If I was a betting man, I’d bet that HTC was carefully trying to engineer some buzz around its new flagship Android smartphone for the U.S. market, the HTC One we’ve seen leaked plenty of times before. And now, the company has put together a promo page with a countdown timer for its February 19 event in NYC, which all but gives up the goose ahead of an official unveiling.
The page offers a special bonus whenever the timer ends in a “1″, flashing the number in green, which is itself a pretty solid indication that we’ll see a phone called simply the “HTC One” when it’s unveiled next week, but it also offers glimpses of an actual device every time it hits that count, too. These are ultra-zoomed in looks with a blurred filter effect, but it’s still fairly easy to get an idea of what parts of the phone, including the side edge, rear and front case might look like. It’s not surprise that in general, what HTC is showing off resembles very closely what we’ve seen in the latest leaks, including the rendering of an HTC One with the screen published this week.
So why is HTC showing off so much ahead of time? Basically, because that’s what you do when you need to generate a lot of early hype, and that’s exactly what HTC needs right now. The company has always been among the top Android OEMs in terms of quality, in my opinion, but as its recent financial results prove, that has failed to help it really catch fire in the U.S. market. The HTC corporate slogan of “quietly brilliant” is sadly all too appropriate, but its promotional efforts with this device seem to indicate the company is aware it needs to make a more vocal splash.
Of note in the new, it looks like we might see a handset with more metal involved in its construction than most Android devices, possibly with some chamfered edges like on the iPhone, and there’s also one segment that focuses on what’s clearly a camera lens. If HTC’s rumored “Ultrapixel” camera is also real, the company could be using that as one of its key differentiators. I’d love to see a company deliver something truly exciting on the mobile camera front, because while a lot of OEMs including Nokia and BlackBerry have been talking up cameras as key components of their hardware, I’ve yet to see a recent development that really merits the pre-launch buzz.