAM, storage space and CPU processing power. It’s a waste of money to manufacture these handsets if nobody is going to get any joy out of them. That’s a big loss right there!

HTC would like to think that it is Samsung. The Samsung name carries a lot of weight socially – at least in London whereby 8 people out of 10 have a Samsung handset. And out of the 8 Samsung handset owners at least 6 of them have premium products: Galaxy S3 mini, Galaxy S3, S4 and Notes 2 & 3. And you can bet that there will be more owners of the Galaxy S3 as it has come down dramatically in price, £18 a month from £25! It could be lowered more by the summer to an estimated £13 or £15! You know that you are getting a quality handset at that price! I have the Motorola RAZRi which costs £17 a month and already it’s annoying me. Compare that to my Galaxy S2 which is still going strong and it is so much better than the RAZRi! Apart from my HTC One X, I can’t think of an older HTC model that has retained its value. In 2013 the only handset that HTC got right was the One – at least in terms of design. As you know, I do not favour handsets with a non-removable battery.

RDJ = Expense! Yes, if you are going to hire Robert Downey Junior to appear in your adverts you had better get him to do something other than flap around like a penguin! For some reason HTC cannot make decent adverts! Their attempt at advertising is abysmal! I can’t for the life of me remember a decent ad... Oh, the ad where there’s a band playing with its back to the audience – including the sound system; that showed off the One’s brilliant front-facing speakers. But other than that HTC can’t do ads!

I don’t know if it’s because I have a leaning towards Samsung why I am able to remember their ads... But do it yourself! Trawl through YouTube and compare HTC ads to the Samsung ones! Samsung focuses on the benefits in their products and over the competition. You can’t forget that – especially the ones where they laugh at the iPhone and its users. Hahahaha! But those HTC ads featuring Robert Downey Junior are forgettable; I don’t even know what they’re about. I don’t understand this weird dance where RDJ and friends look like penguins having an epileptic fit!

HTC must give their advertising more thought! A lot more if they are going to claw back the huge loss of $100M!

Yep! That describes my relationship with HTC; if you have been reading my articles you will know the various issues I have with the manufacturer. My first Android handset was the Hero. I loved that handset! I chose it over the iPhone. However, for some reason unknown to mankind the screen stopped responding to the touch.

My second HTC phone is the Desire. It was a good handset but as time wore on apps got bigger and before I knew it I couldn’t store much – if anything on the handset.

I took a chance on a second hand One X a couple of years later and, largely thanks to CyanogenMod CM11, I am finally getting good mileage out of it. 

And with their new products announced at the recent Mobile World Congress ’14 I am starting to love HTC again!

Take a look at the midrange Desire 610:-

2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 2100
4G Network LTE 800 / 900 / 1800 / 2600 - EMEA version
LTE 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600 / 700 - Asia version

Announced 2014, February
Status Coming soon. Exp. release May 2014

Dimensions: 143.1 x 70.5 x 9.6 mm (5.63 x 2.78 x 0.38 in)
Weight: 143.5 g (5.04 oz)

Type: Capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size: 540 x 960 pixels, 4.7 inches (~234 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch: Yes

HTC Sense UI v5.5

Alert types: Vibration, MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker : Yes, with stereo speakers
3.5mm jack: Yes

Card slot: microSD, up to 64 GB
Internal: 8 GB, 1 GB RAM

Speed            HSDPA, 42 Mbps; HSUPA; LTE
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth       Yes, v4.0 with A2DP
USB: Yes, microUSB v2.0

Primary 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
Features: Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, simultaneous HD video and image recording, HDR
Video  Yes, 720p
Secondary: Yes, 1.3 MP, 720p

OS: Android OS
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
CPU: Quad-core 1.2 GHz
Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity
Messaging: SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email
Browser: HTML5
Radio TBD
GPS    Yes, with A-GPS support and GLONASS
Java    Yes, via Java MIDP emulator
Colours: Black, White, Red, Gray, Green
SNS integration
MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV player
MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV player
Google Search, Maps, Gmail,
YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk
Document viewer
Photo viewer/editor
Voice memo/dial/commands
Predictive text input

Non-removable Li-Po 2040 mAh battery
Talk time

The specs are pretty decent for a midrange handset – cost depending! There again there are quite a few handsets of a budget nature that can possibly see HTC lose out again! You’ve seen the HTC Desire 816 that could possibly pick up the slack:

Notice that both the Desire 610 and 816 look very similar to the iPhone 5C what with the different colours. The front-facing speaker design can very well appeal to 18 - 35 age groups! I can see these handsets doing well this summer – price pending!

This is the big One (2014) for HTC! Many consumers – including me – loved (and still love) the design of the One when it was released last year. I get the feeling that it, the aluminium beauty, got in the way of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 sales ambition (which is still a respectable 40M and counting). There is an obvious market out there for a “blinging” (for want of a better expression) handset. The HTC One makes for a pretty grand fashion statement. HTC may make an impact on the sale of the Galaxy S5! We’ll see... The Galaxy S5 has received a record amount of pre-registration in the UK and promises to do better than the GS4!

It would be nice if HTC could eat into the iPhone market as many iPhone users are looking for a better handset than the current iPhone has to offer. Dare I say that the diehard iPhone fans are waiting to see what Apple delivers with the iPhone 6; if it proves to be a disappointment I think the HTC One 2014 can do extremely well!

HTC does not deserve to go the way BlackBerry has gone! Goodness no!

What do you reckon?

Review coming very soon.... Stay tuned (pun unintended but works so well)...  

Take good care!

Thank you for watching and reading!

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