21 Jan 2013

Rumor Roundup – HTC M7

As the Mobile World Congress gets closer and closer the rumors of the devices to be launched grow exponentially. One device which has gained the attention of the people is the HTC’s next flagship phone, the successor of the One X/X+, aka the M7. With the launch of this device, the Taiwanese firm will be hoping for a reverse of its fortunes.

The phone is expected to have a 4.7 inch full HD screen (1900 X 1080 resolution) making its pixel density 468 PPI (pixels-per inch). For some perspective, if that's true, it would be around 40 percent sharper than the current iPhone 5's Retina display (326 PPI) and also higher than the HTC Droid DNA/Sony Xperia Z ( 440 PPI). There were also rumors of HTC having an AMOLED display but those seem to have disappeared with most sources claiming that the M7 will have a so-called SoLux LCD display, which is said to offer a number of visual improvements over the previous generation Super LCD2, boosting viewing angles, outdoor visibility, and color accuracy.

The phone is expected to run on a Qualcomm quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor at 1.7 GHz and 2GB RAM. This bothers me a bit as we will definitely see quad core powered phones touching 2 GHz by the end of the year, a phone running at atleast 1.9 GHz would be a better bet against the future Samsung Galaxy S4 and Note 3. Unless HTC has planned the M7 followed by M7+ 6 months later approach again (which again I hope it does not). The phone is expected to have a 32GB flash memory and a 2300 mAH battery. There doesn't seem to be any method to expand the storage memory.

Screenshot of the leaked HTC Sense 5 UI

The operating system is bound to be Jellybean, although which version it is still not clear. It is expected to have a Sense 5 user interface.

The rear camera, boasts a 13MP image sensor and a f/2.0 lens. The front camera has a 2MP lens, with both cameras said to be able to record 1080p video. The rumored new image sensor ("Cinesensor") also sports super slow-motion and video HDR. In addition to these, the M7 will launch with enhanced sound abilities. The speaker is designed by the Dr. Dre-branded sound technology, Beats, while another "Clear Words" technology is said to make phone conversations easier to hear.

Screenshot of the leaked HTC Sense 5 UI

4G LTE connectivity is also rumored, as is a next-gen Wi-Fi 802.11ac connection that is said to be three times faster than the current 802.11n WLAN wireless technology. Also, HTC has reportedly brought back the left-for-dead IR port, placed it near the power button atop the M7, and given it learning capabilities. Phones that work as high-end universal remotes right out of the box? That’s just the kind of thinking HTC needs to recapture lost market share.

The first look at the M7 was provided by the usually reliable @evleaks on Unwired View. The edge to edge bezel and the odd grilles make it a really ugly looking phone and the fact that there is no HTC logo suggests that this is not the exact design HTC is expected to showcase at the MWC this year.

The next appearance of the M7 on PocketNow, with major probability that it’s fake. It looks like some fan decided to have some fun. For starters, the icons are off. They don't look even remotely similar to past versions of Sense, hence I’m inclined to believe that these are simply fan-made. The back is also simply derived from the Windows Phone 8X. The most odd thing about this shot is that the Home and multitasking buttons have been swapped. However, PocketNow's source claims this is accurate. Which is an extremely baffling choice by HTC if it turns out to be true.

The next appearance has been on Android Police, who in the past have proven that they are one of the most reliable sources of news when it comes to Android. This shot corroborates a lot with the information that PocketNow's tipster provided. Both the leaks have the home and multitasking buttons swapped and have similar dock icons. Some of the uncertainties are that the capacitive buttons which sit unusually high on the front. Also there are none of the usual regulatory markings on the back – which means that even if it is authentic, this may be a prototype that doesn't reflect the final result.

Whatever may be the case, we’ll likely find out more at the Mobile World Congress 2013 in a little over a months’ time, where the company is expected to officially announce the M7. New information pegs a release for only a few weeks after its trade show debut, at an unlocked price just north of $600.

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