by Robert Triggs, 1 hour ago
It has been difficult to know exactly what to make of HTC recently. The company has been touting success with the One, and is turning decent profits after months of underperforming, but today we learned…
Trying to keep a high-end gadget secret in today’s tech world is a harder task than winning the Tour de France without using illegal substances, so most of the big names in the industry don’t seem to put that much effort into it anymore.
We sometimes even get the feeling that OEMs intentionally spill the beans way before the actual releases to build hype, as it’s happened lately with several Samsung phones and tabs, Sony’s Xperia Z or HTC’s Droid DNA.
The latest star of a true rumor bonanza is codenamed M7 and is supposed to be HTC’s next spearhead. We’re not expecting the big guy to come to light before the end of February, but we already know or think we know a great deal about it, which is why we’ve decided to gather all the intel in one place. That way, you can make sure you’re up to date with the talk of the town without having to browse through a bunch of posts.
Here it goes:
We probably shouldn’t start off with the section that’s the lightest on credible info, but we know you’re most interested in this, so let’s get it out of the way. The ETA was first rumored to be April, based on One X’s 2012 release, but right now we’re more inclined to say March.
[Update February 11] Not so light anymore, as we have our first rumored release date, courtesy of a pretty reliable source. We could thus see the M7 in stores as soon as March 8, although we've had other sources tell us that the launch could after all be pushed back. Hmm, who to trust?
That’s because we think HTC will be looking to undercut Samsung’s Galaxy S4 launch, but also due to the increasing frequency of rumors. HTC is almost certainly no stranger to at least a couple of recent M7 leaks, so there’s likely a reason why info is being spilled early.
an MWC showing in February is almost guaranteed, though it’s not impossible to see the M7 unveiled even earlier. After all, Barcelona could be hosting a lot of launches, so if you need to shine why not pick a date when people can talk only about you?
Update: Even though M7′s presence at MWC is not entirely out of the question, the phone will most likely be introduced to the world prior to the Barcelona conference. London and New York stages are getting prepared for special events scheduled on February 19, and, while HTC is yet to confirm what will go down there, we have a pretty good idea already, don't we?
On the pricing front,
there’s been absolutely no movement so far, but with at least three US major carriers expected to sell it, the M7 should be competitive. Still, we don’t imagine HTC going below $199.99 with contracts and $600 outright.
Update: We're still short on official pricing details, but unofficial word has it France will get the M7 for €650 outright. That's not at all surprising and it's more or less what we think HTC will charge for the big guy across Europe. As for carriers expected to offer it subsidized, we've only heard about Vodafone Germany so far, but obviously that's just temporary.
Moving across the ocean, we have a little something to add to our previous speculations about the US release. Apparently, the M7 is due to land on all four major carriers after all. Out of the bunch, Verizon might look to brand the phone as a “Droid DNA Plus” (or DLX Plus), with slightly different specs.
With a 5-inch Droid DNA/Butterfly in its portfolio, many of us would have expected HTC to up the size ante even more. However, rumor has it the Taiwanese will in fact get back to their One X roots, equipping the M7 with a 4.7-inch display.
That will naturally boast a 1,920 x 1,080 pixels resolution (aka Full HD), which will result in a record-breaking 468 ppi pixel density. Unfortunately, the panel won’t be of the AMOLED variation we all love so much, using instead the more traditional LCD technology supplied by Sharp.
Update: Now we're pretty much certain the M7 is going to follow DNA’s design philosophy, even though there will also be some distinct points apparently, including a wider selection of color schemes. Well, not much wider, but still, it seems the M7 will come in black matte and a snazzy silver and white combo.
While we still have to fill some blanks here, we’re almost positive there’ll be a quad-core 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU and 2 GB of RAM inside of the beast. Other specs that have come up more than once in the rumor mill recently are 32 GB of on-board storage, a 13 MP rear-facing snapper, a 2 MP front cam, and a 2,300 mAh battery.
Unfortunately, microSD support still remains nothing but a sweet dream, while the chances of that not so hot battery being user removable are slim to none. On the flipside, you should be happy to hear that HTC is planning to launch 16 and 64 GB versions of the M7 as well (most likely limited to certain markets), while the possible inclusion of an IR port is probably the funkiest detail of all.
Update: We don't know how much of a difference it will make, but HTC is apparently planning to market M7′s camera as using ultrapixels instead of megapixels. The “sound experience” should also be “better than before”, whatever that means. There was a mention of a new kind of sound system in one of the recent leaks (Double HP Techno Beats Audio), but frankly there are other things we'd like to see improved at HTC phones instead of the already decent Beats Audio enhancements.
Expected to run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean upon launch, HTC’s new flagship should also come with a new version of Sense UI on top, most likely dubbed 5.0. We’ve heard a lot of people calling the new interface cleaner and sleeker than previous Sense versions, but before taking it for a spin ourselves we don’t want to get too excited.
After months and months of tantalizing us with the “M7″, it would be pretty, well, stupid of HTC to change the fellow's name, right? Well, believe it or not, but that's exactly what the Taiwanese are allegedly doing. And not just that, but they're planning to market the M7 as the One. No, not the One X2, the One Z, One Plus or One Prime, but simply the One. Un-be-liev-a-ble! It's like they're trying to mess with our heads.
That's pretty much all we know about the HTC M7 for now, but damn, it's a lot considering the phone won't actually ship until March at the earliest. Basically, there are only a couple of specs left to be revealed and the exact pricing
and the official name or names (M7 is just a codename, remember?), so it's almost like we wish there was more of a mystery still around to make the waiting a little more bearable. Oh, well, we can always be wrong when dealing with rumors, right?