HTC Ocean Note to be announced on January 12

HTC Ocean Note to be announced on January 12

HTC Ocean Note to be announced on January 12

Update, December 30: According to HTC developer @LlabTooFeR, one of the upcoming HTC devices mentioned below, codenamed Ocean Note, will be announced on January 12. The device will reportedly be available in both single and dual-SIM versions. 

Original post, December 29: HTC has struggled quite a bit this year, despite having a few solid devices on offer including the high-end Bolt and 10. In hopes of turning things around next year, HTC will, according to the latest report from Taiwan, announce three new smartphones in the first quarter.

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Deal: $200 off HTC 10 and a free pair of Jabra wireless headphones (US)

Deal: $200 off HTC 10 and a free pair of Jabra wireless headphones (US)

Deal: $200 off HTC 10 and a free pair of Jabra wireless headphones (US)

We are heading into the holiday season, and HTC certainly is feeling it: the troubled Taiwanese company is offering $200 off its flagship phone in the US and is giving out free Jabra wireless headphones along with it. Hurry though, the offer expires on the 20th of December!

HTC loves to give us deals; after all, even though the company saw some moderate success with the Google Pixel phones, its own lineup has been lagging behind considerably these past few years. These deals not only help increase sales but also promote its brand image.

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HTC is launching its own VR game and app studio

HTC is launching its own VR game and app studio

HTC is launching its own VR game and app studio

HTC is launching a new development and publishing studio for virtual reality experiences. Vive Studios, as it’s called, will release both games developed at HTC and ones from external studios. Its first title, from an internal studio called 2 Bears, is named Arcade Saga — an arcade-inspired combination of games like archery and Breakout.

HTC is already putting the Vive headset in internet cafes and dedicated entertainment centers, and it’s supporting software through a startup accelerator called Vive X. It’s also unofficially developed at least one game before Arcade Saga: a World War II shooting gallery called Front Defense. But the company took pains to say that Front Defense was made by an “independent internal startup” that just happened to be made of current HTC employees, not HTC itself.

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HTC 10 Android 7.0 kernel code available for unlocked devices

HTC 10 Android 7.0 kernel code available for unlocked devices

HTC 10 Android 7.0 kernel code available for unlocked devices

HTC recently started rolling out the Android 7.0 Nougat update to unlocked devices over-the-air, as well as making the full update available for direct download from HTC.com. Now, HTC has released the kernel source code for developers.

The 219 MB file is available for unlocked devices only and can be downloaded now from HTCdev.com. For those who are unaware, the kernel is the core software program that manages the system resources like system memory, CPU resources, networking etc. It’s not the same as the Android 7.0 Nougat ROM rolling out to the HTC 10, only what it’s built from.

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HTC Camera app updated with the Bolt’s selfie panorama mode

HTC Camera app updated with the Bolt’s selfie panorama mode

HTC Camera app updated with the Bolt’s selfie panorama mode

The official HTC Camera app is still floating around on the Play Store if you’re looking for a new smartphone photography experience and features, and HTC has just updated the app with a couple of new options for taking more interesting shots.

The major new feature included in the app is the introduction of a Selfie Panorama shooting mode, which comes directly from the new HTC Bolt. As the name suggests, this feature stitches together multiple shots from the front facing camera to capture more of the scene when you want to snap a selfie.

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HTC set to reveal the HTC 10 evo on November 22

HTC set to reveal the HTC 10 evo on November 22

HTC set to reveal the HTC 10 evo on November 22

HTC has sent out invites for an event on November 22 in Taiwan where it is expected to unveil the HTC 10 evo. The news arrives via Taiwanese tech website Sogi, which leaked the press invitation a few hours ago.

The HTC 10 evo is the rumored international variant of the HTC Bolt, recently launched as a Sprint exclusive in the US. Though HTC’s invite doesn’t explicitly mention a device name, the water drops depicted may indicate that the phone would feature water resistance, like the HTC Bolt (IP57 certification). Check it out below.

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Android OEM death watch: Sony, HTC, and LG edition

Android OEM death watch: Sony, HTC, and LG edition

Android OEM death watch: Sony, HTC, and LG edition

If Android OEMs were just that, original equipment manufacturers, their jobs would be much simpler and easier. But in the modern smartphone world, it’s not enough to just design and build new gadgets to a high spec; you have to power them with your own tailored software, you have to support them with updates and security patches, and you have to price them enticingly, too. Not everyone has been doing a particularly good job of this, and as the ranks of Android OEMs continue to swell, escalating competition might push some familiar names out of the game altogether.

Let’s start with Sony, the most endangered species in the Android realm. Sony only really knows how to make premium devices. Over the course of the past three years, its Xperia Z series has evolved at a breakneck pace, going from Z1 to Z5 to the present XZ, but it’s never changed in character. The typical Xperia flagship phone costs a lot and has the latest specs and an eye-catching design, but it also tends to launch without the latest Android on board, and its great camera is usually hamstrung by bad software. That’s exactly what I experienced with the Xperia XZ at IFA this year: beautiful on the outside, high engineering on the inside, but outdated Android and unconvincing camera software.

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HTC RE Camera vs GoPro

HTC RE Camera vs GoPro

HTC RE Camera vs GoPro

HTC’s RE Camera is an interesting little device for those in the market for an ultra-portable camera. Although HTC isn’t marketing the RE Camera as a companion for your white water rapid adventures, when it comes to miniature portable cameras, the GoPro is the range to beat.

There are a variety of GoPro camera’s available, many of which are quite a bit more expensive than HTC’s little RE Camera. The closest priced GoPro is the older HERO3, which retails for $199. Let’s see how they stack up.

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Hands On with the HTC One M8 for Windows: The first OS-agnostic phone

Hands On with the HTC One M8 for Windows: The first OS-agnostic phone

Hands On with the HTC One M8 for Windows: The first OS-agnostic phone

NEW YORK CITY—HTC has announced the HTC One M8… again. This time, though, it runs Windows Phone and is a Verizon-exclusive called the “HTC One M8 for Windows.” HTC is the first OEM to take advantage of changes in Windows Phone 8.1 that allow for OS-agnostic smartphones, allowing (Verizon) customers to pick their hardware first and software—Windows Phone or Android—second.

We aren’t glossing over any details here, either; the hardware is exactly the same as the Android version. That means you get all the good stuff from the HTC One M8: a 5-inch, 1080p LCD, a 2.36GHz Snapdragon 801, 2GB of RAM, a 2600mAh battery, and massive BoomSound speakers, all wrapped in an aluminum shell.

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Audio engineer extols the virtues of the HTC One – but do you feel the same? [Poll]

Audio engineer extols the virtues of the HTC One – but do you feel the same? [Poll]

Audio engineer extols the virtues of the HTC One – but do you feel the same? [Poll]

HTC One, perhaps the best smartphone introduced in the first half of this year, has been analyzed by our team in almost every way possible. We’ve seen its sharp aluminum body subjected to torture tests, we dropped the bugger and compared it to the iPhone 5, and we carefully rated its camera quality, display, and general performance.  But what about the sound?

As you well may know, HTC decided to integrate not one, but two stereo speakers in their flagship this year. Unlike the vast majority of Android phones that come with a back-mounted speaker, the HTC One has both units mounted on the front, on both sides of the screen. Overall, the design is classy and should provide high-quality audio, but we have yet to see a proper analysis of the setup.

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