It’s incredible to think that we’ve been talking about the HTC Desire Eye – or HTC One M8 Eye, as we were calling it at one point – for less than four weeks. Feels like we’ve been waiting a lifetime, thanks in no small part to the relentless tidal wave of recent leaks.
Indeed, it turns out those recent leaks were bang on the money: this isn’t just an HTC One M8 with a 13MP rear camera; it’s called the HTC Desire Eye and it has 13MP cameras plural – that’s front and back.
HTC has made no bones about throwing its weight behind the camera portion of smartphones of late. First it introduced UltraPixels, a marketing nightmare that saw the megapixel count butchered while rival manufacturers seemed – to your average consumer, at least – to offer four or even five times the 4MP goodness of the One and One M8.
And this year’s flagship launch saw the introduction of HTC’s Duo Camera, with a pair of sensors on the back combining to create depth of field effects and such like.
Curiously, both of those things – UltraPixels and the Duo Camera – are absent from the HTC Desire Eye, ditto optical image stabilisation (OIS). Er, so what makes this thing so great?
Well, the headline feature on the HTC Desire Eye is on the front – not the back, specifically its 13MP “selfie” camera, complete with its own flash.
Not convinced? How about HTC Eye Experience, a full suite of features designed to take more interesting, and convenient, shots.
Among other things, you can take a selfie and “crop-me-in” to a pic taken with the rear camera; merge two faces together (Face Fusion); take simultaneous front and rear pictures then display them in a split-pane shot (Split Capture); and take four pictures and string them into a photo booth-style frame (er, Photo Booth).
Another interesting HTC Eye Experience feature detects up to four faces in a conference call, and assigns them each a window, while saying “cheese” or “rolling” launches the camera or video recorder respectively.
In an arguably silly move, HTC will bring Eye Experience to various other HTC phones, so there’s no need to upgrade. Having said that, not all features will come to all phones; more on that as it develops.
Further HTC Desire Eye specs include a 5.2in 1080p display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM, stereo BoomSound speakers (if you squint you can just make them out on the front), 16GB expandable storage, and of course KitKat Android 4.4.4 with a slather of Sense 6.
Oh, and those rumours of IPX7-certified resistance to dust and water were on the money, too, so feel free to leave your HTC Desire Eye in up to 1m of water for 30 minutes.
And that’s the HTC Desire Eye. No word on pricing just yet, but it’ll make its debut on AT&T in the US of A, before travelling west across the Pacific and east o’er the Atlantic. Colours are white with red trim, and blue with, er, blue trim.
Thoughts? Is the HTC Desire Eye the phone you’ve been waiting for, or another what-the-heck-are-they-thinking effort from those crazy old Taiwanese?