HTC went big Tuesday morning with the launch of its HTC One smartphone, a slim silver and black 4G smartphone that the company hopes can stem its flagging fortunes.
The HTC One brings a couple of distinctive features to the table, including a redesigned user interface that echoes Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 design, though on a phone that runs Google’s Android operating system.
HTC calls its new skin “Blinkfeed,” an interface that highlights updates from various apps in a grid-like layout. Global partners at launch include Facebook, AOL, Twitter and Flickr.
“Blinkfeed combines your social channels with news content from our partners to generate a personalized feed that shows you uniquely relevant content every time you turn on your phone,” the company said in a blog post introducing the feature.
The company is also putting a 4.7-inch screen on the phone as well as a camera sensor that’s supposed to have excellent performance in low light. In a move that could be disappointing to Android fans, however, the HTC One will run Android 4.1.2, rather than the company’s latest version, 4.2.2.
HTC is in need of a good hit. The company said last year that it would put more effort into streamlining its product releases, as it lost ground to Samsung as the Android phone manufacturer of choice.
The Taiwanese firm was the fourth-place smartphone vendor of 2012, falling behind Samsung, Apple and Nokia, but didn’t even merit a place in the top five vendors for the 2012 holiday quarter.
HTC said last month that it would focus on mid-range phones, which should have broad appeal in emerging smartphone markets such as China.
The pricing and availability details for the HTC One have not yet been released, but the phone will be coming to three U.S. networks: AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.