Some Thoughts on HTC Utopia in Progress

So, I just watched the livestream of HTC Utopia in progress. First up, whatever else Apple may do wrong, their presentations are easily the best out there. The pauses were just awkward and the emotions associated with the words of the script just didn’t carry over to the voice.

HTC One M9

But that aside, I think HTC has a great new phone. Sure, the design language is similar to the previous years, but let’s be honest, they have the best design in the whole industry. The iPhones are beautiful, but they are just uncomfortable and slippery to hold, partly because of the lack of a curved back. And I really like the look of the new dual finish and I can’t wait to see how it feels in the hand.

I’m not really going to go into the specs of the device, because they don’t really matter anymore. Flagships are more than capable for day to day use. I hope that HTC has made some improvements to the camera, though. People complaining about the 4 MP camera on the last two generations should be happy with the new 20.7 MP shooter.

On the software side, Sense 7 has some cool new features such as a Gallery which combines your cloud photos and a home screen similar to the contextual launcher EverythingMe. Sense has always been one of the lighter skins out there and I can’t wait to check out Sense 7 with Lollipop.

Another thing I really liked is that HTC has not upgraded the phone for the sake of upgrading. I really like that they’ve retained a 5” 1080p display. This should make using it easier as traditionally HTC phones are rather long. This should also give the HTC a relative edge in battery life, but that remains to be seen, when Samsung announces the Galaxy S6 and LG announces the G4 in a couple of months.

Personally, I’m confused with that fitness tracker. The HTC Grip is a really niche wearable and that’s saying something, considering wearables are still quite niche products. I know that there are quite a few fitness trackers in the market but none of them have really caught on like Android Wear and Pebble, simply because more people will use a regular smartwatch. Only the most hardcore fitness freak will buy a fitness tracker like the Grip. The third product HTC announced today is the HTC Vive, a Virtual Reality headset, built in partnership with Valve. This is exciting, though I personally remain skeptical about Virtual Reality in general. I don’t see it becoming a big thing in our day to day lives, like HTC said, though it does have enormous potential in gaming. Perhaps the next generation of consoles will pack in Virtual Reality?

All in all, a decent lineup for the year, especially the One M9. Just another hour and a half for Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked!

Aditya Saky
March 1, 2015