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HTC launches the Desire EYE

News by Luke Jones on Wednesday October 08, 2014.

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The Desire EYE
The Desire EYE

HTC has today launched the Desire EYE, a smartphone that has been rumoured over the last few days and arrives as the company's mid-range camera oriented handset. The Taiwanese giant did not debut a One M8 EYE as was widely reported and it is now not clear whether that flagship device actually exists.

The Desire EYE is being marketed as the ultimate smartphone camera experience, while HTC is eager to talk up the selfie capabilities of this handset. We will touch on the camera stuff soon, but the Desire EYE is a jolly good smartphone regardless, for those who are not particularly interested in turning the camera on themselves.

Early reports suggested this handset would simply be a re-tooled Desire 820, but in terms of design at least it seems to be a fresh aesthetic, more squared off around the edges than other HTC models. It retains the two tone finish of the 820 though, with coral reef (white with orangish red trim) and blue lagoon (dark blue with light blue trim) available. There are no front facing BoomSound speakers here, and for some the Desire EYE may be a little bezel heavy at the portrait side. However, there is little arguing from me that HTC has crafted yet another splendid looking smartphone, something the company of course excels at.

There are BoomSound's on board though, and they are not the only high end specs coming to the party either, as the Desire EYE is actually a premium piece of kit. In fact, it gives the all metal HTC One M8 flagship a run for its money and the EYE is even waterproof whereas the M8 is not. You can take a look at the full spec sheet HTC sent us after the break.


The big talking point here are the cameras. HTC?s 4MP UltraPixel on the One M8 divides opinion and is a mixed bag in terms of performance. So, with the Desire EYE the company has pasted a 13MP lens on the rear of the device, while on the front the company has matched that with another 13MP snapper. There are some other smartphones on the market rocking a 13MP front facer, but this is the first from a major player that I can think of and it does take the idea of the selfie oriented device and runs with it.

Whether the camera package turns into an excellent photo experience remains to be seen, and certainly judging from the show pieces at HTC's press event would be futile. We will have to get the Desire EYE out in the wild for a proper run through, but HTC has packaged what it calls the EYE Experience into the phone and thinks it has nailed smartphone photography.

The EYE Experience will eventually roll out to most HTC handsets, but for now it is exclusive to the Desire EYE. It is basically a new set of photography features and software, most of which we have seen before, and most of which are probably unnecessary. That said, there are some interesting things here too, such as a new face tracking system which can be used in conference calls to track up to four faces and display them all in a separate frame on the screen. Hardly something the consumer space is screaming for, but a nice touch nonetheless and one that is sure to appeal to the business minded and even regular Skype users.

There are other playful features too, such as Face Fusion that splices two faces together for something that I imagine looks awful. Split Capture lets the user take a rear picture and selfie to put both in a split-pane view; Live Makeup adds some "makeup," handy if you look like me. Photo Booth takes four pictures and collects them into a photo booth-like set of frames. HTC has also included voice capture for selfie shots, you just have say "cheese" to take photos ("rolling" for video).

The EYE Experience will be coming to other high end HTC devices in the near future, including the One M7, M8, E8, Butterfly 2, One mini and mini 2, One max, Desire 816 and 820. As I said, you can check out the full official spec sheet below:

PU SPEED Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 2.3 GHz, quad-core CPUs

PLATFORM Android with HTC Sense

MEMORY Total storage: 16 GB, available capacity variesi RAM: 2GB Expansion card slot supports microSD memory card for up to 128GB additional storage (card not included)

NETWORKii 2G/2.5G - GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz 3G - WCDMA: ASIA - 850/900/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 42 Mbps AT&T - 850/AWS/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA up to 21 Mbps EMEA - 850/900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 42 Mbps 3G - TD_SCDMA: ASIA - 1900/2000 MHz 4G - LTE: ASIA - FDD bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 28/TDD bands 38, 39, 40, 41 AT&T - bands 2, 4, 5, 17, 29 EMEA - bands 3, 7, 8, 20

SIM nano SIM

SENSORS Accelerometer - Proximity sensor Ambient Light sensor - Gyro sensor


CONNECTIVITY 3.5 mm stereo audio jack NFC Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX enabled Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5 GHz) DLNA for wirelessly streaming media from the phone to a compatible TV or computer HTC Connect micro-USB 2.0 port

CAMERA HTC Eye Experience with Face Tracking, Screen Share, Split Capture, Face Fusion, Live Makeup, Auto Selfie, Voice Selfie, Photo Booth, Crop Me In Dedicated camera button

Rear camera 13MP, BSI sensor, f/2.0, 28mm lens, wide angle, with HDR capability 1080p Full HD video recording Dual LED Flash

Front camera 13MP, Auto-focus with zoom capability, BSI sensor, f/2.2, 22mm lens, wide angle, with HDR capability 1080p Full HD video recordingDual LED Flash

AUDIO HTC BoomSound Dual front-facing stereo speakers with built-in amplifiers 3 microphones for enhanced background noise cancellation Sense Voice

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at degree level before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news, as well as overseeing the site's content and direction.

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